The army back in the 80’s was not an easy place to be as lesbian.  You could still be kicked out and although there were a lot of us around, most of us were very careful where and when we had our fun!

In Ireland  it was particularly tough .. I shared a room with five other women and most of the rooms, even for corporals were shared.

During my time in Ireland I met a girl called Jan.   Luckily for me she was the PTI and I was captain of the hockey team so we both had keys for the sports store.   The sports store was really nothing more than a big shelf lined cupboard on the 3rd floor (top floor) of the WRAC sleeping quarters.

This cupboard was our den of inequity .. the place we met to do what some girls do <grin>

Jan had a terrible habit of always turning up late .. sometimes I would be waiting 30 minutes or more for her.

I passed the time by climbing the large slatted shelves and exploring what was on them.  On one of my forays I found a karate outfit, which pleased me greatly and I was often seen striding around in my really cool new PJ’s  (ok I looked a bit of a prat but I was happy!).

One particular day I came across a diving outfit, the rubber body suit, flippers and the rubber helmet.   Being a bit of a wally (see karate outfit PJ’s above….) I decided it would be really funny to put the helmet on.

So I did.

Eventually Jan opens the door

“BOOOO” shouts me .. my face squished into a pouting shape by the helmet.

Oh how we laughed …   until I tried to take it off..

It wouldn’t move.

“How much talc did you use” asked Jan

“Talc?… what do you mean talc?”  I mumbled (difficult to speak with a roll of rubber in your mouth)

No matter how much Jan pulled or wiggled, it wouldn’t move.

In the end we ended up in the corridor.  Jan with her foot on my head and her fingers under my chin (good job she was fit .. I could NEVER have got into that position!).

In the end it did roll off my face, and believe me it was painful, every little hair (that you didn’t know you had!) was being ripped out one by one.

My face was swollen, my eyes nothing more than slits … there would be no misbehaving after that!

The story doesn’t end there … in fact it gets worse …

Later that night I was in my room when there was a knock on my door.

In walks one of my friends (who was straight but knew all about Jan and I).

“CJ .. will you do me a favour, I don’t care what you and Jan get up to, but can you please be a bit quieter” she said

“OH NO .. you don’t understand” I garbled .. “It was the rubber helmet …….”

The look of horror on her face, and undoubtedly mine as those words left my mouth would have made a smashing picture …