Diary of an Elderly Schoolboy: Part 1

As a mature journalism student in my hometown, I just had to visit my old school and provide a statement.


Due to less than stellar book sales – which I’m going to attribute to the effect on the markets of Brexit, Covid and Putin – I’ve gone back to school.

Like an addict mistaking sobriety for enlightenment only to return to the bottle, I’ve decided to hobble around Portsmouth University on a bad knee like a fat ghost, hoping against hope that Student Finance England will get their act together before all my credit cards are maxed out.

I’ve been here a month and can last maybe one more before I’m shaving my toes and selling feet videos on OnlyFans.

Things started off well; my tutor group and I winning first prize for a TikTok short, but then an allergic reaction to synthetic cannabinoids left me unable to enjoy my share of the Cadbury’s Roses. Strangely, it was around this time that I uncovered something quite alarming, not only about my fellow schoolchildren, but also the faculty itself.

You see, it all began in reporting class. My table was given the homework of finding a story. When I didn’t hear from anyone over the weekend, I took to Twitter, where I found someone talking about a Russian nuclear submarine. The Belgorod – the largest built in the last 40 years – is reportedly armed with ‘Poseidon’ nuclear torpedoes with which to target naval bases and coastal cities. But such weapons are ‘second strike’, as in retaliatory, and therefore a deterrent, right?

I embarked on a montage of research and wine, finding stories popping up in several American and Italian newspapers, reporting that this submarine ‘with nuclear tsunami technology’ had ‘vanished’. 

I made some notes and sent them to my group but heard nothing.

Living in a coastal town with a naval base would surely give anyone an emotional response to such information, right? When talking about a nuclear threat, particularly from a country led by a man threatened enough by NATO to invade Ukraine – and now in a proxy war with the Americans – even cool heads might struggle to prevail at thoughts this leviathan may not simply be used for its ‘second strike’ capabilities.

Baffled, alone, and unsure of protocol, I submitted my find to the lecturer of the class.

Nothing but an acknowledgment of receipt.

I grew more concerned.

The Daily Mail and The Sun had picked up the story now. Things were getting serious. I had to get serious too – so I watched a YouTube video about the Belgorod by an American submarine expert.

The existence of the nuclear torpedo project itself seems to have been leaked deliberately during a televised 2015 meeting between Putin and senior military officials.

A Twitter search of Belgorod showed a strange column of yellow light within the Russian city of that name, shooting up into the sky – or down into it if the UFO hashtags are to be entertained. I’d say more on this but for initial blogging assessments our submissions are being limited to 300 and 600 words. Something about limiting word count due to short attention spans – I don’t know, I zoned out.

Sharing my concerns about the Belgorod with the other two elderly students in class went ignored. Well, radio silence is violence, comrades. I can only speculate as to the lack of interest. If not incompetence then this screams complicity. How many of these people are working for the Russians? I don’t know how many Manchurian candidates we have but at least two of the class are from Birmingham.

Not knowing who to trust, I have no choice but to leave this record of my suspicions where they will go unseen.

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