John Gibson: Sea? There is life after the services

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In the navy you can sail the seven seas. Wasn’t there a song about that?

Dusty Milller doesn’t sing it. But he can whistle the merry tune now his six years as a submariner are behind him and his feet are back on the ground.

He was in the control room of the nuclear subs Courageous and Warspite. These boats were named after illustrious battleship.

Perth-born Nigel ‘‘Dusty’’ Miller schooled at Galashiels Academy before he joined the Navy at 18. Today you’ll find him talking shop in Edinburgh’s Old Town in Jeffrey Street, where in April he opened his Scottish Regimental Store, an impressive assortment of Scottish militaria.

Says Dusty, 47, surfacing optimistically: “Already I’ve established numerous contacts from all three services. I came out of the Navy and found work in retail, for the Clydesdale in their electrical department. Then for the Ministry of Defence in security at Edinburgh Castle. Action? I didn’t see any. I served in the subs while the Cold War was on, but not many sailors can say they slept on torpedo rack. I can confirm that, yes, it can be ridiculously cramped.’’

Small talk

Think Danny De Vito. Think Dustin Hoffman. Tom Cruise even. And we mustn’t leave Ronnie Corbett out of the reckoning.

Says Bradley Willcox at the department of geriatric medicine at Hawii University: “The taller you got, the shorter you lived.’’ He found that ‘‘shorter men are more likely to have a protective form of longevity gene’’.

So if wags raise a cheap laugh calling you ‘‘Shorty’’ just walk tall.