Boom! Welcome to 2018! 26 days in and this year is already making itself felt in a good way.
Life is always a balance between family, business, home, travel and military. It has taken me 7 years to cement a credible business reputation in Wiltshire. But I feel, that finally I am making some progress, establishing myself as a tactical deliverer of social media and other marketing communication strategies with business in my locale. Often conversations begin with social media and transcend into other conversations about marketing communications overall. Finally, this year I am beginning to see my business pick up.
I spent my 46th birthday in Budapest with 3 girlfriends staying in a youth hostel – 2 of them 20 years younger than me and one a decade younger than me. But this was me…..the Duracell Bunny.
Seriously, when I am released from the confines of domestic duties I am literally unstoppable. Needless to say Budapest was a blast. This city that never sleeps even in dawn of January, the Ruin Bars were pumping full of young, bearded hipsters, drinking cheap beer and shots of Unicum. The clubs were free entry and a mix of dance music and Eurotrash. Hungarian men are very generous. I was happily throwing shapes like the Duracell Bunny on cheap beer and shots of Unicum when a Hungarian gentlemen suggested we go to the bar for a drink. On arrival at the bar he said to me, “if you buy me a drink, I’ll fuck you in the toilets.”
I actually laughed out loud. He looked at me very concerned and said;
“It’s ok, I don’t mind the fatties.”
To which I then belly laughed (obviously) being a fatty and said;
“How about I buy you a drink, you don’t fuck me and you stop prostituting yourself for half a lager.”
I then proceeded to lecture him on getting some self respect and perhaps raising his personal aspirations. Probably not quite the response he was expecting. Budapest is a great city; cheap, beautiful and easily walked. We cruised the Danube at night, climbed to the Freedom statue in the day, immersed ourselves in the thermal baths and so much more. In one 24 hours period I managed 23, 000 steps! Exhausted but elated by the end.
Then it was back to Blighty to prepare the kids of their father’s impending departure back to Afghanistan. A shorter stint this time into the known and so we were determined to be business as usual. I decided that we needed an adventure so I booked us into a family room at the Youth Hostel at Portland, Weymouth
We spent the Saturday exploring West Bay in the blustery cold winter weather.
And then the Sunday exploring Portland. There is a fabulous interactive D-Day exhibition at Castledown that the kids loved and despite it being a small exhibition, the kids could dress up and try out the guns. They were in their elements.
The highlight for me was heading over to Portland Bill to the lighthouse. It was beautiful and surprisingly busy. It’s definitely worth a look.
I think it’s important that we connect as a family unit before deployment so that things are left on a high with good memories of adventure. Youth hosteling was great for the kids as they got stuck in and washed up, set the table, carried the food from the kitchen; we worked together as a team and they enjoyed it.
Then it was back to business, school, deployments, binging on box sets and domestic chores. Life goes on. I was thinking the other day, as I was smashing my way through Broadchurch, (yes, I am late to the party but it was the visit to West Bay that did it). I used to do so much more, but I am feeling my age. When I started this blog, I’d be working, raising two small children, keeping my house immaculate, managing multiple deployments and still blogging in the evenings as well. Nowadays, I am no burning the candle at both ends with the vigour that I once had. I know I should be blogging but I am getting old…..I’ll do my best to blog some more.
Clare Macnaughton; a modern military mother; a feminist, British military spouse, and lifestyle journalist, writing about real life adventures.
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