Real Life: Boiling in BATUS and Deadline-tastic

Hagar’s gone to Canada for three weeks to boil on the prairie with the tankies. He’s going to be working flat out in sweltering heat; but at least no-one is shooting at him. However, driving a desk is never as much fun as driving a Chinook. This is the way it rolls in his line of work though so onwards and upwards.

The kids break up in 10 days for the school holidays. I have exactly 10 days to finish my long list of articles that I need to write for the inaugural edition of A Local Life  so far we have lined up:

– Angela Rippon and her dimentia role

– Local business man and my old school mucker, Terry Hillier on how he has achieved his rapidly growing empire

– A Man with Mission – interview with Mark Mortimer, headmaster of Warminster School

– A Woman with a Vision – interview with Sarah Edwards, headmistress of Kingdown School

– Behind the Scenes at Nespresso – I popped over to Lausanne, Switzerland and learnt everything and more about coffee production

It’s going to be a bumper edition.

Of course, instead of starting the articlesobviously I have decided to write a blog post instead. But I miss blogging and I am currently touring the WIs of Wiltshire with my talk on A Modern Military Mother – Tales from the Domestic Frontline and I miss how I used to chronicle my life with humour and sarcasm. But the more professional writing assignments I pick up the more the blog is a luxury to write.

Things have settled down with the kids and they don’t wreak havoc in quite the same way. Now, they just bicker eternally with each other. The Grenade, now 11 years old, has a very literal take on the world. He challenges every day perspectives; although he has never been formally diagnosed it is apparent that he sits on some kind of spectrum. This week he refused to wear odd socks to school for ‘odd sock day’ on two grounds: 1.) Socks are not numerical, therefore, can neither be odd, nor even 2.) There is nothing peculiar about socks as the function of the sock is to cover the feet. Therefore, for those reasons, he’s out.

The Menace has just learnt my mobile phone number off by heart and is now phoning me every 5 minutes to tell me:

1.) That she is alright

2.) That she misses me

3.) That she loves me

4.) That she is worried about me and she just wanted to check if I am ok

5.) That she doesn’t think I am going to make it

All delivered with a slightly over-dramatic sincerity, which is still amusing, for now. Although I can see my patience wearing thin over time. Especially as I can envisage her phoning me from downstairs whilst I am upstairs.

The weather is delightful and where we are living has come into its own. The Menace has finally mastered her bike and is addicted to bike rides. I am chuffed because we live on one of the Wiltshire cycleways and can now cycle as a family to local riverside spots for picnics and paddling. On Sunday, after we waved Hagar off, we jumped on our bikes and cycled to the river, where the kids paddled and played and I basked in the sunshine on the riverbank. It was idyllic apart from the fact that the kids bickered all the way to the river, bickered at the river about whose turn it was on the swing, and then bickered all the way home again. The still, silent soundtrack free photos make it look like the perfect day out!

River1 River 2

The second book is coming along nicely it is a compilation of all my writing over the years and opens with a moving, prologue written by mother, three months before she died. It includes my diary from 13 years, 15 years, a few letters that I wrote but didn’t send, my diary of a trip around India, my honeymoon diary of our trip to South Africa and Mauritius, some pregnancy diary posts, and some articles and blog posts chronicling the times post the trial. Hagar and I are still separated but it’s working so well, I wouldn’t have it any other way at the moment. I couldn’t be who I am as a person, mother, a journalist or writer and still live in the shadow of military life. I couldn’t give talks to WIs that challenge perceptions of military spouses. Hagar and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on how business should be done. This gives me the freedom to disagree. The military is still an old fashioned, patriarchial, draconian, nepotistic place. It’s not easy for Hagar to exist in this unorthodox, unconventional status quo but he bravely accepts it and goes forward. Bizarrely, our separation makes us stronger.



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