From Being Smart to Chocolate Tart ( Which is not a tart, but a sponge) – A Tag

Fairly recently I was tagged by the fabulous Domestic Goddess, who you can have a sneaky peek at here, The Domestic Goddess , She is witty, smart and forever popping on to my blog to offer words of support and encouragement. She suggested that I had a go at ’11 Things About Me.” which I have done. So completely off topic and with not an ounce of military house wife-ness about it, here are the 11 answers to the 11 questions Domestic Goddess asked;

What Is Your Favorite Movie You Have Watched This Summer?

I have not watched a single movie this summer. How is that possible?! However, I would like to see Trainwreck and Sisters at some point.
If You Had To Choose Between Good Looks Or Being Smart Which Would You Choose?

I reckon I would like to be smart enough to use my good looks 😉

What TV Show Is Your Guilty Pleasure And Your Are Embarrassed To Say You Watch?

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. No one knows this. My mother would be horrified.
What Is Your Favorite Place To Go On Vacation?

Anywhere warm, with a beach, some culture and a cocktail menu. Favourites are; Santorini, Greece, St. Maarten, Caribbean, Cape Town, South Africa and Hvar, Croatia.

How Do You Like Your Coffee?

I don’t drink coffee. Or tea, but I like my Prosecco ice cold with a raspberry.

2 glasses of prosecco
What Is Your Favorite Dessert?

A chocolate ‘melt in the middle’ sponge, with Madagascan vanilla bean ice cream. Oh. My. Goodness. Why have I even allowed myself to write this before lunch?

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What Song Do You Put On When You Need Something To Brighten Your Day

Ferris Beuller’s version of Twist & Shout

What Is Something New You Have Been Wanting To Try But Have Not Done So Yet?

To go to sleep in silence.
For as long as I can remember I have had to fall asleep listening to something, whether it be the television, the radio, an audio book. My mind wont just switch off on it’s own. I would like to be able to fall asleep in silence while meditating or something equally beneficial and calming.
What Life Lesson Do You Wish You Had Listened To When You Were Younger?

I’m pretty glad that I didn’t listen to any of them! I am who I am today because I muddled down my own little path and got to this point.
Would You Rather Have A Big Mansion Or A Nice Home In The Country With Lots Of Land?

I’m all for abundance, so how about a big beach front mansion with lots of land?!

What’s Your Favorite Holiday?

Christmas. I am not a fan of the cold weather, however I am a fan of how it justifies the amount of food and drink that I consume. I adore the love, the buzz and the traditions that settle over any given community over the festive season.

Quote of the Week: 

“Everybody has a chapter they don’t read out loud.”

Until next time xoxo

My Random Musings

From Deployment to Enjoyment

Towards the end of July it became apparent that the best that Puddle* could offer in the way of Summer was in fact … Autumn.  Peering out of the landing window both Baby and I would struggle to see the shimmer of grey that was the sea, somewhere down below the rolling crop fields. The sheep stomping past our back garden with an obvious annoyance at having their winter coats shorn off, the lambs cowering beneath their mothers swollen, warm bellies.

Our daily walks through the bustling farm yard and down to the damp, cold sands were often accompanied by fleeces and wellies. Not that Dog minded, it was all the same to him, bounding fearlessly through the hedgerows and somersaulting into the frothing black waves.

Supposed to be summer  HayBales  IMG_7049

On the few occasions that the sun mooched smugly out from behind the tumbling clouds, the whole of Puddle would seemly melt into a typical English village**

The wheat fields, with their chessboard of bales, would glisten against the sky, the calmer waters in the bay would shimmer and gently lap at the shell strewn sands. The breeze would carry the scent of warm hay and dried seaweed, barbecues and soft pink roses as it wandered lazily up through the woods to our kitchen window. The woods, where the trees and the hollyhocks meet in the middle, soaking everything beneath it in a magical soft, green light. The narrow foot path hidden by bracken and nettles. The larks and the bullfinches darting from branch to stream, whilst the dormice scramble back through their tiny front doors as soon as Dog crashes through fallen tree branches and last years forgotten leaves.

Sugar Sands  Sun on the water and sand  FullSizeRender 28

When He strides out of the front door, uniform clad with kitbags and briefcases hanging off his towering frame, it’s a little bit sad and a little bit scary.

Sad, because when he is away I miss him. I miss the adult, the humour, the second pair of hands and his ability to pop to the only shop in Puddle to procure wine whilst I am up to my elbows in bath time bubbles.

It’s scary, because the most obvious unanswered question is, will he actually be striding back through that door again, alive? The less unanswered question is, what will I do at 5pm every evening when he normally brings relief from the routine?

And above all of this, you’re about to spend time alone with yourself. A lot of time.

For the first half of our marriage I was a martyr. I doted obsessively on our newborn, ensured the house reeked of magnolia Shake ‘n Vac, hosted glamorous lunches and marched the dog along the river twice a day. I owned not one, but two, under eye concealers and kept madly muttering to myself about self pity. I would tut!

He would pop in occasionally with mountains of laundry, crumpled boarding passes and photographs of hot countries and cold beers. Bursting with pride and excitement.

I got cross. And then more cross and then a lot cross. Cross that I had given up a career, a lifestyle, friends and family to effectively be someones housekeeper in strange, far-flung towns that I knew nothing about. Cross that He wasn’t around to appreciate my new role (and the smell of magnolia) and just cross, because I didn’t know what else to be at that point.

And then I burst. It was just as dramatic as I had fantasised in my dark, angry mutters. It was fabulously cathartic.

We went to see a marriage counsellor. And left six sessions later wondering why we hadn’t seen one sooner.

In the days, weeks and months that followed I let the anger and the resentment go. My fears and anxiety melted away revealing a young woman with so much to be grateful for and excited about. Look at what I have when he is away!! I have time! Time to explore my ambitions, my mind, my beliefs. Time to create, to ponder, to read. Time to cook delicious hearty meals, to walk through forests of bluebells and beaches full of rock pools. I have time to be silly. I have time to do nothing, to just be. Had I not met and married this man I would be stuck in a suffocating city, in a job that would never be my own, clock watching and constantly trying to keep up with the Joneses. Always finding an excuse as to why finding my version of bliss would have to wait. Procrastination would have been my ever present hashtag.

Blog photo Porthole Crasta walk

Having all of this time alone has allowed my imagination to wildly bound over societies expectation of how a woman, not least a human, should exist. I have no excuses now. I have to fill my time with something and why not by reinventing myself as many times as I please? By conquering fears and irrational thoughts? By embracing all of the change, the opportunities for not only myself, but Baby, to immerse ourselves in different cultures constantly? I can pick and choose the hobbies I attempt, the books that I want to read, the paths that I want to follow.

Granted, when He is away it is also a fabulous excuse to get the Prosecco on ice, invite a few of the fellow wives round, indulge in carbohydrates and in the ever present moan about husbands never being present, washing machines going bust, being the default parent and shaking our heads at the lack of new scents being launched by Shake’n Vac, but a girls gotta do …

So, as much as I could wallow quite comfortably in the sympathy and awe of others who marvel at the way we military housewives cope with the isolation, the fear, the never ending list of responsibilities and the constant upheaval, I also want to make it quite clear that I have grabbed this lifestyle with both hands and am going to use this twisted journey to my advantage over and over again until I have found what I’ve been searching for. And do you know what? The realisation and acceptance of that on it’s own has made me a happier, lighter, more fun person to be around so that when He does walk back through that front door he feels nothing but love, appreciation and contentment. What more could any man want from his family and what better way to serve the man who serves his country?

*Puddle, not it’s real name.

**Side note; Puddle cannot be classed as an actual English village due to it’s distinct lack of pub. DISTINCT LACK OF PUB. You read correctly. And I live here.

Top Tip:

A quote again,

Oscar Wilde once said, ” I think it’s very healthy to spend some time alone. You need to know who you are when you are alone and not be defined by another person.”

This rings true in my lifestyle, because I’ve learnt a lot about myself by not being surrounded by the influence of my husband, my parents, my siblings, my friends and former colleagues. It’s been just me … looking at me. And it’s not as scary as you think it might be. Be brave and embrace the solidarity that we have been gifted.

Until next time xoxo

Best of Worst
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My Random Musings
MyLifeMyLove

From Civilian Life to Military Wife – A List.

The 10 Signs That You Are A Military Housewife

military-moves-meme

  1. You panic when you receive paper work that requires you to fill in your address history from the past five years.
  2. You don’t know any of your husbands friends and colleagues by their first names. They are all a last name with the optional “-y” or “-ie” at the end of it. Smithy, Jonesy,
    Awkward when their wives engage in leisurely chat with you referring to their other halves by their first name. Who now?!
  3. Everything gets written on the calendar in pencil. Because it is going to change.
  4. You’ve known your best friend for three weeks. She’d help you with a bikini wax if she was asked.
  5. Another spouse goes ‘Cray Cray Loco,’ and forgets her husbands rank is actually on his chest, not hers.
  6. When He gets on your nerves and you say, “Surely it’s about time you were due a trip somewhere.”
  7. He makes a good bed. When he’s around. 
  8. For some reason, you know the phonetic alphabet. Will come in handy. Said no one ever. But it sort of does.
  9. He has more clothes, shoes and bags than you ever will.
  10. You and He genuinely have the self sacrificing, ‘we can over come anything,’ kinda love that only happens in films made in the 90’s.

A cheeky 11. You pack like a boss.

Until Next Time

xoxo

It’s a TwinklyTuesday kinda day;

Mummascribbles</div

Lets get Random;

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From Fearful to Fabulous

This isn’t a piece about me being a military housewife. Not about being a mum or a committee member. It’s not about Him deploying or my ongoing love affair with Prosecco. It’s not about shipping out or washing up. Picking up poop or burning baked goods. It’s not about bitterness or boredom nor is it about loneliness or loving. It is so far removed from the gushing and the gossiping. The parties and the prosecco (See, I can’t help myself!)
It is deeper and more raw than that. It is about being on a journey.
When you know you are on the right path, but you need that one final push to send you soaring over the edge.
When it’s 3am, you’re awake, your heart is racing, your mind is tumbling and you know that your whole being is teetering on the edge of glory, of success.
But there’s something holding you back. A niggle. A panic. A doubt.

Read what a wise man once said and then go back to sleep, because this is real. You are real. Your desires and ambitions are real. Stop making excuses. Keep going. The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of a god.
Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to manifest the glory of the god that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

– Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

He was imprisoned for 27 years.

As mums and wives  I reckon we imprison ourselves with excuses, obligations and martyrdom…

You think you have time. 

Top Tip: 

That thing that you want to do? Go do that.

Until next time

xoxo

What Katy Said
Cuddle Fairy
The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback

From Location to Location … To Location.

What Happens on the Patch, Stays on the Patch.

This is only because we’re generally living in the middle of nowhere and we can’t get off the blinking patch!
The few times that I do leave, it’s on a hired bus on my way into the nearest town with fellow wives for a well deserved ladies night out, and even then there is always someone with their desperate face squashed up against the rear window frantically performing SOS signals at the sheep in passing fields.

A House is a Home

Being married to Him means that whenever and wherever he is posted we are allocated quarters on what is called the Married Patch. A little village of identical houses based around or near the station, their only difference being their size according to rank. Everything else is Exactly. The. Same. Our interior walls are always magnolia and the carpets in every house range from Bread Crust Beige (if you are this lucky, buy a lottery ticket) to Doctors Waiting Room Cobalt or Winter Nipple Blush.
Our windows are all adorned with either a taupe/ olive/ burgundy stripe, a golden peach velour or an autumnal floral scene. In 1963 there was a sale on at Fabrics for India. The MOD received a loyalty card.

Most postings are between two to three years, more than enough time to paint walls, hang your own curtains and let your dog moult.
Ours have never been longer than eight months. We don’t paint walls anymore. We buy decals. They peel off after two weeks. It works out for everyone involved.

In the middle of nowhere 2

Where There is a Patch, There is a Catch.

Moving on to a new patch is like browsing Trip Advisor. Within hours of waving off the removal men, you’ll get the low down on the weather patterns, wine prices, petrol stations, leisure centres, great family restaurants, the best dentist, the closest bus stops, the most grown up bars for date nights (eh?!) who lives where, who has kids of a similar age to yours. The best dog walking paths, which locals like us, which don’t, who offers military discount, the closest garden centres, who’s been deployed, where the football ground is, when the next families happy hour is, the list is endless.

It’s alright for Him. We move somewhere new, He’ll generally already know a few people in the office.
A slap on the back, a pint of beer and a, “See you Monday, mate.” and they’re in the circle.
You know he must know someone before he goes in for his first day, when his golf clubs, squash racquet and soccer boots all magically appear in the front hall the night before. The most awkward his day is going to get is using the wrong coffee mug.

We, as ‘The Partner’, on the other hand, have typically been moved yet another 100 miles further away from family, friends, routine, familiarity and comfort. We need to start at the very beginning. Every time. The most awkward my first day is going to get is watching Dog do a poo on the CO’s front lawn, as Baby makes a head on run for oncoming traffic.

You’ll be politely welcomed and circled warily a few times, but once you fail at making muffins and excel in bringing wine, you are ‘in’. Within days you’ll be discussing birth stories and bikini waxes.

The wonderful thing about living on ‘The Patch’ is that there is always someone that is free for a natter or to have glass of wine. There is always someone who feels like going for a walk or whose kids want to tire out your kids. Someone has always just baked a banana loaf. There is some one that will babysit when there is an emergency or a date night (which in most cases is classed as an emergency) There will always be someone that will happily pet sit for you or give you a lift into town. There is always someone who will listen to you rant, whine and complain or lend you their hoover. Some one has coped with deployment before you to guide you though the ups and downs – the ups being single person/ king size bed, the downs being, “who the flip knows whats for dinner tonight, I am sick of being the only adult here!” There will always be someone to encourage, advise, soothe or placate you.
Most military wives will have had a profession or continue to have a profession, so on your street you’ll always have a midwife, a marketing guru and an accountant. Or an artist, a chef and teacher. And me. I bring wine.
Some one will always have self raising flour. Me, again. It’s unopened, don’t worry about bringing it back. I don’t even know why I bought it.

There will always be someone who knows you well enough to walk over and give you a very necessary hug and tell you you are doing a great job.

Tree

It is intense though. As much as these women are your partners, your mothers, your confidantes, your sisters, your best friends and they know more about your sex life than He does! Sometimes I just don’t feel like babysitting the children over the road, or listening to next door moan about her husbands deployment. Again. For the eighth time that week. It’s Tuesday. Sometimes there’s no one that will understand why I am like I am. “Quirky.” Apparently. Better than, “Tipsy.” I suppose.

Sometimes I don’t want to have a cup of tea with ‘her from the next street along’ not only because I don’t drink tea, but she only eats Quinoa and does sit-ups whilst learning the Karma Sutra. Sometimes I’ll catch myself saying something and cringe in case I have offended someone. A given.

On any patch, on any street there will be a menagerie of ages, cultures, religions and ranks. There are some eggshells that you can’t even tiptoe over. We all live, work and play together 24/7, unlike in civilian life where you can leave your colleagues in one part of the city, mooch home to your family just outside of the city and then head out with your mates to socialise in another town. It takes a special breed of person to be laid back enough to go with the flow, but strong enough to know when to step back and politely, but firmly close the front door, pour a glass of wine and watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for a bit until He gets home. Unless it’s a repeat at 11am, not even I can condone wine before lunch. A Bellini perhaps, but not wine!

When postings are up, you all hug each other, thank everyone for making yet another part of your adventure as magical as ever, reminisce over the time you all had too much to drink that Saturday night and all began miaowing at your taxi driver, adamant that none of you spoke any actual English. Brave squeezes and promises of reunions, BBQ’s and email addresses.
And within twenty four hours you are on a new patch watching the removal men drive off as eight women begin charging up your garden path with thrush ointment and burnt tray bake.

Until next time
xoxo

Top Tip:

When living on a patch (military or civilian) remember the following, always:

“ There is a story behind every person, there is a reason why they are the way they are. Think about that before you judge someone.”

Best of Worst
Cuddle Fairy