Google obsession

Google Obsession. TELL ME WE ALL HAVE IT!

Tell me I’m not the only one who, the second the ship disappears over the horizon, whips out their phone and starts googling “HMS Pinafore” or what ever in the hopes of a news article or, the greatest internet search prize of all, a YouTube video of life onboard. 

If you find a video whilst they’re deployed you watch it repeatedly, pausing on pretty much every sailors face, incase it’s your Popeye. Which it usually isn’t. You almost convince yourself it’s him at 3 minutes and 15 seconds. Then again at 7 minutes 23 seconds. And kiss the screen. Or paw at it like a cat with a new toy. Or stare at it trying to memorise everything you’ve seen in that shot, so you can conjure it up again as and when necessary.  I have done this then realised said trophy video was shot before Popeye joined the ship. Awkward. 

I do this mostly when it’s late at night, I’ve snuggled into bed and, rather than relishing my recently acquired space, I spend a good five minutes rubbing my leg in small half circles on “his side” of the bed whilst willing my phone to bleep with an email. 

If you find a news article whilst they’re deployed you (obviously) repost it on your ships family and friends Facebook page, your Facebook page and tag your sailor in it so it’s on his Facebook page. So everyone knows how awesome your Popeye is, and to make goddamn sure no-one forgets him or where he is and what he is doing. Which, no matter what, is very action man-ey, selfless and uber kuul. Even if it’s just delivering sandbags to help with the flooding in Romsey. 

That done, you get comfy and read and re read anything and everything to do with the ship. I even have been known to read Argentinian news using an online translator thing when Popeye was in the Falklands. It was either that or learn Spanish. Which I seriously considered. The other option, which, to me seemed ludicrous, farcical even, was to not obsess about where the ship was. This was and will always be, such a non-option, I didn’t even consider it. 

The urge to google is at times so strong I will turn on in private browsing so any friends or family who happen to see my search history won’t think I’m a nutter. I’m (apparently) happy for them to assume I have no search history due to porn, but not it seems for them to know my dirty little google obsession. 

Why do I do this? Do other people do it? It almost becomes a ritual for me, especially during a long deployment. Check emails, check Facebook, check twitter, press refresh on hotmail, press refresh on the google window I’ve got open in safari, play candy crush, go to sleep, press refresh on hotmail, sigh, really go to sleep.



 

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Ten better uses for your sailors long-cast.

1. Emergency loo roll.

2. Inventive “arty” wrapping paper.

3. (Summer only) When folded concertina style- a handy fan.

4. Cut into rectangles and put it into your purse or wallet so you look flush at a glance when rummaging for change. 

5. Screw it into a  ball and lob it at your sailors head.

6. Save the planet and get vintage-y by taking it with you when you go down the chippy.

7. Haven’t finished that essay/presentation/stock order? Flash it at your tutor/supervisor/mother in law and start sobbing uncontrollably about “the cruel cruel navy” -it’s an instant get out of trouble free card! 

8. Shopping list fodder.

9. Save them up and make a stunning feature wall.

10. Fun telescope for kids/ serious telescope for zombie survival scenario.

Muchos love

Olive

X

Moving goalposts.

“You knew what you signed up for.” One of the many uber helpful, kind and not at all annoying comments I’ve had flung my way as a navy wife. Usually when I’m upset or (dare I say it) moaning about the trials and tribulations of navy-wifedom.

For years I’ve replied with “yes. I know, but it’s still hard” or, “yeah that’s true, fair point”. And as of today have not retaliated verbally or physically, well done me.

BUT a couple of nights ago, about three days before the end of Popeyes leave, I was brushing my teeth before bed (rock and roll) and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Indignantly I spat out the Colgate, took a long hard look at myself and realised:

This so is not what I signed up for!!!

Dear readers, let me take you back in time, to when I was fresh faced graduate, without the odd grey hair, without a baby, with more money, and probably with more optimism. I was out in a bar. I met a young sailor. He came over and bought me a raspberry cosmopolitan. Yes readers, my Popeye.

We spent a good few months getting shiters and doing it having good clean fun, keeping it bright and breezy (deffo not me staring at my phone thinking “why doesn’t he call? He hates me. OMG HES SEEING SOMEONE ELSE. Why won’t it ring? Ahhhhh!” ) . Anyway after some super cute “dates” and, “I love you more” “no, I love you more” type convos, Popeye decides it’s time for The Navy Talk. You know the one, “I will have to go away a lot”, “my job will always have to come first”, “are you sure you want to do this? Are you sure you want this type of relationship? This type of life?” blah blah blah.

So, for once in my life I was sensible. I was practical. I put my emotions aside (“oh how I love him, I’d do anything for him, being a forces wife sounds oh-so-romantic” etc. Bleurgh) .

I asked him exactly what is the worst case scenario.

And he told me. He told me that worst case scenario he’d have a six month deployment every 2-3 years. Plus sea trials, plus duty weekends. He told me the truth. Or at least what was true at the time. Popeyes been in the navy since he was 16 and so was basing this worst case scenario on that.

I can handle that, thinks me. A deployment every couple of years? That’s totally manageable. That is what I signed up for.

So, obviously I went for it. And I’m so glad I did.

However.

About a year into our serious grown up relationship, I notice the goalposts have moved. There’s a six month deployment, plus sea trials, plus duty weekends, plus pissing about whilst stuff breaks over and over
Very important maintenance. “Ok” thinks me, it’s just a couple extra months. Next year is our deployment free year, so that’s ok.

Oh no. Oh no no no no. Like it could be that easy! That straightforward! Then follows a good three years each with it’s own glorious six month deployment! Now with added extra crap warship sea trials! And an extra large helping of fleet ready escort buggering off for Christmas fun!

Ha. Ha. Ha.

And now. NOW the goalposts have been moved so far they’d have to strap a football to a freakin rocket to score a goal. Just before he comes home from his seven month deployment, (which I was told was only for six months, after I had moved house and pushed another human out of my hoo hah without him there). Then I am told via bbc freakin news (!) that all deployments will now be for 9 bloody months!!!

Nine! I can make a person in nine months. That is a ridiculous amount of time and NOT what I signed up for!!!

The Royal Navy need to consider the impact this change will have on families and marriages. Not to mention morale and person-power within the fleet.

I’ve got a lot of support for Popeye and have sacrificed for him, for the Royal Navy. I’ve done it because I love him, not his job and I’ve done it with good grace (mostly). I’ve stayed quiet again and again and watched those goalposts recede into the distance with an increasing sense of foreboding. This, quite frankly, is taking the piss.

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NWBFF

Every navy wife has them, and they are as essential to a deployment as cereal, chocolate, phone card minutes, Whitney Houston and wine, I’m talking about, of course, a navy wife BFF, or, best friend forever.

A navy wife BFF, or as I shall dub them, for ease of typing, NWBFF, is one of the most essential supports for surviving the madness that is having a relationship with a serving member of the armed forces.

These friendships are essential, but also, unconventional. Let me be blunt. Do you really have any civvy friends left that you can text at anytime, anywhere, just to have a moan about your partners latest deployment exploits?

Do you really have any civvy friends that don’t try to make you feel sorry for how hard your sailor is working/remind you that “it’s not long now” or how “strong” you are?!?

Do you really have civvy friends that don’t say how “I could never do it” and that “the time will just fly by/has flown by”.

I think not, and this is exactly why you need a NWBFF. They should be standard issue upon embarking on a relationship with a sailor.

Civvy friends are great, they’re a laugh, they are understanding, they are sympathetic. But they will never really get it. I don’t blame them for that, and I need my civvy friends in other ways. But, when it comes to military crap, you need friends that can understand what you’re going through and don’t do the sideways head tilt, dodging the shit rebounding out of the of the fan towards your post-homecoming head. You need a friend standing there with a poo shield saying, “yeah, that sucks, don’t it?” And holding out a tea towel.

A NWBFF is usually acquired through slightly odd friendship means. It can be through a brief chat on a Facebook group, a random barbecue whilst the ships deployed, or during a one night meet up characterised by cocktails and karaoke.

And that’s all you need. Not even a face to face meeting in some cases, and you’re set for life.

Sometimes the reality of your relationship with a sailor is so bloody crap that you don’t want a laugh. You don’t want to be understood, you don’t want sympathy.

What you want, what you need, is rage. Pure rage.

For example (ahem): How dare the navy screw you over again.
How dare Popeye go out when he promised he’d call. How dare the woman at work say that she understands because her hubby works away on business, and finally, how dare someone say how a friend of theirs is super duper tired from looking after their baby alone for the last week whilst their husband works away. For five days. So they totally know what you’re going through. Yeah.

This is when you pick up the phone, or tablet, or jungle drum, you text or you email, you forum, you Facebook, you smoke signal, you do whatever it takes to get that feeling out to your NWBFF.

And you moan. Oh my god you moan. Then they moan, and you both bitch. And then that turns into a joke. Usually about willys. Then the jokes get ruder. Then you start swapping rude stories about sex things and then you’re both pissing youself laughing and the rage is gone. you end the phone call, or email, or text chat or whatever it is and you feel so much better.

What were you even angry about?! Oh yeah. It’s funny now. Stupid Navy.

When/if you meet up, it’s like you’ve known each other for years, even if you’ve never seen them, aside from their Facebook profile pic. Once you’ve stealthily checked it is your NWBFF, cos you’re not sure, you make it that evenings mission to party as hard as the lads are, wherever they are. And you do. And you wake up with your head pounding, realising you’ve left their front door open all night (sorry Ju).

Even when sober your chatting may get so out of hand you feed someone’s child a dog biscuit by accident (sorry Ang). Or come up with elaborate parcel theme ideas (not sorry at all Em).

Put it this way. The last time I went on a navy wife night out, I went into labour. Seriously. Thanks gals!

So this blog post is dedicated to NWBFFs everywhere. You may not speak for months or years on end, but you’ve been through it all together. And you’ll probably have to do it all again. But, swapping dits, knowing that you’re not alone in this madness,makes it feel like you’re sharing a mess, chatting whilst staring at the bottom of the pit above you whilst counting down the days, even when, in reality, you might be opposite sides of the globe, trying to keep it together in a civvy-wife world.

The phrase “we’re all in the same boat” has never been so apt.

This post is dedicated to my NWBFFs, Julia, Angie, Emma.

Love you ladies

Muchos love

X

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WAG guilt.

I’m worried. I think I may be a rubbish wife and/or cold hearted cowbag.

I keep seeing, everywhere, stuff about how other WAGs (wives and girlfriends) are proud of their sailor. I see endless posts and gifs and memes and poems and songs ALL stating, without a doubt, that their service person is a hero. that they are noble, brave, honourable gentlemen who makes their partners giddy with pride and ooey gooey rushes of love.

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I’m worried because, dear readers this kind of stuff makes me feel sick.

I can’t stand it. It makes me cringe. it makes me reflexively curl my toes up and, sometimes do a fake gag thing and pretend to stick my fingers down my throat.

It’s too much. It’s too corny. It’s too cheesy. It smacks of a fakeness to me that, if I subscribed to it, would be doing my relationship with Popeye a great disservice. Maybe it helps other WAGs get through a deployment, I dunno. It winds me up. I like to remember the real man.

The one who makes me a cup of tea without asking if I want one, the one who always likes to listen to songs that remind him of when we were dating when we go on long car journeys (and sing along at the top of our voices), the one who teases me and always makes a geeky goofy face at me when I talk about my blog, the one who loves his job and hates his job in equal measure.

He is a hero, he has done heroic acts. He has been to war and seen live combat. He was trained for this, I respect him for this but I respect him for everything else he has done too. I respect that he gives money to the homeless, that he opens doors for me, that he loves his mum, that he has strong values and that he actively engages in discussion about how we raise our daughter.

If I jumped aboard the “my hero” train it would be like loving a ghost, or a dream, not Popeye. We argue and nag and have annoying habits that drive each other crazy. We have a real marriage. It takes work. It takes commitment. It takes strength. And it takes 50/50 effort. Building up Popeye into some mythical hero figure skews that balance and implies he is a wonderous god and I am his slavish worshiper. That’s just not how we roll, sorry.

The “my hero” attitude also yanks my feminist chain too, to some extent. It makes me feel that our sailors or soldiers, or (crap! What do you call RAF people?!? Is it pilots! No they can’t all be pilots, surely? *EDIT* it’s airmen! Of course it is! -thanks Jo!-wait, shouldn’t that be “air person”?)
…..or Airmen…..are viewed as swooping in to save us weak and possibly hysterical WAGs who have only just survived a nervous breakdown during a deployment.

…………

I do not need saving.

I do not need saving, and whilst, yes, deployments and moving and hell, the entire navy/military wife thing is reach-for-the-wine-and-dairy-milk hard, it is not going to kill me. It is not going to break me. It won’t. And Popeye coming home is not going to magically fix all the stress in my life either. He is not Superman, even though he is a super man.

And the final thing that gets my goat is that I have other stuff going on. My life does not revolve around Popeyes job. If the roles were reversed, just imagine how strange it would be for him to be posting stuff on Facebook all about my job! How I’m freakin awesome for carrying out my job role. How I’m so good/brave/humble/awesome/totes amazeballs for doing what my contract specifies I do. Aside from it being a huge ego trip it would also be bloody funny.

I’m not saying service persons going into combat situations or natural disasters aren’t brave. They are incredibly brave. I don’t think I would have the steel to do it. I am saying that they are all real people, with faults, idiosyncrasies and morning breath. They can be brave and honourable and still be irritating and sometimes a dickhead. Trust me.

Am I a total cowbag for feeling this way? Is it wrong that all the soppiness makes me squirm uncomfortably? Is it a British thing? I really don’t know.

What I do know is that Popeye is one hell of a man, and I love him and I’m proud of him, warts an all. The fact that he is a sailor is a bonus.

The hype of Skype.

Ahh Skype! I heard so many wonderous tales from other navy wives about you. How seeing their Sailor was amazing. And I have suffered the aghast looks and “oh Olive you haven’t ever Skyped? How do you cope? Why not? you simply must! it’s the best!”

So this deployment, mostly so Popeye could see his Daughter, Sweet Pea, (who is turning into a right chunker by the way, SO cuuuuuute!) we attempted to get with the decade and Skype.

so, being the super modern Royal Navy couple that we are, we downloaded, (during paternity leave), we practised, then when he was back on deployment and alongside, we text each other, to arrange a time, Popeye scouted bars in Dubai with free wifi (a real chore I’m sure!) to find a place to do it.

I actually made sure I had makeup on! My top only had one bit of sick on it! I had tidied the living room! I had brushed my hair! Sweet Pea was wearing her best baby outfit! The clock ticked to the allotted time, adrenaline and excitement coursing in my veins, after two months we get to see each other!!!!

Aaaaaaaaaand…….nothing. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Cue desperate texts costing a squillion pounds each- “I’m doing everything right here Popeye, it must be you, at your end”.

“No Olive, it’s not my end, it must be you”

“No Popeye, I must disagree, darling, surely it is you who is technologically challenged, not I”.

“Nope it’s you, I can’t be bothered now”.

“For God sake Popeye keep trying or I will LOSE it. It has taken me HOURS to get ready for this flipping Skype call!!!!”

Eventually… it connects.

Relief and anticipation flood my body as I peer into the iPad screen.

And I can see him! But wait…he’s pixilated like some Mine Craft character!

And his movements are all lagged and robotic.

Aaaaaand I can only hear every other word.

Oh.

Is this what everyone’s been raving about?

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After about fifteen minutes of Minecraft Robo Hubby making vowel sounds like a monkey, and me shouting “I can’t hear you, what?” Whilst trying to hold the (now screaming) baby up for him to look at, I am actually relieved when the connection cuts out for the last time and we go back to old fashioned texting.

After all that effort I am exhausted, Sweet Pea is freaking out about everything and Popeye is pissed off at the whole exercise.

Skype I’m sure is amazing when you’ve got a stellar connection and angel child and all the time in the world. However when one half of the conversation is either broken and disjointed, or has the background noise of the Queen Vic, it’s not the magical wonderous experience I was expecting!!!

Kisses and hugs.

When Popeye was first deployed I was chuffed to bits that he had signed me up to receive Link Letters.

It was great, a good way to find out what was going on onboard during the deployment.

Each letter was written by the ships Executive Officer, Robert Williams, and was signed with his name at the bottom, and on the next line, “XO”.

“Why is he putting hugs and kisses at the end of the link letter? Is it all of them? Just me? A typo? What is going on?!”

After a few months had gone past I finally told Popeye.

“I love these Link Letters Popeye, but the ships Executive Officer seems a tad unprofessional, to the point that I think he might be flirting! The thing is, and, please, don’t get angry, but he keeps putting kisses and hugs at the end of each letter.”

After about ten minutes of laughing till the tears were falling, Popeye managed to choke back a guffaw long enough to tell me that, “dear Olive, those aren’t hugs and kisses, XO means EXecutive Officer“.

I have never been able to live this down and to this day we refer to all XO’s as the ” Kiss Hug Man”.

True story.

Lots of love,
Olive,

XO

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Long distance arguments.

Arguing is a healthy component of any successful relationship. Let me be clear before I start this post, It does not mean I enjoy it. It does not make it fun or a competition. I prefer to think of it as a necessary evil for when Popeye is being an idiot.

I want to address one crucial difference between civvy versus forces arguments:

Forces girlfriends and wives don’t have the luxury of time.

When Im annoyed with Popeye, a situation that may arise that deserves the ‘not answering your phone for a day and ignoring texts’ standard operating procedure.

  
If you’re like me and have navy wife friends, you call up a trusted lady and first, check that you are not overreacting (even if you are they will say you’re not because they are awesome like that). Then you will vow loudly and clearly that:

I will NOT answer the phone if he calls, not matter what, I’m just too angry. Nope. No way. Nada.”

(Your trusted navy wife friend or, occasionally, excellent civvy friend will say something like “you go girl!” “Girl power!”, or, my personal fave recently, a simple text saying “VOTES FOR WOMEN!!!”)

You get on with your day, heart hammering and adrenaline flowing, repeatedly telling yourself if he calls “No way, I’m not answering it. He needs to know I’m properly upset. And just because he’s away doesn’t change that. Good one olive. This is very strong and Beyoncé-esque of you. This is horrible but necessary.”

You managed to not reply to his emails by washing up, cleaning the windows, ironing your pants and/or shampooing the carpets and re-reading that last shitty email on your phone repeatedly.

Until…

Ring ring! Ring ring!

You let it ring, your blood pressure soars, your stomach drops, your palms start to sweat. For some reason you go into the room where the phone is, and stare at it, hands clasped together.

Before you know what your doing you’ve crossed the room and grabbed the ringing phone. With shaking hands that just know voicemail will cut in if you let it ring once more, you answer, cursing yourself to the deepest depths of hades for being such a weakling.

“Hello? Popeye??? I’m sorry I got mad, I love you! I miss you!!!!”

Duuuuuude. What happened? You were doing SO well!

See. We don’t have time to stay angry.

(Also, they often don’t realise you’re not talking to them as comms are down. This is especially irritating, because then you have to tell them they were being ignored, and now they’re not. And this, apparently is hilarious to a deployed husband. Humpf.)

I often don’t bother arguing with Popeye because using paradigm minutes saying stuff like “fine then, be like that” *silence* fills me with irrational horror.

Any kind of silence when we could be communicating be it via email or phone, or Skype, makes me want to combust because usually at least two of the following are true:

A) we haven’t spoken in ages
B) we won’t speak again for ages
C) we don’t have long to speak until he has to go back to work

Sometimes arguing with a sailor is just a waste of time.

Muchos love,

Olive.
X

P.s

Also, just because I need to vent, why is it that:

They always work harder than us.
They are always more tired than us.
Tropical beach paradises are rubbish and we should understand and give never ending sympathy.
We are always (apparently) asking them to leave the navy even when we have never, ever, mentioned that at all. And this would solve every problem, ever.

I feel SO much better now. I think I will answer that phone after all!

Navy wife word porn

There are a few short phrases that will leave any military spouse weak at the knees, salivating, crouched ready to spring and jump her sailor.

We are a straight forward lot, our needs are simple, and our feelings strong.

Sailors! Take heed! Listen up! Just spout these phrases and your wife will become putty in your hand….

(*Please read this using the voice of the M&S advert lady for full effect.*)

“Comms are up, promise I’ll call later today”.

I’ve got that funny feeling in my tummy!

“I’ve taken Friday off”

Oh yeah! Hubba hubba.

“Weekend duty was cancelled”

Cue Marvin Gaye.

“I’m definitely home for Christmas/your birthday/our anniversary”

Eeeeeek!!! Having to hold myself back here!

“Deployment date is postponed”.

Move over Christian Grey. Popeye is 50 shades of battleship grey sexier than you right now.

“I’ll be coming home early, I’ve got advanced leave”.

It’s like I can hear my clothes saying “the floor! The floor! We should be on the flooooooor!!!”

And then the best, sexiest, most leg shaking, bits tingling words of all…

“Homecoming date has been brought forward”

Holy shit Popeye!

What can I say…you had me at homecoming.

Xxxx

  

Olive Oyl: Super Mum. Another dream bites the dust.

I am proud to announce that mini Popeye, (or as it’s a girl, should that be mini olive?, we’ll call her Sweet Pea) arrived five weeks ago. Which is why there has been such a gap in posts. It’s amazing how sleep deprivation, leaking body parts and feelings of abandonment can cramp your writing flow.

So yes my years of wild partying have been temporarily suspended, instead of Chanel I now smell mostly of non bio detergent and stale milk. A main component of my daily beauty routine involves rubbing sections of my body at a time frantically with johnsons baby wipes whilst singing bootylicious at the top of my lungs (she will not settle to nursery rhymes or other age appropriate music. Instead she drifts off to Duffy, destinys child, Beyoncé, Aretha franklin and/or Tori Amos, God help us we have spawned a diva).

And of course, I am alone raising our first born child, as Popeye has gone back on deployment. I am living each day in survival mode, drifting from one adrenaline filled crying session to the next (and that can be me or the baby, FYI).

My deployment countdown is no longer in weeks and days, or even months, but in hours. As in, I survived the first 24 hours without Popeye, then 36, 48 etc. the phrase “living on a wish and a prayer” has never been more fervently understood than by moi, right now.

 I have developed major anger issues towards civvy wives and mums. I know it’s completely unjustified, and unhinged, and unfair. But I don’t care. I am having to be a single mum without the government benefits. I am having to be a single mum whilst also being a phone ninja (not that he’s been able to call anyway!) and whilst still being expected to send lengthy interesting emails. Plus pictures. Plus boxes with pictures printed off. Plus still send sexy flirty messages. Something’s gotta give.

As any new mum will tell you, It takes hours to get out of the house. A busy day involves walking the dog and/or shaving my armpits. Sweet Pea is like this brilliant, awful, fantastic grenade that has exploded into my life and has made everything, everything change.

Not for Popeye though, oh no. Everything on board is the same, except he’s got new pictures up by his pit. At least this is what I tell myself as I wipe up the latest pile of human bodily fluids. And the stupid thing is that I knew this was how it would be. We talked it through extensively. But back in the good old days where I could take a crap at leisure and eat with two hands. And eat my food hot. And not cut up into chunks prior to me sitting down. And slowly. *sigh…..*

sorry, I’ve had two hours sleep and my minds wandering. Yes, back in B.B (before baby) I thought what I was doing was noble. The self sacrificing navy wife. The constant, smiling heart-of-the-house earth mama. The sun to the solar system that is our family. How satisfying! How fulfilling! How wonderous!

How fucking ridiculous! The reality of my life is screaming blue murder in your face and pooing across your floor.

  
Yet for Popeye, the mental picture of me, tenderly changing a nappy whilst lovingly gazing at Sweet Pea, possibly surrounded by a halo of white light, is still intact. At least whilst he’s away and not able to call.

  
And there’s a big part of me that wants it to stay like that, for him to keep that frankly ridiculous image of me, “Olive, Super Mum” in his head. A bit like before Sweet Pea was here and he thought I walked around with full makeup and lace undies on everyday. He now thinks of me and her in this madonna- and baby esque way. I ask myself everyday, Should I burst his bubble? Should I send the email telling him exactly how I feel during those moments of desperation? I don’t think I will, although I’ve considered it!

What good would it do? It won’t get him home any faster, it probably wouldn’t make me feel any better. And it sure would make Popeye feel awful. Which a tiny part of me wants, but a bigger part (the non-evil part) realises that then we would both be miserable, and making him miserable is not what I want to do. I want him to be happy, but not too happy, I want him to not miss me, but really I want him to mega miss me, and I want him to have fun, but not too much fun.

I think what I want, and what I will never have, is for him to understand wholly, completely, what it’s like day in day out with a newborn.

But what I will never ever understand, is how it feels to be separated from your daughter and wife and only see her growing up in pictures. I can only imagine. And it’s pretty awful.

So whilst the image of “Olive Oyl: Super Mum” is a complete work of fiction, my view of him and his life onboard is equally as rosy tinted and idyllic, as his is of us at home.

Who am I to add to his unhappiness at the situation by enlightening him to the pooey, noisy, sleep deprived truth, it’ll all be waiting for him when he’s home!