Farting when they’re home

When your partner is away you can independently let loose with (ahem) flatuence – whenever you need to.


For civvy couples this kind of thing doesn’t happen to them.

They must have a well worked out routine of either: 

  1. Storing up farts until one of the couple falls asleep-then letting loose.
  2. All out, no hold barred, ass emissions as and when necessary.

I don’t really see any middle ground here for them civvies.

However- In the Oyl household, or maybe just in military households: 

Farting is definitely option 2 when Popeye is deployed, and then I try my very best for option 1 when he is home ( at least for the first two weeks of leave).

With the Oyl Household system, there is, an unfortunate overlap come homecoming time.

This time, when he has just come home. That magical time when he’s still unpacking, you are trying not to yell at the children and also trying not to guzzle the wine at the rate you normally do.

When you are trying to be sexy and cool and up-together.

When you are a trying to be a Kirsty Allsop- esque mum. And failing.

And then. There’s a rumbling.

The old pelvic floor gives a creak and-

You guff.

Its not even a quiet one. Not even one you can blame on the kids or the dog.

It’s bad.

In both the olfactory sense and the relationship sense. It’s bad.

And then you look at him and see his momentary disgust. Then humour. And ultimately his respect.

Because yes I fart. And yes he loves me.

Not in spite. 

But because.


Because he loves me and because (shock horror) humans pass gas. This is what our bodies do when we are healthy and fucking comfortable. 

It is embarrassing for that micro second before he laughs and before I remember he has encountered much worse on deployment. 

(P.s screw you Kirsty “let’s-all-casually-weave-a-basket/go-glass-blowing”- Allsop).

Muchos love ❤️ 

Alternative “open when” letters. For the realistic military wife.

I’ve been thinking I might have a go at writing some “open when” letters for Popeye. I’m sure you’ve all heard of them. Maybe some of you have even sent them, if you have I’m a teeny but in awe/jelly.

“Open when” letters are letters you write before they deploy that they can open when they’ve deployed at various pre stipulated points. 

For example they might say “open when…

  • You’re missing me
  • It’s your birthday
  • It’s our anniversary
  • You’ve had a bad day
  • You’ve reached the halfway point of the deployment.

Etc etc.


They are a really lovely idea and I’m sure they bring a lot of satisfaction and happiness to many of you. 

But (you knew there would be a but didn’t you!) they just ain’t my style. 

If me and Popeye were to do this, there would be some serious reality checks involved.

First of all I don’t know when the fuck I would find the time to write a dozen or so poignant declarations of love and reassurance. I barely have time to wash myself or go for a wee in private. Also I’d much rather spend those last few days actually hanging out with Popeye.

Secondly I’m 95%sure Popeye would either read them all in one sitting or forget about them until I mentioned them on the phone and/or the night before homecoming. Kind of ruins the magic a tad.

Thirdly I would be so tempted to put joke answers inside. I don’t think I can be trusted not to be a complete cow and do something like this-

“Open when… you feel like crying” *Popeye, with a sniff, opens letter*

“….ha ha ha ….tit…”

Or “open when…. you are homesick”

*opens letter, maybe a bit more guarded this time*

“….man up or hand in your notice… p.s it’s horrible here anyway…”.

Yeah maybe that’s not the best way to go.

I know!

Got it. I’m going to write him “Open when” letters, for a real (as in boring and normal) military relationship, my ideas so far include:

  • Open when…you’ve spent £200-500 on a night out, phone me from the dockside at 3am slurring, have fallen over and can’t figure out how to hold your phone and stand up at the same time
  • Open when… you forgot to top up your phone card and we get cut off mid conversation. Even though I reminded you yesterday.
  • Open when… you haven’t emailed me for days because you’re “so busy” at work but there are Facebook photos of you by the pool and/or selfie with a monkey in gib.
  • Open when… you realise I’ve spent hours buying, packing and posting out parcels to you and you moan I forgot to put in jelly beans.
  • Open when… you think it’s a sane idea to give me parenting suggestions from hundreds of miles away
  • Open when… you’re on a beach sipping cocktails and seriously say that you’d rather be here in rainy old Blighty than a tropical beach paradise luxury resort 
  • Open when… you casually mention on the phone you’ve been doing the T25 work out for the last two months and how it’s going really well knowing full well I’m halfway down a bottle of rosé and have eaten an entire Terry’s chocolate orange since you rang.

And the best thing about this is that I can save time and effort in the contents of the letters! A one-word-fits-all “open when” letter system! 

Simply

“….prick…”

I’ll let you know how I get on,

Muchos love,

Olive

P.s the choc orange was totally worth it.

X

Phonecalls post kids

Pre motherhood phonecalls were excellent. Really top notch. Beautiful examples of clear adult communication.

I mean, we got cut off every five minutes or there would be some jarring darlek- like announcement from time to time but looking back, I can say, hand on my heart they were bloody lovely. 

Since being blessed with two delightful toddling sprogs with only an 18 month age gap I can safely say phonecalls are shite.

Now, not only do I have to compete with the signal cutting whims of Mother Nature, and the urgently announced need for WO Pugwash to hot foot it to X deck for tea and crumpets with El Captaino, I also have to compete with two screaming small people.


They are happily smacked up on CBeebies, or whatever the latest offering from the iPad is, when the phone rings. 

I spring into action, drop the latest pile of plastic tat I’m tidying, or clothes I’m about to wash, or the cloth that’s wiping rice crispies laced with fucking mastic off of the high chair and get to that phone.

The very split second I answer, the nano moment I depress the talk button with my thumb, the very instant I reach my goal- it happens. 

My two little contented angels morph into the spawn of the kraken.

They simultaneously start screaming and shouting at me, whilst making a beeline for my calves. I don’t know why they do it, I don’t know how they do it. To be honest with you I don’t really care. The point is they bloody do do it.

So that’s the beginning of the phonecall buggered then. 


The rest of it is usually a disjointed conversation, half me trying (and failing) to tell Popeye about my day. The other half is a disjointed running commentary, of what Popeye must only be able to imagine is some kind of scaled down humanitarian crisis. It goes a little bit like this:

“…yeah so I’m really hoping that I can get X done at work tomorrow. Sweetpea put that down, no now, mummy is getting cross, … otherwise it will really mess up the deadline, what is that? No, mummy will take that, it can hurt you, you will cry and need to go to the doctor. Yes the doctor will make your owies all better, but that’s not the point! …that I’ve got on Monday.

I spoke to my sister the other day, yeah she’s fine, she’s moving house and- oh shit Sproglets got a sippy cup full of squash, hang on, (cue wrestling-a-ten-month-old-over-a-cup noises) –give it to mummy, good girl, it’s ok don’t cry. Sproglet  here, look! How about this toy ooh look it’s got lights WOW!…so they haven’t set a date for completion but it should be exchanging in the next- Sweetpea give it back to your sister, no, she had it first, give it back now please. Show mummy your BEST sharing!

So how are things with you? Really? Cool. Oh hang on  Sweetpeas just come over. What’s the matter? You need a poo. Of course you do. Ok yes mummy will come with you and help. 

What’s that Popeye? You need to go? You’re tired. Of course you are. I know how hard you work. No it’s fine. NO! DO NOT TRY TO WIPE IT YOURSELF! I’ve got to go too, love you, bye *click*.

And all of a sudden I’m standing there in the bathroom staring at a toddlers poo-ey bum wondering what the hell we just spoke about.

And realising how bloody excellent pre kids phonecalls were. 

Muchos love, 

Olive

Post Telephone Sadness Disorder (PTSD)

Phone calls. They are, for some military wives, the silver lining in the shit storm of deployment.

You look forward to them, keep the phone near you, you might organise a good time to call or you might get the surprise of your life, anytime day or night, of the home phone going and the mad scramble to answer it, abandoning any menial task (like feeding your baby), to race towards that noisy cuboid full of promise. 

A phonecall from your sailor is a drug, and you never know when you’re going to get your next hit. And boy oh boy how you  crave it.


To hear their voice can be the pivotal point of my week, the elation I feel when I hear his answering “hello, it me” is bloody mighty. 

And then it’s over, they have to go back to work, or get in the taxi in some tropical haven, or (more likely) you get cut off suddenly. 

After the phonecall, I suffer a massive comedown-  I get Post Telephone Sadness Disorder, PTSD. 

Post Telephone Sadness Disorder is characterised by the following-

  • Moping
  • Looking at Facebook photos of Popeye
  • Staring at the home phone willing it to ring again
  • Temporary consumption of excessive amounts of chocolate (on a school night) or port (love a bit of port) and quavers
  • Alternating between big cuddles for the sprogs and shutting myself in the kitchen because they are doing my nut in. 
  • More moping
  • Rereading emails I’ve sent and he’s sent
  • Random sighing
  • Watching twilight (I don’t know why, I guess phone PTSD effects us all differently). 

Luckily, unlike its much more serious name twin actual PTSD, the effects of phone PTSD are relatively short lived, don’t (significantly) effect daily functioning and (hopefully) invokes pleasant flashbacks and memories.

Phone PTSD is a bitch. But it’s a condition I’m happily putting up with because the phonecalls are so worth it. Now I think about it, it really is actually a bit like a drug comedown (I imagine, I have no experience unfortunately I’m far to boring for any wild youth experience in that department). 

But it’s a side effect of deployment that we’ve got to live with. A bitter sweet reality that adds a little variety to the day to day routine and the (fucking huge massive scary) countdown. 

It’s a condition that we do live with. Another aspect of deployment civvies never really understand, so I like to do it in style, quavers and port at the ready. 

Starfishing: It’s overrated.

One of the supposed “perks” about deployment is being able to starfish in bed.

Hell its such a well known supposed perk I even blogged about it- here.

It wasn’t a hugely successful blog post and now I have figured out why.

Because starfishing is fucking bollocks.


If you’re a military spouse anyway.

It is so unilaterally shit to roll over half asleep, throw your arm over and cuddle… nothing. Mainly because in your half asleep state you have totally and utterly forgotten about the sodding arse ache deployment and therefore also forgotten he has gone.

So your peaceful, possibly-rude-dream-filled-slumber, has been ruined. All because you dared to forget for thirty seconds that they’ve deployed. You utter monster. 

Or you wake up slowly, a few minutes before the alarm/toddler has gone off, and stretch out. The early morning light fills the curtains, maybe a bird is singing or something. 

You stick out a (slightly fuzzy deployment) leg, fully expecting to happily collide with the muscly sea salted leg of your sailor. You find…. Nothing. Nada, zip, zilch. Just the 100% cotton fitted sheet from primark (or the dog- which is just weird). 

You circle your leg around in the bed, searching and searching in a half asleep state for his leg, like trying to find your keys in your handbag after a night out.

Oh yeah, that’s right. He’s deployed isn’t he? Tits. Great. 

You try to block it out and go back to sleep. What were you dreaming about again? As for me, I try to nudge back into my semi conscious sleep state, it’s a lot more fun there, and (for the next few months at least) I’ll get a lot more action there than in real life. 

If (when) that fails, I stretch out in the bed. Arms open, legs akimbo. The standard starfishing position. I try to appreciate it. I really do. But I’d rather be smacking Popeye in the nose and kicking him in his junk than meeting the cold horizontal cliff face of my bedsheets.

Starfishing- it’s totally overrated. 

Muchos love,

Olive X 

I know I look crap, and I don’t even give a damn.

*Guest post* -Familygram

Here we have a guest blog post all about the Silent Service, her Popeye is a submariner and jeez Louise- we think we have it bad! Hats off to Beckie! She writes her own successful blog too- www.thesussexgirl.co.uk

Over to you Beckie!

Familygram:
140 characters in a tweet, 120 words in a Familygram. 

Or 60 words if you split it and send two a week instead of one.

 The only way you can communicate with your submariner. 60 words, twice a week. Read by about 5 different people before it reaches him (or her, nowadays!), stripped of its punctuation, put into capital letters and printed on a one long thin strip of paper.


 Usually it has words missing, or misspelt – literally lost in translation as it gets encoded, decoded and transmitted a gazillion times.

 No bad news can be sent, no updates that might be a drain on moral and definitely no comments about dates that they may (or may not!) return. Even mentioning a dead pet can get you a phone call to demand you explain who ‘Freddie’ is and how he is related to your submariner (Goldfish, for the record).

 60 words, one-way. No replies, no interaction…no arguments!

 No emails, no phone calls and no social media. No bedtime FaceTime, no Whatsapp, not even a satellite phone call.

 Writing one can take far longer than you’d expect as you agonise over each word, wondering whether you can delete a few conjunctions in order to cram a bit more information in. Squeezing in a joke and finishing on ‘Miss you, Love you’ every single time. Because that’s the only way you can tell him.

 It’s certainly a different experience to the usual expectations of modern life. Conversations with friends usually go something frustratingly like…

‘How is he doing?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Where is he?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘I know you said you can’t talk, but he MUST have emailed you’

‘No, no! Really, NO communication.’

‘Oh, that’s…SO old-fashioned…Gosh, that must be peaceful, I’d love to not have to hear from *insert name of other half here* for a few days.’

‘….’

 Everyone has their reality and in the Forces world, we all face separation together. For some, reality is getting a couple of phone calls a week and maybe even, sometimes, regular emails. Some might get to see their sailor during R and R, for others separation is more regularly planned duties. For each of us, we have our own reality to face. Our own communication trials and limitations. Despite occasionally, mid-patrol, gritting my teeth when a civvie friend whinges about her partner’s single night away from home, it’s important to remember that we each have our own routine, our own reality and differentiation from that can be hard to deal with.

 Even those friends who are Navy themselves, or in a relationship with someone who is, forget that the Silent Service really is, well, that. Silent. They forget that our very limited, one-way communication is all there is. They forget that you can’t just call to find out where the house insurance paperwork is. They forget that bad news has to be dealt with entirely in the absence of the submariner. They forget that babies get born…and, sadly, people get buried, without the submariner. Once they’re away, once they’re underwater. That’s it. They’ll be back, when they’re back, and not before.

 But you know? It’s not all that bad. At least I know my phone isn’t going to ring. I don’t need to be glued to my mobile ‘just in case’, I don’t endure broken conversation on a dodgy satellite phone link and I don’t suddenly get a bleak gap in communication when they go ‘silent ship’. You just get on with it, knowing that in a few months that magic letter will arrive that says they’ll be back soon.

 But it does end.

 Then the pre-end of patrol preps begin (you know what I mean ladies, speedy hair removal required!) and you know that soon, he’ll be back. You’ll get to hear his voice again and once more you’ll be able to say goodnight in person instead of just whispering it to a photo.

 60 words isn’t much. But this is our reality and knowing that receiving it becomes the most important part of his week means that sending it is the most important part of mine.

Little bit about me: I live in Southsea with my boyfriend who happens to be a Submariner (based in Faslane, he commutes down at weekends when he can so I suppose saying ‘we live together’ needs to be used in the loosest terms possible currently – we’re on the same electoral roll, how about that?!). I work full time for The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity as well as being a Royal Navy Reservist, keen netballer and over-enthusiastic illustrator.

www.thesussexgirl.co.uk

 

My denial dinghy.

Popeye leaves for his 9 month deployment very very soon. Obvs can’t mention dates etc but let’s just say we aren’t talking weeks here.

He’s said his goodbyes to the outlaws and is gearing up to say tatty bye to our daughters. And I guess me too but I can’t even go there right now.

Each deployment is different. Usually I’m a sobbing, snotty, puffy eyed wreck (attractive). This time however I’m like totally numb. I’ve zoned out and can’t even get words out of my mouth when we talk about it.

 I have no idea why my brain has done this but all I can guess is my minds gone “no, no. Nope. Can’t handle this. Too painful. Too much. It’s too much! I’m checking out. See you later  conscious brain. Catch you laters!”

So I am calm. I am dangerously calm. Like  the normal emotional reaction is a rip current but I’m happily bobbing about on top on my dinghy. Probably doing a sudoku.

 My little escapist, denial dinghy that I’m fairly sure has a puncture. 


It’s going to deflate at some point and then I must face the depths of this. 

For instance, certain questions I should be addressing such as- 

How do we explain this to our two year old? 

My brain: No idea. We’ve got nothing here captain (plays magic roundabout theme tune loudly on repeat whilst doing some thing Pinterest fail-esque). 

Have we got all the grown up pre deployment shit sorted out? Like making sure his Skype account and mine are good to go. The emergency numbers and his phone card numbers are taped to the fridge, and the Christmas decorations are down from the loft.

My brain: yes, really should do this. Got loads of time (we don’t). Will just do this first (gardening/drinking wine/ starting a quilt). 

Spending quality time together.

My brain: so, it looks like date nights been a bit of a fail. Hey I know why don’t I write a blog post all about it instead of putting my phone down and giving it another shot. Genius.

Capturing each precious memory of the last week on film.

My brain: hey let’s leave the phone at home so you can’t take any pictures. Nothing like a bit of self sabotage to really help your early deployment mental health. Don’t want to make this easy for myself after all do I?

these photos were brought to you by random iphone gatherings over the summer.

I didn’t really know how to end this blog post (I blame my obviously faulty brain at this time) so I read it to Popeye and he said it’s because this time it’s not just about me and him. 

This time I have two children to care for. Two small people’s brains who are looking to me to see how to cope with this. 

This time is longer. 9 months is such a massive chunk of time when I think about it it makes my head go fuzzy and I start laughing in a slightly unhinged way.

This time it’s not just a couple saying goodbye, but a family saying goodbye. 

My family. 

Shit.

Normal service will resume shortly

Pre deployment date night fail

So it’s getting close to the Big D.

We don’t have many nights when Popeye isn’t working the next day left, plus we have a mental two year old and a 7 month old baby who is teething and beginning to resemble Count Dracula or someone from the Volturi. 

We are exhausted but decided to push the boat out (-ha ha ha, punny) and have a date night. 


The plan was to do an early bedtime for the kids, settle down with a naice film and a takeaway, a bottle of fizz and then have some maximum effort, sexy underwear, lights dimmed but on “grown up time”. I had shaved my legs and everything.

What actually happened was a massive fail. Like colossal. 

The Early bedtime- both children decided they are junior insomniacs. One wanted to jump around singing “wind the (effing) bobbin up” at full blast. The other decided that tonight was the night she would develop super duper senses telling her the precise second I put her down she would wake up, eyes bright and alight with happiness, a small smile playing around her mouth. Over. And over. And over again. For three hours.  Three. THREE! I finally got downstairs at about 8.30pm.

The Naice film. Popeye was supposed to choose one and have it ready for when I got downstairs. He was watching Star Trek. Now I don’t have anything against Captain Kirk et al, but it’s not quite what I had in mind. I let him know.

We had a Chinese! Huzzah! As for the booze- I was too exhausted and full of Chinese to even think about having a drink. Plus I realised my super duper 50% off bottle I got from Lidl was probably that price because it was only 7.5%. Not gonna lie, I felt cheated. 

So, in summary, our Big Pre Deployment Date Night consisted of us sitting in opposite areas of the house for a few hours, me with vampire insomniac children, him with the crew of The USS Enterprise. We did have a Chinese, however this rendered us really full and fat.

In the end he put on Die Hard and I went on Mumsnet. 

Jammy fuckers

This.

Who said romance is dead?!?!

The amount of pressure we both felt under for last night to be “amazing” was ridiculous. We are first parents then a couple afterall and even though our date night idea looked pretty fab on paper in reality it’s just not going to work out like that. It just feels like I can almost hear the clock ticking down those final few days and it’s making my adrenaline run, I imagine it’s how John McClaine felt when he realised he had no shoes and had to fight Snape. 

P.s we are aiming for round two tonight, maybe if we spread the content of date night over the whole weekend we will get all the boxes ticked???

The way I miss you.

It hits me in waves.

No pun intended.

The Missing You Tsunami smashes into me out of nowhere, dragging me out to sea.

I am lost. Swimming along the shore desperately searching for a way back to normal.

I doggy paddle, then front crawl, keeping my head above water until

A rip current rips me. Swirls me around and pushes me back out again.

It draws me out then feeds me back to the shore.

Tumbling and spluttering like some confused octopus I crawl back up the beach

Find my feet and 

Keep walking.

Keep walking.

Keep walking.

Until I hear the distant rumble,

And the Missing You Tsunami threatens me again. 

Goodbyes and doing “It”.

Let’s talk about sex baby.

More specifically “Goodbye Sex”.

Aka ta ta shagging, au revoir ménage, bon voyage bonking, see you later 69ing, or just farewell fucking. 

Whatever you call it, it sucks (no pun intended). There’s a sense of “shit, time is running out and we won’t be getting to DO IT for ages so we’d better make this round count.”

So there’s a fair amount of pressure to be a super awesome, bendy, fluttery eyelashes, up for anything minx. Even when all you want to do is the standard sideways cuddle position, check your phone for Brexit updates and then fall asleep. 


Then there’s the emotional side of it. Sometimes, just before they deploy you don’t want them near you like that at all. Because even if they don’t mean to, they are hurting you by leaving. It’s not rational. It’s not logical but you hurt at the thought of the impending aloneness and their role in it.

No amount of Barry White or wining and dining will shake that feeling.

But you want to be close to them.

You feel vulnerable and angry and sad and scared and downright unsettled. So the natural reaction, the normal reaction when feeling threatened is to seek reassurance from the one person you feel closest to. Sexy reassurance. 

But the emotions are running so high and you’re trying to get yours whilst making sure it’s a session they won’t forget in a hurry and at the same time you’re trying to make sure your mummy tummy isn’t showing and it’s too much pressure.

Goodbye sex is almost as exhausting emotionally as homecoming sex.

Except you don’t get to have another shot in the foreseeable future.

And no pun intended (again) but that’s hard. Really hard.