Deployment dreams

Ok *oversharing alert* family and friends click away now.

Popeye has just reminded me of something that has happened every deployment and I’m wondering if it happens to you too.

Thing is, it’s a tad embarrassing.

A smidge, a pinch, a wee bit cringe inducing.

Soooo….

When your partner deploys, companionship and wholesome friendship issues aside, it leaves a big gap in your sex life. There’s a *ahem* how do I put it- a romantic need that he just *ahem* can’t fulfill because he is several thousand miles away.

We all have our own “coping mechanisms” and this post is not about that. It’s about something else that happens after a “dry spell” spanning several months.

Every time Popeye has been on deployment I have had (occasional) rude dreams.

(This, so far, is pretty normal right? Stay with me. It gets weird)

Every time Popeye has been on deployment I have had rude dreams that are not starring Popeye.

(Ok ok we’re all grown ups here, we can admit that dreaming about someone other than your partner does happen and although totes cringey and not something you mention down the phone- not exactly something entering into the realms of bizarre.)

Here it is- 

Every time Popeye has deployed I have had rude dreams about low status TV personalities. 

Not even proper slebs! These fantasy dreams have starred such well known hotties as 

  • Alan Titchmarsh


    And

    • Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall 



    Each time I’ve woken up totally and utterly freaked out and emailed Popeye in a state of utter squeamishness. 


    I don’t know why my subconscious seeks out middle aged gardeners and organic chefs as prime X rated dream stars.

    But it does. And it scares me. I don’t get my brain. When I’m awake, they do nothing for me. Sorry Al and Hugh, no offence but you’re just not my type(s). 

    Tell me I’m not the only one?

    Seriously, you guys have had freaky weird sex dreams too, right guys? Right?!

    Muchos love

    Olive x 

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    Eating cake in the name of charidee

    This Saturday just gone I put on my first charity coffee and cake fundraiser for the fabulous charity Little Troopers


    It was a total success and we raised a fantastic £120!!! 

    #proudface all round.

    There were, of course a few hiccups on the way. Including the first (and only solo) attempt at baking I did. That resulted in a whole batch of “fugly” cupcakes that we sold at a discount, because hey, fugly cakes need homes too.


    We were given a mahoosive stack of boxes of cupcakes from Morrisons that were absolutely delish and had been baked fresh in store the day I collected them and hand decorated so beautifully- totally put my fuglies to shame tbh but I’m OK with that as it was for charidee.

    Big props to Chris from Morrisons in Portsmouth for sorting us out with that scran. You are a legend and totally squared us away.

    Other shout outs are needed for the lovely lady in charge of Cockleshell Community Centre- Kerry. Who set up the room the day before, sorted out the raffle tickets and showed up with a large amount of meat even though she had a horrendous migraine. Nails. 


    Not forgetting my civvy best mate Aime for her amazing face painting skillz including the full range of spider man characters including actual venom omg.


    My NWBFF Emma and her hubby Dai (off of Wales). They turned up the day before and sorted out my crap baking skills and helped me learn to weigh my eggs and how to pipe buttercream. They also taught me that cocoa powder is not the same as hot chocolate.


    And that it is especially not the same as hot chocolate that went off in 2014.
    And the awesome Charlotte who rocked up bang on 9am when I was running shockingly late (I managed to get lost on the way- even though I’ve been there several times before- don’t ask). 

    Now I had never ever met Charlotte, but in true Navy wife style she surveyed the thinly veiled chaos I had created and calmly asked me how she could help and got on with cutting out prices and signs and stuff. She was un-flusterable and for that, I salute you.


    Me on the other hand, I was not quite so calm. I arrived shockingly late,  met my baking gurus Emma & Dai standing outside looking a tad perplexed as we couldnt get in yet.

    Cue pacing and phoning and my hair getting more and more sweaty. We got in and got set up just in time. All thanks to the fantastic team of people who got stuck in. I’m not exaggerating when I say if had been all down to me it would have been a bit shit. It was a real team effort and it was So. Much. Fun.

    We ate a lot of cakes. 

    We drank a lot of coffee.

    We swapped navy horror stories.

    We may have swapped incompetent husband stories. But the feminist in me won’t admit to that.

    Helen went home with a big piece of meat. She was very happy with this.

    I met up with loads of the wives from Popeyes old ship. It was FANTASTIC to see them all again and has inspired another NW Night Out soon.

    My kids ran around screaming on a sugar high with face paints. Actually everyone else’s did this too, to be fair. 

    Although only my daughter decided to pull her trousers and pants down in the middle of the room in front of everyone shouting “I NEED THE TOILET NOWWWWW”-( hey you can’t win them all).
    It was great and I’m sure I’ve forgotten lots of stuff. I want to do another one before Christmas and vary the location to get as many people as possible involved. 


    So keep your eyes peeled as I will be cobbling something else together in December- 

    Hope you can make it!

    Muchos love,

    Olive x 

    You really don’t have to be a cool military wife

    You really don’t.

    There’s no rule saying you have to suck it up and smile sweetly when they tell you they are missing your anniversary.

    You can be annoyed, and rightly so,  you can be hurt, you can be miffed and vexed and whatever-the-hell-you-need-to-feel when they “forget” to tell you they are duty weekend until 4pm on a Friday. 

    Sometimes we military wives need a little reality check.


    It is fine to be pissed off when your partner cancels plans. Even if the reason for this cancelled plans is some MOD top priority mission. It’s fine.

    It’s normal to be slightly vexed at having to switch Friday night plans from romantic dinner then bars then casino to dominoes and a bottle of red for one in your pjs at 45 minutes notice.

    It’s understandable to not be cheerful and jolly ho and well wishing, when calling up the travel agent and praying with crossed fingers, that you can rebook the holiday you’ve saved a whole year for.

    It is healthy to feel the rage at these times. It would be bizarre if you didn’t. And if it didn’t you might start doing weird passive aggressive things like deliberately putting gone off milk in his tea before he leaves, or “accidentally”‘deleting all the game of thrones on the sky planner. Or you might take it out on the BBKB  (Big Black Kit Bag) in a barely contained fit of rage.

    Although it might make you feel better in the short term it won’t for long.

    So please please ladies, don’t try to hold it together. When you feel pissed off, be pissed off

    Get vocal, get sweary, hang up on them if you need to. Cry if you need to.

    Just don’t for Petes sake, bottle it all up. 

    Because at the end of the day, whether you lose the plot and let him have it both barrels, or you suppress it with your best stepford wife smile, the shits still going to hit you just the same. 

    At least this way you will deal with it in a way that it healthy for you. Because sadly the shits going to hit that military  relationship fan again and again. And yes as time goes on you will get used to it in a way- but that doesn’t mean the shit doesn’t still stink. 

    Shout it loud and shout it proud ladies- but only if you want to.

    Muchos love,

    Olive x 

    Dog poop vs navy life

    This actually happened the other day. 

    The phone rings- I go all Phone Ninja and leap the dog to answer it- it’s Popeye of course.

    My heart leaps, my pulse races- just to hear his voice on the other end of the line is AMAZING.

    “What’s that I can hear in the background?” He asks.

    “I’m cleaning out the bath with bleach” replies me, “we had a toddler incident this afternoon involving dog poo, bare feet and the slide- so what have you been up to?” <frantic scrubbing>

    “Oh it’s awful here I’m missing home so much”.

    “Yes Popeye we miss you so much too- but what have you been up to?”

    “Nothing much, you know, I’m so so tired I’ve just sat by the pool and read my book”.


    I pause from scrubbing possible dog shit residue out of the bath and stand there in our bathroom with bleach water dripping down my forearm.

    What did you just say?”

    Not realising the danger he’s in, the poor tired lamb, repeats himself.

    “I just rested by the pool and finished my book”. 

    I give a slightly maniacal laugh, perfectly timed against the background noise of toddlers screaming and yelling and some suspicious thuds coming from the living room.

    “You. Have. No. Fucking. Idea.”

    I literally bite my tongue. I’ve never done that before. It hurts but it works. It stopped me from going nuclear on Popeye.


    I managed to condense it down to only a five minute rant about his lack of perspective, empathy or understanding of what my day to day looks like.

    Because I bit my tongue I managed to scale it back to only a handful of F bombs and C words.

    Because I bit my tongue I only once told him that he has no idea I would actually shave all the hair off of my head to be sitting by a pool reading a book. I would buy a wide brimmed hat and style it out. 

    I then stuttered that I had to go. Hung up on him and poured myself a very large wine.

    I stuck my feet in the paddling pool and read slow cooker recipes off of my phone. 

    That’s basically the same thing, right?

    The meaty middle

    The meaty bit of the deployment. The middle bit, the big chunk where you’re a few months in and you’ve got a few months to go.

    That’s where I’ve been. 

    I’ve been keeping my head down, coping.

    Get up, get washed, get dressed and keep busy. Drink wine and eat quavers. Repeat.

    Let me make this clear to my civvy readers-time has not gone quickly. But it has gone. 

    I’m utterly bamboozled by this fact. I don’t entirely understand how I have done this middle bit. At the beginning 9 months was utterly paralysingly terrifying. Still is to be honest. 

    But now it’s utterly paralysingly terrifying with a twist of bewilderment and a silent air punch of pride. 

    IVE ALMOST BLOODY DONE IT LADIES AND GENTS!


    I’ve kept the kids alive and not had a total breakdown!

    I’m chalking it up as a big fat WIN.

    As the reality that I’ve almost done it hits its actually a bit unsettling. I keep stopping and asking myself how did I get here?

     How have I done this?

    Has he really been gone for 7 months?!?!

    Is he actually coming back?!

    On one hand it feels like he’s been gone an eternity, on the other it feels like maybe a few weeks, a couple of months. 

    And as this self awareness dawns on me it hits me. The absolute totally all consuming longing to have him home.

    Justcomehomejustcomehomejustcomehome

    So near and yet so far from the finish line. 

    This ladies (and gents) is the final push. That last bit of energy and positivity that you have to dredge up from somewhere in your gut to keep going right up to the end.

    I was happily plodding along with the meaty middle bit of the deployment and suddenly the realisation that he will be home soon(ish) hit me.

    I kind of wish it hadn’t to be honest. A few more weeks  in my “meaty middle bit” bubble would’ve been most welcome. 

    It’s time for that final sprint! And I’m ready.

    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

    *Guest post* Homecoming from the other side.

    After a lot of nagging and emailing and threatening to withhold parcels, Popeye has written a blog post!

    It’s a subject that I have always been very curious (nosey) about. What is homecoming like for the sailor actually on the gert big honking warship? 

    Here at Oyl HQ, that is exactly the kind of burning question we like to answer, so without any further ado, here’s Popeye, giving it a sailors POV:

    *pause for drumroll*


    I have been asked by my lovely wife olive to write a guest blog post for all of you lovely readers describing homecoming from the other side of the dockside! 

    Now my literary prowess is somewhat lacking when it comes to this sort of thing, however I shall endeavour to paint you a “word picture”, here we go…

    So, the night before homecoming, affectionately known as channel night, in a bygone era, was an evening (and most part of the morning) celebrating and getting so drunk you can barely stand up.

    Nowadays it’s a far more conservative affair, possibly with a few drinks and then early to bed to make the next day come quicker, a bit like Christmas when you were 5 years old. 

    Don’t get me wrong there are still some sailors that drink until they shit themselves, but they are few and far between. 

    The trouble with this is (and I have witnessed it first hand) the next day you are so hungover you are unable to actually enjoy your homecoming. You are in such a state that you would rather go back to bed than see your family. Or you would rather speak to God on the porcelain telephone than hug your mum.


    When I was asked to write this, I got to thinking, these peoples families have travelled for god knows how long to come and see their sailor, who they have missed and worried about and sent parcels and letters to. They stand there all excited, and what they are greeted with is an absolute hungover mess. 

    This is a bit of an anticlimax I expect.

    That’s why I fall into the 5 year old at Christmas category!

    So the morning of the homecoming is here. Normally, you are woken from your lovely sleep by a whistle over the ships broadcast. 

    However on homecoming day they wake you up with Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ or Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Homeward Bound’ then it’s a fairly straightforward routine. Get up, shower, brush teeth put on number 1’s.

    Realise that number 1’s do not fit, panic, realise you are trying to put on someone else’s, find your own, put them on and marvel at how much weight you have lost.

     Have breakfast, unless you are morning watch chef, in which case you will be cooking breakfast.

    After all this it sort of sinks in that you will be seeing your loved ones again after however many moths and you start to get a bit excited.

    Everyone is buzzing, people you have never spoken to in 6 to 9 months suddenly become ‘alright’ and you can talk to them, you have common ground. All anyone wants to do is just get home! 

    Then there is a sort of time in purgatory. You aren’t going to work that morning but they have yet to muster you for procedure Alpha (that’s where we all stand on the upper deck) so you bimble about drinking tea and trying not to spill it down yourself. 

    You pointlessly check your e mails. You think about phoning your family, and then think better of it because it might dilute the joy of homecoming! 

    Then they finally muster you for procedure Alpha. Now you would have thought getting a bunch of people to stand along the side of a ship is a pretty easy thing to organise. You would be wrong. You have to be placed in order of height and then marched down the side of the ship and told where to stand. I know it doesn’t sound like much but this can take anywhere up to an hour to sort out! So you stand in your spot looking out at Portsmouth/ Plymouth or wherever you happen to be coming in to and it is cold. It is so fucking cold! Number 1’s are not renowned for their thermal retention properties. All you are thinking is hurry the fuck up because I am fucking freezing! 

    So you start to enter your port of choice, lots of people waving from the beach and stuff, obviously you can’t wave back because it’s not very military! Oh and as soon as you start to enter your port of choice it for some reason becomes really windy, so with wind chill it’s about -50 degrees Celsius.

     You start to shiver and your lips turn blue. Your feet hurt because not only are they cold but you have squeezed them into a pair of pussers’ shoes that you have only worn twice and they are extremely uncomfortable!

     Then you see a huge throng of people with banners all shouting and cheering.

    Then you allow yourself to be very excited, now in the normal running of things you are not allowed to move or wave back until the first rope has gone from the ship to the dockside. 

    So you frantically scan the crowd looking for your family, it’s sort of a silent competition, spot them before they spot you. We do have an advantage in this game by being all dressed the same. Olive described it as the hardest game of ‘Where’s Wally’ ever. 

    You finally spot them and for me, the first thing I think is “Thank god she’s turned up and not run away with some bloke she met in her yoga class called Fabian who pronounces Barcelona with a ‘th'”she is waving at me. I can’t wave back. She stops waving and gives me the look of “why aren’t you waving back?” (#sadface) then another look of “oh god have I just been waving at a complete stranger?!?!” You try to telepathically communicate that “you are waving at the right person but I cant wave back, look no one else is waving back!” 

    Then the first rope goes across and you are allowed to wave but by that time you’re arms and legs do not want to move. Your muscles are all stiff and cold but you make the effort and give them a wave. 

    I have always found this fairly awkward. You are waving and stuff but you can’t get off the ship until the gangway is down. So what is the waving etiquette? When do you stop?

    Obviously I can’t stand there waving like an idiot for half an hour. 

    So you stop waving and try to mouth things to your loved ones but because they are to far away to hear you. They have no idea what you are saying. You try to find someone to talk to so as not to look stupid but at the same time keep one eye on the family in case they move! It’s all very complicated! Then the gangway goes down and wait for the captain’s family to come on and then you have to wait for the bloke who won the ships raffle to be first off the gangway. 

    You are finally allowed down the gangway. You move through the crowd like a ninja, not brushing against anyone and twisting this way and that, then you see them and suddenly everything is alright again. 

    You forget your hypothermia and broken feet and have the best hug ever, then a kiss, and then you become a bit nervous and wonder what to say. 

    I always say the same thing ‘alright?’ with that word I reassure them that I am the same person I was when I left. Then the answer I get is ‘Yeah, you?’ and with that I know they are the same person they were when I left and everything is going to be alright. 

    Now imagine trying to

    do all that with a raging hangover…
    “Muchos  Love”

    Popeye 


             

    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

    The truth about deployment.

    What deployment is really like. And what it’s really not like.

    It’s not all staring off into the horizon in a floaty white dress with a single tear rolling down a polished cheek.

    floaty dress? check. staring into middle distance? check. must be a navy wife.
    It’s not about getting a long awaited dog eared letter in the post, hugging it to your chest in quiet bliss and rushing up to your room to flop down onto the bed to read it in matching pyjamas.

    Seriously, who the fuck does this?!

    It’s not beaming ear to ear with pride whilst waving a Union Jack (well homecoming is but that’s only a couple of hours out of the whole thing).

    Standard navy wife Tuesday activity.

    It’s not romantic. It’s not magical. 

    It’s cereal for dinner.

    It’s explaining again and again and again where they are and why they couldn’t make it.

    It’s wine. Or gin. 


    It’s weddings and BBQs and Friday nights and Tuesday lunchtimes alone.

    It’s having to take both kids with you to your smear test because there’s no one else to help. 

    It’s suffering the same questions at every family gathering.

    “Where is he now then?”

    “Heard from Popeye lately?”

    “It can’t be much longer now surely?”

    Gah.

    It’s making coffee for one every morning.

    It’s being ill and having to carry on.

    It’s dutifully sending one email (at least) a day and hearing nothing back for days.

    It’s learning to carry the ache of missing them around with you and realising that it won’t go away until you’re back together again.

    It’s checking your email a zillion times a day just incase, and keeping your phone within arms reach for months without fail.

    Deployments are not what people think they are. They are marathons not sprints and we are running in a race we’d rather not have to enter.

    But we get to cross that finish line eventually and that part of the illusion is true. That moment is indescribably scrummy and romantic and fantastic. 

    So even if well meaning family and friends don’t have a clue of the reality of a deployment, or even if this is your first deployment and you’ve realised you didn’t have a clue, just trust me, even if the race is a steaming pile of groundhog poop, that finish line will be so worth it. 

    Must dash, got me some sea starin’ to do. 

    *i doubt shes going through the lidl shopping list or what to cook for tea*

    Muchos love,

    Olive X