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

Quiche mum and the tartlettes- my first night out

Those of you who follow me on Facebook will know that Tuesday 17th of May will now and forevermore be known as THE day I went OUT OUT.

Yes me the navy wife-hermit-usually knocked-up-Olive went outside. After bedtime. With eyeshadow on. 

Those of you with sprogs will totally realise the gravitas of this. I was nervous like I had a job interview. My palms were sweaty. In the end I spent half an hour deciding that all my clothes are horrible and wore something I also wear to “tots n tunes”.

Popeye describes me as a “co-op quiche mum”. Meaning that we don’t eat organic, I do not bake, and we do iPad and CBeebies. And when me and the other mums meet up for a “bring a plate” type gathering, I swing into the co-op at the end of the road, leave the kids in the car (shock horror) and dash in for a quiche and bottle of wine. This has become my signature offering at such events. 

Anyway I was at top of my Quiche Mum game on Tuesday. I had my slash neck t shirt I wear ALL the time on, I wiped the baby sick off as we left and had really pushed the boat out by digging out my good bum jeans. You know the ones. We all have a paid of good bum jeans.


We got there. I went in a taxi! I was all wide eyed and heart thumping. (This was partially because of the glass or two of wine I’d had mid wardrobe crisis). Popeye said I looked like I was going to throw up. I possibly was.

We got there! We went to a bar called Drift in Southsea. I have no idea whether it was a good bar or not.

All I know was there there wasn’t a ball pit or soft play area in sight. There were no crayons on the tables and there was no sign for the nearest changing area. Just a sign pointing to the beer garden. The beer garden for crying out loud. 

Cue harp music and cherubs flying about

There were a few points that shook me I admit, but I overcame them navy wife style:

  1. Skinny gorgeous sailorettes wearing basically no clothes. I had no idea that wearing underwear as outer wear was a thing now. Next time I’m rocking up in my nursing bra and support knickers. Pretty fly. I over came *this* by reminding myself I am fucking awesome. And I’d rather have boobs and a bum and clothes on when I’m out and so would Popeye.
  2. I did not know any music. I overcame *this* by drinking spiced rum and dancing with Popeye like a LOON. I have the rhythm in me after all #childofthe90s
  3. I have apparently become deaf since entering motherhood. It was so loud. I overcame this by laughing when people said stuff  and hoping for the best as no one was listening to each other anyway.

We danced, I drank, it was over far far too soon. I forgot how going out with sailors is more a marathon than a sprint. Or a sprinting marathon. Whatever, all I know is I had a good time even if I had a few false starts.

By this point in the evening I had shirked my Tee and revealed my basics vest from primark

I had a great time. Popeye said he hasn’t seen me like that in years, in a good way I hope. In the end all the sailors moved on and we got a taxi back to our car and got lost on the M27/A27. I do not remember this. I was apparently giving Popeye, what I can only assume, were A* directions home, that he obviously was not following. 

Well that’s all for today. Hope you guys get to go out with your sailors and meet all their co-workers. There are very few jobs where you regularly go out on the piss with people you have to see the next day. Like a weekly Christmas Party. 

Muchos love X

P.s Popeye came up with the the title for this post whilst we were out before I’d  properly met anyone. He made me promise I’d use it. I will let you figure out who the tartlettes were.

(Although annoyingly they turned out to be really lovely and fun. Of course. 😂👍🏻⚓️💗)

Popeye couldn’t handle it

The other evening, I was speaking with beloved Popeye about the shocking possibility he might have to spend some time on his own. 

On his own, in our house.

Holy crapsticks.

Now the weirdness of this will not be lost on you dear fellow navy wife or girlfriend or partners or fuck buddy  casual relationship person. 

We are the ones who are alone in the house all the time. We are the ones who might as well have a bachelors degree in Americas Next Top Model or X Factor or whatever. 

Popeye doesn’t know where anything is.

Popeye has only just learnt when bin day is.

Popeye has no idea where any paperwork is kept or filed. He may genuinely believe it all lives in the pile in the kitchen under the boiler, I don’t know.

Anyway this conversation got me thinking. What would Popeye do if he was the navy wife and I was the deploying sailor?
The short term answer (obviously) is that he would play a lot of Playstation, eat a ridiculous amount of dominoes and watch a gross amount of porn watch lots of TV.

“But what would he do after that?” I wondered. 

And then it hit me. And him. 

He couldn’t handle it. It’s not that we aren’t strong enough, it’s that he wouldn’t be able to stand being the one out of control, hanging on my every phone call, waiting for each ping of his email inbox. 

That makes him sound a bit controlling and fifty shades of grey-ish. Trust me, he’s reaaaalllllly  not. For truths.

And he would get so fed up at having to make me parcels and he wouldn’t be able to think of interesting ideas. Accept maybe an entire box devoted to Arnie films. (Can you imagine my glee-not.) The idea of him writing me a letter is bizarre in the extreme. 

He admits he would get v jealous knowing I was visiting all these exotic places whilst he would be stuck flicking through the TV guide with a can of diet coke in his hand. 

(Actually I do get insanely jealous of where he goes but I just try to remind  myself of all the absolute sh*t holes he also has to go to too.)

( I also remind myself that he basically has seen the inside of a handful of pubs a ten minute walk from the dockyard in aforementioned magical exotic locations, and has not  had the spiritual and cultural experience that I am lusting after). 

The dog would probably starve or run away, or have his own dominoes pizza order. 

Our car would mostly like be towed or pulled over at some point. With Popeye looking all bemused when the police officer asks him why he hasn’t taxed/MOT’d/insured it. He has never really had to do these things, at least not without substantial nagging, and it would honestly not occur to him. We once paid no council tax for six months because it was the one bill we decided he would be in charge of. I got a letter saying when our court date was. For real. 

The Royal Navy equips our loved ones with fantastic practical  skills; It picks them up by the earlobes gives them a good shake et voilá! They become a skilled engineer or chef or weapons firer thing. 

In fact, I can say, hand on my heart, that if Popeye hadn’t joined up I would not have fancied him. He admits he used to be just a bit chavvy rough around the edges let’s say. Not Olives type at all.
Instead the Navy took the gobby teen and taught him self discipline, motivation to succeed, how to work hard at a goal, and how to support a team.   It taught him self respect and self worth.

However it did not teach him to sort the colours from whites nor prepared him for encounters with the DVLA. 

It didn’t teach him to pop round to a neighbours on moving day to ask when the recycling and rubbish goes, or to always have a frozen emergency pint of milk in the freezer. Only “real life”, or civvie life let’s say, can teach you stuff like that.

Navy life taught him a lot of things, things that I have literally no idea about (and let’s be honest here, no interest in either).

Civvie life taught me the mundane crap to keep me (hopefully) out of court and with a roof over our heads. 


He really would find it tricky to keep this little Oyl family running smoothly if I was deployed. And emotionally I don’t know how he would cope. Luckily, for him, he won’t have to find out how to. 

Muchos love

X

P.s please if you haven’t voted for me in the Best Lifestyle Category of the MAD Blog awards yet please do just click right here. Huge massive thank you’s and a big snog. X 

I’m a Finalist! 1 of 2

So I’m now a FINALIST for a MAD blog award. 

(I’m supposed to do clever hashtaggy  things now btw so here goes- #MADblogawards -done). 

I literally don’t believe it!  The timeline from when I found out basically went like this:

0-1 mins:”omgomgomg no WAY!”

2-3mins: Silent screaming, heart thumping and jumping up and down doing  Rocky Balboa arms in my kitchen v quietly so as not to wake the terrible twosome. 

3-4 mins: checked I hadn’t made a mistake by looking at the nomination page a gazillion times.

5 mins- called Popeye. No signal. No answer. Straight to voicemail. Standard, he’s below deck. Be cool Olive, be cool. 

5-30 mins calling my mum (“oh darling I am so proud of you! This is amazing! Is it in London? (Yes) Out of how many blogs?(8 freakin thousand mum) oh wow! Wait hang on *tells everyone on the ward where she works*”.

At some point: – called Popeye. No signal. No answer. Straight to voicemail. Standard, he’s below deck. Be cool Olive, be cool. Seriously BE COOL.

And called my sister “AHHH THAT IS SO COOL! Whaaat are you going to wear???? Will the press be there? You are basically famous now sis- hey wait I get to be your plus one right? RIGHT???”

Tried (again) and called Popeye. No signal. Again. No answer. Again. Straight to voicemail. Again. Standard, he’s below deck. Again. Just breathe, Olive it’s not his fault.

And my little bro: “Wow that’s really cool. I don’t really read your blogs but the ones I’ve seen are quite funny. I’m off out to a Uni Party right now so can’t really talk but yeah totally whatsapp me the link to the nominations page “.

Ok ok, let’s just try again-  called Popeye. No fucking signal. No bloody answer. Straight to twatting voicemail. Standard, he’s below the stupid deck on the bloody arsehole ship. 


So I may have left a slightly shitty, slightly cryptic voicemail for Popeye and then poured myself another glass of Pinot Grigot Blush from Lidl, and posted a HUGE EXCITED post on my Facebook Page to all of my lovely, gorgeous and fantastic followers. 

Then I basically kept pressing refresh on the finalist nominations page in a state of slightly tipsy disbelief, until I realised it was way past bedtime.

Rock and Roll! 

I realised the irony of not being able to contact Popeye as I walked up the stairs with Sproglet on my hip (we have no bedtime routine for her btw- mum fail).

The whole reason I started this blog was because of stupid navy crap like not being able to get in touch with the love of your life when you need to. 

And that’s (maybe) one of the reasons it got nominated in the first place. 

So really I owe Popeye, my dear un-contactable sailor, and by extension, the annoying, heart breaking, heart racing, plan ruining, day making Royal Navy, a bit of a THANK YOU really. 

For messing with my head (and my life) so much I wrote this blog in the first place. 

Tots100
P.s you can totally vote for me as Best Lifestyle Blog by clicking on this link right here 
Muchos love, Olive X 

Why I wish I was still a weekend warrior

I’ve been having a long hard think about which side of the fence has greener grass. Or which side of the bridge if we are going Billy Goats Gruff here.

For the first couple of years of our marriage I was what is known as a Weekend Warrior. A wife, girlfriend or other type of partner who only sees their sailor at weekends, not through the week. On weekdays your Popeye sleeps on the ship, and you sleep (starfish) in your bed.

  
At the time I thought it was a bit rubbish to be honest, so when I was four or five months pregnant with Sweetpea we upped sticks and moved to Southampton, away from all my family and friends, so Popeye could come home every night so I wouldn’t be essentially a single parent. I say “we” but Popeye was deployed so I had to organise the whole move alone, alarm bells should’ve been ringing!

I’m beginning to regret it.

I’m beginning to regret it now we have two babies under the age of two. Double the crying, double the nappies and usually half the parenting.

Popeye is away far far more than we thought he would be. And unlike my Weekend Warrior days I’m now not used to hacking it alone Monday to Friday. Instead some weeks he’s here to help, other weeks I have nothing. There’s no consistency and the main reason we did this, so he wouldn’t miss girls growing up, seems null and void now because he’s missing it anyway!

And I’m sinking. 

I’m in a city where I’ve got no roots, I’ve made some utterly fab amazing friends who are to be honest, keeping me going right now. They come round and help and listen to me moan and then go home to their partners flabbergasted, about how the fuck I am managing and not losing my mind. 

Except that I am sinking. 

I can’t help but feel that if I was away from here and back with family that support me I’d be able to plan my life a bit, feel a bit more in control because no matter what the bloody tin can is doing, alongside, at sea, Popeye on a course, in Portsmouth, Plymouth, wherever, my life and my routine would be the same Monday to Friday. 

I wouldn’t keep feeling like I was having the rug pulled out from under me at a day or twos notice.

I’d have regular dependable help with the Sprogs. I’m pretty much on my todd here with the girls and childcare costs are becoming a strain on us. Being back in good old Scummerset would mean I got more emotional and practical support. 

I’d love to be able to pop round and see my sister or my mum instead of doing FaceTime after bedtime. 

If I revert back to Weekend Warrior the girls could grow up in the countryside like I did, cows moos not police sirens would be the early sounds Sproglet will name, unlike her big sister who knows the difference between the police and the fire brigades sirens. She’s 21 months. 

  
But am I just seeing it all through rose tinted glasses? Was it really that good back then or was that just because I was a navy wife and not a navy wife and a mum then?!

I just feel that we moved here for Popeye and he’s not even bloody here so if I move back it would be for me and the girls. 

He’s basically deploying for a year anyway!!!!

Being a navy wife away from your family is hard. I’m constantly reevaluating my life here to see if this is the best deal for me and my girls. 

And the thing is that this changes on whether Popeye is home or not. I wish I could be in Somerset during deployment and near the ship the rest of the time!

Jill speak

Hey there lovelies, got an idea for you.

How’d you like the put some zing back in your relationship? Become that mysterious lady (or lad) of intrigue and whimsy once more? You would? Well then I have a little game for you! 

 Jill Speak!

Does your Popeye speak to work colleagues in another language? Does he respond to a name that is not his own? Do you sometimes have no idea what on earth he’s on about?

If the answer to any of these is “yes” then Jill Speak is just the game for you! And the great part is that the whole family can get involved too!

   
To play Jill Speak casually start using some of your Popeyes top-secret-navy-life-sailor-code-words into everyday conversation! Then sit back and enjoy the shock, confusion and then (hopefully) amusement on his face. 

I play it with my Popeye all the time and to be honest it annoys him. But who cares when playing it (and the look on his face!) is so much fun. 

P.s another great feature of Jill Speak is that you can modify it for whatever service your partner is in! For example, for my RM readers- don’t walk the dog- say you’re taking the dog on a dog yomp! 

Here are some examples/ideas: 

When asking him if he’s home next weekend- “have you got weekenders?” 

On bin day- “can you take out the gash bag please darling?”

At bedtime- “right I’m off to my pit, nighty night!”

When discussing the shopping list or at mealtimes- “what scran should I get in my love?”

Instead of reading a bedtime story, get your kids to ask their sailor for a “bedtime dit please”. 

When out and about and in need of caffeine, tell your service person to “get the wets in”.

When your sprog does something particularly well, like gets 10/10 on their spellings, make sure to tell them it was “BZ” within earshot of your sailor. 

And finally if he is in need of a compliment, or you’re hoping to get your groove on simply sidle up to him, stare into his eyes lovingly and tell him “hey their gorgeous, looking turbo divs tonight” and watch him glow with amor (or be completely gobsmacked).

  
Another twist on Jill Speak if you truly want to create that Navy Ship feel at home (Kirsty Allsop eat you heart out) is to start calling all family members and friends by a different name!

Base their new Navy Nickname on something they did years ago that no one really remembers, a physical characteristic or (very very) loosely connected to their existing name. So if you have a Great Aunty Audrey she could now and forever be referred to as “Hepburn”, “Hep” or “Burnsy”. 

Remember the more embarrassing the story that inspired the name or the more random and difficult to figure out, the better. For real authenticity dont explain the new name to anyone. Ever.

  
If your Popeye is deployed then you can still play Jill Speak! You can easily sneak phrases into emails or when chatting on the phone. The stunned silence and (usually) string of baffled expletives that follow are well worth the phone card minutes.  It also pretty much guarantees a speedy email reply (unless comms are down of course) along the lines of “how do you know that word? I don’t like you using Jackspeak. You’ve freaked me out Olive!” Good times. 

However you decide to play Jill Speak have fun. Get creative and get the whole family onboard! See how many you can think of and shoehorn into everyday chit chats with your Popeye. 

Do let me know how you get on. 

Lots of love,

Olive X 

Not a copey kind of day

Dear husband,

I’m not feeling copey today.

I’m not feeling copey today and to be honest I’m feeling angry today. Strike that- im feeling furious today.

And I’m feeling guilty too because it will only be a few weeks. Maybe a month. Ok maybe it will be six weeks apart, two months tops. I just wish you could give me a fucking straight answer so I can plan my life a bit. Just a bit. Oh yeah and more than a days notice would be nice too. 


 I’m feeling angry that I have no control over these gut wrenching events in my life. The goodbyes and even the hellos. I’m feeling angry that at every goodbye you say you want to leave the navy once and for all. You keep throwing me into a turmoil of thinking “how will we manage financially?” And “should we move back to Somerset or would we stay here?” And “how will my part time wage support us?” Only for you to settle back into the routine onboard. Your conviction that this is the time you will hand your notice in fades away, like the shore fading  away on the horizon as you sail away from us. Me and the toddler and the baby. Your own personal cheer squad. How dare your job make them cry. 

  
I’m feeling guilty because other wives and girlfriends have it worse than me. They are doing 6 or even 9 month deployments and I have no right to be feeling this low. No right to be freaking out and crying already. You’ve been gone like two hours ffs.

 The other wives and girlfriends must be reading this thinking I should strap on a pair. And I should! I’ve done 6 years of long long deployments. I know I can do this.

But I’m fed up of never knowing when you’re coming home husband. I’m fed up of this bloody 9 month will they/won’t they deployment hanging over our head. Can’t they just decide either way? 

Why didn’t they build the ships so they effing work

So, in summary: angry at hubby/navy/world. Guilty because it’s not hubbys fault/ other wives would slap me round the face for moaning about this. Tired because of a toddler and baby. Fuzzy mouth and head because I drank a whole bottle of prosecco last night because of this craptastic news. 

Yep. Deffo not a copey kind of day so far. 

Love you though husband. Like totes foreves. I’ve got your back. 

Olive xxxxxx