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!

MAD Blog Awards 2016 

Ok so I’ve been nominated for Blog of the Year, Best Blog Writer and Best Lifestyle Blog awards as part of the MAD Blog Awards 2016!  

OMG. 😮

Then I’ve just found out there’s only five more days to get nominations in (shit) AND that if I want to be a finalist (which I wouldn’t mind at all, really) you need to be in the top FIVE highest number of nominations per category.

Crikey.

So (and I promise this really is the last time) please please please could you nominate my blog  www.oliveoylnavywife.com only IF you think it’s good enough of course. 

I love love love writing my blog and you guys often say you’ve enjoyed reading it, so it would make me SO FREAKIN HAPPY to get stacks of nominations and get to go to London in a posh dress and leave the kids with Popeye. 

The categories I think make the most sense are the lifestyle and best writer ones, but you could always nominate me in more categories, if you felt thusly inclined of course.
😉

Please SHARE this post too if you feel my blogs are worth it, (like l’oreal, but less hair swishing). 

Here’s the link to nominate X 

http://www.tots100.co.uk/awards/ 
  
And a huge THANK YOU from me X 

I love seeing you SWAGs support each other 

I just wanted to write a gushy, soppy post about how I love seeing all you wives/girlfriends/parents/siblings of sailors supporting each other on social media. More specifically Facebook.

I love, when I’ve put a post or a tweet up, seeing women from all corners of the world sending hugs or a quick message of support to someone they’ve never met face to face.

I love the tips you give each other for getting through a deployment. I love the anecdotes of when stupid navy stuff has happened to you. 

It makes me feel less alone, knowing that you guys have different sailors but the same shit doing down. Although I wish you didn’t have the shit going down in the first place, obvs. 

I’ve got a confession- when I’ve posted something I always read all your comments even if I don’t reply- sorry if thats a bit creepy but it’s true.

Because even though I write this blog im still just a navy wife like many of you. I have the same stuff going on and my life is probably very similar to yours. We all need support and to know we aren’t alone, and reading your comments gives me that. 

(However I bet mostve you hadn’t changed 5 nappies , cleaned up one sick, wiped two noses copious times and watched “Show me show me” on CBeebies by 6am but apart from stuff like that I bet there’s not much difference).

I love seeing, on social media, strangers on the Internet, who are only linked by their loved ones careers, strike up friendships despite never meeting face to face. 

I love seeing girlfriends asking for help at the beginning of a deployment being given words of wisdom (aka wine & cereal & keep busy= combo for success) from those women who have done it all before.

I love seeing these now firm friends finish a deployment together, tagging each other in homecoming posts, their comments conveying they are slightly baffled and stunned that they’ve actually done it, and almost passing out from excitement at their keyboard. 

I just wanted to say a big thank you for keeping my spirits up. And I’m not even sorry for being a big comment reading, status liking, retweeting creep. 

Women empowering women, supporting each other over months and years, it’s just bloody brilliant really. 

Thank you

Olive X 

P.s I got new glasses and I’m really excited about them! 🤓 #geekchic #sorrynotsorry 

  

Coming clean: my secret NFF shame. 

Today I went down to my local Royal British Legion “Pop In” centre to meet some of the lovely people working with the Naval Families Federation (NFF).

Before I get on with all that- just as a side note- WHEN did the Royal British Legion get all hip and trendy and- dare I say it- cool? The centre in Southampton was all swanky and smart and brightly lit. And modern. And the staff there were young, friendly and normal.

I’m not gonna lie- I went there thinking it would be a run down social club, with years of fag smoke ingrained in the wood chipped walls. Possibly with a well trod dark plum carpet and dimly lit booths hiding old veterans eyeing me in my pink Vans and baby sling with suspicion. 

I was so so wrong. I have been on a reccy and I can report back- the Royal British Legion is NOT just for (grumpy) WWII veterans anymore! It’s for those youthful hipsters who have served or are serving! Spread the word! Their bars have cheap drinks! Oh yes, and they do a bit for charity too, by the by. 

  
Anyway. The actual point is that I have found out what the NFF do and who they are.

Now, admitting this is quite embarrassing considering I have been a navy wife for a good few years now, and that I’ve read their magazine Homeport for a good few years longer. Aaaaand also because I’m now writing in said NFF magazine. But I am putting my ignorance/stupidity out there for the greater good, the bigger picture, the grand scheme; I.e you lot. 

Yes I had no idea what they were about. I thought they were a bit possibly welfare-y, knew they had good competitions in their magazine, they explained to me a lot about what the Royal Navy actually do (apparently there’s more to it than breaking down again and again and getting drunk-who knew!) and that they talk about  the mysterious “Armed Forces Covenant” a lot. 

  
(You know when you start a new job and your new boss tells you a co workers name- you instantly forget that name. You see them every day at lunch or whatever and have a quick chat. Time goes by and soon it’s been waaaay too long and it would be waaay to embarrassing to ask their name so you just pray to god that someone else at work will ask them something using their name before you get found out? Yeah well basically that’s how it was between me and the NFF. Awkward.)
So what do the NFF do?

Basically we (as in us super duper navy families- or any forces family for that matter) cannot and should not be discriminated against because our loved one is in the Armed Forces. This can be obvious or accidental discrimination.

Like how if you move to a new area because of a draft you shouldn’t have to go to the bottom of a waiting list for a treatment on the NHS, or how mortgages shouldn’t screw us over if we have to rent out our homes because “ooh goody we’re off to live in gib for X years- what fun” or to make sure we’ve all heard of and applied for Pupil Premiums so our kids get what they’re entitled to from their school. It’s anything means you are at an unfair disadvantage because of your Popeyes job. 

The NFF have the welly, clout, guts, moxy and balls to take issues higher and higher up with companys or the actual proper government until such problems are rectified. All because of the Armed Forces Covenant says that we shouldn’t have to encounter stupid unfair crap from the rest of the world when there is enough official unfair crap flung our way courtesy of the Royal Navy. Or Army. Or RAF. 

(Note: The Armed Forces Covenant does not word it like this. This is the gist of it because I can’t remember exactly how Nicola from the NFF explained it.) 

The NFF is just for RN and RM families though. They are totally independent of the Royal Navy or Royal Marines. So they are really really on our side. 

The Army and the RAF have their own equivalent crack teams on the case. Like CSI Las Vegas, CSI NY and CSI Miami. 

I’ve totally gone off on a tangent. 

So yes the NFF are there to sort unfair stuff out, to fight on our behalf if needed and generally be a voice to us families to stop us getting screwed over in a civvy world. 

  
So now you know. Get in touch with them if you’ve got an issue that needs resolving. It will help other families who have come a cropper in the same situation. 

Hope this was interesting for you- I can now officially join in serious grown up conversations about government policies, society, the Covenenant and the NFF and not just nod/shake my head along with everyone else! Huzzah! No more blagging it for Olive! 

http://nff.org.uk

http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/

Back OFF-I’m a military WAG, not single!

For the vast majority of a deployment you are of course pretty much on your own. On your todd. Uno. Table for one. Just little old Olive trying to get by. 

But of course, that’s not really true is it? You are taken. You are wanted by a man. Hell- hes so bowled over by you that he’s terrified you won’t be there when he gets back and so sends you more romantic stuff in six months than most other girlfriends or wives get in five years. In short it’s tough but he’s worth it!

And if you’re anything like me, you want to scream it from the roof tops.

IM NOT SINGLE! For the love of God stop giving me that “poor dear- she’ll probably end up a spinster” kind of look! Im in LOVE ok? And it’s not even unrequited! It’s very much requited! (Side note- is that a word?)

I think it when I get a sympathetic nod from the checkout lady at tesco, when I’m buying my ready meal for one, tub of Ben and Jerrys and bottle of wine (standard).

  

I think it when I go out (I should say when I used to go out-now I’m all mamma’d up a late night is being out past 7pm and fills me with irrational anxiety) – and people either chat you up or say I don’t have to pay for rounds because, you know it’s not fair because I’m alone.

Or when blokes say “what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him”. Well actually dick cheese it would hurt him. And me. And us. And no slimeball guy in a bar who talks to me like that is ever going to compete with Popeye. So run along little Weasel and try it with a women made of weaker stuff. Quickly before I punch you. 

I want to say it when I see other Mums and Dads at the park or wherever and see the Dads not even interacting with their kids- “do you know  how freakin lucky you are to have that time?! And you’re just pissing it away! If Popeye was here he would be showing you up mate.” 

So I have come up with a few ideas. I may even dragons den one. Deb Meaden would be onside I’m sure.

Ok, how about a “I’m not single I’m neck deep in deployment shit you couldnt handle” neon flashing badge? One that’s invisible until you get *the look* then you fire that baby up? Ka-POW!

Or…how about a speaker hidden discreetly in a bra that shouts loudly “phone call from YOUR HUSBAND incoming, I repeat YOUR HUSBAND is phoning you –now!!!”. This would also be useful for a phone ninja who is in a noisey place or who can’t hear very well. 

Ooh ok, how’s about this- some kind of hat with a flag on the top that you can flip up that simply says “TAKEN- back off loser!” 

I’m not completely against all that “my hearts out at sea”, or “My sailor, my hero” stuff but it’s not really my cup of tea. See this post to see my POV on that. 

Sometimes you need to be heard a little more clearly, with a little less soppiness, and a lot less fashion sense. 

Muchos love x

To my civvy friends

To my civvy friends,

First of all I need to say thank you. Thank you for being there for me when I was doing my first deployment and doubting if Popeye would still fancy me when he came back. Reassuring me when I had worries about if I could do this navy life lark, and turning up with a clinking carrier bag and packet of twenty. 

Thank you for being there during all the other deployments when I leant on you for support, when I needed an emergency buddy at A&E, when the car broke down and I needed help. For sending round your partner to mow the lawn when I was by myself with Sweetpea. For answering the phone when I was in tears from watching Christmas adverts.

Now for the apologies. And an explanation. 

I’m sorry that as soon as Popeye has leave I go to ground. I’m less reliable than a Flake. I don’t text back. I forget plans. I cancel plans and I am so vague about making plans until the last minute. 

Please don’t take this personally. I still love you and need your friendship. I’m not ditching you. I think or rather I hope you understand this.

If you don’t then maybe our friendship isn’t strong enough to survive one of us being a military spouse. And my marriage will always come first. 

My time with Popeye is so precious. And since we became parents it is even more so. When he’s home we are in our own bubble and we never know what we want to do day to day. Except to be together. As much as possible. Even when we start to annoy each other.

Because of this we don’t make plans. When he’s home I find it hard to socialise and not be a bit unhinged. We might do a longstanding birthday party or a few spur of the moment meet ups, but, in general we are, and will continue to be selfish.  

 

When he has leave it is our one chance to put us first, possibly all year. 

Our relationship might need alone time desperately, not just rudey times but quality time. 

We need time together to get to know each other again. We’ve both changed whilst he’s been away and we need time to date, to flirt and then to become a functioning couple again. Whenever he comes back it feels weird to even kiss him or have him close to me for a few days. It’s a good kind of weird but it still takes a while to get used to it.

We need to create memories. All the missed birthdays and anniversaries have to be compensated for in a few short weeks during the summer and possibly Easter. Christmas is usually filled with family visits and as such is so mentally busy we hardly see each other. Besides he’s never had all 3 bouts of leave in a year since I’ve known him. So we use these precious few days to treat ourselves and spoil each other. Because we don’t know when our next opportunity will be.

Sometimes our time apart has really tested us. We need time to resolve any issues that have come up whilst we’ve been apart. This is not something we can do in a public/social arena. We need to be at home, talking and finding our way back to normal. 

We need to get practical. As you know I try to carry on as “normal” when he’s away but there are always projects or plans saved for leave. This can be because only he can do them or because I feel only he should do them.

Like putting together his daughters new bedroom furniture because he missed her birth and first 6 months of her life. Like decorating the house so it feels like it’s his home too, and so he can find out where everything is kept in the kitchen before we have that big summer BBQ. Because he hasn’t been here since before we moved house and he would be mortified if a guest asked him where something was and he didn’t know. In short we need time for him to feel at home. 

I hope you accept my apologies because we won’t be changing. And I hope you accept my thanks because I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for being my civvy friend and balancing out the madness and giving me a reality check of how it’s supposed to be. Thank you for your perspective. 

I hope you understand why I am the way that I am.

All my love,

A military spouse, or partner.

Xxxxxx

Operation Get My Shit Together.

I need to take a moment to absolutely sing the praises of the Royal Navy Welfare team.

The other day I had some personal stuff going down and to put it bluntly, I was not coping. I was a snotty, blubbering, gaspy-breathing, high pitched-fast talking wreck. 

(I don’t mind sharing this with you dear readers as I am assuming this has/may/will unfortunately happen to some of you at some point and I desperately want you to know that it’s okay to fall apart- just never stop trying to get back in one piece again. 

Ok that sounded a bit like one of those lame inspiring memes that pop up on annoying people’s newsfeeds. Yeesh -promise it won’t happen again. 

Anyway, yes, so I was a big bag of losing it freak out jelly. I had done all the civvy things available to me- called my mum, talked to friends, been to the doctor, emailed Popeye, called my mum again, googled the crap outta everything vaguely related to being stressed and unable to cope, and walked the dog whilst wearing sunglasses so no one could see me crying. 

(I really hope all that’s normal). 

So Popeye calls and basically at this point orders me to get in contact with the welfare team (actually his exact words were “Olive the second you get back bloody call welfare. I can’t do anything from here I’m on BOST babe”. Like I needed another reason to hate BOST). 

And I’m so glad I did! 

It wasn’t the best first impression granted. My apparently psychic Sweetpea kicked off at the precise second the phone got answered, and I cried hysterically to this complete stranger on the phone for five minutes with a baby howling in the background and a dog barking at the postman. Nice. 

So she- Mrs Awesome Welfare Woman- called me back ten minutes later and just helped. She listened to me moan, she helped me work out a plan to get my personal stuff sorted out, she explained what the hell welfare do and most importantly she got me to calm the fuck down. 

(Btw welfare is there to ensure we get the help and support we need so that our sailors can stay at work. They are literally there to get us back to being the super-coping-awesome-sex-kitten-domestic-goddess-earth-mother-high flying-career-woman navy wives that we are.) 

So anyway my lovely welfare woman is calling me next week to see how Operation Get My Shit Together is going. I know they can’t fix my problems but omg it’s good to have some support from the navy for once! And this post is just to say they are lovely people, don’t be afraid to contact them if you need to and a big thank you to them really. 

Wish me luck! 

Muchos love 

Olive

 (aka soon to be reinstated super-coping-awesome-sex-kitten-domestic-goddess-earth-mother-high flying-career-women navy wife). 

Decisions decisions… The great mayo or salsa debate

Why is it that just before home coming I lose the capacity to make decisions? During deployment I can make decisions like a power hungry Cold War dictator. But during those last few weeks I’m less effective than Nick Clegg wanting to pass a new policy.

Last deployment I was able to organise moving house, I found a new one, bought it (without Popeye seeing it), moved in, grew and birthed a human AND organised building a new bathroom and all the stuff to go in it.

All of these things involved a LOT of decisions and choices. Big decisions, big choices. I was able to do these things swiftly and decisively, confident in my ability to choose, and choose right .

However a month before deployment ended I was minding my own business, daydreaming about homecoming and I had a meltdown at the drive through. Completely lost it. And all because they asked me if I wanted mayo or salsa on my chicken burger.

For a good few seconds my mind went completely blank. What had they just asked me? Oh, a choice! A simple choice! Then… “Oh my God, what do I want??? Mayo? Salsa? Ok, I definitely want salsa. No. I want mayonnaise. WHY IS THIS SO HARD????

IMG_1645-0 With people starting to beep their car horns behind me, and Sweet Pea kicking off in her car seat, I garbled in an anxious ridden tone “I don’t know! Surprise me!” And sped off to the pay window with red cheeks and a pounding heart.

I lose the ability “to decide” in those fabled last four weeks. WHY is this? Popeye is not in anyway Mr Controlling, if anything, infact (and I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this) I am the powerhouse in our marriage that gets things done and organised. He’s more of a laid back ideas man.

Maybe in the early stages of deployment it’s just knowing that when he’s away I have no other option than to decide. Theres no choice. The bucks stops here, squarely at me. At this early stage of deployment the idea of him actually being here has taken on a “Stars In Their Eyes” mystical quality that doesn’t seem all that realistic. Homecoming really is a day dream.

Then suddenly, four weeks to go, shit! Get outta the way Mathew Kelly, clear that fog from the fog machine, he’s actually going to be here, to help me!

Crap! I’m going to have to factor in his opinion! His preferences! I’m going to have to start playing as a team player! No more Olive-The-Dictator, time for a UN resolution and swiftly.

This realisation puts my head in a spin. Basically I think my brain stalls.

I temporarily suspend any “decisions”. Big or small. Or even McDonalds miniature happy meal sized ones. My brain just can’t handle it, knowing that the cavalry is just on the top of the hill. Or at least on the sea surrounding the same continent.

This realisation of help, support and opinion being so near yet so far makes stuff like mayo or salsa become a HUMONGOUS decision, towering above my head, staring down at me like a drill sergeant from some 80s military film, “which one is it soldier? You must decide, NOW!”

And yes, I guess I must. I must decide the little things, or go hungry. But the big things, like getting the car serviced (or not), booking a holiday, painting the baby’s room or getting the driveway paved can all wait. Because at this point I can’t plough ahead knowing that this dictatorship is about to become a democracy. And who the hell has salsa anyway?

Muchos love X

Moving goalposts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I asked him exactly what is the worst case scenario.

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

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

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

However.

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

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

Ha. Ha. Ha.

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

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

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

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

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