Gumboots and Pearls and Restrepo

This is me and Catherine, drunk and red teethed after too much vino tinto at Drinks and Dips!! Drinks and Dips is a monthly soiree, hosted by PAD (patch-dwelling) wives. I hosted this one because I am a join-er-in-a (joiner-in-a). I mean I join in.

Catherine Jones, the co-author of Gumboots and Pearls could see the quarter that she used to live in 20 years ago from my kitchen window. It was so strange to think that our paths have inadvertently and invisibly crossed.

Catherine Jones is a brilliant, engaging, warm and wonderful woman and I am so pleased to have met her. Gumboots and Pearls is a fantastic, honest, warm and funny look at the life of a wife that hasn’t completely changed in 20 years. The most significant force for dependent’s liberation in the modern world is the internet. It is the portal to freedom as incarcerated wives/partners have an access point to the outside world from inside their domestic prisons.

When Catherine talks about this world of constant change and the stiff upper of lip – “well you just did it.” I understand the stoicism of the older, unappreciated, more green welly oriented, long suffering wife then us seemingly eager puppies who quite frankly don’t realise how bloody luck we are. Actually, I do think I am lucky. I like my life. It’s challenging, Hagar can be a grumpy b*st*rd and the kids run around my twisting my melons and all three of them occasionally leave me rocking under the table, but essentially, its fun, dynamic and interesting. I asked, Catherine, why she thought, the Army hated the RAF so much and she said it’s because they live a life of luxury, in comparison. I guess that’s why the Army get wound up when the smug RAF gits, look at them with little sympathy and say, “you should have tried harder at school.”

The thing that struck me the most about watching Catherine meet the other wives and Nick Wallis from BBC Radio Surrey is that they love her to death. By writing Gumboots and Pearls, she did a marvelous thing. She opened a window on a world that is still so mis-understood. I am going to ask her to guest post here because she is more empathetic than me, because she’s lived it and I still just dance around the edges.

To listen to our interview with her adoring fan, Nick Wallis BBC Radio Surrey, click here. It’s 2 hours 40 minutes in.

It was a busy day for me yesterday. I had to come back, knock up a press release and then schlepp off to London town to meet the film director of Restrepo, Tim Hetherington. I arrived early at the Curzon Cinema, Soho and had a quick chat with the duty manager trying to establish the plan. He was quite a demure, slightly more sophisticated version of Emo.

Neither of us knew what Tim looked like. He said that he’d heard he was quite good looking and so he got the desk clerk to Google him so we could check it out. I said, I wasn’t so sure that his nose looked quite big. He said that could be my opening gambit, “your nose isn’t as big in real life as it looks on google images.”

Hmmm. I thought to myself that it possibly it wouldn’t be a great how to win friends and influence people moment. I settled myself into our allocated corner and then had to work out how to use the video camera. I am glad I did because The Grenade has set it onto stills not video. I figured as a back up plan, that Tim might be down to earth enough to help me, should I not have sussed it, as he was actually a professional camera operator, and I was, in fact, a technical biff.

Anyway I did suss it. He arrived. He was tall and lean, with a strong face. We chatted a little first and he had read my blog already!! He was surprised that I had nailed an interview with Major Dan, because Maj Dan, next to Hagar, is the busiest man in the world. Time was tight and Becki from Substance was being very strict, because she had Empire magazine after me and you can imagine they have a bit more gravitas with film goers then I do.

Without a further ado – here’s the interview. I urge you to watch it because it’s really good – even if I say so myself. Even though I open with a stutter (I was hungover from Drinks and Dips!).

and as a result of this interview and that I run The Book Club on The Army Rumour Service I have been invited to the launch of his latest book Infidel

Obviously, now I heart Tim Hetherington and his nose isn’t as big as it looked on Google images.


24 thoughts on “Gumboots and Pearls and Restrepo

  1. Bloody hell missus – all I did was drink your house dry and chat till my jaw ached. Oh and laugh a lot and eat your lovely supper. You make me sound like Mother Theresa – which I am so not! But thanks anyway m’dear. I am still blushing furiously. And the compliment is returned BTW – wish I had your drive, energy and vision. It is awesome and admirable

  2. And the magic word is? C I N E M A T O G R A P H E R, yes?
    I could have come along as your prompter!

    Well done though, very impressive stuff and you touched on topics that really stood out when we saw the film.

    What’s next? Film critic for ITV? Do you need a chaffeur?

    LCM x

    • OMG – I think the word is Cinematographically, which has taken me all day to work out! I could have done with that – or someone to hold the camera while I giggled and fluttered my eyelids so it didn’t bounce up and down!

      yes, need chauffeur, housekeeper, chef, nanny, gardener, PA, nutritionist, personal trainer and zen yogi…..Next is Sebastian Junger to complete the hat-trick. Watch this space the lovely Mr T says he can fix it for me šŸ˜‰

  3. Goodness! Didn’t know when to draw a breath with this post! That lady looks really lovely & you didn’t look bad yourself considering the amount of alcohol that was likely to be sloshing around!Congrats on the book launch. We need to meet up soon so that I can get your signature before you start charging!! Brill!

  4. I really want to read this book now, you two should get together and do a modern version!

    And the video – loved it. Damn you for making me want to watch this film so much. A great interview and really thought provoking questions and answers.

    • Thanks – it is funny. We are thinking about doing ‘Ugg Boots and Bling’ – a follow up.

      I have two more blogs on it – the Infidel book launch and then fingers crossed an interview with Sebastian Junger and then I will be completely Restrepo’d to death. Although, I do believe it to be an awesome piece of work so I am pleased to ram it all down your throats. šŸ˜‰ xx

  5. Wow! very good interview Hun (apart from the brief speech impediment) He’s scrummy him is !!! You couldnt actually tell from your voice that you were imagining him naked at the time either ! well done!

  6. Pingback: Three Milly Mums Restrepo Screening « Amodernmilitarymother's Blog

  7. Pingback: What Can We Do To Help The Troops In Afghanistan? | Note From Lapland

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