Don’t mention the blog….

I mentioned it once and I think I got away with it. Or, no communicating please we are British. We are such a repressed nation – it is very unBritish to talk about our lives with such honesty, unless we are art directing with Kath Kidston colours, lipstick and nicely iced cupcakes – the yummy mummy. But that’s not me – I am a yucky mummy. I am not a domestic goddess. I want staff!!! I could outsource the domestic slavery more and fully intend to do so!

However, not many people in the British Military even know this but the Ministry of Defence has an engagement strategy that positively encourages the use of the emerging digital age from within the official and unofficial military community. In the USA they actively encourage and promote the military spouse blogging community and have well established PERSEC (personal security) and OPSEC (operational security) guidelines. They want an online spouse community and a spirit of sharing through writing.

Lovely blog readers, who aren’t part of the military life quite often ask me, what my immediate community think of my blog. Rather sheepishly, I have to admit that they don’t really like it. Outside of the community the blog is embraced inside I am speaking out turn. I don’t know my place. It makes people very nervous.

This was illustrated to me again last night at the Christmas Draw. As one wiflette sniped at me for mentioning the blog and haughtily walked off. Not everyone hates it, to be fair some love it and others watch it through covered eyes, frightened of what I might say next, but scared to miss an episode just in case. I get the feeling that most people think I am a cavalier wife, who is out of control and poor subjugated Hagar is just tolerating my whim. Those higher are waiting and watching, not out of choice but an obligation to monitor, just in case they have to pounce and drop a concrete donkey on my head for some breach of OPSEC that deeply compromises world peace.

I write the blog because I am a writer and I love that the digital age has emerged with a platform for me to deliver my words. I have the complete liberation of writing without editorial control. It is an incredible luxury, and having written to briefs for 12 years, I am addicted to the freedom that the blog provides. But this isn’t a whim that Hagar is tolerating, we have discussed it’s path, it’s future and it’s evolution and he is onboard 100%. I am not operating unilaterally, without his support. We have our dreams and ambitions – this is part of that journey.

At the ball, it was inferred to me by action and emotion that quite frankly I don’t know my place. My place as a wife of an officer – the maid of man, to serve him while he delivers his career. It is my right to write the blog. The freedom of speech that I am exercising, via this blog, is a freedom that our armed forces fight to preserve, and yet, they feel so uncomfortable when it is aired within their walls.

Honesty was my theme of last night’s ball. The mess looked divine. One of the officer’s wives is an amazing designer and she art-directed the mess with a traditional theme from spectacular table decorations of papier mache boar heads, surrounded by a pine wreath, to walls adorned with hand drawn Victorian styled illustrations of traditional toys. The mess exuded a warm glow of a traditional Christmas spirit that was exacerbated by the chill of the snow covered exterior. In the foyer there was an ice statute of a Chinook for free flowing vodka to be poured through.

One newly engaged fiance told me she was shocked when I sat next to her at a wedding and I told her to not rush into a military marriage. I said it was not an easy matrimony and if she didn’t want to play second fiddle to the military mistress then she should run, while she still had the chance. About a year later she was engaged. Although, she was fairly freaked out by the candid nature of the conversation she said on reflection when she agreed to marry her Officer Charming that she felt because of it that she was walking into her marriage with open eyes. Marriage to the military is like childbirth, no matter how many times those that have done it tell you how f*cking painful it is nothing can prepare you for what you are about to receive.

Later on, I met a young woman who was girlfriend to a young Officer Charming, dreaming of a uniformed wedding. I was feel fairly rambunctious at a Diva’s Dine In I was attending and my need for staff was being felt greater than normal, as I bowed under the weight of the workload I had taken on, combined with flying solo and raising children. I made her cross – here I was not extolling the virtues of this dream life. But again, later on, she told me, that as she got to know me better she realised that it wasn’t personal, and that I am not preaching a doctrine for all, but simply for me. Please feel free to live your life your way and of course, leave me to live mine how I want – that’s all I ask. I am not looking for a congregation.

I love my blog. I love it like my children. I have grown it, nurtured it and developed it. I intend to continue to do so. I am passionate about it and I am going to talk about it because it’s massive part of my future journey. If people who I thought were my friends snipe at me for talking about my blog, but still expect me to listen to them about how they raise their children, I am going to be pissed off. Writing a blog is like parenting. Some things work, some things don’t and it’s a learning curve. You can choose to read it, you can choose not to read it – it is your perogative. But I am going to talk about it – I can’t help it. Just like most parents who can’t help talking about their children. It’s part of who I am.

It’s probably how those without children feel, when they talk to those with. But none-the-less, some people who have kids talk about their kids. I am one of those bloggers who talks about their blog. C’est la vie.

I would like thank everyone who does come back time and time again. I have met so many amazing people via the blog. People from all corners of the world that have been a huge support network to me. You know who you are. I love you all and I don’t regret one second of this journey, even the toe curling moments because it’s helped me write and if you are a writer, you write. It’s the writing way.

NB: The pre-Christmas bumper giveaway as part of being a Toys R US toyologist of over £133 worth of free toys for girls and boys closes on the 8th December. The toys are:
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Ben 10 Shaker Maker £9.99
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Leapster Explorer Green Console £49.99
Leapster Explorer Penguins of Madagascar Software £19.99
Snazaroo Girl Face Paints £9.99
Sticky Mosiacs Unicorns £14.99

To find out how to enter – details click here

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31 thoughts on “Don’t mention the blog….

  1. Bugger the lot of them!
    Off with their heads!

    There are some of us on the inside who wholeheartedly approve of your blog and blogging.

    X

  2. Why does it scare them so much? Do they think that you are going to release top secret missions on your blog that may lead your man and theirs into trouble??? I think your blog is fab sweetie and although no longer an Army girlfriend will always continue to read xxx

    • First rule of fight club nobody talks about fight club! I am breaking the code of silence I never bought into in the first place. I have privileged insight into their shenanigans and they are not perfect. They don’t want their dirty linen aired in public. I think they over estimate how interested i am in their lives though. This is my blog – it’s all about me. Maybe that’s the problem they want it to be about them? Who knows.

    • Thanks lovely. I love your blog too. I guess they don’t like things they can’t control. It could be that they think I am an arrogant attention seeking rule defying whore, who has no right to an opinion on anything. But I am just guessing.

  3. Let’s see: you write better than most, you’ve got a supporting husband, and you’re not afraid to speak your mind. Of course the wifettes are intimidated, you’re everything they and their husbands are not!

  4. So sad and, yes, ridiculous that other people are still so repressed (so the right word) and afraid of others exercsing their freedom of speech. I have read nothing in your blog that does harm to the military. If anything it has opened my eyes to a number of issues and increased my respect not only for those serving but also for their spouses. Your blog should be applauded and celebrated. Those that disagree should keep schtum. This is a free country. People need to learn to disagree with respect not snideness.

    • I agree- then we could have an honest conversation about it. The sniping is what is so cowardly. I would welcome the discussion. The thing is the blog is about my life, not their life. Write about what you know and I do know about my own life. Did you see last nights episode? awesome!!!!!!!

  5. Ahh the great British repressed, aren’t they just super! It is odd how some are so afraid. I think your blog is great and like Steve said, has opened my eyes and increased my respect for both the serving military men and women and their spouses. To hell with the misery guts, you keep doing what you do!

  6. Babe, you are correct, people need to know I support you 100% percent in this journey we are undertaking together, which I am sure will lead to greater things. Those who doubt, should leave you in the freedom to express yourself in the blog, I absolutely trust you will never breach opsec or per sec. I fight for your right to free speech as I fight for others, I may not always agree with how others (especially the press) exercise that right, but at least it is their right. Everyone can decide for themselves if they choose to read the blog or not, but they cannot deny you the right to talk about it! xxx

  7. First time I have found your blog today and it makes an interesting read. I will be coming back. Many people cringe when I mention my blog and a teacher friend is forever asking that I do not put anything about school on it. My blog, my life, my rules!

    Mich x

  8. Quite shocked to read that some disapprove of your blog-writing, it’s not like you are sharing the military secrets along the lines of Wikileaks. 🙂
    Good for you!

  9. I have had the privilege to have several “forces” wives as friends and can only admire the way that they cope with the life they have to lead. That said I don’t think I have ever met one who would speak out as you do – mostly thoughts are conveyed by what is left unsaid ! Sad really. I like your candid approach to life. I wish I’d found your blog earlier, it makes me realise that I only “play” at mine! But as you say c’est la vie.

    • Welcome. I think there is a put up and shut up culture. To be honest though, I enjoy my life and the roller coaster. Blogs are very personal. You have to make your own way with them. I’ll pop over and say when I get a minute. Xx

  10. Hey hun, you know I’m 100% behind you! Gosh just think how much we’ve both learnt since our discussions about things bloggy way back in March (Was it that long ago?). I think this disapproval is a roll of honour. From what I’ve observed in the the year or so I’ve been blogging, every major blog has received some kind of disapproval – sometimes from the blogging world, other times from the offline world, sometimes from family, inlaws or even friends. I think it’s a rite of passage frankly,that firms our resolve to speak honestly. Of course as I’ve said on my own blog – if you don’t like what I have to say, you don’t have to read it! If your honestly threatens the social wifelettes perhaps they should learn to turn a blind eye, just as they do to all those things within the military lifestyle that are misogynistic and difficult to live with? You are also right on the button with your view that blogging is a learning curve. An unforgiving one sometimes as your mistakes are cast in the stone of the immortal internet. But we move on and we learn and in our mistakes our readers learn so much more about us, and (we hope) our mutual human frailty. Rock on xxx

  11. Well said! I absolutely love this post! I wish I had your spirit though. For some reason I get somewhat embarrassed when I talk about my blog. I don’t often bring it up. The Hubble talks about my food blog all the time though. He seems to be pretty proud of that one. Thanks for sharing this. I should be proud of my blogs. Why not?? They are mine and I love them!

    • You should be loud and proud!! But I do know what you mean about being embarrassed – I have had to take a big deep breath and dive in. I am addicted to blogging but also to writing. I am going to shout about your blogs when you become my US Modern Military Mother – I think you rock and your blogs rock!! They are your creation, your literary babies – you conceived them.

  12. As a fellow (new) blogger and a woman I feel we are all entitled to have and express our thoughts and as with anything not all people will agree with them but you are none the less allowed them – more power to your blog – stuff the people that probably would love to be able to have an opinion but are to scared to actually voice it!

  13. I absolutely love your blog; I’ve told you this before in an email but I find it massively inspirational. As the girlfriend of a RAF Regiment officer I’ve always felt quite alone as none of my friends are in a military relationship and I don’t live on the base with him so I don’t have the support network of those who are in the same boat. Blogs such as yours show me that there is a community out there that know exactly how I am feeling and it makes me feel so much better when my boyfriend is away!

    I think it’s important that someone has spoken out about the ‘other side’ of the armed forces and I am now massively reassured that if I were to ever marry in the military one day, that there are women out there who are totally understanding, whilst still living independent lives of their own. Keep up the good work; you are opening people’s eyes to the other side of the forces that people sometimes forget about, and you’re making me feel a million times better!

      • It’s coming along nicely thanks, it’s taken a bit of a backseat at the moment as I have so many other assignments to contend with, but I’m really enjoying writing it! I think the Christmas holidays will be dissertation-filled though! Having a nice break from it all this weekend as it’s the boyf’s Christmas draw- that’s if I manage to get up to Scotland with all the snow!! Hope you’re well and looking forward to Christmas as much as I am!

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