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:
National Geographic Land & Sky Telescope £12.99
Ben 10 Shaker Maker £9.99
Disney Princess Shaker Maker £9.99
Galt Cute Cupcakes £5.99
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