Tales from the Teith… Blackpool Ball

tales-from-teith-main-imageLast weekend I spent a wonderful weekend in the North of England with no children, just Action Man. Total bliss without the sound of bickering.  Spending time in the mess took me back to the early years of our relationship. Decor and furniture has changed very little in the last 12 years and breakfast is just as good. I think the curtains are exactly the same.

We went to an Army ball in Blackpool in quite a flash hotel.  It was busy with weddings and golfers.  We managed to stay up dancing until 3am. I went out in style to my last Army ball as an Army wife. I did not say or do anything too stupid. I did not get the “any more white wine and I will murder you, remember you are sitting next to the Commanding Officer” look so I think I behaved quite well.  I had such a good time, I am really hoping my Army friends will still invite me to their regimental balls.

Blackpool Ball

So the Army redundancies have been announced.  Action Man leaves in December. He arrives home for a long holiday on Friday.  He still has so many days holiday to take before he leaves.  It has been impossible for him to take them up until now.  Many soldiers are in the same position. Holidays have to been taken around training and operational tours abroad. When they are all working so hard, holidays just stack up. I can hardly believe it.  I am going to live every day in the same house as my husband.   However, the clothes pile will return.

I have decided that being made redundant is like the end of a relationship.  For those who have had it forced upon them, when it is against their will and when they did not expect it, it can be heartbreaking, devastating, shocking and upsetting. Pride takes a terrible bashing and then the anger follows. After a certain amount of time however, depending on the character of the person, anger gives way to acceptance and there is the promise of new better beginnings and a new way of looking at things.

For Action Man, the relationship with the Army has come to a natural end, with no hard feelings on either side.  Just good memories and experiences.  The decision to leave the Army took a few years to decide upon and that makes all the difference.  We bought a house so that we would have somewhere to go when we were no longer entitled to an Army quarter.  I am very grateful that this is one less thing we have to think about.

Action Man joined the Army at 18, he absolutely loved it. It was all he ever wanted to do.  Many people who have known him all his life have told me that they never thought they would see the day when he would ever leave. He has had nearly 20 adventure filled years that he would not change.  My arrival on the scene complicated things but he could still find the excitement and purpose in going away.  There was always the reunions to look forward to and a break from my nagging.  Having the children seemed over time to completely change his priorities.

After waiting for me to drink a bottle of wine on Saturday night Action Man mentioned that he liked the Territorial Army and would I mind if he joined?  Only one weekend a month and the possibility of a tour every 5 years. He knows how agreeable I can be after wine and so I sort of agreed. As we all know sometimes when relationships end, there are regrets and I do not want Action Man getting any of those.  Best to let him wean himself off the Army gradually and there is the small matter of how I like him in uniform.  No need to cut all ties altogether is there?

Moira Douglas

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