It’s a tough job but…..

Braai Boy has been to some really very interesting places since we have been married. Me?  Not so much.  I do not count the Worlds Food section in Tesco as seeing the world and I definitely do not think that suburbia can be classed as interesting.

As you may have gathered Braai Boy has travelled a fair bit for work.  He does get the occasional night or weekend off when he is working away.  Over the years he’s had fresh seafood in California, hot wings in Texas, cold beers in Chamonix and drank wine in a marina somewhere or other, I chose to forget where as it looked amazing and I was jealous.  I could go on but I will just get very jealous then be a right cow to him when he walks through the door tonight.

We always have the same ‘discussion’ about when he goes out when he is away for work.  I say that it must be fun to go to see all these places and experience different things.  I then get told,  it is work Charlie, so it is not time off and it is not fun time, it is work.  Oh I’m sorry, is it relaxing? Has someone else cooked for you? Have you had to do the dishes? More importantly have you just had to chase a naked Wee Man round the house to get him into the bath then spend the best part of 2 hours trying to get Miss Sassy to go to sleep (she is up and down like a bloody jack in the box, sore finger, spiky hips, pins and needles in her tummy and so on, you could write a book about her night-time ailments).  No, you have not!  So it may be work but I think it is slightly more relaxing that my evenings can be. 

Ah, but when I am away in a bar with an ice cold beer or eating delicious food we talk about work, so it’s really like being at work.  Is it?  Is it really?  I don’t see a marina outside the Mess here, and I definitely don’t see a bar in your office.  And whilst you are enjoying your ice cold beer in a bar surrounded by adults talking about adult stuff, albeit work, the kids and I are discussing Paw Patrols and LOLs. 

And while we’re at it have you had to do any cleaning whilst you have been away for work?  No?  Can we talk about the sh*t tip that is the house at the end of the day because the kids think that chucking glitter over all the toy cars is a great idea, Look Mama we’re washing the cars………..deep breath, walk out the room and go and make a cuppa. 

Then we get on to the actual travel element of his work trips.  Travelling to these places is so tiring, the early starts, the long journeys and the lack of sleep.  No wait. Early starts you say?  Yep I hear you, Wee Man stumbles through to our room most days at 0500, Miss Sassy is frequently awake through the night with bad dreams or random questions.  Early starts you say?  Broken sleep?  Yup happens at home too.  Not being funny I would take an early morning plane ride to anywhere if it meant I got to watch a movie without interruption and not have to google the answers to Miss Sassys many questions.  Last night was evolution…….Alexaaaaaaaa???

Don’t get me wrong, I know when he goes away it is work, and it is long hours and it is tough being away from the family but surely there must be some fun?  I know he thinks about us when he is away because he brings home a fridge magnet after every trip.  How thoughtful of him, every time I go to get the milk I see all these places I have never visited taunting me from the fridge door, oh well maybe one day. 

The Interior: Marvellous Magnolia

If any of you have ever stepped inside a military house you may have noticed a few things such as, magnolia walls, sinks in bedrooms and interesting colours of curtains and carpets.

Oh, the carpets, the thread bare, worn, stained carpets.  You know what I am talking about don’t you?  When you March-In to a Quarter and the Housing Officer tells you the carpets are beyond life and with 2 kids you jump for joy.  Yeeeees! No need to buy industrial quantities of carpet cleaner these carpets will be replaced when we March-Out, phew!  We’ve had cream carpets, green carpets, pink carpets even some weird blue-ish-green carpets.  Our last Quarter had the pink carpets, really very pink carpets and we have maroon sofas, I used to feel like I was watching TV sitting in a womb. 

The walls are always magnolia, every single wall in the house is magnolia.    To be honest I don’t mind magnolia, I grew up in military housing so there is something homely and comforting about magnolia walls.  I remember when we were dating, Braai Boy took me to his bosses for dinner.  It was one of those occasions when you are surrounded by Smug Military Marrieds and you are ‘girlfriend of’.  One of the ‘wives of’ took great delight in telling me all about her Quarter.  She told me about the best Laura Ashley fabrics and incredibly expensive pots of paint containing gold leaf (really?  What the actual?) which would transform any Quarter.  As she droned on I drank wine, lots of wine, you know what they say? that you drink to make boring people interesting, well by the end of dinner she was the most fascinating person at the table. 

Don’t get me wrong for those who do repaint their Quarters I absolutely take my hats off to them, they make their Quarters look fresh, modern and welcoming with a splash of colour here and there.  Unfortunately I am inherently lazy when it comes to decorating our home, we will move in 2 years so why bother?  I say that, but I like to decorate the kids rooms, decorate is probably a little generous a description, I buy them wall stickers.  In our last Quarter it was safari animals for Wee Man and fluorescent stars for Miss Sassy.  I stupidly stuck the stars to the ceiling thinking it would be like staring at the sky at night and it would be soothing for Miss Sassy and help her go to sleep.  What was I thinking?  More light emitting crap in her room, it is no joke when I say that at night her bedroom is light up like the Blackpool Illuminations, how she gets to sleep I’ll never know.  Ha! No wait, she doesn’t go to sleep.  This time round its looking like dinosaurs for Wee Man and Miss Sassy is still trying to decide but I can tell you now that the stickers will not be fluorescent and they will not be stuck to the bloody ceiling.

I think the feature that most of my friends have found the most bizarre about our Quarters is sinks in bedrooms.  Honestly, a sink with a mirror and sometimes even a strip light.  Well, why not?  Makes sense right? It frees up the bathroom for people to shower and you can stay in your room fannying about doing your teeth, hair and so on without people shouting at you to get a move on.  Have any of our visitors even puked or peed in the bedroom sinks? I dread to think, maybe? Probably? If you have please don’t tell me! 

I hate the kitchen light.  In every single kitchen we have had the light has been a 1 metre long tube light.  When I say tube light I don’t mean in the super trendy Grand Designs kind of way but in the hospital corridor kind of way.  They are very bright and a pain in the ar*e to clean.  As ugly as they are beasties are attracted to these tube lights.  I have no idea how they manage to penetrate the plastic cover, I find it nearly impossible to it get off.  In fact I only empty the light fitting of beasties when Braai Boy comments that it’s getting a bit full or before my Mum comes to visit.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve loved every single one of our Quarters in a different way, after all you make them your home. What I can tell you is that when we finally get our Forever Home, as opposed to our Just Now Home, I have lots of ideas of what I do and don’t want.  Don’t worry I suspect magnolia paint may make an appearance, just to make us feel at home.