1 August 2010

Being out of the loop in Norfolk and reading Task Force Helmand...

It's funny how just getting away from seeing the same old same old for just a week can do me the power of good. I have just been to north Norfolk for a family holiday. Nothing grand at all... just us four and a little bungalow tucked away in woods and near the lighthouse at Weybourne. No mobiles, no internet and out of the loop. I had hoped to see a clear night sky but the weather was patchy at times and cloudy every evening so that wasn't to be. During the day though there was some blissful sunny times of crabbing at Wells-next-the-Sea and swimming at Overstrand,Wells again and at Sheringham. I love the pebbly buildings in the little villages and the open fields. The corn really was as high as an elephant's eye and ready for the combines. It glowed gold in the sunshine. And of course the sea. How to describe the whoosh on the shingle of the beach at Weybourne? Its hypnotic and comforting and exhilarating in equal measure. All of my worries and sadness's... they could be added to the sweep of the waves going in and out. It's at those times of contemplation that I can tune into the sea. Somehow be absorbed by the sound and the sight of it, my ego seems to slip away for a while. It's a cliche and corny too, but it's a truth, that the - bigger-than-me -bigger-than- everything- that the sea is that brings an inner peace afforded nowhere else.

Apart from the landscape and the buildings and the sun, I saw some quirky, interesting little bits of lettering out and about... and here they are for you to see...

And I nearly flipped when I read this... THE BOUNTY!!! Hms Bounty! how completely cool is that? to think I have walked in the footsteps of a sailor that was on the Bounty. That was very exciting and makes history become real and of my world too.

And set against this was my reading. I read Task Force Helmand.

Its the book by Doug Beattie MC that details his military experience in Afghanistan in 2009. Its an amazing read. Shocking and thrilling and gives a very good insight into what the soldiers deal with and their mind set. I ate it up everyday.Started it at the beginning of the wekand ended it on the last evening,listening to the wind in the trees outside. Its a harrowing read but its written with much compassion and lots of humour (it had me laughing out loud at the thought of our finest strapping men smelling of lavender shower gel sent by ladies of a certain age) and helped me get the tiniest wider glimpse of what's happening out there rather than simply watching the headlines on the telly about another Brit soldier being killed by an IED. My God! they are brave men and women.They are a breed apart I think. I would recommend it to anyone.

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