Heading Home

Well my plans to add some more entries to the blog whilst in holiday just have not worked out, but I am not sorry because I have had a great time with the dustbin lids and L. Also a blog is a blog not the be all and end all of my life.

I know its not the done thing in fear filled Britain, but they are tanned (oh my god what about the skin cancer) and healthy looking having all toned up with all the walking and swimming so they have lost that little bit of spongy podge that British kids have from being driven every where.

The younger kids though are getting home sick and miss their mums, which is only natural and very understandable . You think you remember what its like to be a kid, because a lot of the time it seems just like yesterday, but we don’t. We remember things as they were through older eyes. Times change, attitudes change and things move on, except they don’t really. What doesn’t change is that kids still miss their mums and the mums miss them.

I would say the biggest difference between now and when I was a kid is that Britain and the British are so fearful of everything, Cancer, child abuse, Muslims, blah blah, this that and the other and all fuelled by the newspapers such as the Daily Wail. Where do they get their info from?  I would like to say more, but this has already started to turn into a rant so best I shut up before I sound like one of those angry old men.

Enough of that, we moved west from Frejus and had a few days over in Drome Provence Near Ornage, with a French friend of mine. He is an ex Para (French) who I met a long time ago in West Africa. I might tell you how we met one day, but dont hold your breath.  We had a good time there and ate tons of fougasse (bread with Lardons and Olives), wonderful Olives from Nyons and drank bloody gallons of Cotes du Rhone.

We were basking in the glow of the heat being radiated back from the wall of the terrace the crickets and insects were giving it rock all when the telephone rang.

Veronique who has been the wife of a professional soldier all her married life went to answer it and Jerome and I sat chatting quietly. I think it was the very very quiet “Merci” that shattered the peace.

Their only son Theo who is about 26 is also with the French Parachute regiment in Afghanistan, although at the moment he is “assigned” meaning he is up to big boys stuff. The details were sketchy but the thrust of the news was that at least 10 French soldiers had been killed and as many as 22 injured in a big fire fight not far from Kabul. Theo was not dead, but he and three colleagues were unaccounted for.

Veronique got down to action and started whipping out Ice cream for the kids from the freezer, bottles of coke and loads of goodies. The kids lapped up the party atmosphere as she dealt with this crisis in her way. Jerome was quiet and sipped his pastis. We have been there, we have done the fighting, been separated, injured, got back and lived to tell the tale. The thing is from the comfort of your chair there is just no knowing what is what. However we have both been to Afghanistan and I can tell you if there is one place you really don’t want to be on your Jack Jones it is there. Jerome put it very bluntly “What will be will be, he is a professional this is what he is paid to do!”

4 a.m ish The phone rang and was answered in a split second and then it was followed by a torrent of very angry French from Veronique. We all met on the landing “Do you believe that boy?” she raged “He said his C.O had told him to ring us and he thought there was something wrong with the dog” “I asked him about the battle and all he said was “Ah oui” it was bad and he had to walk back to base which was about 5okm, but he had had a couple of beers and a shower and a debrief and then remembered he was supposed to ring us.  Honestly I ask you.” She looked at Jerome who smiled a big proud stupid dads smile .

What the hell are you smiling at, he is as bad as you, I can see where he doesn’t get his brains from” and with that she stomped very crossly back in to their bedroom and slammed the door

Jerome stood there grinning “She’s pleased really. What did she expect him to say, he’s a professional, thats what we do”

We all went back to bed and tried to sleep, but through the night’s silence we all heard the soft quiet sobbing of a very relieved mum.

5 Responses to “Heading Home”

  1. JH says:

    A bad do indeed. Like Bandit country without the trees and cover.

  2. dl says:

    From the quite little I know about it, I wouldn’t want to be there.

  3. Bendy Girl says:

    Yesterday was the 4th annual blog day and I have linked to your blog as one of the five I nominated

  4. Uncle says:

    JH & DL quite agree. Very bad news indeed and from what I understand those naughty talibanies are very close to Kabul, infact they are able to shell the Allied HQ. Of course those poor old generals have shelter and bunkers that are mega safe.

    Bendy Girl I am honoured.

  5. havingmycake says:

    It’s what we do. Mothers. We deal with it. And then we shout because we are so relieved. And then we cry when no one can see. I can only hope that my own son is never in such a dangerous situation.

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