Sunday, 22 February 2015

Plenty of Squats

Is it Sunday again already? It seems to have come around so quickly this week.

Well, I’m still on the island and still working hard and this week has mostly been about sorting out my platoon duties rather than my proper day job. I am back on call and even got to play soldiers a bit on Saturday due to a bit of training... so it has been very much be a green week... with more on the way.

I have been on a bit of a downer since I went to San Carlos last weekend. There is nothing like being in a place of peace and tranquility to make you really notice the chaos of being out here, doing lots of jobs and being away from family. That has basically meant that I have been grumpy all week and hiding in my room in the evenings instead of socialising. On the one hand, it hasn’t necessarily endeared me to my work colleagues but on the other, it has meant that not only have I put a bit of extra effort into packing my ‘go-kit’ but also had plenty of time for sculpting. As a consequence of this sculpting time, I have very nearly finished the first infantry squad of Squats (just the control unit on the heavy gunner's wrist to go). Here’s a pic:

Click the pic!

You will notice that the picture is a bit bigger than usual but that is down to me trying to get to grips with my new camera. The picture shows the whole squad with the Sgt, plasma-gunner, heavy-weapon operator and seven las-gunners (one will end up as comms and another the loader for the heavy weapon – but that will have to wait until I get home so that I can get access to my bits boxes for the added components). I have also begun work on four of the next Squad so, from a sculpting perspective, it has been a good week.

I am on call for this coming week so I will be having another ‘stay at home’ week and will hopefully have plenty of sculpting time... I may even get the platoon completed... who knows?

See you from purgatory!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

A tranquil post.

It’s that time of the week again and although I haven’t got much hobby news, there have been some things that have kept me entertained.

Friday night was a Timmy’s night and this week was ladies night so in true military tradition, there were plenty of blokes dressed in women’s clothing as well as plenty of lads and lasses dressed normally. Fortunately, I was on door duty so was dressed in uniform. The evening went really well; there was a live band, a DJ for when the band took breaks and there were prizes for the best dressed ‘woman’. Plenty of drink was sold and there was no trouble (apart from a minor argument that could have erupted into something worse but I got in quick and stopped the trouble before it started) so I was happy.

On Saturday, I worked the morning and then went to San Carlos in the afternoon; staying overnight at the home of a folk singer called Andie Neate (she’s played at Glastonbury many times) and her fiancĂ© (who was taken hostage by the Argentineans when they invaded in 1982... he was only a baby though). I went there with a group of our lads from work to help strip out a large out-house. It was amazing the amount of history that was in the building... including a newspaper from May 19th, 1982). We finished all the work as it started to get dark and spent the evening chilling out with food, beer and song. Here's a song:


 It was a positively brilliant way to spend a weekend... it was almost like we weren’t in the Falklands! The sun has been glorious all weekend and staying on the farm, overlooking the bay was so peaceful and beautiful.

As for the rest of the week, it has very much been a case of work and Gym... although I have done a small amount of sculpting on my Squats but not enough to show pictures of yet.

That’s about it for now.

See you from the tranquil waters!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Squats on a Sunday!

Welcome to Inso’s World again. Unfortunately, this week has been another quiet one with lots of work and many trips to the Gym but very little in between.

I have had to say goodbye to one of my work mates out here as his time was up and he returned home to his family again. His replacement is in so I will be introducing him to all of the things he will need to know during his tour. It is one of those things that will happen time and again as the steady cycle of personnel replacement continues ... you just get used to someone and they move on.

The same thing happens with the platoon I have control of which means that I have to continually make sure that I know who I have got, and that they are correctly trained and equipped.

This weekend has been a lazy one but I have been doing a little bit of sculpting so it hasn’t been completely wasted. Here is the completed command squad for the Squat Platoon:

Click the Pic!

And here is a WIP shot of six standard troopers from the first squad: 

 Click the Pic!

I still have a lot to do to finish the platoon but slow and steady wins the race.

See you from the barracks!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Stanley Tales

Welcome to Inso’s World again and this week I have actually got a few things to talk about.

First up, on Friday I was not on call-out so I was able to go to Timmy’s Bar, have a couple of drinks and sing a few tunes on the karaoke. Timmy’s Bar is our section bar that we open on Friday each week and last Friday was an open night. It was a great evening, everyone had a great time and the bar was drunk dry (apart from a few dozen cans of soft-drink) so we made a good profit on the night.

Next up, on Saturday afternoon most of our section went into Port Stanley to wander around and go for an evening meal in the Malvinas hotel followed by a bit of night life in the bars. It was a great night, the food was fantastic (I ate reindeer for the first time ever and it was to die for), the venue was lovely and airy and the company was spot-on. We went to a couple of bars after the meal and met some of the locals: 

 Click the Pic!

We eventually got back to our digs at around midnight. This morning we had a spot of breakfast at Shortie’s Diner before traveling back to camp:

Click the Pic!

We also had the opportunity to take in the sights in glorious sunshine and when I return to the UK, I will share some photographs with you... however; here is the Cathedral (complete with Whale bone sculpture):

Click the Pic!

 In other news, I have started sculpting arms on my Squats again and here are the two I have been working on: 

 Click the Pic!

They are both from the platoon command squad and hopefully, I will continue with this and get the whole platoon sorted while I am here... but we’ll have to see. That’s about it for now. See you from the shadow of Mount Alice!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Almost a month done.

Welcome to this week’s blog post and this week it will be a fairly quiet affair.

One of the things you have to do when you go to a place like the Falklands for four months, is decide what you are going to do while you are out there. Now, it may seem like quite a simple thing to decide but whatever you choose to do will shape your tour.

Last time I was here, I chose to work hard and in my free time, visit the bars and socialise... and yes... there was much karaoke going on as well. This was all very well but I was lucky to get home without a massive beer-belly and a failed liver... not to mention the low times I had due to the depressive nature of alcohol. 

This time around, I have chosen to focus most of my attention on getting fit and running a half marathon while I am here. As part of the fitness programme, I have started to undertake the Falklands challenge (which I will expand upon later). I also wanted to go on a couple of battlefield tours (Mt Tumbledown was the main one and I have already ticked that box) while I was here and have a proper visit to Port Stanley to have a good nose about.

There are other options; many clubs, volunteering, arranging trips, going on heli/aircraft flights etc... but you can’t do everything, can you?

The Falklands Challenge

This is a challenge to cover 574 Km on land and 62 Km on water. The land options are: running, cycling or cross training. The water options are rowing or swimming. Fortunately, you can use the swimming pool and the machines in the gym to complete the distance (which is representative of a trip around the islands). Unfortunately, I didn’t bring any swimming trunks with me so I am covering the water part of the challenge on the rowing machine. Since the 8th of Jan, I have covered 82 Km on land and 25 Km on water. I have also clocked up over 700 press-ups and sit-ups... so I am properly ticking along with the whole fitness challenge.

With all that, plus the fact that I am not sleeping at all well, you will understand that I haven’t even looked at my sculpting kit yet so I apologise for the lack of Squat pictures. Hopefully, I will have something interesting to share with you next week as the weekend promises to be highly entertaining.

See you from the top of the wall!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

A trip to Mt Tumbledown

Welcome to this week’s blog post and this week it is all about a little trip I took to visit Mt Tumbledown on the Falkland Islands.

Tumbledown overlooks Port Stanley and was the focus of fierce fighting between Argentinean troops who were dug in on the mountain and British troops who wanted to shift them from the high ground.

It was winter; there was snow and extremely cold weather. The British had to cross large areas of dead ground to reach the base of the outcrop and then assault upwards, in darkness under a hail of bullets, mortar rounds and artillery shells.

The battle for Tumbledown was fierce and in some cases, hand to hand with bayonets and knives but ultimately the British won the battle.

Today, I followed the route the British soldiers took from the approach to Mt Tumbledown, up the mountain, across the ridge and then on to Mt William. It was tough going in daylight with the rain falling and the wind gusting but it was nothing compared to what the British troops faced in 1982. To face a constant barrage from well dug in troops when you are cold, tired and can’t see very well due to the darkness must have needed superhuman determination and courage.

Here is a poem written by a guardsman who took part. This poem is displayed in the main corridor of the Mount Pleasant complex:

Right click the picture and open in a new tab for larger image.

 And here is the site of the battle:

Right click the picture and open in a new tab for larger image.
 I think I’ll leave things there for now.

See you from a position of reflection!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The first post from the island

Welcome to Inso’s World again and as you will have noticed; I am a week late in posting. The reason for this is that I am now in the Falkland Islands and have had a very busy couple of weeks. It all started with a 26 hour journey from my front door to my new room on the island. I spent 16 of those hours in the air, with the remainder being an hour to get me to the airport and a lot of time waiting around. Being an insomniac, I didn’t get any sleep on the aircraft so I started my time here tired... but that didn’t stop me having to do ground defence training, rifle zeroing, arrivals processing and then sorting out my life when I got here. I was then put straight on call-out for over a week whilst being second in command of my own little platoon of 30 troops (something a little alien for a desk-bound, aircraft technician). That said, it has certainly been entertaining and time has flown by.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to celebrate the New Year in a fashion of my choosing (due to being on call-out) so my new year began on the evening of the sixth Jan and included cider and darts.

The section I am on has a bunch of great people on it and it was thanks to them that I got Christmas Day at home (they shared all the duties of the guy who I replaced for a few days so that I could come here a little later than the 24th Dec; which is when I was due to leave the UK). A lot of my work is Health and Safety, documentation, Quality Assurance and other office work but on top of that, I have my platoon to look after and a number of other little jobs to keep me busy.

There is still the opportunity to get out and about and see the sights so it isn’t all work and no play. In fact, on Friday night, I spent an evening in the mess and got the opportunity to sing a few Karaoke tunes so it was a fun evening.

My room is quite spacious and has all the home comforts including a TV and a sink (it enables me to wash and shave without having to queue up at the communal facilities so it is a godsend). The bed is comfier than my bed at home so I am starting to get a bit of sleep now that I have settled a bit. Here is the view from my window (I have blotted out certain items for security purposes... the Islands are, after all, still contested by the Argentineans):

Click the Pic!
As you can see, it is a bit bleak.

I have brought some sculpting to do but haven’t started doing it yet because I have been settling in. I expect that I will start doing some sculpting soon so that my bunch of Squats finally get their arms.

The internet wireless can be patchy and it costs £8 - £10 for 100 minutes (although there is the opportunity to use free internet from fixed consoles) so I am restricting my internet usage. As a result of that, my forum and blog activities have been reduced so I can spend more time talking to my family.

Well, that’s about it for now. I am sure that once I start getting into the routine of things, I will post more interesting things but for now, I will bid you farewell.

See you from the command post!