Sunday, 11 November 2018

In Remembrance, joined.

Today, at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month... on the hundredth year... We remember them.

Today, I found myself unable to sing the National Anthem. It wasn't because I didn't want to because I really did. I was unable to... I was too moved by the occasion.

Luckily, I was among many friends and towns folk who joined me in my reflection on this hundredth commemoration... this centenary of the end of the "war to end all wars".

I remembered those friends and colleagues who sadly took their final journeys, while I was serving.

My first trip to Iraq is particularly poignant at this time of year because I landed in Basrah, to find that three of my RAF colleagues had lost their lives to a mortar attack on the living accommodation.

During my time in the RAF, I made a lot of friends and acquaintances along the way and I remember those who have been taken away while at home and travelling... in accidents, through illness and through mental tragedy.

I also remember and think of, those who are still struggling with their own personal memories that cause them great pain and continued suffering, especially when remembrance is the focus of the nation.

I also think of the families of those servicemen who are currently on operations abroad... those who carry the weight of their families while their husband, wife or significant other is facing peril, many miles away.

I also remember my family members who were changed by WWII and spent many years, overcoming their demons to lead relatively normal lives... some I never met, yet they had a profound effect on my family and how I was raised.

I also think of my legacy... my son who is currently serving in the RAF and who will be away from these shores over Christmas. My daughter who is at home, working hard... but who always manages to take those two minutes to reflect; if she is unable to attend the Remembrance commemorations with us.

Then I reflect on the freedoms and opportunities that we have, as a result of the sacrifices of those who have laid down their lives... I never knew them... but without them, our lives would be very different.

At this time of year, these words come to mind:

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children, 
England mourns for her dead across the sea. 
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit, 
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal 
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres, 
There is music in the midst of desolation 
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young, 
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow. 
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted; 
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again; 
They sit no more at familiar tables of home; 
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time; 
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound, 
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight, 
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known 
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust, 
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain; 
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness, 
To the end, to the end, they remain.

For the Fallen

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Is this the real thing? Or is this just fantasy?

Hello and welcome to Inso's World again.

Forgive me, friends, for it has been two weeks, since my last update.

Last week would have been a fairly boring update. It would have just been about training courses, tiredness and work... with no hobby stuff at all.

This week is fairly similar but maybe, a little bit more varied...

Over the last two weeks I have been getting training and work experience and have been plodding along very nicely at work. I have been involved with most of the day to day duties that a Health Care Assistant, level 1 (HCA1) may face but I have had to be line of sight and monitored closely while I am in the learning phase. I have assisted with personal care, eating, hoisting, restraint and also have had time to enjoy the company of clients in a friendly environment. Sadly, one of our clients passed away this week so I have also felt the sadness of what Dementia eventually causes... so the last two weeks have been pretty full-on.

This coming week, I have more training and then I will be free of induction and can start really focusing on the job at hand and building up my 'work stamina' again... yes, I have struggled getting back into work after nearly two years off and have felt pretty tired out, as a result.

The main thing is that I am loving my new career choice and have found something that is extremely rewarding to do... even if the wages are ridiculously low for the work and responsibility that is expected from you... but that is just the care profession for you. On my travels, yesterday, I noticed that I would get 5p more an hour, working in Mac Donald's... so make of that, what you will.

On a different note, I have had a weekend off this weekend so yesterday, I drove up to Aylesbury and back to visit family. We had a lovely visit and put the world to rights before a drive home in what can only be called, terrible weather. Needless to say... for the first time in as long as I can remember, I slept for over 10 hours last night! I must be both tired and happy, to do that.

Okay, okay... let's talk about hobby stuff.

I'll start with what I have been tinkering with; namely Dash Hound:

Click the Pic!

Dash Hound is a super-speedster (mostly created because I have been watching a lot of DC's "the Flash", recently) and he has been converted from THIS Hasslefree Miniature. Hopefully, you will get a better idea of the miniature, with primer on it:

Click the Pic!

Dash Hound will be joining my existing super team:

Click the Pic!

In addition to Dash hound, I have also purchased another Hasslefree Miniature from HERE and he will be getting some similar conversion treatment... but I haven't decided which direction to take him yet... so it will definitely be a 'watch this space' thing on that one. In the meantime, Dash Hound has been base-coated and will be getting finished this week.

Obviously, from the previous information, you can tell that my order from Hasslefree Miniatures arrived this week... so I now have STEVE (who will be joining a different group of heroes... yes, I have many groups) as well as the conversion dolly and two pots of green paint (for my Demiurg Earth Guild drones). As it happens, I also received a very nice little extra miniature... which will be getting lots of noise and fanfare when it is revealed... but I am not mentioning any more about it yet... apart from, it's worth waiting for.

In addition to the Hasslefree order, I bought a Primaris captain from EBay and also a Primaris psyker from WH Smiths (Warhammer Conquest magazine) so my little Primaris project is gaining momentum. I'd show some images but... they're just marines...

From a charity perspective, this week I traveled with my committee chairperson, up to Bodmin for a bit of a get together with other Marie Curie members on Thursday evening and had a very informative time. There were speakers from various places amongst the charity and I got a good insight into what the charity was about and where it hoped to be in the coming years. Well worth the trip and there were even posh biscuits... so it was win-win!

That's it for this week... or two?

See you from the head of the line!