Monday Memories – Military Moments

I’m still thinking along veteran lines. As I mentioned last week, I served in the South African Air Force for more than 16 years. So… many say it was in the old era – before the dawn of the Rainbow Nation. However, we were defending western norms – values that our nation’s defenders went off to both World Wars for.

Yes – western norms – the battle for sanity in Europe and around the world. South African norms said we kept trying to prevent communism overrunning our little bit of earth at the southern tip of Africa. Ultimately, world pressure prevailed and now, after almost 25 years of the Rainbow Nation’s democratic existence, many say that the old values have been replaced by socialist and communist dogma – slightly modified but you can’t deny that many of the current political leaders were trained or educated in the old USSR or communist China.

So… here I am in Europe… a displaced veteran – still fighting the fight for freedom! In my way, I will always fight this fight – freedom is ultimately the choice of the individual to determine why they want to continue to uphold the western values. I believe in free enterprise, capitalist values – I want to live in a safe environment where fair trade and supply/ demand are the norm. Don’t get me wrong, I despise big corporation greed and governments interference.

I’ll leave it there for today – apart from saying I’d like to connect with other displaced veterans. Please spread the word. Tomorrow I will reveal more, promise. So… here’s a view of freedom… a sight you’ve seen if you’re a regular visitor to OMBH. We go here as often as we can – even on chilly winter’s days. We call it freedom sands – often we’re the only two souls out there. Two old-times… appreciating the freedom life can bring!

Happy Monday – don’t set too many goals for the week… a lesson I’ve been reminded of in the last few weeks… the good lady hurt herself so I’ve had to do the driving duties… thus not finding all the time to do the things I planned… oh well, that’s life!

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Silent Sunday – Fancy Hairdo?

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Seaside Saturday – Name Your Storm?

There was a time… when, in honour of the tempestuous temperaments of the fairer variety of homo-sapiens, that storms/ cyclones/ hurricanes/ typhoons/ tropical depressions and the other assortments of fun weather phenomena, were named after said fairer beings. Alas… in this day of the PC SJW and other misguided folk’s excessive OTT ridiculousness… that tradition has changed.

And so, we’ve just had Storm Eric going by… and… apart from really muddling the waters and contributing to bad hair all over the place… at least we were blessed with a few splashes… and a rainbow of note! As I’m using the word note… yes note, a real rainbow… one with seven colours…

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Friday’s Formation Flappers

Today is flapper day… and I bring you a tight formation of gulls and crows… doing the bomb-burst after the tight barrel-roll… quite a set of manoeuvres! Any airshow audience would appreciate the daring skills exhibited by these flyers!

Happy Friday – enjoy the day and weekend – and as always… don’t do what I wouldn’t!

PS – As for the weekly update – a bit of study, a bit of writing and quite a bit of planning… so, once more I’ll mention the veteran discussion we’ve been having this week – and say too, watch this space!

PPS – Yes… this week’s darling duty took it out of me! Them lil kids know how to get the better of granddad’s taxi driver!

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Thursday Thought – Art or Not?

So… how do you define art? Is a scribble on a sheet of paper art? Or… must it be a Dutch master or Renaissance artist before it’s art? I don’t know… I suppose it’s the old adage… what works for the individual is good – therefore it’s the individual’s interpretation that is important. Art is therefore art – but only if you say so!

So is this art? Whatever it is… it made me smile… yep, bee happy!

PS – Thanks to all of you who have contributed thus far to the veteran discussion – all (or more) will be revealed next week – I promise! For now, just bee happy!

PPS – Just by the way – if you think you know a “displaced” veteran here in Western Europe (or anywhere) please share yesterday’s post with them – I’m serious about building something constructive – and positive – bee happy!

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Wednesday’s Wonderful Word – Veteran?

I’ve asked the following question these last few days…

 … what do you understand by the term veteran

Thank you all for the interesting responses from far afield. Seems to me the word has slightly different connotations… depending on where you live. Folk who live in countries that have recent involvement in conflict situations seem to go directly to the meaning I’ve been looking for… and here I’m going to use an i-net definition…

The thing is… the definition above seems heavily slanted to the USA interpretation. That said, I understand why. The i-net is really based there, isn’t it? But, in a way, that suits the reason for asking the question and also my line of thought when it comes to my answer.

You see, I could be classed as a veteran. I served my country’s military for more than sixteen years – in conflict situations too. So, if I use some of the interpretations, I could be classed as a war veteran. A concept to which I haven’t ever really paid much heed. I suppose I’ve always thought of South African war veterans as folk who returned from battle in the World Wars or the Korean conflict.

But… as of late, I have been wondering about many things. So, here’s what some of my wondering has led to…

… if you move away from your country of birth, do you retain your veteran status?

So… a soldier/ sailor/ airman who served in an UK unit retires to Spain, how many of the veteran’s associations will honour his UK status? The UK to Spain is a short hop, so I assume the veteran will retain most of his or her status. However, if a veteran moves halfway around the world, will there still be assistance for said veteran in times of need?

I really can’t answer… but I’m inquisitive to find out more about the situation in my own case. We left South Africa more than 18 years ago… losing touch with our roots – me often wondering about what had happened to my friends from that era. Me now wondering if I still retain any veteran status?

This is where the answer to the question is leading… I’d be interested to know how many other folk are in the same shoes… ex-SA military members now in Europe… or even further afield! I’d love to establish contact – especially with folk in Western Europe. Time will reveal if we can establish a platform… but be sure to watch this space. I’ll soon have a suggestion of how we can retain quick and easy i-net contact – and do so in a pleasurable way – with no ties that bind!

The photo was taken at the Irish War Memorial – a few days after a wreath laying ceremony. I was struck by the South African wreath – the wilted protea and the SA Colours ribbon. Please don’t tell anybody… I nicked a bit of that ribbon… for posterity!

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Tuesday’s Trees and Tunes!

Yesterday I asked a question… which I’m going to repeat a few more days. Yes, I have a reason… so, here goes again…

… what do you understand by the term veteran

Interestingly, I’ve had answers from four different continents thus far! That makes the whole exercise more valid… and as I’ve already alluded, interesting!

So… now you’re wondering, why am I asking the question in today’s trees and tunes post? Is there a relevance? Yes… but the link will become apparent when I answer the question… with your help! So… please continue leaving replies… I promise, when I reveal my reason for asking the question the link will also be musically obvious!

Right… here’s today’s photo. When I spotted this tree I knew it would appear here… and the chain adds value, don’t you think? If it was my tree in my paddock, I’d also protect it as best I could!

So, a song to match? Chain or tree? I’ll give you this… you’ll get the connection… while loving the music!

Update – Hope Donovan’s Mellow Yellow isn’t popping up here… seems there may be a gremlin chewing away at the bowels of the blog…

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Monday Mobility – Outbound…

There’ll be little chat today… but I need to share something great, very soon! In the meantime, we called into Dublin on Saturday… cold but bright, so… we went to one of our favourite stops – the Great South Wall – with the Poolbeg Lighthouse at its eastern tip. We didn’t walk the whole way… too cold! Anyway, I managed to get my first photos of the new Irish Ferries ship… the WB Yeats… outbound past the lighthouse!

OK – I’m not going to let you off too easily today – I’m setting you one question for homework – and I would appreciate answers, please? So… here goes,

what do you understand by the term veteran

Please share your thoughts… there is a very good reason why I’m asking… as I said the other day, watch this space!

Happy Monday – here’s to the first full workweek of the second month of 2019… enjoy!

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