Quite a day, it began at 5.30 getting ready to take Ben to RAF Brize Norton to catch his plane to Cyprus. I excelled myself by forgetting my proof of identity so was not allowed past the gate which meant that instead of being able to wave him off from the departure lounge after a coffee I had to unceremoniously dump him and his baggage in the car park leaving him to struggle to the transport the other side of the gate.
As I watched him go it suddenly dawned on me that this might be the last time I ever saw him, he is after all intent on being in harms way and by the latest will be deployed in a warzone by next spring. If the rumours prove true instead of returning to the Rock for Christmas he could be sent out early. So as he staggered across the tarmac to the waiting RAF guards I must admit to being quite emotional about it all.
I then had one of those conversations that defines military intelligence. I was parked in a one way system, unable to figure out how to join the Queens highway I walked over to the guard who was currently being obtuse to Ben and asked the way out.
"You have to go through here sir" he said helpfully and far too cheerfully for my liking.
"What through the gate?" I asked
"Yes sir, through the gate and around the roundabout and back out through here sir" he pointed to the barrier behind him while we both watched Ben struggle manfully onwards.
"Through the gate and into the camp that I am not allowed onto as I have no ID."
"Yes sir, stupid isnt it."he grinned.
So I drove through the barrier, past Ben struggling with his bags, around the roundabout where he was to catch the transport and back again, as I passed him the second time he smiled and I shouted goodbye, the guards returned to menacing delivery drivers and I began the long drive to work.
Work was its usual challenge and my colleagues sensing I was emotionally vulnerable very helpfully told me to grow a set and tormented me with chips while I stuck steadfastly to my healthy eating regime.
Beth, who is in Canada then contacted me, she might be coming home early suffering from acute homesickness, hardly a surprise when you consider how fantastic it is living here, she is even missing the dogs, I didn't tell her that there are a few more than when she left.
Physically in pain, well just a bit. Today was the day I decided to go for a run, for the first time since my accident some proper physical exercise and the first time on a run for around four years. I did surprisingly well, managing a mile at a steady pace with my long time running partner Simon, who is now exacting revenge for all the times I tormented him when I was superfit, before blowing my lungs out of my backside after a particularly taxing stretch of hill. Luckily we were running cross country and the general public were spared exposure to a fat bloke puffing and waddling along with his friend laughing, I mean encouraging him to keep going.
Back at the ranch I managed to stop myself from crying from the pain long enough to have a coffee and pretend all was well. Next Tuesday we are going again and I hope to be able to make it all the way around Worzel Wood before dieing.
Now, I need my bed, which I would go to if only I could manage the stairs.