Last two weeks before Christmas:
I got a little over-excited at the prospect of Christmas and having some leave… I decorated my locker with fairy lights and tinsel, and had two advent calendars (one chocolate and one pretty one). Every morning I would wake up and call out to the other recruits in the room how many more sleeps we had until we went on leave!
Rehab is going really well and just before I left on Friday 16th December, I completed the last part of my walk/run programme meaning that I’m now in the ‘Green’ phase – therefore I’m now fit for work, but just building my strength up from now on. I have been given a date to commence training again, which is January 18th. I am so pleased to have reached this point; it has been really tough at times. I will once again be on ‘Beckett’ flight, so will know some of the staff already, which is really great. If all goes to plan I should be finished basic training (finally) by late March.
Within the last two weeks we went on a walk through the local woods in Halton to a lovely cafe at the top of the hill. It was quite a trek, but we were chatting along the way to each other and to the corporals and it was a great opportunity to get out and about together.
We had a lesson about ‘core stability’ from an officer who used to be a gymnast. The McTeague course is 12 weeks long and then repeats. When I first joined McTeague after returning from sick leave, I did this same class. Therefore I knew all the exercises and was just able to go over them once again. It was interesting to see how I had improved – I was now able to do all of the exercises without any pain!
The highlight of the two weeks was the Christmas Dinner, which was in the mess, but we were served (as tradition states) by officers and some other senior ranks. I had the full Christmas meal and even ate the brussels sprouts, which were really overdone! It was a lovely evening and was fun to have something less serious going on.
We had a carol service on Tuesday last week in church, which was absolutely lovely – I really got into it. There were also mince pies afterwards, a nice treat!
On Wednesday we went on a trip to the National Arboretum in Staffordshire. It was a freezing day, but we walked around the military memorial, which was really moving and beautifully set out. We also specifically visited the RAF section and went to a small hut on one side of the site, which was a memorial to all those who died in camps in the Philippines, China and Japan. It was really emotional as they had videos of those who had survived speaking and information about the atrocities that occurred. It is strange that so few people even knew that it happened during the Second World War.
Thursday and Friday went without comment, and we all said a lovely goodbye to our staff by writing a card and giving them some mince pies. I arrived home by about 6pm and was sooooo happy to be able to relax on the sofa with my Christmas knitting!
Anyway, I wish everyone a really lovely Christmas with family and friends. I hope to see many of you at the Royal Star & Garter at some point over the Christmas period – I’ll definitely be in to visit my grandmother.