Wednesday, 9 September 2009

A boys adventure

I spoke with people before I left about the lack of adventure in modern life. I think it has left a void in mens hearts all over the country. How do we prove ourselves? Life is too easy.

Some people are satisfied by showing money and power. But neither of these feature too high on my list of things to be proud of. When I had a high flying job in the city I would have been embarassed to have to impress people splashing the cash and talking of the high class hotels my PA booked all over Europe for me. Does that say anything about me? It just says I've been lucky.

Someone liking me for what's in my wallet??? Is there anything more insulting? What'sd in my heart, brain? That's more like it.

Anyway, I digress... no adventures. I think WW1 and WW11 satisfied the urges in past generations - signing up for something you really believe in (not like modern wars about money and oil), people being proud of you, putting your life on hold to better the lives of others.

Now comes my next tenious link...

I think for me this trip compares with going to war. (I actually considered it for a time - but don't want to kill anyone or get killed - so prob made best decision not to!!) Perading through the streets to Dover in my uniform endorsed by the great Cotswold, Nakd and Bicycle. Having friends and family cheer me off knowing they are proud, worried, even envious. A step into the unknown that you know is a step in the right direction. Of course war offers far more dangerous situations but my trip has it's fair share. My trench foot isn't so bad, my continuos marching is similar, kit (more technical from the wonderful people of Cotswold / Bicycle) but equal in weight. Rationing is crutial every day in desert, my talisman from school sitting behind me on the bike. I write home as often as I can - trying to make it sound like one big adventure, when at times it is horribly dull, scary, depressing. The people you meet make it, or break it.

I'm on the border of Uzbekistan, I think I have made it to the front line without too much of a hitch. i think I just dig in for a while now and hope for no surprise attacks!!

it's not war, but it is testing mentally, physically and emotionally. I know I'm making my loved ones proud and can feel a change inside me. Am I becoming a man? What me 'Peter Pan'? Am I realising how fantastically lucky I am? I always new that. I can't tell if something is being ignited or extinguished. Either way it's a feeling like a big air pocket rising from the depths of the ocean getting bigger with each rotating.

Someone mentioned I might appreciate life more after this trip. That comment drove me mad. What?? No one appreciates life like me? But now I think about it there is a difference between making the most of life and appreciating life. We'll see.

All you can do is keep putting your feet in the direction that feels right with a smile on your face and a tingle in your heasrt.

For now 'live life, love life' but maybe that's changing?!

1 comment:

  1. You are quite right. Many people viewed the start of the First World War as "Glory Glory Glory" and rushed to volunteer. However by 1916 the number of volunteers began to dry up and the Government passed the Military Service Act which introduced conscription and forced men to join the armed forces.
    Miltary Service was re-introduced in October 1939 only one month after the outbreak of WW2. Your Grandad Bent was "called up" and fought in many countries from Greece to Burma. He had never been abroad before, not even a day trip to France, and although he and millions of men like him probably didn't think of their time in the armed forces as "A great adventure" the experience changed their lives and like our trip to you in Ukraine it became more significant and more special as time passed.

    Another thing you are dead right about we are very proud of you.