Army life: Sore legs, phone calls & a little understanding..

It’s been 3 days since Berkay walked through those doors and started his national service.

So far he’s managed to call me once everyday, for around 1 minute each time, and although that’s been brilliant I’m trying not to get my hopes up that it will continue to prevent disappointment!

On the 2nd day, he called me in the evening and told me he hadn’t done much, just checked in, got his army uniform, been introduced and eaten. He seemed thrilled they had ‘red meat, pasta and yogurt’ for dinner, I think he’s eating better there than he did back at home in Fethiye! When I was living there red meat like steak and beef was a real treat as it’s so expensive, but since I’ve been back in England he’s not been buying food to cook for himself at all and he had been eating snall ‘pop kek’ cakes for dinner instead! He also said there are 400 people all sleeping in the same room, presumably in bunk beds or similar… it’s a good thing he’s so social, I’m sure he’s already made lots of friends, he talks to anyone and everyone.

One thing (well, one of many..) that is frustrating about the whole national service process is the fact that they aren’t paid at all for their time. This means that with Berkay having no income for year, he won’t be able to save, so it’s all down to me to save for our ‘future’, which is overwhelming at the best of times, even more so when I haven’t even got a job yet! I’ve been looking since I arrived back in December and haven’t had much luck. I had an interview on Friday morning and it seems like a job I’d really enjoy, so fingers crossed for that.

While I was on the train on the way to the interview, I had an unexpected morning phone call from Berkay. He’d previously called in the evenings so it caught me off guard, but I was so pleased to hear his voice and it put me in a good mood before my interview, even if it was a very short 30 second phone call before weΒ got cut off as the train entered a tunnel.

I had another call from him this morning, he told me he had 10 minutes of free time and had ran to the phone to talk to me quickly. He’d been running, doing push ups, sit ups and other such exercise his body isn’t used to! I have visions of a ‘an officer and a gentlemen’ style scene in my head! “I’m so tired I can’t move my legs, they hurt so much” he said, Β yet he still ran to the phone to talk to me, bless.

The unpredictable phone calls are a little annoying, having to take the phone to the shower, toilet, panic if Three loses signal for a couple of seconds or if I’m in a dodgy connection zone. He doesn’t get much free time and if I miss his call, that’s it for the day. People don’t seem to understand this and laughed when I mentioned it, that’s alright if you have your loved ones with you, an arms reach, a text or a phone call away isn’t it? Thank goodness we don’t have to rely on good old ‘snail-mail’ though.

I am so, so grateful for the internet. I have met a few lovely girls whose partners are also currently doing or have already done their national service and it is such a comfort talking to them knowing they understand exactly what I’m feeling. Whether its moaning about lack of phone calls, asking about what we’re allowed to send the men in the post or panicking about the little details of army life, they’ve been a great source of information and a great help. It’s frustrating having other friends and family dismiss my thoughts and feelings. I’ve developed a random rash on my face this week and several people suggested it could be stress. “Stress?” one family member laughed, “what have you got to be stressed about?”.. well, quite a lot, actually. Sigh.

Even hearing ‘it’ll go quickly’ drives me crazy, I know it’s meant well and time does inevitably pass, but that’s just it, no matter how quickly the time nayΒ go, its still got to ‘go’, and that’s the hard part.

362 days and counting…

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21 comments

  1. Danni, I love your blog! My partner is in the Royal Navy and has done 2 x 6 month deployments since our little one was born 2 years ago so I know exactly all of those feelings. Unfortunately he’s in for the long haul so just be grateful that once the year is over at least it’s done and you can then live your own life away from the military. I too, become a ‘phone ninja’ and no one will ever understand all the thoughts and worries which pass through your head! I’m sure as the time goes on you will settle a bit more and get into some sort of routine. Just keep ticking the days off and planning for your wonderful future together x x

    1. Thanks for reading Nicola πŸ™‚ Oh I bet it’s even harder with a little one. Yes can’t wait for it to be over to move on. Phone ninja, LOL! x

  2. Jane Diment · · Reply

    Good luck with the job Danni. I do hope you get it. And keep positive, at least now the countdown has started. Thinking of you both xx

    1. Thanks Jane, I didn’t get it though. x

  3. Karen williamson · · Reply

    Good luck Danni with the job you went for, have you heard of a job website called Indeed.co.uk,you put your postcode in and it brings jobs up that are available in your area,may be worth a look.
    Wow 400 people in one room that is a lot.
    Again an interesting read did not realise the men don’t get even a small wage whist doing the national service..
    All the best to you both
    X

    1. Thanks Karen, yes I do use that one sometimes, I’ve applied for hundreds literally, just no responses. Yep, no wage at all! Ridiculous x

  4. Gary Lamacraft · · Reply

    Good luck with the job hunting hope you get sorted soon as that will also occupy your mind Danni.And don’t forget that countdown number can only get smaller so here,s to your future keep chin up and love and best wishes to you both oh and not forgetting little Boncuk xxxxxxx

    1. Thanks Gary! Still counting down 😦 xx

  5. You are 100% entitled to be stressed, and upset, and worry about your loved one. Don’t mind those who doesn’t understand. Sometimes us, people, can be cruel creatures when it comes to understanding others’ hardships and we are quick to judge on what’s difficult or not.. Good luck with the job and also with your phone having reception at the right time πŸ™‚ Keep your chin up and make plans for your future together!

    1. Thanks Liza πŸ™‚ You’re right about people! x

  6. When my ex-husband did his army service it was 18months! No internet! I know how you must be feeling, but you just have to get on with it – I used to send him parcels with socks, toothpaste, and chocolate in as it gave him the excuse to be allowed off the base to the post office. He said the food was terrible – mostly boiled turkey! But he came out with nice abs from all the exercise! He made some great friends and the camaraderie was something else! Don’t waste the time, get on with your life and enjoy the time you do get to spend together. See it as a positive experience for you both and a means to an end! Take care ax

    1. Haha Don’t think there’s any chance of Berkay coming out with abs πŸ˜‰ So glad it’s not 18 months anymore! Hoping Berkay will get to an internet cafe in a couple of months once he’s finished his training and will be allowed days off. x

  7. Danni, My husband was in Afghanistan and Iraq and I was in the same position as you. I waited by the telephone willing it to ring and when I found out I had missed a telephone call I was in tears and absolutely devastated. But in time you will eventually manage to pull yourself away from the phone and get on with life. It is raw just now and I know what you mean when you say people are telling you it will fly in – I heard it all the time but I found the way to cope was to keep busy and get yourself into a routine and it will all be over. Feel free to message me any time I have lived like this for a long time and I am blessed I now have my hubby home for good. Keep your chin up hunni. xxxxx

    1. Its awful isn’t it! Driving myself nuts. I hope so. Thanks Sandra πŸ™‚ x

  8. Hope the interview went well for you……Im not surprised you are stressed , one whole year is a long long time to be parted from the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with. easy to say I know, but keep busy and send loving thoughts, they will get to him.. In a few years time you will look back on this long year with happiness, because absence really does make the heart grow fonder…..Good luck in your search for job…….xxx

    1. It went OK but I found out today I didn’t get the job, nevermind! Thanks x

  9. I can feel how you feel…..just think at the end of the tunnel it will be pure happiness.. Yes that rash you got on your face my daughter got the same a few months ago when she had to go to the UK for school…we are from America….hang in there. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Irene, it’s tough 😦 x

  10. So pleased that you have spoken to Berkay already especially just before your interview,that must be a good sign πŸ˜„fingers crossed for you Danni I’m sure something will turn up soon. Love Morgan x x x

    1. Thanks Morgan, I didn’t get the job 😦 x

  11. Shame you didn’t get the job,maybe there’s something better waiting for you awwww be patient sweet I bet you hate that word but honestly there’s nothing you can do but be patient,have you thought of maybe going to college x x

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