The smell of fired weapons.

Had my acupuncture this morning. I enjoy the chats that Maralyn and I have whilst she is sticking needles in me and hooking me up to the electricity, (don’t panic it’s a tens machine). We regularly put the world to rights and have discussed such things as the Easter Bunny- where in the hell did he come from? And exactly how long did we think it would be before I was assassinated if I became Prime Minister. You had to be on the putting the world to rights conversation to understand the timing but it was approximately 24hours if I was evasive. She is brilliant, we have a really good laugh and I look forward to her visits. I was asked if I would try acupuncture shortly after I left the Spinal Unit by a friend. I really had nothing to lose so said “why not”. I would be telling porky pies if I said that I was positive it would make any difference to my condition but hey, nothing ventured and all that. So when Maralyn came round for the first visit we talked, were honest with each other and I openly told her that I wasn’t convinced that acupuncture worked but I was willing to give it a try. The Chinese had been practicing it for hundreds if not thousands of years so there must be something in it. I kept an open mind and in two weeks I had noticed some amazing changes.

Now it would be pointless for me to lie, it benefits no one, and everyone is different but I will tell you my experience. For the four and a half months I spent in hospitals I had no feeling from my nipples down on my front or my back. This is confirmed in my medical records. I also had double vision, I had to close one eye, wear an eye patch or glasses with a clear but not see through sticky lens. Just so you can get an idea of what I saw, pick something on your wall, a picture or light switch. Now close one eye, now switch eyes. You will notice that it is the same image but in two different places. Your brain uses a nerve to control the muscles on your eyes to tilt them so you get one picture. Mine did not work and so I got both pictures at the same time which was to say the least a pain in the arse. When I left the hospitals and got home I still had these problems. Two weeks after I started my acupuncture which I had three times a week, (and I was paying for it, not the NHS), Maralyn was putting the needles in and I could tell her where she was doing it. She drew a pattern on my back and I duplicated it on hers. I could also tell her where on my legs and feet she touched. Furthermore, I did not use my glasses or eye patch until around 4 or 5 in the afternoon as my eyesight just seemed to be better that day. I still have the acupuncture in the hope that more feeling may come back, and for anyone who, like me is not convinced, The last time I wore my glasses was on the dig on Salisbury Plain. Sometimes I tilt my head back very slightly if my eyes get tired but on the whole they are so much better. That is why I still have the acupuncture. It may not be successful for everybody  but I would recommend giving it a try if you have a niggle or an ongoing problem. You really have nothing to lose. Maralyn is on my links page if you were curious as to who she is and what she does.

I had a package arrive today from Amazon. My wife said to me “What have you been buying then?”, I turned it around and said “I’m never on Amazon so it must be you.” As it was, we were both wrong, it was a gift from one of the archaeologists that I did the Salisbury Plain and the WW2 dig with. We had been looking for the remains of a Liberator Bomber, he had sent me an Airfix model of the said bomber. It really made me chuckle. I had only been able to do a day with them as I was unable to stay away from home and so did not get to find anything really big, so it was quite funny to open a big box and find the bomber inside. So that has jumped the queue for building. As soon as the Harrier I am finishing now is done, the Liberator will be next.

I managed to get to the T.A tonight. It was great to catch up with a couple of the lads that I’ve been on tour with. So many new faces though, really felt out of the loop so to speak. The Company is recruiting well though which is a good thing, I just want to be back in, properly. Some were shooting the pistol tonight. I watched as they were carrying out their drills on the weapons and then sat to the rear of the firing point as they put in to practice what they had learnt, practicing their aim and aiming off. The familiar smell of fired weapons in the air, it brought back memories of me shooting, of shooting competitions in the past, of being on tour. Really would have been nice to put a few rounds down the range but it’s not that simple any more. Whilst they were shooting and I was sat on my own waiting for the details to finish firing, I had random memories pop up about being on exercise, teaching the soldiers weapon drills and soldiering skills. there came with it a sad reality that I will not be demonstrating those things anymore. I will no longer be showing how to crawl with the weapon, adopt different firing positions, no more shouting for effect as they practice fire and movement or section attacks. But then I stopped, and was thinking that actually, is it the end? A friend from the Company came over for a chat between firing, whilst we were talking we spoke about my future and he pointed out something that had crossed my mind not 5 minutes before. I have a lot of experience and knowledge, there is no point in it staying locked away in my head when it could be passed on. And maybe the biggest thing of all, it’s my legs that don’t work, my gob is fine.

Goodnight all


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