We have been to our last military 'do'. Husband leaves the army today after 30 years, 19 of which I have been with him. The end of an era as they say. Most of his uniform has been returned, and what is left he paid for and can thus keep but never wear. Apparently they have to return the uniform because ex-soldiers were going out on the streets begging in their uniforms giving the state a bad name! In the beautiful mess kit hinted at in my photo there's no chance anyone would put money in a begging bowl! The green is a Thai silk long frock made using a Vogue pattern to go to a dinner night in Dartmouth last year and with which I have been very pleased (despite the plunging neckline).
This parting meal was not a grand occasion by military standards, but we drank cocktails in one of the Mess bars, ate 3 courses served in the dining-room surrounded by portraits of military alumni and silver, drank the Queen's health in port, and ate cheese and biscuits and drank coffee back in the bar afterwards. He was one of 3 leaving the organisation and the boss gave a fluent and supportive speech to say farewell to them all. They each gave a short reply. A pleasant evening rather than a blast, but very kind of them to mark the 'end'.
Next week Husband becomes a student: a year in which he talks of growing his hair, living in casual clothes and perfecting his allotment. We'll see! Life looks like it may be very different.