Well its been a quiet year on the blog which isn't really true representation of what has happened over the last 12 months.
I have been to 3 lectures at the Military Academy here in Stockholm, 2 by Mike Cole and 1 by Tim Collins.
Mike in particular was an interesting speaker as his talks were about Zulu Company (of which he was the company commander) and their assault on Two Sisters. I have always had the greatest respect for the Marines as they accomplished everything with so few casualties. Listening to Mike I got the impression that a Marine is trained completely differently from a regular Army soldier like myself. In addition to a high emphasis on physical fitness he was trained to be a thinker and to operate individually.
I was also able to transfer Mikes presentation from VHS video and slides onto a memory stick and a Powerpoint presentation, something that he was able to use for his second talk and proved to be a great success :)
Tim Collins was also a fascinating speaker mainly because of his outspoken opinions on the role of women in the Army (which fly in the face of how the Swedish Army feel) and the fact that he was very "in your face". His talk was funny, witty, controversial and thoroughly entertaining. He is famous for giving a truly inspirational speech to his battalion prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, which was later played by Kenneth Branagh in the film "10 Days to War"
I have had a few contacts from veterans of the fighting and from members of the public which has been heartening because sometimes you have to ask yourself if anybody is actually reading what you write. For all those who are reading this I would like to thank you.
Lastly my year was rounded out with what must be the best reason for writing this blog.
I have mentioned in the past that my best friend in the Scots Guards was tragically killed in car accident in Cyprus in 1984. It broke my heart knowing that Tally, having survived a tour of Northern Ireland and Tumbledown, was to be killed returning from a darts match while stationed in Cyprus when his taxi plunged off a mountain side.
Tally was a typical Guardsman. Tall, bushy mustache, stocky, brave and a great friend to his colleagues. He was also married to Chris and had two young boys Paul junior and Carl. When I found out about Tally I contacted Chris who I was able to track down through the Army pension office and we talked but since then I have lost contact.
Anyway completely out of the blue Paul, his eldest son, contacted me and we have exchanged a few emails and it's been fantastic to hear from the family again after so many years!
I promise to make 2010 a little more interesting