by Deborah, Sop1 in Culdrose MWC
If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be living the life that I am now I would have laughed you into next week! Becoming a military wife (in my fifties!) all started with me reconnecting, falling in love and marrying my husband Philip. We had been married 2 years when an Out of Canada posting opportunity to Cornwall, England came up and after a conversation with our four grown daughters we decided to go for it.
Leaving Canada, our daughters, family and moving to England in my first military move was a big step. I knew when making the decision to leave Canada and move across the Atlantic that I would like living in England. What I didn’t know is that I would LOVE living in England! I also knew that my experience would depend on how much I put into it, but I had never in a million years thought that a choir was in my future! We arrived in Cornwall August 3, 2013 and moved in to our PMQ on the 16th. It took a few weeks to get the house in order and I remember one day feeling the house was done and now was at a loose end at what to do. When we moved I left my girls, home, friends, a job I loved and I did feel a bit lost. During our ‘in brief’ I was given the name of Vikki Breen and was told if you want to know anything about the community or the patch to contact her.
If you come to choir you will have 30 friends your first night
One day on one of my “getting to know the community” walks I stopped at the community center and ask if she was in. I was met by this lovely smiling gal who invited me in to her office and offered me a cup of tea. After introductions she asked “ How are you doing” and that was it, I burst into tears. I am not sure what happened as I didn’t feel sad when I walked into Vicki’s office but I must have had some fears because the tears started flowing! Who knew her response would change my life? “You should join choir” she said. “I can’t sing” I replied. “It’s doesn’t matter” was her response. Feeling a bit unsure I said “no, no you don’t understand, I can’t sing”. Her response “it doesn’t matter, we sing, we have tea, eat cake and sing again. If you come to choir you will have 30 friends your first night”. I left her office that day having decided that I would drop by the following Thursday to check it out. Who knew that quick visit to the community center would do so much to enhance my posting experience.
It was a little intimidating the first night but a lovely lady named Jenny dropped by to pick me up which made walking into a room full of people I didn’t know easier. I did feel a bit out of place my first night but I was made to feel very welcome and I had enough fun to decide to go the next week. Two and a half years later I am still a happy member of the Culdroses. To say my life has changed because of joining the choir is an understatement. I have been pushed out of my comfort level many times but most importantly I have made the most amazing friends! I have witnessed friendships, fun and the statement Stronger Together truly does apply to these ladies. Living in Helston which is considered a remote posting at the Canadian High Commission in London, means choir ladies pull together for support when partners are away, babies are born, family emergencies, or in my case some Canadian spouse arrives who doesn’t sing!
It has changed my life in ways I could have never imagined
Sadly in August our 3 year posting comes to an end and we head back to Canada. I have missed our girls, friends and family but leaving my Culdrose family is going to very difficult and truth be told I am feeling a bit teary writing this. I have loved my time learning to sing, sharing this amazing adventure, the laughs, tears and just being a part of this amazing bunch of women. It has changed my life in ways I could have never imagined. I believe that I am a better person because of it. All I can say is thank you to each of them…….Oh and road trip to Canada ladies!!