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I Am Back – Gurkhas (RMA) And More Photos

July 9, 2012

Well, the last two months have been a right pain.  Nothing has worked and I am sick of technology but as it is part and parcel of everyday life here I am again, using it.

When I last posted here I had no idea I would take such a while to come back and say hello again.  But life is never predictable I find and so this and that got in the way, plus the Internet has been giving me a nervous breakdown – or lack of it I should say.  Anyway, I am back.

It has been a wet and miserable summer so far, more like Singapore and Mumbai than England.  Rain stopped play for more than just my writing (only for a while), and getting around, but I am now getting to grips with a lack of webbed feet and a boat, and have decided to carry on getting soaked to the skin every time I venture outside and just accept it as part of life’s rich tapestry….not!

I posted a photo of the RMA (Sandhurst) earlier which I took last year during Heritage Day there.  I am going to add a few more to show you how lovely it is and because I couldn’t attend this year’s event due to other commitments.  Besides, had I gone this year I would have been totally soaked and unable to take any I expect.

Not only is the RMA open one day per year to the Public – it having been closed since the days when Princess Anne and her former husband, Captain Mark Phillips lived there in the 1970’s – for security reasons, it does open now and again for other special events such as the wonderful outdoor concerts named ‘Music on Fire’ – sadly there has not been one for a few years due to the numbers of Officer Cadets required to help run it and the various overseas commitments our Army has at the moment

Until Princess Anne came to live there, the grounds were always open to the Public who used it as a short cut to Camberley, or for picnics and generally used it like a park.

This year is the 200th anniversary of the RMA at Sandhurst and to celebrate, the RMA held a Freedom March through the town (which was, when I was small and a teenager, just a small village), the College having been given the Freedom of the Town some years ago to mark the close relationship between the village/town and the College which was a huge employer in the area for many years. 

My own family has had links with the RMA going back almost 100 years – with family employed on the staff there, and also as Instructors to the Officer Cadets, and in the last thirty years, with family members attending as Officer Cadets.  Hence my interest.

The photo I posted earlier was taken last year and is of the Old College – the original College there – and it is where you often see the Commandant go up the steps on his white horse during Passing Out ceremonies.  This photo was taken on Heritage Day and you can see some of the free events put on for the public.

There are two lakes in the grounds which I love.

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Above is the Lower lake.

Below is the second lake.

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The RMA has a lot of Gurkhas stationed there and they hold demonstrations of traditional dances and fighting during these Public events and they also have a Gurkha village set up in the depths of the woods where they demonstrate survival techniques for living in the jungle.  I went on the Survival Trail.  There is also Gurkha food available which is so delicious….if you ever get the chance do try some.

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This is a shelter built to keep the soldier dry and away from reptiles and other creepy crawlies.

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Above:  First trap a wild pig and then using this gadget, dispatch it ready for dinner.

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Above:  The New College, RMA

I hope you enjoy these photos.  I enjoyed taking them.

During my time away from here I have been writing more short stories and also working on my novel, Ms Birdsong Investigates, which has been taking up a lot of thinking time.  I am about to tie up the whole investigation and so it is necessary to make sure I have all my suspects and motivations clear and understandable – you have no idea how confusing it can be trying to get all the clues in place, making sure the crimes can actually be committed in the right place at the right time and that the suspects are actually capable of committing them.  I have been driving myself mad getting it all to click.  So wandering around the countryside and taking photos has not been a waste of time – I do this to help me plot and think.

If you visit my author page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2) you will see that I have posted some photographs of places and houses and other things which have inspired a character, their home or a location in my work…there is the cottage where Ms Birdsong lives, where one of the characters lives and the view she has from her window and so forth….these help me keep a visual note of my plot and characters.  Do pop across and have a look and leave me a message…..I hope that you will LIKE my page there and become a frequent visitor.

Well, I will leave you now until next time – sooner rather than later I promise – and I hope you  enjoy the photos I have taken and that you will visit me on Facebook.  I look forward to catching you there soon. Do pop back here again and ‘Follow’ me to keep up with how my writing is going and what else I have been up to.  I love to receive your comments so do please leave me some.

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Above:  One of the swans on the lake at the RMA Sandhurst which took to me and followed me along the lake’s edge…

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16 Comments
  1. Lorna permalink

    Beautiful photos Jane…… The weather is quite disturbing for this time of year….. Apart from the obvious ie soggy socks and trouser bottoms the crops and flowers are suffering terribly. Glad youre back and look forward to having lots to read whilst sheltering in the greenhouse with a nice cuppa :))

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    • Lorna, thanks for the visit and comment…I hope you have tried out by now. I have just read and left a comment on Shortbread re your lovely story Queen Bee which I really enjoyed…..mind you bees fill me with fear, having knelt on one once and I cannot describe the pain, I am now very edgy when they are around…lovely story, loved the ending too. x

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    • Hi Lorna, hope all is well. I have tried to link back to your blog/page but without success. Please send your link or post with your page on here for me. I’ve been naughty not blogging much of late, the 2 works in progress taking all my creative strength I think. How is it going your end? have a great week and pop by soon and let’s link up.

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  2. Welcome Back, Jane! Glad you braved the vagaries of weather and technology, in mixed and repeated order, to bring us these beautiful photos. Am following and look forward to more photos and updates on your latest novel. Rock on!

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    • Nicky, thanks for your support here, which is much appreciated. I am going to post more photos and ramblings asap. The novel is getting there slowly but surely, the plot thickens! I hope yours is coming along well (Well!!) duh, what am I like!! And look forward to your publication in October. Keep me in the loop as I am really interested to see how it develops. And yes….Rock on….just!! lol x

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  3. Sick of technology too Jane. Love the pictures. Let’s hope the summer comes at last. Not much better here Xx

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    • So do I Elle, but at least you are in Paris, so that must make up for it! Thanks for taking the time to visit here an I hope you come again. I see that your book is now published in French – what an achievement, well done. Good luck with it. x

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      • Thank you Jane! Yes, always trying to look at the brighter side. So glad to be back on WordPress, so much friendlier, and now I can follow you here too 🙂 Xx

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        • Glad to hear that you are following – I have been following you for a while now on your various outlets…enjoying it a lot. I am still getting to grips with WP and how it works, but it is fun learning…..I think!! 🙂

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  4. Nicola at the moment Egypt sounds like heaven…well apart from some obvious problems. I should imagine your brother-in-law must have a fabulous job then, the Chapel there is wonderful and has lots of historical items inside. I have never photographed inside because there is always someone praying there and I don’t like to intrude, but it is a fabulous place. Some of my friends married Officer Cadets, after they Passed Out, and it is a gorgeous place to get married. I will add some more photos when I next do an update. Thanks for taking the time to read this and for popping back – much appreciated. xx

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  5. An interesting and informative post Jane. I hadn’t realised that Princess Anne used to live there. I especially like the lakes and the swan. I have an American friend who loves swans – it’s always easy to buy her a present! Sorry you’ve had such a troublesome couple of months – when we see all that water on the English news we realise just how lucky we are.

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    • Hi Penelope, Thanks for reading my post and I am always pleased to enlighten someone! Yes Princess Anne and her former husband, Captain Mark Phillips were resident at the RMA in the 1970’s and that is when security demanded the closure of the grounds which had always been open to the public, because of the threat from the IRA to her and to the UK in general. She was often seen on horseback in the area and they used to go to some of the local pubs without much fuss being made about it all. But now you have to have permission and a pass to go into the grounds which means no more short cuts to the town. On the occasions it does open to the public it is free and there is always lots to see and do – demonstrations, food tents and so on, parades, marching bands, gunnery displays and of course, the Colleges themselves are open and all the wonderful rooms, libraries and other historic rooms and artifacts are on show. I will post some photos when I am able. Thanks Penelope, catch up here again soon.

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    • Hi Penelope, I think I replied to your last comment, let me know if you cannot see it. I am trying to link to you for the Be Inspired Award you nominated me for but would appreciate your http:// link please.

      Also, I added a photo on my blog of the House Princess Anne lived in when at the RMA – bit overgrown now, still occupied I am sure, by another military family.

      Glad you liked the swans and lake I have a lot more on my Facebook page and will add more here when time permits. Thanks for popping in – I read your blog all the time…so interesting. Anyway, catch up soon, but do send me your link. Thanks.

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    • Hi Penelope I am trying to see if this works properly and I can visit your pages from here. You found me OK which is great. I’ve not been blogging much of late as you know the 2 WIP are taking most of my time, but I shall be updating soon. I’m going to try the link now…..fingers crossed I get to post on your page soon. Let me know.

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  6. What a fascinating post, Jane. I had no idea Sandhurst was such an interesting place; a friend’s brother-in-law is the organist there, I believe.

    I think we’re all sick of the weather! We lived in Egypt for a year and I used to moan about the heat, but I could certainly do with some of it now.

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    • Nicola at the moment Egypt sounds like heaven…well apart from some obvious problems. I should imagine your brother-in-law must have a fabulous job then, the Chapel there is wonderful and has lots of historical items inside. I have never photographed inside because there is always someone praying there and I don’t like to intrude, but it is a fabulous place. Some of my friends married Officer Cadets, after they Passed Out, and it is a gorgeous place to get married. I will add some more photos when I next do an update. Thanks for taking the time to read this and for popping back – much appreciated. xx

      Like

Please leave a reply and comment - your input is really appreciated. Thanks, Jane

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