I am finally finding my way in my new environment and have joined Southwold Art Circle, who have a life drawing and a portrait group, talks and demos, an annual exhibition, critique sessions and Saturday workshops. It's beginning to sound a lot like HAS! WooHoo!
I went along to the portrait group today, and was given a very warm welcome, which goes along way to making a girl feel comfortable.
Rupert 10" x 12" Oil
And the best of all was the model, Rupert Hannen, resplendent in a uniform of which I knew nothing, so I asked him.
Chief Officer (Systems Engineering)
43 years with the Royal Fleet Auxiliaries - the support ships of the Royal Navy
The RFA carry the RN's fuel oil, weapons, helicopters, food (both fresh and frozen) and a multitude of other commodities to provide disaster relief around the world. The RFA is manned by Merchant Navy personnel employed by The Secretary of State for Defence (Royal Navy). We enjoy the same privileges as Royal Naval personnel plus we receive a civil service pay rate and pension and very long holidays! For every month we work, we receive 17.25 days holiday. Mind you, we do work, at a minimum, 8 hours a day 7 days a week.
I have served during the crises in Northern Ireland, Borneo, the Falkland Islands, The Balkans and the Gulf War along with with a few voyages around the world supporting foreign navies and providing diplomatic presence as required by the foreign office.
I thank you Rupert for sitting very still, and for your service to your country for all of us.