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Brave New World

2020-07-01T15:11:00+00:00

Ahead of a seminar on the lives and experiences  of Forces partners, taking place on 8th July, Alison Baverstock, Reading Force founder and military wife for 30 years reflects on lockdown and deploymets. Talking to a young friend over the weekend, her experience of returning to work after self-isolating at home really chimed with me. At the time, I couldn’t put my finger on why. Later I realised she had been describing how I always felt at the end of a deployment. All of a sudden your world changes, and things are back to normal – except they are not. The end-date [...]

Brave New World 2020-07-01T15:11:00+00:00

‘I’ve always enjoyed both reading and being read to.’

2020-06-05T15:16:46+00:00

In Part 3 of the Blakesley family lockdown blogs, Nathaniel (12) shares his thoughts on reading, boarding school, and Sherlock Holmes during lockdown… I’ve always enjoyed both reading and being read to. I remember having loads of books in my room as a toddler (including The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Mister Magnolia etc), and then reading almost all of the Beast Quest and Sea Quest books as fast as I could. Dad gave me his old Kindle in 2014 (I was 6) and loved the idea of being able to download books, but as I have got older I have come [...]

‘I’ve always enjoyed both reading and being read to.’ 2020-06-05T15:16:46+00:00

Lockdown Life

2020-06-05T12:14:42+00:00

In Part 2 of the Blakesley lockdown blogs, Karen takes the pen from Paul and recalls arriving in the UK, moving to the Services Cotswold Centre, how reading habits change with life events, and her father’s last days. As international flights go, the return to the UK was relatively uneventful. We landed in London in early March with only the clothing we took for a diving holiday in Asia, the weather was cold but thankfully dry. We managed to navigate to a military welfare flat in Westminster, our home for the next three weeks. The heating was working so even with [...]

Lockdown Life 2020-06-05T12:14:42+00:00

Stranded!

2020-06-03T09:24:15+00:00

The Blakesleys are a military family currently serving in Kuwait. Paul commissioned into the Infantry in 1994, and he and Karen (a qualified Head Teacher on a career break) have two sons, Maxwell (15) and Nathaniel (12). The boys attend Ellesmere College and The Dragon School respectively. The family have lived in Catterick, Warminster, Wilton, North Luffenham, Pirbright, the US, Germany, Cyprus. They will move to Izmir, Turkey, in late 2020. The Blakesleys are avid readers and have been members of Reading Force since 2013. For this series of blogs we asked the Blakesleys to talk about their current experience of [...]

Stranded! 2020-06-03T09:24:15+00:00

Word of command?

2020-04-15T12:08:05+00:00

Alison and Corporal Andrew Miller, The London Regiment – G Company Last week journalist Marina Hyde highlighted the increasing use of a military vocabulary for the COVID-19 crisis. She was right. Journalists and politicians talk about fighting, winning – and battles still to come. However, what struck me is that the people not using these words are the military themselves. Talking on Radio Four’s Today programme, General Sir Nick Carter, Head of the UK’s Armed Forces, answered Martha Kearney’s questions about the role of the military in this crisis directly. There was no playing to the crowd. No waffle. [...]

Word of command? 2020-04-15T12:08:05+00:00

Alison’s epic adventure to the Arctic to raise money for Reading Force

2020-04-08T13:58:25+00:00

Alison Allmand-Smith has returned from her epic adventure to the Arctic to raise £3,000 for Reading Force! She says it was an amazing expedition - and very challenging!  Here she shares photos of her week adventuring in the Arctic. You can donate to Alison’s Reading Force fund via this link. Alison funded the trip herself, and every penny donated goes directly to Reading Force to send books and scrapbooks to families.  Thank you Alison and well done! Alison's journey... Firstly I would like to say a huge and extremely heartfelt thanks to my husband Oliver and family and the fantastic teams [...]

Alison’s epic adventure to the Arctic to raise money for Reading Force 2020-04-08T13:58:25+00:00

Just to let you know we’re still open for business…

2020-03-23T12:32:50+00:00

The Scott siblings opening Reading Force post I’ve had a familiar feeling in my stomach for the last week or so, as we prepare for the arrival of something we can’t see but know is coming. Talking to my Reading Force colleagues this morning, I suddenly realised what it was – the feeling I always got when preparing for an unaccompanied tour. It’s a combination of emotions: uncertainty, knowing that I wanted to hold my family close; having enough resources to support us all and keeping us thinking about anything other than a long separation. And [...]

Just to let you know we’re still open for business… 2020-03-23T12:32:50+00:00

Military Wives

2020-03-11T13:57:20+00:00

Have you seen Military Wives yet? Founder and director of Reading Force, Alison Baverstock, gives her thoughts on the film here, what the makers got wrong, and what they got so right…   Military Wives Military wives are mostly invisible. Partly through inclination – we just tend to get on with it – and partly because wider society has not, until now, appeared particularly interested in us. Joining the military is both a heritable and regionally-specific activity, so there are some families/parts of the country that know all about the Forces, and others that are almost entirely ignorant. So a film [...]

Military Wives 2020-03-11T13:57:20+00:00

An epic adventure to the Arctic Circle

2020-03-11T14:30:37+00:00

Alison Allmand-Smith is about to embark on an epic adventure to the Arctic Circle to fundraise for Reading Force – WOW! We’d like to say a very BIG thank you to Alison! In this blog she talks about why she’s going on this survival expedition and why Reading Force is close to her heart…   Hello, on 6th March I’m setting off to Kiruna in the Arctic Circle to raise money for Reading Force. The expedition has been organised by a group of former Elite British and Swedish soldiers, headed up by Military Cross holder Steve Heaney of adventure and survival [...]

An epic adventure to the Arctic Circle 2020-03-11T14:30:37+00:00

The Brightstorm twins are back for more adventure on the sky-ship Aurora…

2020-02-06T10:00:48+00:00

We’re thrilled Vashti Hardy, the author of Brightstorm and Wildspark – both nominated for the Blue Peter Book Award! – has written our latest guest blog to mark a very exciting day… Darkwhispers, the sequel to Brightstorm, is out TODAY!!! In this blog Vashti shares the books and stories she loved as a child, the moment she knew she wanted to create stories, and what inspired her to write the brilliant Brightstorm… As a child, I was always drawn to stories with an element of fantasy, science fiction and magic. The first longer book read to me by a teacher in [...]

The Brightstorm twins are back for more adventure on the sky-ship Aurora… 2020-02-06T10:00:48+00:00
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