Thought that we (Jane and Marie) would start a blog so that you know what we are up to in the office.
As yesterday was a bad day (Marie stuck in dr's for hours with her poorly daughter and me well............... putting unleaded in a diesel car was not my best moment - won't repeat what Steve said but he ditched the 'give her a bottle of diesel perfume' idea suggested by his work mates). We will have a fresh start today.
Lots of e mails to get rid of first - don't want/need viagra, russian prostitutes or training courses so the first 20 binned. Others need action, so will come back here when they are done.
Back to office: 65 of you so far have applied to march in this year's Remembrance Day Parade. You need to get your letters and stamped addressed envelopes in to the office. We are still waiting to hear about the location for the lunch. It is likely to be The Feathers as UJC etc all booked up but we are waiting for the new manager to get back to us.
27th March 2013
Have spent the morning processing flight applications for those veterans wishing to go back to the Falklands. There are lots of dates when no one has applied, so other than 6th November (which is very busy) if you are thinking of going down to the Islands, get your applications in now. December is very quiet and there are no applications in yet for July, August, September and October. (I know the weather isn't good then but it can't be any worse that what we're getting now, and you are used to it)!.
We're shutting down at lunch time tomorrow for Easter and will reopen on Tuesday morning.
Happy Easter everyone
8th April 2013
Hope everyone had a good Easter. Weather was awful though so unless you managed to get on a plane or live abroad we expect you were freezing like us.
Yesterday, Jane travelled up to Leominster to meet up with the Chrysler PT Cruising Club. One of their members is Tim Jenkins, a SAMA Member and the club had made SAMA their nominated Charity last year and presented us with a cheque for £1308. Gordon Mather attended to receive the cheque and we (as in Jane's other half) managed to get some good photos for the Newsletter. AND the sun came out.
Jane is off on hols on 14th for 2 weeks and then Marie is off for a week so the office cover will be limited over the next 3 weeks. We will try to ensure all runs smoothly though.
2nd May 2013
Where did the time go. Last week sunning myself in the Maldives, now back in the office. At least the sun is shining although its 20 degrees less!
Its getting quite busy again here now, with lots of events on offer from the Not Forgotten Association and the offer of the wonderful day out on the Thames for any of our veteran members from the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships. Last year's event was so successful that they decided to invite the Falkland veterans again this year. All those who attended really enjoyed themselves, so get your name on the list to go this year.
Remembrance Day lunch also sorted! It will be in the Feathers again this year and so to book your lunch send your cheque into the office. it is £8.50 a head and your guests can join in.
Tickets to march in the SAMA platoon are still available so send in your sae soonest to the office.
File alarm just went off so just about to leave the office when realised it was a test! Apparently they do one every Thursday morning but I don't normally work Thursdays. In today as Marie on hols.
So panic over, back to work. 2 new members to process - welcome to the fold.
24th May 2013
Where did that month go. Another Bank Holiday looming so a 3 day weekend off! Hope all goes well for the Camping and Caravan trip down south. Sorry we can't be there.
We are now preparing for the Armed Forces Events around the country and those Regional Co-ordinators who are attending events have received their boxes of SAMA merchandise to sell.
Quite a busy month for new members again and it is nice to see that they are registering on the board.
Enjoy your weekend folks. Congrats to Denzil on the new arrival. Expensive time now Grandpa!
7th June 2013
We are busy now getting ready for the various Armed Forces Day events around the country and sending out the boxes of merchandise to the Regional Co-ordinators kindly covering their local events.
The main SAMA stand will be at Nottingham this year, so if around come and visit us. Hopefully the weather will be good, but if not it will be a place to shelter for you.
One frustrating this this week was that we tried to e mail many of our members living in London and Kent areas about an event they may like to attend in September. Over half the e mails bounced back. PLEASE..... update us with your e mail addresses if they change.
21st June 2013
Its that time of year again - Armed Forces Weekends. With lots going on around the Country there will be plenty of SAMA stands. Mark in Cornwall is covering the main event down there with a SAMA gazebo. Kevin and Tony are covering lots of events in Somerset and Dorset with all their photos etc, SAMA Wales are at the Cardiff event, the C & C club are at Blackpool, and I am doing the National Event in Nottingham so hope you all come and pay me a visit.
Having 'bumped' our brand new caravan, a big oops, we didn't know if we would be able to stay on the campsite but we can now so it means a 10 minute drive in to Nottingham. All we want now is for the rain to go away for a few days.
Lots of new members joining us (from all over the world) so the SAMA name is out there.
Please keep looking out for Memorials around the country as we are trying to do a directory. If you locate on, please send the details to the office with a photo if possible.
29th June 2013
National Armed Forces Day in Nottingham. WOW what a day. An estimated 75,000 people there and we had a prime location on the embankment for our SAMA gazebo.
Lots of SAMA members turned up and we handed out over 20 membership forms for new members to sign up.
SAMA merchandise was on sale and we were very busy. I have to say a BIG thank you to Krysteen Ormond for volunteering to help. Krysteen is the daughter of Kevin and Tina Ormond (Falkland Islands) and is doing her Masters Degree in Nottingham. On hearing we had a stand there she volunteered to give up her day to help, and she was wonderful. She was able to talk to SAM Holders about the Falklands and having been involved in battlefield tours in the FI she was a mind of information and very popular.
So now its back to unpacking the boxes and putting the gazebo away until the next event.
26th July 2013
Its been quite a while now since we last updated this, but that means one of two things - either we've been too busy or its been very quiet! You'll have to guess.
Events around the country have gone well and thanks to Mac (SE) Mark (Plymouth) and Kevin and Tony (Dorset) as they have covered lots of events and as a result new members have come forward.
We are looking at new ideas for merchandise and one of the items will be tea towels as, when I was at AFD Nottingham I had loads of requests from people who collected them and were looking to buy some.
The National Armed Forces Day website tells us that it is 337 days to the next Armed Forces Day event but haven't told us where it is yet - hopefully will be somewhere easy to get to for me and the SAMA 82 gazebo.
Well I'm off for a week now on a cruise (without him indoors) so nothing more until I get back.
Happy hols everyone
14th August 2013
OMG its mid August and I've only managed to buy 3 small Christmas pressies so far. Usually done most of it by now!
SAMA Office is still quite busy although we are managing to take off some of the 100's of hours we accumulated over the past year. This means that the office is open for slightly less hours each day as there is only one of us in throughout August. I had the first week off, Marie the next two, and then I'm off again next week to prepare for Donny camp!
Penguins knitted so each night I stuff a penguin! Then I have to make the berets and sew on the medals. Hope they all get adopted.
Still lots of new members in. I joined 4 this week including one Special Member so they will be receiving their first Newsletter shortly.
Next job for us is to make the tickets for the Remembrance Day lunch. This has been transferred from the Feathers pub to the UJC (beer cheaper there). Meal same price though.
Till the next time, keep smiling
18th September 2013
Just been into a shop in Abergavenny to find the Christmas tree up and decorations hanging! Walked straight out, its much too early for all that. Can't believe how the weather has changed though. two weeks ago we were grateful in the office for the donated air con unit. Now we've got the fire plugged in. The office heating is controlled by the council so we have to wait for them to switch it on.
Newsletters have gone out, and again lots returned as we haven't been informed of new addresses. We do try and e mail/phone members but often those details are out of date too. If you haven't received your newsletter please let us know.
Lots of members going down to the Falklands over the next few months too. Have just processed all those going down in October so all have their flight details now ready to go. Can't believe that it is almost a year since the Pilgrimage. Its good to see that a group of Gurkha's will be going down shortly.
Still waiting for the tickets for Remembrance Day to arrive from the MOD, but all those who have applied will be getting their tickets as we have not hit the maximum this year. Still time to get your request in if you haven't already done so.
30th September 2013
And another month gone - only 86 days to Christmas now oops!
Lots of forms coming in for the AGM next year, looks like its going to be well attended so look forward to seeing everyone there. Trying to sort out a new range of merchandise in time for it so bring your wallets and purses.
Remembrance Day shortly, so I am busy knitting poppies - let me know if you would like one.
Since the Newsletters have landed on the doorsteps we have been kept busy with sales and updates to addresses etc. Please tell us if you move so that we can keep our records up to date. I have managed to find a few that we lost on Facebook
22nd November 2013
Must have pressed the wrong button again last time as my entry did not save! not that you missed much. Busy time getting tickets out for Remembrance Day and then going up to London to watch the parade. Emotional too. Our oldest member, Mr Vickerson (92 years young) was there pushed along by his grandson. Mr Vickerson attends most of the SAMA events. We have had 12 or so applications for next years marching tickets already so never to early to get them in.
Christmas is just around the corner with about 33 sleeps to go. We would plan an office party but with only 2 of us it could be a bit of a let down so Marie and I will just go and have a Christmas lunch in the local hostelry.
We have a 'work experience' lady with us at the moment as well. Catherine is looking to return to work after having her children. She is enjoying the work but unfortunately there are few jobs like this around, and she's not having mine!!!
Lots of new members have come along, so hopefully they are also logging into the DB and seeing what's happening around the Country.
9th December 2014
Well that's almost another year gone by - must be getting really old now as they fly past.
Thanks to everyone who has sent a card to the office really appreciated. We don't decorate the office as there are only two of us and we are rarely in at the same time so pointless, but at least the cards make it look Christmassy.
Looking at new merchandise for 2014 so will update everything once sorted. Have been knitting penguins now for some time and they are doing really well, Each one comes with a miniature Falklands medal and beret depending on whatever colour required. Stock phrase in our house now ..... Can't do that got to go home and stuff a penguin
Have a good Christmas folks, see you in the New Year
3rd January 2014
Happy New Year to everyone. Thanks for all the cards, emails and messages for Christmas. Hope you all had a great time out there.
Back to reality now. Regional co-ordinators meeting next weekend so getting everything ready for that. Have to go and get a new printer as ours has given up the ghost in the office. Repair would cost more than a new one, so told to go out and get one. May wait until the rain stops though. We are having a battering at the moment with the river just up the road from the office just at bursting point. Its already gone in places further down the valley. We do look elegant in our wellies.
We are already getting in requests for Remembrance Day so its never too early.
Back soon folks
15th January 2014
So it's still raining. Hopefully none of you out there have been subjected to flooding. Only 344 days to Christmas now! And got the Winter Olympics to look forward to. Shame they haven't got any snow yet. And we don't have any either. This time last year we were all making snowmen and could have hosted the olympics at my house.
Well last week was a week to forget. Steve (Jane's husband) bumped his car in works car park on Monday. Then on Thursday a lady accelerated in to the back of Jane's car causing a lot of pain and damage. So physio it is then! Car going to doctor's next week.
Then new ipad 'blew up'. Literally nothing but blank screen. I wasn't the only one to return one though so they changed it without question. So if you have a problem with your new ipad, its not you, it would appear to be an Apple problem.
Office up and running after Christmas break. Last weekend was Regional Co-ordinators/ Branch reps meeting in London. Great to see so many and lots of events lined up this year for them.
Off to do banking now, as don't like having cash in the office
17th February 2014
Its still raining!! So sorry for all those who's houses are flooded. Although we have had lots of rain here in Wales (nothing changes) at least at home we are high up. The river by the office has flooded a few times but we are far enough away from it and on the second floor!
Can't believe they are building new houses alongside it and having to stand on the river bank to put the garden fences up. Don't hold out much hope of the fences being there next year.
Getting busy in the office now with the AGM coming up and the next Newsletter going out soon. Hope to see lots of members at the AGM - should be a good weekend. Have a new batch of Penguins to be adopted so you can either order one in advance with the beret colour of your choice, or take a chance when you are there!
Started the lists for Remembrance Day so it's never too early to get in your request for a ticket.
7 new members this week already and its only Wednesday now (even though I started this on Monday!). Hope they all get their newsletter which is due to hit your doorsteps sometime after 7th March. We will get really busy after that as many don't notify us of their change of address and then we are chasing up telephone numbers etc.
New merchandise available - Falklands T towels are now available.
7th March 2014
Newsletters have hit the doorsteps! Now really busy in the office with changes of address, reserving tickets to march in November at Cenotaph and shop orders. Also getting ready for the AGM at the end of the month. Bit of a nightmare as the drum on the photocopier is on its way out and there is lots of photocopying to be done.
Invites coming in from the Not Forgotten Association as well with a new one this time for a 6 day break in Italy! Hope we can be represented there.
At last the sun is shining - yes I know its Wales, but we do get the odd day or so here as well. Hope its helping those poor people still flooded out in the Somerset levels. And the temp is set to rise this weekend. Hope its not like 2 years ago where we had 2 barbeques in March, and visited the beach for grandson's birthday (11th March) and then when we thought we were in for a wonderful Spring and hot and sunny Summer - it rained for the whole of April - September and summer was a total wash out!
21st March 2014
WOW its been busy since last entry! Newsletters brought a flood of shop orders, AGM returns and flight applications. Office looks a mess now with boxes everywhere waiting to go down to Southsea. Taking some stock to display but not too much of each item, so if there is something you need please let me know in advance and I will put extra in.
The Local Authority who own the building we rent a space in, have decided to do some work on it to upgrade facilities. We have had new floors put down in the corridors and hallways and they are now working on the toilets. So it is very smelly (glue from flooring) and noisy! But hey ho, if it means nicer toilets I'm all for it.
Just put out details of this year's Garden Party so expecting a flood of enquiries
25th April 2014
Haven't had chance to update this since before the AGM, sorry. The AGM weekend was one of the best ever - as told to me by those who were there. The reunion dinner was 'kicked off' by the pipes and drums of the Marines and WOW that really made the evening. Thanks to all who bought raffle tickets and bought in the auction - a really successful evening. Swindon next year.
Office been busy as usual with all the returns to be completed since the changes to the Trustees/ Directors. So companies House, and Charity Commission now aware that we have a new team up front.
I'm off on my hols next week, scuba diving, so hopefully all will go well and I will be back in the office on Monday 19th May. (year is flying past). Marie will be doing her utmost to keep everything on an even keel so things should plod on evenly.
Hope you all had a good Easter break
25th June 2014
So where did those two months go!!! No blogging for ages as computer problems in the office. Firstly the router played up so no internet. Then we could only get online if we unplugged the phone. After several phone calls to provider and doing everything they said they agreed that router was the fault and sent us a new one. Then the hard drive packed up! For both of us to work in the office, it is vital to share files so we have been using an external hard drive. This failed and when the computer dr took it away he said it was a partition problem (whatever......). After a week of working on it he has managed to recover our documents. but unfortunately we cannot identify which ones. All you get is a list of files marked 001 - how ever many thousands and we have to physically open each one and then resave it to a folder. However this includes all the documents we have deleted. So every month that we have done an update will show as a separate document and as they are not dated we have to save them all to find out which is the current one. So we have lots of work on doing all this at the moment.
Other than that - holiday season approaches, so hope you all have a relaxing time.
18th July 2014
Still trying to locate all of our data. Slowly getting there but very time consuming. Names coming in for events such as the Thames Cruise with the Dunkirk little Ships but still got places available. Regional Co-ordinators have been busy covering events in Dorset, Hampshire, Devon and Kent especially and if you are attending the War and Peace event in Kent this week, call in and see Mac and Eon at the SAMA Stand.
Lots of new members signed up by Mark in Devon. Their packs should be with them as we speak.
~Hope you're all enjoying the sunshine (and thunderstorms) -
3rd December 2014
Where did that 5 months go?!!....... Things seem to have gone really crazy here. Lots to do etc. SAMA 82 had great coverage on Remembrance Day with the parade lead by John Vickerson. John is probably our oldest member/veteran at 93. He is a veteran of WW11 and the Falklands. His grandson's take it in turns to attend events with him and now he is in a wheelchair, one of them acts as his 'pusher' each year. This year his grandson came over from Canada to do it and it was a proud moment for him and his family as he lead the SAMA contingent and carried the wreath. Following the Remembrance Day services/parades around the country we received about 20 applications for membership. Word gets out at these gatherings.
We have had real problems with our e mail system. Our server is hosted by Managed.com which hosts many other companies around the country. They have a 'glitch' that they cannot sort out at the moment and this means that our e mail is intermittent. They are working on it but it is taking rather a long time to sort. In the meantime we are using a back up e mail - email@example.com as well. We can send e mails from the SAMA address though.
Christmas is on its way. As there are only 2 of us in the office and one is off on hols for 3 weeks (not me!!) then we won't be putting up decorations or tree - Bah humbug and all that, but I will be on my own until the 1st week of January so the opening hours for the office will change slightly. If you do phone, please leave a message so that I can get back to you.
Back soon ........Jane
19th December 2014
Thanks to everyone for the Christmas cards. The office isn't decorated for Christmas (no point when there is only one of you), so the cards brighten it up. Office Christmas party for one isn't an option either. So a coffee and minced pie it will be.
Just been to local business Networking breakfast. They have made us their Charity of the year this year, so we will be getting our 'prize' shortly.
Not much happening, a few problems with flights as MOD computer system playing up and no spare seats for 11th and 14th January. So in constant communication with them as we have 4 veterans hoping to travel down.
Hope you all have a peaceful Christmas, Nadolig Llawen/Happy Christmas all
9th February 2015
Well it came and went and then the New Year and now its February all ready! Where did that time go........
Not much snow (yet) here in Wales so if you have been snowed in then good luck. Now the sun is shining but it is very cold, not helped by the fact that my woodburner broke yesterday and filled my house with smoke setting off all the alarms. This meant an unscheduled cleaning of the living room (surprising how many cobwebs you can see when they are covered in carbon - looked like something from the Addams family ooops that is our surname!)
Over the Christmas period we had loads of new member applications and that continued through January. I think so far this year we have processed over 20, one of whom I had taught at the Police Training School when he joined the police after leaving the marines.
Now busy proofing and updating the Newsletter, Dave Kidd puts it together then it comes to the office for final updates before going off to the printers. Should land on doorsteps first week in March.
Then its a busy time leading up to the AGM
10th April 2015
Told you it would be busy!! I haven't been able to get on here to sort this for a while!!
Anyway, we have had the AGM and WOW what a weekend that was. Thanks to Paul and Debbie Nolan and Isle of Wight tours for all their hard work in setting this up and for keeping the big secret - The Military Wives Choirs singing during the meal. All the comments I had afterwards and e mails since have said what a wonderful weekend it was - the best so far.
All ahead now for Armed Forces Days around the country. We shall be attending the National event in Guildford and my penguin knitting team are in full action mode knitting them while I 'suit and boot' them in whatever colours are required. All come with SAM's.
We are doing well on getting our Memorial File up to date and should be able to put it on line in the future. Also we are working on the Garden of Remembrance, that is being updated and will be 'available in June. We will then be able to keep this updated from the office.
more soon ......
8th May 2015
Time flies when you are having fun - and we are! In the office we are busy trying to get all the merchandise sorted for the numerous events taking place around the country and at home I am busy getting the penguins ready for their 'parade' on the SAMA stands. We have quite a few volunteers now who knit the penguins and then send them to me for their berets, belts and medals. Look out for them at an event near you.
Lots of members have already applied to march at the Cenotaph this year so SAMA should have a fair turn out. If yo haven't got your request in them please do so as soon as you can to ensure your place.
Got a new volunteer for the office (although he doesn't really know that yet!) as Steve (Jane's husband) has retired so mustn't let him stagnate when there is lots to be done here!!!!
1st June 2015
Heating has been turned off by the Council but it is so cold here we have the fire on! Some one said that Summer starts today, well wish they would tell Mr Weather Outside that. The trees are bending with the wind and the rain is bouncing off the walls of the building. never mind America next week where - thunder showers are forecast!
I am off to the SAMA US reunion this year but sadly cannot take my SAMA merchandise to sell as my luggage allowance will not allow it. May sneak in a few ties and a couple of badges just in case though.
Lots of events around the UK going on this month so look out for the SAMA stands. At the end of the month we are in Guildford for National Armed Forces Day, hope to see you there
19th June 2015
Just got back from the SAMA US reunion. Had a great time in Washington and good to put faces to names. A really great reunion - thanks to those who organised it, Blue Harding and his wife in the main. Signed up a few more members to SAMA
Busy week coming up with Armed Forces Displays locally and national event in Guildford, so trying to get all the penguins suited and booted ready for the stands.
17th July 2015
June was very busy with events all over the country. As well as the national event, our members and reps covered events from Scarborough to Plymouth. As a result we have again been busy with new members. Luckily for most of the events the weather was kind to us and hopefully will be just as kind next year as the National Armed Forces Day event is in Cleethorpes.
Members have enjoyed visits to the Garden Party, Wimbledon and Ypres as well as racing days at Brands Hatch. All these events are advertised on the Community Area of the website or you can ring the office and register interest. Some of the events are limited to those in receipt of War Pensions but others are open to all, so just make that call to us here.
The kids break up from school today and true to form its raining, hope the next 6 weeks are not going to be as bad, otherwise instead of being out and about with grandad bug hunting and pond dipping at the local Wetlands, my 7 year old grandson will be sat in the SAMA office looking miserable! Still he can count the badges and put the stamps on letters - you can't start them too young!
The next big event for SAMA is the Dunkirk Little Ships cruise along the Thames on 5th September. Lots of names in and the closing date is the end of July. If numbers exceed places then there will be an independent draw. The people in the care office next door are used to me now popping in with an envelope of names and then they pick out the numbers as required. This way I have no influence etc on who goes to the events.
Now for something really important, there is a huge and I mean HUGE spider just walking up the office wall. If he carries on into the roof then that is fine but if he decides to come back down the wall then I will be closing the office early today!!!!!
Keep smiling everyone
22nd July 2015
Start of school holiday and ..... yes it's raining. Well it is here in Wales, those of you in the South East are not so lucky as us to get all this rain. Just been to do the office banking and got soaked (again). I know I should have taken my umbrella but it was sunny when I left and it is the middle of July. Still tomorrow will be somewhere off the Croatian coast on a cruise ship so roll on 93% and sunshine. Not taking hubby - he is staying home to walk the dog in the rain.
Bow ties have finally arrived in the office so are now available to be purchased. Lots of you wanted them so start ordering please. Just processed first order
We are nearly ready to put out the new Garden of Remembrance, it has taken a time to transfer all the information over and update it but as soon as it is 'live' it means that we can update it easily.
Also got the Memorials to put out on the website. We are cataloguing all the references to Falkland veterans on memorials. benches, churches etc around the UK so that if you are visiting an area you will know where the memorial is. There are more out there that we don't have yet so keep the info coming in.
Bye for now
6th August 2015
Greetings all. If anyone sees the sun out there can you please send it this way. Has anyone told it yet that it is August!. Only 141 sleeps until Christmas so time to start shopping.
Marie is away on her holidays at the moment so office is open every day but reduced hours. My telephone number is on the answer phone if matters are urgent.
Read a great book last week by one of our members - A Great White Whale of a time during the Falklands War by Alan Johansen. Alan rang the office and I promised him that I would read it and I am so glad that I did. It gives a great understanding of what the stewards went through during the conflict. A bit frightening when all you thought you were doing was taking troops down to Ascencion. Then to find yourself in 'Bomb Alley' and being a big white target meant little sleep for those who had not signed up for action.
Alan has now sent me a signed copy which I will treasure.
Still busy with new members coming in almost daily. Lots of veterans now retiring so finding time to join up etc. Welcome aboard all.
Got man who fixes computers coming in as well this week. We have one email that will not go away! Every time we receive a new email, this old one attaches itself and even though I have 'junked it', deleted it and blocked sender there it is sitting proudly in the junk folder. It then multiplies every time a new email comes in. computer man didn't like it when I told him so he's coming to see it for himself. Love the technical bits and getting quite good now at using the correct words but not always at the correct time.
Will tell what he finds later.........................
10th August 2015
Computer Dr was baffled as well so has emailed the host so hopefully will be sorted. No rogue e mails today so something has happened on the weekend.
Back to weather - well its raining again if you hadn't noticed. Its cold in the office as well so got the fire on. Roll on November it may be warm then!
Had a few problems with flights this week. Usually MOD can sort it but this time unfortunately the 3 due to go down in August had to cancel as we could not secure their returns. We could have altered their dates by a few days but as they were restricted to specific dates then they had to postpone. Hopefully won't have too many problems in the future.
Starting to process the next newsletter as well now so busy times ahead; I am off next week so will be working overtime the following week to get everything sorted.
Back to it now, postman has just come
1st September 2015
My oh my doesn't time fly - just bought my first lot of Christmas presents. I know it's sickening isn't it but when you have a long list like I do (my family are professional breeders) then the earlier you start the less headaches you have.
Greetings from sunny Wales - or rain sodden Wales as I should be calling it. Might take the summer sandals I bought back to the shop and swap them for wellies as they haven't been worn. The weatherman says next week it's getting better- thats obvious as the kids are going back to school.
Office busy again as the next newsletter will be going out in the next few weeks. Plenty of reading material for you all.
Making tickets for the lunch at Union Jack club after Remembrance Day parade - get your requests in if you haven't already done so. Hope to catch up with you there.
bit of a delay there as the fire alarm went off - apparently it was a evacuation test by the landlords (council) to check we were all out, well as no one checks you in how the hell would they know. The poor lady who was in the loo is having a telling off next door for not going outside!!!!!#
11th September 2015
Only 104 days until Santa sets off now - oh dear!
Newsletter gone off to the printers so should be landing on doorsteps at the end of the month. Hope all goes ok.
Have just put out events from the Not Forgotten Association for the Christmas lunches and Marching in London so waiting for all the calls to come in. Can't believe that we are talking Christmas already.
At least the sun is shining today, but apparently not for long as winter on its way....... sorry all
7th October 2015
Well another busy period over with and the newsletters should now be with you. Again we have had lots of returns so please change your address with us if you move.
Thanks to all who have made comments about the newsletter especially those who enjoyed it. It is always great to have feed back, whether good or bad as we need to know where we can improve as well as what we are doing well.
We had a great visitor last week, Captain Gill Barber MV British Esk. He brought along some great photos of the Esk and other ships during the conflict and we are trying to scan them etc so that we can either publish them or put them on our display.
Tickets are out for the Cenotaph this year and lunch requests are coming in. Hope to see lots of you up in London
4th December 2015
Ok then who stole November - where did that time go. Great to see everyone looking smart at the Cenotaph, and it is always good to put names to faces.
All good here in the SAMA office gearing up to Christmas. Thanks for the cards we have received. These are the only decorations we put up in the office as it is quite small and if we put a tree in here we would have to move out.
We are working flat out now with end of month/year returns required for the auditor and Charity Commission. Marie is counting badges etc while I am working out depreciation percentages. My brain hurts.
We held a coffee morning here last week for veterans living in and around the area. It went really well and it was great to meet the Gurkhas and Second World War veterans. Hope to have another one in the new year.
I understand it is warm and sunny in the Falkland Islands this week. A bit different to here when you have to drive around looking out for flying wheelie bins. The new smaller ones are lethal. One puff of wind and they are off. Our garden acquired some new recycling boxes last week. don't know who they belong to but the wind decided to drop them on my lawn. Better condition than the one I have so......
Hope the weekend is better as off to check on my caravan in the hope that it isn't on its way to France.
21st December 2015
So the season to be jolly is here at last! not very jolly in the office as I have had to rearrange/cancel the flights for those hoping to travel in January. The Early part of the month are cancelled due to overbooking of serving personnel and then the runway is shut for a week for maintenance and the plane is being serviced. This means that 2 flights in the middle of the month are cancelled and this has a knock on effect for those travelling later as there will be less seats available. So lots of sleepness nights again.
Anyway enough moaning - Happy Christmas all
22nd January 2016
A belated Happy Birthday all. Its a bit late but things have been a bit busy in the office. Flights have been a nightmare this month, with many veterans not being able to travel due to the plane being delayed in Ascencion for 3 days which meant that the next flight couldn't go and then they closed the runway for a week so that meant cancelling another 2 flights which made the next one full! all this has caused lots of headaches and the sales of paracetamol have gone up considerably!
Met the new President last week and next week off to London to meet up with the Area Reps and Branch reps to look at what's happening in 2016.
Weather is crap at the moment isn't it - all that rain. Luckily for us we are not flooded and hopefully not going to get the blizzards and heavy snow hitting East coast America as we speak.
17th February 2016
That's it! Newsletters are with printers and should be on doorsteps within the next week or so. Hope you all have a good read.
Now concentrating on AGM - 9th April is not that far away. Hope to see lots of you there and at the Service on the Sunday. Should be a good weekend.
A very busy January and February with flights. Sadly lots didn't get flights in January due to a number of reasons. Flights were cancelled due to high winds here and in the FI, then the plane broke down in Ascension which meant a few veterans on their way home had 3 extra days. Then they serviced the plane and did repairs on the runway at Stanley which meant no flights for a week and after all that there were problems with the runway at Ascension which meant less seats to keep the weight down. So all in all January was a nightmare. Glad to report that February seats have all come through - thanks to the team at Abbey Wood.
Had a visitor from Scotland last Friday. One of our members was staying local to go to the Wales v Scotland rugby match on the Saturday and was out for a run when he saw the sign for the office and called in for coffee. Its great to put names to faces and we love having visitors.
Anyway, Harriet our Wednesday helper has just brought all the post up so onwards .........
16th March 2016
And another month gone already thought I was updating this more often, but there we go lost 2 weeks in Feb and another 2 in March!.. We are getting really into the media links now and SAMA has a Twitter account!!!!! not only that I have learnt how to schedule and tweet when I'm not even in the office WOW I hear you say. so now you can follow us on @SAMA82office
Keep smiling folks, got a group going down to the Falklands tonight, and the Welsh lads came home yesterday. Flights seem to be ok at the moment but sometimes it is right up to the wire to get veterans down there.
back soon .....
6th April 2016
Ah well I said I'd be back soon and look what happens - another few weeks have passed, including Easter. Easter bunny forgot where I lived this year, but some daffodils did appear on the window sill. Not quite the same but dipped in chocolate .........
more problems with flights last week. Storm Katie was involved in the drama as was the winds in the FI. This meant plane did not go and so 2 flights merged which meant no seats for concessionary scheme. hope to get the vets down again soon.
Packing up everything now for AGM - may need to hire a truck. I love jigsaw puzzles so that might come in handy to pack the car with the 8 boxes, numerous files, penguins and collection buckets oh and if room, some clothes for me and him indoors. Hope to see you there
18th April 2016
Back now - where did that 2 weeks go. Had a fabulous time at the AGM weekend and especially the Service in the Vulcan Hanger. If you haven't looked at the photos go into the gallery now and take a look. I think everyone who came along had a great time and it was nice to meet new people and to hear that this was their first AGM and they enjoyed it so much they have booked for next year already. Speaking of next year, we hope to hold the Service on the Sunday at the Falklands Memorial at the NMA.
Welcome again to new members of SAMA. Lots of you again this year, hope to meet up with you at events. Keep an eye out for new things in the shop shortly and remember to order your SAMA ties well in advance of events.
Lovely to see the pictures of the Service in Hull yesterday followed by the parade and wreath laying. Glad the weather held up for everyone.
27th April 2016
At last the sun is shining, well it is in Wales!
It's a bank holiday weekend coming up so I expect it will start raining again. the office will be closed on Friday as I am taking a holiday - office will be open again on Tuesday.
Have you put your name down yet for the Dunkirk Little Ships river cruise in September if not, why not.
Other events are coming in from The Not Forgotten Association so keep an eye out for them on the discussion board.
1st June 2016
Sorry its been nearly 6 weeks again before being able to update the blog. It has been a busy time yet again, as the council, once more, have told us we have to move offices. Luckily for us it is only to another one nearby and so the address and telephone number will not have to be changed and hopefully all will run smoothly. We will be able to renumber the new office as 25 so all should be good. ,.,.,.,.,,, famous last words.
Nice to have a few visitors in the office over the past few weeks. Love to meet our members, face to face.
We have had a few incidents recently where messages have been left asking us to contact the callers - only problem is they forgot to leave a contact number! if that's you then that's why you didn't get a call back.
Got lots of events this month so may get to meet up with some veterans there.
17th June 2016
Its raining again....... well this is Wales so I suppose that's the reason. Cannot believe its mid June and the council (our landlords) still have the heating on in the building. glad I'm not paying the bill!!! tried telling them but.............
Busy week coming up - its AFD week with most councils holding flag raising ceremonies and then the main events next weekend. SAMA Stand at National event in Cleethorpes (thanks Joe and Rob) and we will be at the Plymouth event - hope it's fine- and then others will be at Caerphilly attending the Wales event. Look out for SAMA veterans at other events too.
This weekend is HMS Sultan event, we have a stand there so call in and see George and Debbie
25th July 2016
Sorry its been a while but lots of things have happened. There were lots of events around the country attended by many of our volunteers and they raised lots of money for SAMA. I had a great time down in Plymouth meeting 'old' members and signing up new ones. Great to put faces to names.
We had to move our offices in the middle of July. They are having a change round here in the Business Centre and decided that they needed our office to make it part of one big office as the walls were only partitions. We had to move 3 doors down the corridor, but for all the hassle we had it might as well have been 300 miles. The telephone company and internet provider told us one thing then when we booked the appointment their sales team told us a completely different story and we almost moved without having comms for a few weeks. A few stressful phonecalls later the line was moved before we moved in, so all sorted in the end. For 2 days we worked off the floor, literally, as the furniture was moved by the council before us.
Now up an running in the new office, just waiting for the blinds to be fitted and the signs to be moved. We are fully open for business now and hopefully some of you will call in. Its quite sunny at the moment so no need to bring umbrellas
3rd August 2016
Nice to meet up with SAMA members last weekend at Chris Jones' bbq. And potentially one new member!. We have had 86 new members so far this year - looking forward to meeting up with them at the AGMS.
Spent last night making up penguins for Bournemouth air show. Kevin Greathurst is covering this event on weekend of 18th August, so pop along and have a chat with him
I'm off on a week's holiday from tomorrow hopefully will see the sun as it's been posted AWOL from Wales.
Catch up soon
7th September 2016
I did say catch up soon and now its over a month - what happened there?. Excuse is we have been on annual leave and are now trying to get the newsletter sorted. We have a new simple publishing package!!! the only think simple about it is me! Ringing technical support doesn't help I don't even think we are speaking the same language. Sending out the September newsletter means that summer is over and we are approaching the cold season. Really dreary times ahead OMG I sound really maudling - but that's not the case as I still have my holidays to look forward to, 2 weeks scuba diving.... Ah well
Lots of new members on board now, over 100 in the first 8 months of this year. Lots of veterans coming up to retirement and looking to join so welcome on board everyone.
We have a Trustees meeting here tomorrow so will be setting up the meeting room for them then off to buy the sandwiches, or the bread and fillers and make them ourselves.
Next Friday we are doing a display at a local Expo so should be getting lots of attention there from local trades and customers. Hopefully weather will be fine but as we are in side it won't matter too much and the local shopping centre is all under cover so shouldn't put off the customers.
Don't forget to look at the members area of the website and check out events locally and nationally and get your name in where possible.
19th September 2016
Well are we glad to see the back of last week. We finalised the newsletter on Monday - and then arranged to do a last check of it on Tuesday morning before sending it to the printers. Loaded it on to computer - which promptly went blank and lost the whole document. I mean lost! The computer man spent over 3 hours trying to recover it but no way it was gone forever. We then had to work like crazy to get it back up and running and had to start a new publication. 48 pages later we start the final edit and guess what - got to page 5 and it went blank again, but this time did give us a 5 second recovery option. This happened 5 times until I wanted to throw the computer through the window. Seems like our publishing package and Windows 10 don't like each other.
Another stressful day spent transferring document page by page to word doc and finally sending it to the printers. 2 bottles of wine later and I can laugh about it but it was crazy.
So when you are reading your next newsletter, if there are any errors DONT tell me about them!!!!
26th October 2016
Its been 5 weeks since I last managed to get on here and update whats been happening. The newsletter kept us busy for a while, then when they went out there was a problem with the address labels meaning that we had to hand write over 1000 to get them to the correct addresses. Hopefully now you have your newsletter.
Also the tickets arrived for the Cenotaph. They have been sent out to all who applied for them - hope it stays fine on the day and sorry won't be with you in London this year, as will be on my holidays.
things are coming together now for next year. There are lots going on in all areas so we will be doing a calendar so that you don't miss anything.
23rd November 2016
Just back from holidays so no blogging for a month, sorry. Having said that don't know if anyone reads it anyway! ha ha.
Missed the Remembrance Day this year in London, sorry. Looking forward to seeing everyone there next time though as it will be a big event. We have had over 80 applications to march already. There will be a limit to the number of tickets we can have so it is imperative that you register interest early otherwise you may be disappointed. I understand that the security provisions put in place this year didn't cause too many problems though which was a worry.
We are building up to lots of things happening over the next year so keep an eye on the website for details as they become known and if you hear of anything in your area then let us know here so that we can get the information out to everyone else.
The next newsletter will be going out during the first week of March, to include the Calling notices for the AGM and details of the Service at the Falklands Memorial at the NMA on the Sunday. I have put my order in already for dry weather and hope you are all doing the same.
We need new stories for the newsletter, so if you have a story to tell then please send it in.
7th December 2016
Only 18 sleeps to the big day - ha ha - best I do something about the shopping then! Haven't even planned the Christmas dinner yet. Still waiting to hear how many before I sort out the meat. Could be tinned ham the way we are going.
Thanks for the Christmas cards - they are up in the office and are the only decorations!! - our office Christmas party is next Friday will be a raucous event with the 2 of us there, although we are taking our volunteer helper, Harriet. Is it me or do all women go through a mad spell in the Advent season. Constantly writing lists to remind you to do something then forgetting to take the lists. So practised in hiding things that now the washing up liquid appears in the fridge and the veg is in the washing machine.
Planning pressies for the grand kids only to find out that what you thought was a 'cool' present is 'so last year!!' Ah well the charity shops could do well from me in the new year.
No more moaning, just got to try and sort out some flights for January - not looking too good though as all appear full at the moment, with troop movements and families travelling ....
30th December 2016
Well that's Christmas over with for another year. Marie and I did go out for an office Christmas staff meal but we didn't do the secret Santa - not much guess work when there are only 2 of you!!!!
2017 is only 2 days away and the start of what is going to be a very busy year. There are lots of events taking place around the country so stay in touch to find out what and where. We are looking at new merchandise such as Falklands 35 badges and other bits and pieces.
Places to march at the Cenotaph are filling up rapidly so get your names/envelopes in soonest. Please put an A4 envelop in as the RBL tickets are bigger and some of you sent in very small envelopes this year and we were not able to use them. Also 2 of our members did not receive their tickets - they were lost in the post. I would suggest a first class stamp but it's up to you to decide.
hope you all have a good break and here's to a healthy new year
24th March 2017
I have put a few updates on here, but they appear to have disappeared. Must have been really interesting!
Well there are good days and bad days and this one ....... leave it up to you to decide. Lots to do in the office as we approach the AGM weekend so got up really early to come in and make a start. Got in the car, pressed 'start' absolutely nothing. Get grumpy up to help out, and he uses power pack and it starts. Great, get to work turn off engine, turn it back on..... nothing!. Ring garage, got to take it in (its only a year old). Got to ring husband again to start it and get me back from garage. Drop off car, then back to office to start. Get loads done, thankfully, including lots of shop orders to go out so have to go to pick up the car and go to the post office early enough so that don't miss last post. Get car - apparently new battery fitted and I'm not the first with the problem hence no charge for new battery. Go to post office queue out the door. Finally get to counter and sort out parcels. Then back to the car to see elderly lady on floor infront my my car being helped to her feet by a man. Go to assist him, she's fallen over and cannot get up. Get her onto her feet and she passes out! Ah well, now have to run through car park to ring ambulance as car park underground and no signal. Ambulance come and park across front of my car so can't get out of car park until lady is sorted. Finally get back to the office and deal with missed calls so sorry if you rang and I didn't answer, I did have an excuse!
The Falklands 35 badges are selling really well, so if you haven't got yours, then get your order in quickly x hope to see you at the AGM or Service at the Arboretum on 2nd April
7th April 2017
Well that's the weekend over and WOW what a weekend that was. The AGM meeting was attended by nearly 100 veterans and the gala dinner in the evening there were nearly 200 sitting down. The raffle raised £763 and the auction £240, so thank you to all those I 'mugged'. It really was a successful evening.
The Service at the NMA on Sunday morning was very moving. The sun shone, and I am sure that that was instigated by Rev David Cooper! at least he claimed that honour. Ellen from the FI laid a wreath alongside the names of the 3 Falkland Islanders who lost their lives and I don't think there was anyone there who didn't shed a tear.
Back to it now - just got all the paperwork to sort out .............