11th March, Sandy Spot

Just a quick note to say 'hi'. Looks like the soldiers are funding Op Telic: those who don't have their own deserts are still in green, those who don't have their own bog roll are still - no you don't want to know. We only have 5 rounds apiece, although we can use as many TA rounds as we like ("Bang!")

Lots of rehearsals here on Brighton Beach at very very low tide (We've had rain and storms and the mess tent has blown down). Dressing up in 4R (full NBC IPE for those non-NBC amongst you) is hard work in the midday sun though and we're sweating our collective reproductive organs off.

Just had a look at the map and it's quite accurately marked: 'sand and gravel', 'sand dunes', 'sand' etc. No contour lines.

Learned yesterday that a section + me and my officer & driver are being attached to some scary hairy arsed macho types that scare me more than the Iraqi Republican Gaurd [16 AirAssault] Still I'll be working with their REMF elements so hopefully not too bad.

Battle stress is treated, according to our lecture yesterday, by giving you two days off front line duty and then sending you back in. If you're really bad, you get an injection that puts you to sleep for three days and then you go back in. The good news is they'll supply you with any medication you're already on for your mental health, so I've indented for two barrels of bitter a week.

Anyway I'm off to use some of my valuable bog roll - now for sale at 10 pkts full strength Marlborough a role.