A Long Way From Home

30/11/2017

Dear Diary,

It's been a long time since I wrote anything in you, even though I've carried you everywhere, so much so that I can't make out some of the previous entries due to the ink having run from the rain occasionally getting to you.

But the lack of care for you isn't why I am writing today, I am writing to recall the past few months which have been quite eventful indeed! I manged to get out of the bind I was in when I last had the time to write, and although I miss the people there, I can honestly say the safety and security I have now is very much appreciated.

I have enrolled at Oasis Mirage Academy, and everyone here is so friendly. The girls doing shensha-do have allowed me to join the team, and even allowed me to drive a Crusader, and I'm loving every minute I spend in it! Sure, it's not got the firepower their Panzers have, nor can it always take the same sort of punishment as their tanks, but by god is it brilliant... and not just because it's British.

In the first practice session with the team I didn't do as well as I used to, I feel the controls weren't oiled properly, but that doesn't mean I wasn't able to get some amazing positioning done, so the gunner could pop a few good shots off.

Looking back on the practice sessions, I sometimes wish we had been a little more serious, or the rest of the girls didn't have such packed schedules, as we really did need more practice before our friendly against Jatkosota. Even though they honoured us with a rematch, we never really seemed to be able to work as a team. It isn't any single person's fault. We all share the blame here; although Katsumi-chan deserves all the credit she can get, as she did draw up some great battle plans the night before.

We have a match coming up with Saunders soon and, if I'm honest, I'm kind of nervous. Sure, I can outrun a yank tank no problem, but I don't know if the Crusader will be able to dish out the damage needed, let alone take a hit should a Sherman manage to land a shot.

I will continue to put on a brave face in front of the team though, because they are all wonderful people, and some of the best I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. These girls, these wonderful, clever, stupid, funny girls, have taken me in and shown me the humanity I thought I had lost. So even if I feel like I am going to let the team down, I shall still try my hardest, and I will definitely not let them know my worries.

We're a month away from Christmas, and being outside of the UK for it is strange. The Japanese celebrate it in a completely foreign way, and although I enjoy the lack of hype before the big day, I am not sure how I'll cope without the terrible songs, and the wonderful food, that I'd usually be consuming... I already miss the pigs in blankets! 

If I could go back to the UK for the month I would, but as we both know I can't - at least not yet. 

I'm sorry I have neglected you for the past few months diary, I won't let this happen again.

Until the next time,
-JA