Monday, 22 May 2017

Defence Academy Friends and Family (DAFFY's) part two

This group are so enthusiastic they sweep you along with energy, and it is very entertaining just listening to them exchange news, gossip and ideas. Well organised with snacks drinks prepared for a long working session phones already charged, ready to google things for references. These searches range from images of people falling off their bikes to Services Command Insignia.

So here's the thing with this group:
They are so well organised around planning, logistics rotation of personnel its runs so smoothly without a hitch.....yet their drawings on the map are totally chaotic.... no order or relationship to the near by elements, placement is confused and I could go on and on if I felt maps were only supposed to show where things are! I was a little taken aback at first at just how unorganised their reference to placement was. But then I remembered that higher up the management structure instructions were passed down not to identify any critical buildings or label things that compromise security, (those instructions have clearly been given without seeing other visuals about how communities view themselves). This is not ordinance survey detail/location type info were are dealing with here. But I did wonder if this group were really acting on instructions not to locate buildings or elements on the campus. 

Half the town on my map is taken up by the Defence Academy and it is a very significant proportion of what is depicted. I noticed that on the civilian half of the map they played by the rules of location and placement, by identifying key roads and placement became accurate. This strengthened my theory about not identifying places in the Academy, but watching them work unselfconsciously in groups spontaneously I thought this was the wrong conclusion.

mobile phones charged ready for googling images for references
working together spontaneously as a group, chatting getting news and gossip

This group are all families in the services and firmly knitted together by the use of Facebook as the fabric which keeps everyone informed with local news. 'Heads up' on communities issues are all posted on Facebook and their community seems structured around this social network set up. Day to day issues are solved using face book, lifts to nearby towns, borrowed garden equipment, unwanted items exchanged etc. Something I had not seen as evident in any other civilian communities. These families are operating in an unfamiliar environment to the one my children knew. One family moved twelve times in sixteen years. That's a different life style from most of us.

I was in the services and moved house a lot, but
 I have retired and live here now ..... I am a resident.

So I reflected that their lives are unstructured and may be a little chaotic sometimes, rethinking my conclusion about their drawings wondering if this was how they visually depicted their lives!
I don't think that is true either.
I think what might be happening is that they live on a campus where roads and traffic are minimal. The layout is not orientated to traffic flow or traffic needs, pedestrians and bikes are probably at the top of the pecking order with vehicles of little significance. Building layouts not orientated along roads and the whole space a lot more organic with clumps of trees everywhere, larger open spaces with nothing particular going on, football pitches here, large manor house over there, much less structure, a random spread of building development. The regimented road network on the civilian side making things much more formal and a precious use of limited space! ....maybe?   

Lastly I thought I would drive in and just take one or two photos of the buildings I could see of the Defence Academy near the perimeter fence. I thought it wise not to go up to the entrance kiosk and say 'can I just drive in and take a few photos'. I expected a cross examination and even when the authorities understood why I wanted to take photos the out come would probably still be no 15 minutes later. So I opted to take a photo or two while doing a 'U' turn in the car park outside the main entrance, just to get some kind of reference for building type, what material they might be made from, colour any kind of clue to what is there really?

The Defence Academy remains secret. the best of two photos, no use whatsoever (I'll draw trees there instead)

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