Thursday, 21 August 2014

A Unique Poppy

100 years later.

888,246 poppies.

888,246 lives.


Most of you will have seen the photographs of the Tower of London and the sea of poppies that surround it. Each poppy handmade, each poppy unique, each poppy representing a British military fatality.

One of those poppies that has been hand made and planted in the moat of the Tower of London represents the life of my Great Grand Uncle.
William Edward Bennett.

He died in 1917.

I studied World War One in English. Not knowing at the time that an ancestor died in France.
We visited France and Belgium.
I walked through the clay-like mud.
It clumped round my boots, weighing down each foot.
My wellies are still stained with mud from fields near the Somme Memorial.
Mud where men lay.
Where poems were composed.
Letters written.
Explosions unrelenting.
Boys that didn't come home.
Where wives became widows.
No body to bury.
No grave to mourn by.

When my Grandfather got called up to the Second World War his mother (William's Sister) couldn't face the idea of losing a brother and a son to war. She wrote to the war office informing them of my Grandfather's medical knowledge. They changed my Grandfather's area of service and he spent the majority of the war in the Bahamas.
He didn't have it easy as many people think. It wasn't all a holiday. He released the Prisoners of War, those in concentration camps. Another of my ancestors was in one of these camps. He was 6 stone when he was released.
It's difficult to imagine the things they saw.
The way it impacted their lives.
The things they saw that went unsaid.
The survivors guilt.

Did you know you can buy a poppy? 
As one of those poppies represents one of my ancestors we have purchased one. When the display is taken down in November, one of those poppies will be on it's way to us. 
A continual reminder.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

August - Me&You

Walking together, one reaching for the other, the slight squeeze of reassurance that everything is going to be okay, the reminder that he is there right next to me and I am there right next to him.

There are moments when I look back on our year and a bit of marriage, where I list the things we have gone through and wonder. Life can be incredibly harsh at times. They say troubles come in threes, it feels like we've had two lots of threes all at once. More than our fair share.

We have learned to prioritise. Some things have had to take the back seat for a while (and are still there patiently waiting) as we focus on family. I have to remind myself that it is okay to not be doing everything.

I do not know how I would have coped with the past year or so, had my Handsome Man not been at my side. I know he feels the same about me. As cheesy as it sounds and as much as I am cringing as I type it, no matter what came our way, we knew we would get through it because we had each other. We vented, we cuddled, we cried, we escaped when necessary and turned off to the rest of the world.

We prioritised us. When bad stuff comes, it is easy to forget the us, the you and me. We didn't want to forget each other, we had to come first.

dear beautiful

Saturday, 9 August 2014

To Read

Shortly after gaining the independence that passing a driving test grants an individual, I drove the three hours to visit my best friend. We went shopping and spent the majority of the time we were out in the most amazing bookshop. We browsed the shelves, read the beginning chapters of books we were pondering buying and recommending books to each other. I walked out of the bookshop that day with my bank account £90 worse off, clutching a bag full of books. I could not have been happier.
I love books. I struggle to enter a bookshop without buying a book. It's an addiction which I don't want to work on taming. 
I think my husband happily steers me away from bookshops knowing how long my to-read list is.
He has just finished reading Dan Brown's 'Inferno' and is encouraging me to work my way through his books. I thought I would be re-reading them but having started 'Angels and Demons' I am realising that I definitely haven't read them all.

Angels and Demons will be my August read.
I am also craving a reading of 'Rebecca' by Daphne Du Maurier so might slip that in somewhere if I have time. The first line 'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.' has been running through my head over and over and I am itching to read more.

My July read was 'Room' by Emma Donoghue which I really enjoyed. I think I am the only person who had not discovered 'Room'.
Told from the perspective of a 5 year old boy who lives in Room with his mother.
I don't want to give any more away but I really enjoyed the book. The voice sounds like a 5 year old, which although some might find annoying, I actually enjoyed and found incredibly clever.