Looking back at last years pictures I was struck by the number of events I had attended or places I visisted that had an element of rememberance. Even though these events and places can be tinged with sadness there is always that element of happiness when you are either with, or remembering old friends.
The pictures above are from;
The Ness Fishery Memorial – Port of Ness – Isle of Lewis
The unveiling of the Airborne Soldier Statue – Aldershot
Crashed World War II Wellington Bomber, Garreg Goch, Brecon Beacons
Remembrance Service, St James Church, Bramley, Hampshire
Salute from Hill 170 – For my Sea Cadet friends
To finish here is a short video from last years Airborne Soldier unveiling ceremony in Aldershot.
For todays post I was struck by the lovely sunshine we were experiencing here in the south of the UK. So after delving into a few of lasts years pics I chose those that made me smile.
I am not someone who copes well with heat however I do appreciate the sun, especially on these cold and windy days I usually get when out and about. Today I had to appreciate the sun in the garden as I am tasked with taking the dog for a walk tonight (only allowed to go out for excercise once a day here) so here are a few memories of better times in the sun.
Remembering a happier time in France on the cliffs and trees in the sunshine.
Hard to believe that just a couple of days ago we had a good covering of snow (nothing like in the North & West of the UK though) and then in a flash it was gone.
We have an informal and relaxed service at 9am in our Church – St James in Bramley that I attend when I can (other conflicts being Finlay’s Footie or Cadet weekends). After the service I left Jerry and Finlay to clean the hall and had a stroll around the cemetery to see what I could find.
I spotted a lovely dew covered Daffodil and a grave marker for one of The Old Contemptibles – James Johnson – I will have to try and find out a bit more about James and his time in the army. The term Old Contemptibles is supposed have come from from an order from the Kaiser at the beginning (as known then) of the Great War when he reputedly ordered his army to “exterminate … the treacherous English and walk over General French’s contemptible little army”.
After dropping Finlay off at a friends house Catherine Alison and myself all headed over to The Vyne National Trust property that is near Bramley. The Vyne had been shut during the cold snap and just re-opened again.
My first spot was some Lungwort near the main house however as usual it was the sight of the 100 Guinea Oak that got my attention. This grand 600 year old oak (Quercus robur) is propped up by a couple of poles because of damage caused by the main road to its roots (the oak was there before the road) but it is still a magnificent sight to look at. For scale you can just see Catherine in the bottom right corner of the picture.
Old & New
I was not expecting to see too much but I was pleasantly surprised to see plenty of late winter/early spring plants such as the Primrose, Winter Aconites, Snowdrops and one or two Cowslips. All these dainty little flowers were popping up near the sight of a rather rough and silvery dead conifer trunk – quite a contrast.
On the Water
I spent a lot of time watching life go by on the water. There was one lovely spot where the Snowdrops drooped over a stream, a Swan cruised by a wood carving of itself and the Ducks were happy to get some ice free water to feed under.
Amongst the Trees
There are a wide range of trees at the Vyne however the Cedar of Lebanon does produce a rather grand seed that sits upright. There were also plenty of nodules sticking out of the ground under some conifers on the bank of the lake – no idea what causes this but will check it out.
After a lovely coffee and cake it was time to pick the boy up from his friends and head home.
My local church St James here in Bramley held a wonderful flower festival last week. Each display linked to a particular hymn and the one that really caught my eye was the display for the armed forces.
The armed forces display was split into three parts. There was a separate display for the Army, Navy and RAF and the hymn they all related to was Eternal Father however it was the RAF display set against the Brocas Aisle window that really caught my attention.
As an old soldier and a serving member of the cadet forces I was particularly pleased to see my church remembering Armed Forces week in this beautiful way.