Poppies and Birdsong

Yesterday was one of those memorable dates that people get excited about and claim special significance for, 11.11.11. There seems to have been so much fuss made about Poppy Day this year and not all in a good way. I hate the way it feels as though it has all been hijacked as a vehicle for thinly veiled racism and a weird kind of fanatical patriotism.Isn’t it meant to remember those who fought for peace, tolerance and freedom?  Anyway, I stood in my kitchen and observed the minute’s silence at 11am, looking out of the window,listening to the birdsong and the wind in the trees and thinking about my own family’s story.

This poppy ( the last left in the overgrown “meadow” of my garden) is to remember my Great Grandad, William Parry, who died in 1918; as well as all the others who fought in both world wars- not just professional soldiers but ordinary young men, shop keepers, farmers, artists…

William was 25 when he died and Elizabeth, his wife , never remarried or, as far as I know, even had another man in her life ( she told me he was too lovely) . As a family we’ve visited the Lutyen’s designed cemetery in Peronne many times. the last time I went, in 2004 with both my children and my parents, was the most moving for me. I found it impossible to contemplate the young men I knew being sent off to war, my boyfriend at the time was in his 20s and it really hit home. We visited the Historial de la Grande Guerre and I was proud that the children both felt the importance of remembering and declared they would one day bring their own children too. I wish William and Elizabeth could have known that.

So, that was a bit of a diversion from my usual subjects but as an antidote, here is a bear. I’m pretty excited because he’s going up to Newcastle this week to be part of an exhibition at the Biscuit Factory called “Imaginaries of a Mysterious World”. I’m going to go up on the train and hopefully go to see the Mervyn Peake exhibition too.Oh, I really am quite excited now!

So, after last night’s craft fair I am now about to unpack and sort out my stock ready for Designer’s Marketplace and the big Christmas rush that’s bound to start soon.I also just bought a book from the charity shop “Yoga for Wimps” so I may well need help to get off the kitchen floor later! I hope you are all enjoying a peaceful weekend where ever you are.




6 responses to “Poppies and Birdsong

  1. Lovely post. Wish I could come and see the bear in newcastle! And want to go back to france soon. X s

  2. HI Kim it was good to read the story of your family, it brings things back to what Poppy Day is all about, so thank you for that.
    I hope you have a really good week.
    Lynn xx
    ps. just realised we dont need to send our sketchbook in as early as I thought, so the pressure is off for a bit. x

  3. Kim,

    Last week I listened to my husband have a few words about 11.11.11, all along the same lines as your post but you have portrayed the concept far better than we could.

    Congratulations to you and the bear

    Jane x

    • Thank you Jane. The bear has arrived safely in Newcastle thank goodness ( although the bus nearly took me totally the wrong way ) and the exhibition opens on Friday :0) x

  4. So, there I was, looking at your blog and thinking, mmmm…. lovely bears, and there you were, looking at mine and thinking about beautiful things. Good to meet you.

  5. Funny isn’t it ! Mind you, my bears feel a bit shy in your company Jackie, your work is gorgeous.

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