On Monday, I woke up and decided to go to London.
I wanted to go to the Tower, to see the poppies.
So I caught the train at 11, got to London before 12, hopped on the Circle line (new tubes with no carriages!) and I was at Tower Hill before I knew it. Thankfully, the walk was not far at all, because let me tell you, trains vibrate. This is not good.
I knew what to expect, because my children and friends have been in the past few months, as the poppies have spread, and I have seen the photos, but nothing quite prepares you for the sea of red. Every single ceramic poppy - all different heights - represents one British military death in World War 1.
They pour our of the window in the Tower, down onto the moat - and spread in all directions.
Then the wave soars up and into another section.
Every day, volunteers place more, until November 11th, 100 years after WW1 began,when the final one will be placed.
Blood swept lands
and seas of red......
Thousands and thousands of people go to see the poppies every day. Schools too. I can't tell you how many people there are there, and yet it is respectful, and the awe is tangible. You cannot help but be unbearably moved when you think of all those young lives - and some were so very young. My grandfather fought in WW1. He lived.
I had to ask a random stranger to take my photo, because I couldn't quite manage the selfie with stick, bag, wind and all. We did manage to avoid the rain.
I found a cup of coffee, and sat down near the river to drink it and reflect, and then I wandered slowly back to the tube. Back to the station, and back onto the train and home again by 3.30.
I am so very glad I went.