Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blood swept lands and seas of red.........


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. 

All 888,246. 




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. 


Vee said...

It is good to honor those lives...such an incredible hardly seems possible. Glad that you found a friendly stranger to take such a nice photo document your day. Hope that the end of vibrations means the end of any lingering difficulties.

I was thinking of the very nicely padded recliner that sits in the back of our church sanctuary for anyone's use. It often sits unused, but when needed it is there. Would that kind of chair be a solution? Of course, the padded wheelchair (sounds like a new blog would be mobile.

Susan said...

Your photos of the poppies are wonderful. I love the one of you, too :-)

It is a beautiful, sobering and impressive sight.

Kathryn said...

Thank you for sharing the photos. It looks stunning and unmissable. We are planning to go next week and take our small person who I hope is old enough to remember the sight. What a wonderful creative idea and huge brownie points to whichever authority took the decision to run with it,

Gillie said...

And I am kicking myself that I didn't, en route from Paris to Northants. I am wondering if they will be carefully packaged up and brought out again in 1918. Drat from Michigan!

My grandfather was a Boy (the most junior rank in the Navy) and was at Gallipoli. He survived too and didn't retire because 1939 happened.

Vee said...

Last night, we had a report on the evening news about this event. I smiled and remembered that I had read and seen it here first. It looks incredible completely surrounding the Tower.

Hope that all is going well in your corner!