Poppies germinate in disturbed soil so when the First World War came to an end they sprang up in ‘Flanders fields’. This then became the iconic symbol for armastice day and is used as a way of collecting donations. Paper flowers are sold in shops and by volunteers to raise money for the Royal British Legion charity.
Poppies come in a variety of forms, among which are the common poppy, probably the ones that grew in the fields after the war. Welsh poppies, oranges and yellows. Californian poppies (I’m not sure they are the same plant as I think they are called Escholsia? not Papaver). Oriental poppies, which are grown in some places to make opiates. Himalayan blue poppy (mecanopsis) one of which I managed to grow last year. Then also different garden varieties, perrenials and annuals.
My favourite annual poppy is Shirley. Lots of variety of colours from pale pinks and whites to deep reds and with different shading, also the perrenial Patty’s Plum although it’s colour tends to fade. I also love painting them….
I did this drawing for remembrance day on Sunday and made a donation to the Royal British Legion. I cut two curves in the paper before colouring it in to make the petals come forward. I made it look similar to the poppies that are usually on sale at this time of year and then shaded the petals to enhance the 3d effect. I added the Motto “Lest we Forget”. I mean this to represent everyone, everywhere not just certain people or countries. I hope this makes sense?
It’s dark outside, in two minutes it will be the longest day of the year. In one minute……
There’s shouting outside, raucous farewells from the pub we live near to. A car revvs loudly in the night, then screeches of up the hill. A woman screams with laughter, so loud it sounds like distress but it turns into a loud giggle.
The longest day has arrived, well actually it did an hour ago. But because we are now in British summertime, our 1am is 12 (midnight) in the rest of the timezone we are in.
The noises have faded. Perhaps they have gone home. Taking their fag ends with them I hope. That is something that really annoys me since the smoking ban. People smoke outside and then discard the cigarette butt’s.
Someone is walking past, heavy shoes Thudding on the pavement outside like a rushing heart beat.
I’d better get some sleep, today, now, is a sad day, a relative passed away a few years ago and I remember it being the 21st of June, the longest day. My memories are stirred every year at thus time.
Today is the 100th anniversary of the end of the 1st World War, on 11 November 1918 at 11am the guns fell silent and war ceased. The war had spread not just across Europe but parts of the Middle East and Asia too.
So much has been written and broadcast about it that makes me realise how little I know about what happened. All I can say is that I will be wearing this poppy in support of the many people, soldiers and civilians who died in that and following wars. I hope we never step over the precipice into another world war. The thought is devastating.