…and in the morning, we will remember them. I’ve just come back from visiting a local church which was holding a flower festival to commemorate the fallen, and those who returned, from WW1. It is very moving to see the wide variety acts of remembrance taking place in the UK and world-wide.
The church display included some clay poppies made by children at the local school – very touching, not quite as flamboyant as the spectacular display planned for the Tower of London. This new installation by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper commemorates all British deaths from WW1. A total of 888,246 red ceramic poppies will be arranged around the tower, including a cascade of blood red poppies pouring from a turret window. It is hard to imagine what that number means, but this sea of red will truly help to visualise the human toll.
Of course, the vastness of the numbers hides all the individual sorrow and heartache that was experienced as loved ones received the dreaded telegram and had to come to terms with loss (something that still continues today – sadly WW1 wasn’t the war to end wars).
I was researching my own family history recently and came across a facsimile of the telegram my great grandma would have received telling her that her 22 year old son had been killed – the same age as my son now. Luckily her other son (my grandfather) survived (or I wouldn’t be here writing this of course) but how she must have worried until he returned home safely. In honour of my deceased and surviving relatives from WW1, and as a bond across the years from one mother to another, I created my own small commemoration in the form of a tea and cafetiere cosy, which I would like to share on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the day war broke out.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
by John McCrae
Clearing out a cupboard the other day, I found a box of the boys’ old pin badge collection ranging from ‘1 today’ to Biker Mice, to ‘I visited Hadrian’s Wall’ to ‘reading is cool’. Lots of memories in one little box – for me at least! When I mentioned it to them their reaction was “we create enough junk of our own without you adding to it, mum”.
So what do you do with a load of pin badges, other than stick them back in a box in the cupboard? I could (and may do yet) frame them and stick them on a wall somewhere but that’s a little boring. I did think about (and may do yet) a crocheted wall hanging – if I get really ambitious (and probably a lot more badges) I could make a fly curtain for the back door. What I did do in the end was use some of them to adorn a granny square bag!
It may not be to everyone’s taste, but I love it so that’s all that matters really! As we all know, small granny square projects are great for reducing the stash, I used some recycled fabric for lining and the badges create a talking point….so it really is an upcycling, stash busting, memory sharing project!
Take a blog on knitting with old T-shirts and another on making ‘a little rug to warm our toes’, add throwing out most the contents of the kids’ dressing up box (well they are 22 and 23) and combine with my son needing a bedside mat…………et voila…..
It was one of those happy juxtapositions of inspiration, materials and need so thank you fellow bloggers for giving me the eureka moment! Okay, there are a lot more sophisticated offerings out there and now I see the photo I can see it’s a bit misshapen but I’m chuffed to bits (and so is the son).
It’s made from old headscarves and various items of clothing and has a lovely soft scrunch when you step on it – plus lots of memories.
From top to bottom….
Headscarf that matched my mum’s old brolly
Head scarf from my mother-in-law (who sadly died before I met my hubby)
Scarf that went with my interview jacket when I was a student
Dress that last saw duty as a Cleopatra outfit for an 11 year old
Ra Ra dress from my student days
Shorts that had badly shrunk (or maybe it was me that expanded)
Ditto camisole top
Doncha just love upcycling!