Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Lest we Forget

Lest We Forget

Remembering all those who have lost their lives during the many wars. Remembering my great grandfather Private Christopher William Chatterton who died of wounds in France during the First World War on 26th March 1915.  He was in the 1st Batallion of the Gloucestershire Regiment.  He is buried at Caberet-Rouge Cemetery in France and in the mid nineties we went to see where he was buried.  To say it was a sobering experience is an understatement! Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in Souchez is one of the largest in the region and contains 7,655 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, more than half of them unidentified.

His wife, my great grandmother died the year before on 19th November 1914, and so they left four young children who I believe were put into various homes and foster places.My grandmother was only one year old, having been born only the year before on 11th November 1913.  To think she would have been 101 years old today!

Yesterday we ventured into London to view all the poppies which represent all the lives lost during WW1. To think there are 888,246 which represent each life lost during this war.  It is devastating,  all those lives lost.  I wonder what they would think of the United Kingdom today?  

The sheer number is staggering, and really puts it into perspective...and this is just one side!

One of those poppies represents my Great Grandfather.

On Sunday I sang with the St Ethelreda's Church Choir for both services at the church and also down at the memorial.  

We sang 'In Flanders Fields'.   The music was composed by Jill Knight and set to the words of the poem by Major John MaCrae, 

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.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

You can here a recording we did on the Wednesday before here.

Also remembering my grandfather who fought in the Second World War. During his last few years, we were to witness the long term effects on his mind that the war had. I miss you so much Pop. 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

A Pause in Advent?

Floss isn't going to be able to run her 'A Pause in Advent' this year and as such has linked to Dormouse who is taking part in 'Advent Wonder'   I popped over to Dormouse's blog to have a look and thought I would give it a go.

As she says, the mince pies, and Christmas decorations, foods and advertising has now been out for some time, and the feeling of it all building up seems to happen earlier and earlier each year, and it is nice to be able to reflect and pause, whatever your beliefs.

I have received the first email and I like the theme "Gifts" - this seems especially appropriate this year as we have decided to forego the usual 'gifts' this year which has surprised some family members...but we explained we wanted to instead focus on the day and enjoying each others company and not worrying about whether we have the 'right' gift this year etc...so I think this will be very interesting to follow.

This is what the first email reads:

The theme for this year's Advent Wonder is 'Gifts'.  We all have notions of what a Christmas present means, but this series will explore the alternative ones - the unexpected and nonetheless wondrous gifts within the Advent story.

Each Monday and Friday throughout December, you'll receive a 'gift' to ponder and share.  You'll also be invited to reflect specifically upon your own giving,, at Christmas time and beyond.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

New Carpet!

Been slowly and surely working on the clearing and de-cluttering...it seems to be taking an age and yes I am bored with it.  Our lounge and hallway were re-carpeted on Thursday.  We needed new carpets when we moved in over 15 years ago, but with poor Pirate suffering from incontinence in his final year, it definitely needed redoing!  Finally it happened, and we took the opportunity of also changing the lounge around.   An eight foot wide space doesn't give us many options...but we managed to come up with something we were reasonably happy with in the end.  The wall unit was lifted onto the raised platform, which we contemplated removing, but which was going to end up too expensive and problematic to remove.

Looking down towards the patio doors.

Looking back up towards the front.


Hallway through to the lounge


Loving the new carpet and the clearer space....of course there is still the question of what do do with some items of furniture that I don't want to put back in these two spaces as I am fed up with clutter and it is so much nicer now with less.   I have sorted through various things that were in the items of furniture that have yet to be 'decided upon' and packed a couple boxes of pottery and vases that I want to keep, but don't want out at the moment.  So they will be ready for any future move we may do.