No politics, no religion around the table.
Only family that gathers on too few occasions and the return of a beloved one.
Such a splendid meal generates too much clearing up but it’s all done now and I shan’t have to go downstairs and face a sticky kitchen tomorrow morning. The dog can’t understand why we’ve put the leftovers in the fridge instead of giving them to him and as I write he’s still yipping in desperate hope.
How was your Christmas Day?
And so came it to pass that, in the bar of Mumbai’s Leela hotel, daily journal in hand and maps at the ready, Winky became a blogger.
So came it also to pass that a shopping expedition in Fabindia was duly ventured upon, kurtas and tunics verily were they purchased and also therewith a beautiful evening dress in the finest of brocades from the mystic Orient.
And yea did continue the search for a long, long-sleeved black gown without pomp or ornamentation in this domain that tradeth alas in precisely the opposite.
And MsAlliance did the day survey and thus did declare: “‘Tis good.”
I have written copiously before about Remembrance Sunday and if you want to see those posts of previous years, perhaps just search Remembrance up there to the top right hand side of your screen. There’s little need to repeat all that stuff here.
However, I have had a few more thoughts this year:
For many years, I noted Remembrance Sunday but it only became really meaningful when I had children as, suddenly, I identified with the sacrifice of families with lives torn apart by war, who lost children or simply lost their dreams.
My poppy invariably falls off my coat and is lost well before Remembrance Sunday so I often used crocheted poppies or badges instead. I always buy a red poppy and donate to the Royal British Legion charity: I am only too aware of the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on ex-servicement and women who have survived conflict and need constant support which, often, they do not receive.
Others decide not to wear a poppy at all perhaps because they refuse to participate in what they see as the glorification of war; perhaps they are pacifists; perhaps they refuse to co-operate with bullying from far right groups such as Britain First who engage in twisted bullying on Facebook and other social media and imply that people who do not wear a poppy (or who simply aren’t wearing one THAT day and on THAT coat) are somehow unpatriotic and anti-British.
When I was a teenager, I wore a white poppy one year and braved the scowls of a lot of people. At that time I was a member of the Campaign for Nucleatr Disarmament and an idealist pacifist. I am no longer any of those things.
It is up to individual people whether or not they wear a red or white poppy or a paw poppy (to remember animals used in warfare or caught up in it) or no poppy at all. That is, we are told, exactly why troops went to war: for our freedom to express ourselves how we choose.
I like to participate in public acknowledgements of Remembrance, even if that means standing by my steaming iron for two minutes, listening to the silence on the radio as I did this morning. I have always encouraged the offspring to take part in Remembrance ceremonies – we had a lovely rendition of the Last Post as usual in our BYCB concert tonight – as an appreciation of history is vital in our understanding the world. The Boywonder was telling us last week that he is anxious to attend Remembrance events when he leaves university. An ex-cadet, cadet bandsman, and avid History student, Remembrance has become enmeshed in his life.
If you want to wear a white poppy because of your beliefs, by all means go ahead. But I am dismayed at the increasing virtue signalling of the white poppy: public pacifism does not make people morally superior to those who choose to remember relatives who sacrificed their lives or those who, like me, choose to be thankful that someone is out there doing dirty work that I would never in a million years want to do. I want to stand in solidarity with mothers who have lost their children. I prefer to put humans before ideas.
Photo by lovingyourwork.com
My poor boy has struggled through lectures this week despite throwing up on Sunday and running a fever, and he sat an exam yesterday. The way the system works there, he had to present himself at the University walk-in clinic before 8.30 am today to get himself an appointment for 2pm. Silly boy walked there and back twice. He says it’s two miles but he admits that might have been an overestimate. It certainly felt like two miles, I’m sure.
Through the magic of the internet I managed to send him a care package but that was largely chocolate-based and probably the last thing he fancies right now. I feel so sorry that he’s on his own with no-one to care for him and he’s had to struggle through what seems like an awful lot of bureaucracy alone. All the brands of medicines and remedies are unfamiliar.
This week has been a low point for him, but I hope he’ll soon be on the mend. Perhaps he’ll make sure he wraps up warm and now he knows that next time it would probably be better to get a taxi to the health centre. Or research a more proximate doctor’s surgery. Every experience is a learning experience, of course.
In the meantime I’ll put together a more appropriate parcel containing Soothers and Lem Sips. I wonder whether I’m allowed to send honey.