November 11th, 2009

Poppies

A Two Poppy Day

Poppies were required wear at work today. So was a suit, and so I wound up wearing two poppies, one on my coat and one on my suit.

Suits are not every-day work-wear for us, but then it was the day that Alex Salmond was officially opening our new office. In order for us to get the maximum personal enjoyment out of this momentous experience, employees were encouraged to tell their friends, presumably so that you can all feel jealous, or awe-struck or something. So there you go; you’ve been told! I saw the back of his head from a distance, if that helps to impress you.

Somehow people being treated as VIPs makes me come over all egalitarian, I’m afraid, despite respecting the FM’s abilities and recognising it’s a good thing for the company.

But today merited my coincidental two poppies none the less. With respect to Claude Choules, a British veteran living in Australia who often misses a mention, this was the first Armistice Day with no living World War I veterans in the UK.

That is a bit of a milestone. My eldest grandparent was only a little too young to have been involved, and within our lifetimes the number of British survivors of the war has dwindled from many to one. Inevitable, of course, but worth marking.

Thanks for Bill Stone, Henry Allingham, Harry Patch, and all the others they represent who didn’t travel with us so far, like my great uncle Pat.