Today has been a beautifully warm and sunny day - what a contrast with many Remembrance Sundays; so often it is grey, rainy and very cold - the sort of weather that makes us think of those poor young men in the trenches in both the terrible World Wars. They were soaked to the skin, often sick, always hungry and in fear for their lives, with no hope of home comforts, and so many of them never to see home again. It never fails to make me cry. The poems of Wilfred Owem are so explicit in describing the suffering those men and boys endured - and I find it all the more amazing that he could actually write poetry about it - one thinks of poetry generally as refined somehow, lifting the soul and casting a kind of spell over the world. But in his case, the dreadful conditions and the suffering are all too clear:
" Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge..
..Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind."
This from "Dulce et Decorum Est", for me the most moving of his poems which tells so clearly what horror War was, and is. God help us when we think that men still go to war, fight and kill each other. I'm tempted to say, "For what?" Yet I know that those brave (and not so brave) men believed in what they were doing - at least until the horror and futility of it overwhelmed them. Or until it killed them. But I'm afraid it will never make sense to me.
On a brighter note, Daughter, Grandson and I whizzed off to the Car Boot Sale at the Marina this morning. It was the most perfect day, and we pottered, bought a few things, shared a bacon sarnie and generally enjoyed the sunshine. Then we came back here to sit in the sun - at least Daughter sat in the sun while and Grandson played with the boys next door and I finished off the outstanding gardening jobs. I have dug over the new vegetable bed, moved the herbacious plants to their new homes and replanted all the spring bulbs which had been displaced. Fantastic. I've even planted a few raspberry canes, and the purple sprouting broccoli plants given to me by my Aristocratic BF. I'm planning a couple of rows of potatoes,some parsnips, spinach and carrots, and then some salad crops, like radish and lettuce or mixed leaves. I'm also going to fill a pot with nasturtiums (we can eat the leaves, flowers and seeds) and plant sweet peas (inedible but gorgeous) on some trellis along the back of the rows. It's a nice plan, and I only hope I can make it work.