This time last year I mentioned Paul Cummins’ Remembrance Day installation in one of my posts. I wanted to see the poppies at the Tower but Dylan was so unsettled it wasn’t possible to take him to London or for me to leave him while I went myself. I remember feeling quite disappointed even though I was used to not being able to get to such events.
What a difference a year makes: the Remembrance Day poppies have been installed in other locations, including the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which we live close to, so today we got to see them. I found myself thinking as much about the victims of today’s conflicts as of ‘the execrable sights’ of past wars.
As Dylan has been so much calmer recently I had little hesitation in taking him to see the poppies. My only concern was whether or not he would accept a change to the route we usually take through the park; Dylan has fixed ideas about this and The Wave had been installed on a bridge we don’t usually cross. The fact the other bridge was closed for construction work, however, helped me persuade Dylan to the poppy bridge with only a minor protest.
You can tell Dylan loves the other bridge from the way he gazes at it when we visit. Although it was closed today, he stood for some time, transfixed. I loved the way a rainbow appeared, suddenly, over his head.
Wilfrid Owen referred to the unburied bodies in No Man’s Land as ‘the most execrable sights on earth’ in a letter to his mother dated 19th January 1917.