The Tower Poppies was a powerful and moving art work created to remember the 888,246 British and Commonwealth soldiers who died in the First World War and there was one poppy for each of the fallen. I went to visit on 4th August 2014 which was one hundred years to the day that Britain entered the war. The installation was called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red and millions of visitors have come to marvel at the sight and reflect on the loss of so many soldiers.
|The red poppies begin to spread|
|The ‘Wave’ takes shape|
I returned on 28th August as a volunteer to plant 120 poppies and the fields were growing rapidly. It was a privilege to be a part of this amazing project.
|We planted this section|
|A moment of quiet reflection for a Beefeater|
I returned several times before the 11th November when the last poppy was planted to see the red spread and the moat of the Tower of London completely fill with poppies.
The poppies have all gone now, sold to raise money for charities supporting servicemen and women. Every one of the 888,246 was sold and I was lucky enough to be able to buy one as a lasting memory.
|My poppy in a box which I will be giving to my mother for Christmas|
The tall ships setting sail from Greenwich was a great sight in the summer sun. They had been gathered along the Thames for the Tall Ships Festival and then one bright sunny September day they all put their sails up and nearly 50 ships of all shapes and sizes set off to sea. It was a brilliant sight and I especially loved moment when the galleons hoved into view and I was transported back to Tudor times! Enjoy the parade:
My 3rd top London event was Spectra London, an incredible light display which took place from 4th to 11th August and was another First World War commemoration. 49 massive searchlights pierced through the London night sky and could be seen all across the city. I went to seem them close up and enjoyed a wonderful friendly atmosphere as people sat on the grass and marvelled at this stunning installation and the accompanying soundtrack which perfected suited the warm summer’s evening. It was hard to photograph but I hope these give you some idea of its impact:
|Arriving at Spectra next to the Houses of Parliament|
|The Houses of Parliament in the background|
So many other events are worthy of a mention but here’s just a few: the stunning performances of Carlos Acosta and Tamara Rojo in Romeo and Juliet at the Albert Hall; the emergence of Kings Cross as a glorious station and resurgent area; the Tour de France whizzing through the streets; a great summer; and, the arrival of a huge wooden hippo on the Thames – ok, here’s a last photo to make you smile:
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2015.
Bye for now,