I didn’t know Joan. Yet now I have a connection with her. This beautiful fine wool shawl by LIBERTY was hers. I doubt if she ever wore it. Maybe it was a gift from a loving family, folded and kept for best. I had a double surprise when this was left on my doorstep by her daughter-in-law with three other silk ones. The large colourful square with its bold red poppies immediately spoke to me. Had I seen it before? I hunted through my scarf box….and there was a smaller version in silk. No wonder I immediately liked it. I tied my own scarf around my head, bandana style, looked out a pair of matching dangly earrings, and wrapped myself in the dashing shawl. Never mind Poppies Galore, all I needed was a pair of black leather trousers and I was Pussy Galore. Remember Honor Blackman as that character in the James Bond Goldfinger film? Be sensible now, and do remember you have a fractured foot and karate kicks are not part of your physio routine! I must remember I am now a dormant dormouse and may adopt the name Dorrie instead of Busy Bee.
The other week I had notice of an outing to the Poppy Factory in Richmond at the end of February. Was I right to turn this down? It would be good for me to have a goal to achieve. Or is it the lure of making my own poppy there…..or indeed the company of my dear friends at Age UK who are organising the outing …..or the home baked cakes and coffee! No, if I manage to go, I shall think about the origins of this poppy factory and why we associate the poppy with remembrance. After the 1914-18 war, in 1921 the British Legion ordered one million artificial poppies from France and eight million from Britain to remember the fallen. The following year the Poppy Factory was built in Richmond. My own uncle died on the battlefield aged 19 in that terrible war. I have a copy of his last letter to his mother. I do hope I can make my own poppy, assisted no doubt by the veterans now employed in the factory. It will be an honour to remember those gone when wearing my own poppy next 11th November.
On the subject of poppies, I scattered some poppy seeds last year on a green patch by the river. They may have been orange Californian poppies and good old Father Thames rejected this foreign intruder! When I get out walking again, I will check.
In the meantime, thank you Joan, for this elegant cosy shawl, wrapping a dozy dormouse from the winter chill. I will think of you as well on Remembrance Poppy Day. I didn’t know you, nor did I know my uncle.
I didn’t know Honor Blackman either, but I liked her character as Pussy Galore!
Busy. Bee, Scarf Face!
Series 2 , Blog 82.