I have not been up to the Tower of London since I was a little girl and I was delighted to see how much the area has been tidied up. There has obviously been a lot of money spent and the visitor area and surrounds are really vibrant. There were a lot of people around that afternoon as the Queen chose to visit that morning.
This was the sight as we approached from the exit of the tube.
We were blown away by the sight of poppies. It really is a sea of red and quite extraordinary. It is not yet finished, there are still thousands more to plant. I love that the Tower which dates from 1080 sits amongst some of our most modern London buildings, including The Shard, which you can see above.
What a sobering though that every single poppy represents one British soldier who was killed during this terrible war.
We walked all around the Tower and also along the river.
We also spotted this character wandering among the poppies
and here are the hand made ceramic poppies in close up.
My Mum's Mum, my Nan (sadly I did not know her as I was only 5 months old when she died) was married at 18 to her sweetheart. He went off to war and was killed just 6 months later. Yes she was a widow at just 18. Both young victims of the horror of war.
Years later my Nan met my Grandad, married and had 3 children, 2 daughters and a son. My Mum is the eldest. Mum recently showed me this lovely photo of my Granddad. He also served in the First World War but thank goodness came home alive.
As we both sipped our coffee I pondered one very sobering thought. Had my Nan's first husband returned alive from the war my Nan would never had met and married my Grandad and none of us would ever have been born. No Mum, no Me, no daughter, no son or Daisy.......what a sobering thought. Life really does move in so many different directions, the only thing that is certain is change.
So although one of those poppies sadly represents someone from our family, there is always hope too as my Grandad did return...and the rest of course is history.
I was so inspired by our visit and the stories of my family that I knew I had to make a Moment for Jane's Journal and that it should feature my darling granddad.
I wanted the background to show the colours of the moat at the Tower of London. I used my Dylusions sprays first. The red for the poppies
I also wanted a raven or 2 to feature so I added clear embossing to a die cut to make it shine like the coat of the raven we saw.
and here it is.
I think this Tim Holtz stamp is so appropriate
If you get a chance to visit the Poppies at the Tower please do, It is a very humbling experience but I also found it also gives hope. I remembered my dear Granddad and how he not only lived through but survived the war. He was such a major part of my childhood and I spent many happy days with him as we lived in his house. He really was my friend as well as a dear grandparent. He passed away when I was 13 and my memories of this very special man are of love and laughter. I hope he is smiling down at my Moment and that the little raven I added made him chuckle.
I would like to enter my Moment into the following challenges;
Cheery Lynn vintage
Pile it on Cheerful/uplifting message
Allsorts embossing my large raven has been embossed with clear embossing powder
Divas by Design texture
The Artistic Stamper memories
Simon Says Stamp Monday anything goes
Whimsy Stamps anything goes
Country View sparkle and shine
Loves Rubberstamps warm colours
Party Time Tuesdays anything goes
Craft Hoarders anonymous Layers
We must remember all those who died in that dreadful First World War, 100 years ago. Such a waste of precious lives. Over the years thousands of our British soldiers have fought and sadly too often sacrificed their lives to give us the freedom we have in this world.
Here's to the memories of all those fallen men including my Nan's first husband, Frank. My Mum's middle name is Francis, yes spelt the male way, in memory of him. What a lovely gesture from my Nan and Grandad to keep his name alive.
However I also so grateful to have such fond memories of one of the survivors of the horrors of war, my darling Grandad: Ernest John Carpenter. And most ironically his great-great-granddaughter Daisy Jane was actually born on Remembrance day last year, 11.11.13. Now that really does bring joy and hope to life doesn't it.
I'm sure my Grandad must be smiling somewhere.
Bye for now,