We were up in London on Saturday, and took a stroll past The Cenotaph in Whitehall. As we did, a small group of sub-mariners in their dress uniform walked past us.
They had clearly come from some sort of ceremony, possibly a rehearsal for this weekend’s Remembrance Service, and people smiled at them as they caught their eye.
A little further down the street was a pub. It was not only packed with more sub-mariners but several were standing outside, chatting and relaxing in the sunshine.
It was a joy to see, and I wanted to burst into spontaneous applause.
It must have been a far cry from the months on end they spend at sea, and some of the horrors they have no doubt faced protecting our country.
We carried on walking and found ourselves outside Westminster Abbey. There, the mood was more sombre, for in the surrounding gardens were row upon row of tiny wooden crosses, marking out scores of small plots.
Each plot had a larger wooden cross in it, marking a place for a wreath to be placed next weekend by various organisations in memory of the Unknown Soldier.
In our churchyard, there is a grave for TF/4790 Private P.F. Lane, of the Royal West Kent Regiment. He died on September 1, 1916, aged 18.
I don’t know why it has struck a chord with me, but it has. Maybe it’s because he was so young when he died.
A few weeks ago, we took one of those small wooden crosses and placed it on his grave. He needed to know he hadn’t been forgotten, even by people who never knew him.
I have a small, enamel tie-pin poppy which I wear a lot, as well as the paper poppies. Remembrance isn’t just about one day in November for people who died years ago. While it’s important we never forget them, it’s important we remember those who continue to fight for our country today.
Take time to spare them a thought this weekend.
It takes me a while to catch on to some things (I’m only part of the way through Midsomer Murders, and am toying with committing to Downton Abbey).
But the Great British Bake-off has woven its spell.
I’m signed up to one of those discount voucher sites and almost spent a ridiculous amount on a cake mixer, based on having made three sponges – one good, one not so good and a third which was supposed to be bright pink but came out a dull beige and a little bit burnt around the edges.
I am rather proud that the jam between the sponges has been home-made (I seem to have cracked blackberry and apple, but haven’t ventured much further) but am most definitely still in the “experimental” stage of cake making.
I resisted buying the mixer but there will be several types of tin, spatula and sugary-based frivolity on my Christmas wish list this year.
Watch this space, and my ever-expanding waistline ...