Remembrance Day this year, for me, is particularly poignant, bringing back memories of my parents, now both at rest.
My father spent his youth in the army during WW2, largely as a motorcycle dispatch rider, who sometimes found himself behind enemy lines. I am so grateful he survived.
He had good times as well, spending a fair chunk of the war in Greece and surrounding areas, and would often regale us with tales, such as the occasion he dived into a rock pool and came face to face with a startled octopus!
My mother’s life, as I recounted recently, took a different path to her school-leaving intentions, with war closing universities and preventing her from pursuing the career path she’d planned – the first of so many times she re-invented her life, a gift I feel I have inherited, with ability to be flexible and choose a new path when one closes in your face.
I am also a long-term supporter of The Brooke, an equestrian charity set up by Dorothy Brooke in the post WW1 years to offer succour to the huge number of war horses (those who did not give their lives in service) who were abandoned and sold into hard labour in middle eastern lands, rather than bear the cost of repatriation. I, for one, cannot forgive that cruelty, though the charity now does amazing work amongst equines across a wide range of countries, particularly in educating their owners in their care and improving working conditions.