No matter how much I want to pretend otherwise, I am definitely getting older. I have had to deal with greying hair since my mid-teens, so my white hair really doesn't bother me. Wrinkles are another thing, but a face-lift or Botox are not something I would ever consider doing, so I guess the wrinkles are here to stay, I accept it. The aches and pains are not fun, but I do my best to keep my body mobile and my brain active. In my head I am at least a couple of decades younger. I am happy with the self-deception, most of the time.
Then along comes an invitation to have my free 'over 65's health check', another to have my free 'over 65's flu jab', closely followed by an invitation to a free Christmas Dinner at the local pub. Great in the frugality stakes, no help with self-deception.
Yes, my first old age pensioner's free Christmas dinner!
Can I really be THAT old?
Yes, Elaine, you are, be thankful.
These men didn't have the chance to grow old, they died fighting for their country.
I pulled out their photographs because my grandchildren have been asking a lot of questions about the war. I wanted them to have some faces and names to think about during the two minutes silence. No doubt every family has photographs like this. I am just grateful that my father wrote the names, dates and stories on the back of the photographs - all bar the mystery man (top right) yet he was in the family photograph box.
My husband normally marches along with some old comrades and presents the wreath on behalf of the Royal Marines. This year it was especially important, his two old friends died within a few weeks of one another, and he wanted to honour them, too.
The area around the town's Cenotaph was busy, packed out, even before we arrived, busier than I have ever seen it.
Young and old alike had made the effort to turn out, despite the early rain.
The two minutes silence was unbroken, apart from a few babies crying,and a dog barking. When it was over, everything became hustle and bustle, the marchers were off and on their way to the church.
A few years ago there used to be any number of ex service men attending.
These days most of the parade is made up of assorted cadets, scouts, guides, brownies, town officials, police service, fire service, etc. I was unable to get a photograph, but it was good to see that three horses had been brought to the Cenotaph, to represent all those horses who also served.
Tonight church bells will ring out across the country, not sure whether we will hear them here, but I will certainly be outside listening.