Knitting a poppy wasn’t as easy as I’d anticipated. I had to keep my wits about me, concentrate on counting and, for once, not try and multi-task. The result was a slightly lop-sided flower with a black button stuck into its centre. It now adorns the local Guildhall, along with thousands of others, on this Remembrance Sunday.

There are four red poppies still blooming in the garden, remnants of the wild flower mix that attracted bees and butterflies throughout the summer. The poppies, being buffeted by the wind today, and out in the chilly air, are an apt reminder of the men and women who, with minds and bodies concentrating on the task before them, sacrificed their lives to secure peace and freedom for us.

This afternoon, in order to justify sitting for a couple of hours watching Federer on TV, I got out my knitting needles. The pattern was complicated and, as I knitted, I made mistakes because I was trying to concentrate on two things at once. I unpicked several rows and, while doing so, missed crucial points in the match. Trivial, I know…

Knitting a poppy could have been a trivial pursuit – unless it reminded me of what that poppy represented: Focus. Commitment. Perseverance. Skill. Sacrifice. For each person who gave their life that others may live, I’m grateful.


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