The time of the year

The time of the year

I’ve written before about being creatures of habit.  I enjoy the cycle of the year, even November, when the season takes a dreary turn and the evenings draw in.  Most years, around the second weekend in November, we drive North, to spend time with friends and so it was this year, too.


We had a feeling of deja vu as we headed up the M5/M6 for the second time in as many weeks, but a terrific lunch and a good catch up about life, the universe and Strictly Come Dancing by the side of the rather full River Wyre with sweet friends got us nicely in the mood.


The main focus of the weekend was the concert by the Lytham St Annes Choral Society that evening.  Our early arrival meant we could snag seats with a good view of our friend as she sang her way through Vivaldi’s Gloria, Haydn’s Little Organ Mass and a selection of spirituals arranged by John Rutter. 


Of course, this particular November weekend would not be complete without a brisk Sunday morning walk to the park in St Annes for the annual commemoration by the war memorial there.


We arrived in advance of the main procession and watched as they assembled, accompanied by the band.


The still, mild weather fitted the mood of the occasion,


though perhaps a little breeze might have whipped up some enthusiasm for the singing?  Never mind, our little bunch on the grassy knoll did our best with four verses of Blest are the pure in heart to get things going.


On occasions such as these, I’m always appreciative of good, clear readers – not always something to take for granted – especially when they deliver their reading at a good, meaningful pace.  Full marks this morning!


I’m sure the chap wearing the hi-vis jacket standing nearby was relieved too, for he had the timed agenda and was keeping a close eye on his phone because this particular event is very time-sensitive.  With military precision – needless to say – the familiar words were read and the bugler sounded the Last Post to signal the start of the two minutes silence.


I’m always moved to think of people all over the country, standing and remembering together at the very same time, just like this.  I knew that as we stood watching the various groups laying wreaths at the foot of the St Annes War Memorial, that my friend Pat would be doing exactly the same in Avening, on behalf of my WI.


The wreaths laid, prayers said and the final words spoken for another year, we made our way home, stopping as we did to watch the procession march back to the Pier.


I’m sure I heard the band play “The Teddy Bears Picnic” as they turned the corner, too.



Around here

Around here