This year has been poppy-tastic. I've finally achieved my dream of being in the middle of a poppy field, not with a lake as I'd always dreamt but even better, with my camera! I practically drowned in poppies on a long weekend in France. And have countless photographs to prove it.
This is the more common poppy time of the year, we’re all showing our support by wearing our poppies with pride. Some are paper, which have a nasty habit of falling off or stabbing you with the pin. Though I have to admit I have a soft spot for them as they are made on my doorstep in Richmond. Those with more flamboyant tastes go for the bigger silk ones. Or if you have a sparkly heart (like myself) you procure one of the fabulous crystal Buckley ones (I know very Strictly!). Mine is not the 2013 version, as I prefer mine leafless, and the gold stem has been customised with a few layers of my favourite black nail varnish as it too gold for me but I look forward to wearing it each year. It doesn't mean I haven't supplemented my poppy collection this year, I've added a sparkly crocheted one for my black bobble hat and a few poppy charms to adorn my bracelets.
I've never seen so many people out pushing poppies as they have been this year. Last week I was delighted to hear Gareth Malone and the Military Wives singing beautifully at Waterloo Station and there were pipers and guardsmen at Canary Wharf wherever you turned.
The tube trains had poppy decals on the cabs and some buses were scattered with poppy images too. There are giant poppies hanging from the gantries in King’s Cross Station. I'm not sure if there are more poppies everywhere than ever before or my photography project has opened my eyes to noticing things I wouldn't have been aware of before. The British Legion are aiming to raise £37 million, and if the efforts are anything to go by, this will be achieved. Less we forget!