In the last week three 'almost friends' have died. I can't say they were really friends but yet they were more than acquaintances. All three were over 70 and none of the deaths were unexpected, but still they leave gaps in our lives.
I know from my own experience that when you lose a loved one the world seems to go on as it always did - the radio still carries the news, the birds still sing, everyone is going about their usual business oblivious to the fact that your life will never be the same again. But that is how it has always been.
Remembrance Day is coming up. We have a small War Memorial in our little town and the British Legion will be there on Friday morning at 11am to pay their respects to the fallen. Poppies are on sale everywhere and I see that everyone who appears on the BBC is wearing one - as indeed they should be. I stood with a friend chatting outside our local newsagent on Friday morning. She was selling poppies and an old man came up. She stopped him and chatted to him but he was very confused and we are not sure that he recognised her. After he had gone she told me that he was one of the few remaining veterans of Dunkirk. Of course there will be few left now. My brother was at Dunkirk and had he lived until now he would have been 90 this year. My previous husband was the youngest serving soldier to be on the so-called 'Death Railway' as a prisoner of the Japanese, and he has now been dead for over twenty years.
But sadly of course, soldiers are still dying in the line of duty. Iraq, Afghanistan - will it never stop? And think of all the hundreds if not thousands that are dying in the cause of the so-called 'Arab Spring'.
While we are on the subject of dying - I have not had an up to date figure on the number of deaths in Friday's appalling car pile up on the Motorway - it was seven and rising last I heard but I have no doubt it is more now. Is it just me that feels the speed limit should not be raised to 80mph. Alright, I know that if you are on the motorway some idiot will pass you doing over a hundred mph - but at least he or she is breaking the law. Raising the speed limit to 80mph is just giving everyone carte blanche to go quicker and speed costs lives.
On a more cheerful note - it is a lovely day today. There is a sharp North East breeze but the sun is shining from a cloudless sky and there is a robin singing every few yards along the lane. I know the theory is that they are singing to tell the bird-world that this is their patch, but I like to tell myself that they are singing from the sheer joy of still being alive.