November 5th passed by unmarked, and barely noticed at Hadenmaiden’s House this year. Very little noise to speak of, and what little firework noise we did hear certainly didn’t bother Jess. Apparently there will be a decent community bonfire at the weekend, according to our neighbours, who know about these things as they have small children.
So, Halloween and Bonfire night have both passed us, which means that it’s officially safe to think about Christmas. For now though, the streets are full of people sporting their poppies for Remembrance/Armistice commemoration. It’s great to see that this custom hasn’t diminished over the years, and it would be wonderful if more people remembered through the year. I was reading the other day that the National Memorial Arboretum, originally anticipated approx. 60,000 visitors a year  and now sees over 300,000! What an amazing success story. It’s a wonderful place, which I can highly recommend, if you haven’t already visited. Entry is free, and the car park just £3 for the day, so not an expensive day out. The memorials are stunning, and there are more each time we go – from the spectacular Armed Forces memorial, which is currently about to be closed for a major facelift, right through to the individual memorials. One day isn’t enough to see everything an a return trip [or more] is a must. Since moving house last year, we are a lot closer, making visits far easier. Last month we managed two trips, one just because we could, and one to replace our weatherworn remembrance pebble in the SANDS garden.
This is the centrepiece of the garden, and people lay their own small memorial stone/pebble to remember their baby. Such a very sad memorial, but beautiful, and so important to have a place to go to remember these little people who live on in our hearts.
We took Jess with us that day, and realised just how much of the 150 acres is available for dog walking – I suspect she will be making return trips, too.