24 Festive Tasks: Door 6: Veterans / Armistice Day



Door 6:  Veterans / Armistice Day


Task 1: Sunrise services are a staple of this day: Take a picture of the sunrise where you live and share it with us.




Task 2: In keeping with the minute of silence, tell us about the authors who have passed this year that you will miss the most.


Actually only one author comes to my mind immediately - Mary Oliver.

I am not usually a huge fan of nature poetry but Oliver had a way of expressing something in hers that somehow resonated with me:


I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It's like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
       full of moonlight.
Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.
Source: Poetry (Poetry Foundation, 2003)


Task 3: Rosemary is for remembrance, but it’s great for chasing away moths, silverfish and other bugs that can damage books (and linens). Make a sachet with some rosemary, lavender, dried basil, etc. to keep on your bookshelves – post a picture of the results and let us know what combinations of herbs you used. A list of possibilities can be found here: https://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/12-plants-that-repel-unwanted-insects




Task 4:The Forest of Compiègne, just outside Compiègne, France, is the site of the signing of the 1918 Armistice. It was also the site of the signing by the French of a truce with the Germans following the German invasion in 1940. – Find a green space in your local area (or favorite area) and go for a walk or bike ride of a mile (or 1.61 km) and post a picture or screenshot of the map of where you walked / biked.




Book: Read a book involving a war, battle, or where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover, or honor the ‘unknown soldier’ of your TBR and read the book that’s been there the longest.


I read J.L. Carr's A Month in the Country this weekend. It's the story of a WWI veteran in 1920 who takes a job in Yorkshire to restore a church painting and in doing so finds a path to recovering from his own war trauma. 

‘Well, what are we standing around here for?’ he said. ‘Come over and I’ll brew up.’

I told him that I’d already eaten breakfast.

‘Oh come on,’ he said. ‘I don’t need to be told you didn’t catch that twitch on the North-Eastern Railway, so we may as well start straight away swapping stories about the same bloody awful place. Come over and have a mug. God knows we both must have wondered if we’d ever drink another. And anyway, it’s your turn to tell me about your job.’