It seemed fitting, one hundred years to the day since the Battle of the Somme began, to share this photo of poppies. I do not like violence, I do not think it solves anything much at all. I think talking, and words, will always trump the gun (and, yes, that word was deliberately chosen).
But that is not to say I do not honour the dead, the destroyed and disabled (whether scars physical or mental or emotional, often all of these), those who give and gave of themselves. War can seem fun, an attractive option and, in our digital world, an extension of a video game. It is not fun. It is a horror.
Once upon a time, over twenty years ago now, I nearly signed up to enter the forces through their university sponsorship officer training scheme. From time to time I wonder what that life would have been like, what I would have witnessed, what I would have become. Instead I followed a different path and, since, have listened first-hand to the accounts of those who did not, those who fought and watched friends die, those who killed. When you talk to someone who has experienced such violence, their eyes tell you as much as their words.