A poppy for life, not just Remembrance Day

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WHAT a magnificent sight those hundreds of thousands of red ceramic poppies surrounding the Tower of London was to behold. Truly moving.

I’d love to have one of them.

My paper one is beginning to wear a bit thin over years of use.

I doubt it’ll see me through another Remembrance Day.

A ceramic one would be much more hard-wearing.

It’d probably last me a lifetime.

I recall our Bradley buying his first poppy when he was just eight.

He bought it from school and wore it with pride, though I suspect he didn’t quite grasp the sentiment.

“How much did that cost?” I asked him.

“A pound,” he said. “It goes to the soldiers.”

We stood silent for a minute in reflection of battles fought and lives lost, before he piped up: “With all the money raised, how many guns do you think they buy?”


Panic over, Bob’s here

I WOKE up to Bob Geldof revealing how the United Nations (UN) had been on the phone to him saying the Ebola virus was “getting out of control”.

“What,” he said, recounting the phone call to Chris Evans (Bob was on the radio, not in my bed, in case you were wondering), “could I do?”

Clearly the UN had an idea what he could do, but maybe they left the words hanging. Let Bob fill in the blanks.

Could he work on a cure? Design an Ebola-resistant suit, perhaps?

Or … wait a minute. Could he try to raise millions through another Band Aid song!?!

“Brilliant!” says UN official, “what a great idea. Wish we’d thought of that.”

What else was he going to do? Reforming The Boomtown Rats was unlikely to rouse the nation to action. Especially not on a Monday.

Digging out from storage the Zig and Zag puppets (remember The Big Breakfast?) would be equally uninspiring.

Not wishing to rain on Bob’s parade, but I suspect a reworking of Do They Know It’s Christmas to raise cash was exactly what the UN wanted.

I wasn’t too concerned about the Ebola virus before this week, but when the UN starts turning to Bob Geldof for answers to a killer plague, maybe it is time to start worrying.

Surely the best bar bar none

TODAY we launch our Best Bar of 2014 campaign and yet still no one has ever picked up on my idea of the perfect boozer.

A lead-lined public house called The Gym!

Lead-lined so that no phone signal can get through, and called The Gym, so that you can legitimately tell your better half that you’re “just off to The Gym, I’ll only be an hour or so.”

Returning about three hours later red-faced and unsteady on your feet will only add to the impression that you’ve been working out. And when she spies the kebab in your hand, just say “Carbs! Got to keep my energy levels up.”

What’s your idea of the perfect boozer?

Send your answers to Richard at richard.ord@jpress.co.uk or tweet your suggestions by following @DickyO on Twitter.