It's eight years since I visited Belgium to go to the war graves. Looking back on this Remembrance Day I can still feel the emotions that I had that day walking among the graves and walls of Tyne Cott cemetery.
The first thing that struck me was the vastness to the place. It seems to go on forever. These were men who died in a single battle of the First World War, yet there are so many names. So many lost their lives and are laid to rest in this piece of Belgium. Then there are the ones who were lost, but their bodies were never found.
The Menin Gate in Ypres was built originally for the names of those who had fallen but never found. When they finished it, they found that there wasn't enough room for all the dead. The walls around Tyne Cott contain the rest of the names of those fallen whose bodies were never recovered.
To put it into some sort of context, Meni Gate was full at 54,000 names whilst the remaining 35,000 names are on Tyne Cott. When you see all those names row and row on marble it brings forward emotions that just flow.
Some might be uplifted by the sacrifice that these young men made for their country. To me it shows the tragic waste of a generation of youth who answered their countries call and were killed. You look at the towering edifice of the Menin Gate and see the true horror of war in each inscription.
It made me glad I was born at a time when war didn't ravage throughout Europe and the World. It makes me angry that these young men's lives were used at the whims of generals who can't have thought about the tragic actions of their soldiers. If they had of thought, maybe so many lives would not have been lost in the war.
I've been musing about developing a new website for writers for a few years now. The site I used to use, Movellas, is rapidly turning into a dustbowl. It's full of spam on the blogs and the site hasn't been updated for ages now. I did try and develop a new site about a year ago. Lovethisbook.club was a site aimed at promoting and helping new writers. It was a failure in some respects as it didn't contain enough to keep others occupied.
Writing is a solitary affair most of the time. It's usually you and a laptop or you're one of those old-school types that prefers paper and a pen. If you're lucky, you'll have a support network of fellow writers, friends or family that will read what you've written and give you decent feedback. Some have already got that in spades. Others, like myself find it hard to connect with people and haven't got an avenue to develop.
For the past couple of years, I feel I've been in the wastelands when it comes to writing. Despite my best intentions, I've written nearly zilch. There isn't the impetus to write without having someone to comment. I have three major stories in the midst of creation. Work in progress they might be called although not much progress is made.
So, I'm putting my energies into creating a new website. This is centred on creating a small community for people like me, who've struggled to have anyone to share with. It's also I hope a place where others will share and create the type of community that's supportive.
Over the next few days, I'll be posting more about the new community website before it launches on Friday 26th June 2020. I've already got some great people beta testing it, finding the faults and making suggestions as to features.