Once a year, in November, I dress myself up warmly, head South and for a few brief hours, meet up with old friends and wartime contemporaries. I'm talking, of course, about going to Whitehall for the Remembrance Day ceremonies. Yes, I know I've already made a brief report on the events of the 14th, but what I wanted to speak about here was the actual trip to the venue and a few of the things that made the day special. The day started with leaving my car at Totteridge tube station, that being a Northern Line station as opposed to Cockfosters which is Picadilly line, and therefore closed for weekly maintenance. The time was 07:30 and being a belt and braces man I had deliberately left myself with sufficient time to be able to drive into town if the Northern Line also had problems. The weather was not over friendly, it had starting to drizzle, and I was already dressed for the parade, Beret, Regimental tie, Poppy, Medals and all. As I waited on the platform for the next train into town I noticed that other travellers nodded at me as if they knew me and, believe it or not, two young ladies even smiled at me A small group of what I would the previous day have referred to as “yobbos” looked at me with interest and then one of them called across “Have a good day mate!” Somehow, by putting on a few medals, I had become a different person. Opposite me on an otherwise empty train was a young woman with two boys, ages about seven and nine and she was coaching the youngest from an English story book. I could see that the older boy was fascinated by my get-up and was whispering to his mother about whether or not he could speak to me. His mother obviously said it would be OK and he came across to me and started bombarding me with questions. He started with “Are you a soldier ?” followed immediately by “what are those badges?” and “what places did you go to?” I was amused and touched by his interest and entered into the spirit of the thing. “I’m not a soldier, I’m an ex-soldier which means that I once was a soldier but many, many years ago” “Those are not badges, they are medals” and I tapped each one in turn and told him what they represented. “ I went to North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Austria, Germany and Egypt” He dashed back to his mother to share his new data and she smiled and thanked me for taking the time. By 08:30 I was at Leicester Square and found a welcome coffee house where I had a rest and a snack before making my way down to Horseguards for the 09:30 muster. As the AJEX contingent assembled, one of the chaps, who I did not recognise, came over to me and said “You must be Ron Goldstein”. To which I replied “I’m afraid you have the advantage over me because I don’t think we’ve ever met before”. He tapped his beret and said “look at my cap badge” It was a 4th Queen’s Own Hussar badge and you could have knocked me over with a feather. I soon transpired that we had “met” on the Letters to the Editor page of a newspaper way back in 2004 when we had discussed the merits or demerits of merging the AJEX parade with the National parade. He had spotted my own cap badge, put two and two together and, thankfully, had made himself known to me. Next Sunday is the AJEX parade so watch this space !.