I'm a stiff upper lip man when it comes to death. No fuss, nor do I have any desire to share the 'experience' or grieve with others.
I have never left flowers or a message of support at any public memorial. I probably never will. I can recall going to football matches when a whole season would pass without the team wearing black arm bands. A minutes silence then was an event, not the pre kick off ritual it has almost become now.
Has there ever been anything sillier than the entire Chelsea team wearing black armbands last season when Frank Lampards's mum died? Seeing as most footballers are men in their 20s and 30s, the sort of age when your parents are beginning to get on a bit, most football teams most suffer the loss of at least one players parent per season. Are players to continuously wear black armbands?
What to make then of the recent (2007?) trend for placing white bicycles at the site of Hackney road deaths where a cyclist has been killed?
It is certainly not for me. Does it change anything? No. Only proper cycle paths, in the style of the Netherlands would do that. It may provide solace for those grieving, but if I get hit by an articulated lorry heading for the Olympic Park this afternoon, I prefer to go quietly if you don't mind......