Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Where was I when…?

Peter has tagged me with this one.

Princess Diana's death - 31st August 1997
I’d been in my student house that weekend and was due to go home that day. I got up a bit after 9, flicked on the radio en route to the kettle and started making coffee. It took a couple of minutes to realise what had happened, and then I stood in the middle of the sitting room processing it. Then I got on with my breakfast, shower and packing, after which time she was still dead, so I went off to get my coach.

Margaret Thatcher's Resignation - 22nd November 1990
I was 13, and heard from someone just as we were coming out of the changing rooms after PE. I was surprised, as I thought she would cling on for ever, and a bit disappointed, as I thought she’d become a surefire election loser. None of this ‘hooray, everything will be all right now’ nonsense for me (I saved that for May 1997). After school, I raced home on my bike to watch PMQs. I was a very popular, well-adjusted teenager.

Attack on the twin towers - 11 September 2001
I, along with half the small market research company I then worked for, had been made redundant the previous Friday. We were still going in to sort out loose ends, and I was only in the office that morning. I got home, had lunch, and settled down in front of the TV to watch Tony Blair’s speech to the TUC (in my 20s, I was still very popular and well-adjusted). There were intermittent mentions of a plane hitting one of the towers, and I presumed some poor idiot had lost control of his Cessna. Then somebody – Jackie Ashley, I think – said that reports of a second plane crash had been confirmed, and my heart sank. I changed channels and gaped as the second tower fell.

England's World Cup Semi Final against Germany - 4 July 1990
No idea. Wasn’t into football back then. But I’ll compensate by saying where I was when England beat Germany 5-1 (1 September 2001). I would have watched it in the pub with my mates, but I’d got food poisoning the previous day from an ill-advised piece of Virgin Train pastry. So I watched it in my poky bedsit with a glass of water. After a couple of minutes Germany went 1-0 up, and I thought ‘here we go again’. Within 30 seconds of this, my landlord – my German landlord – knocked on the door demanding the month’s rent. I gloomily handed it over. Then we, and by ‘we’ I mean 11 footballers who have never dreamed of my existence, got our own back.

President Kennedy's Assassination - 22 November 1963
1963 was T minus 14, I’m afraid. I could tell you where I was when I watched Oliver Stone’s film JFK, but that somehow seems less interesting.

Can’t be bothered to tag anyone. If you want to do it, go ahead. If you don’t, then apparently you don’t have to.


anticant said...

Of course you don't HAVE to! No-one has to do any of these inane things. They're as compulsory as forwarding chain letters.

Tom Freeman said...

Quite. Although at least these things don't come with guarantees that if I tag five other people, I'll have good luck for the rest of the week!

(And I thought my answers were at least partly ane.)