Monday, 25 August 2008

Memories can't wait

Have been challenged by Tom Harris to participate in a chain blog thing instigated by Iain Dale, where I have to recall where I was, what I was doing and how I felt at certain key moments in history. So here goes...

Princess Diana's death - 31 August 1997
Was still in bed, early-ish on a Sunday morning, (well, early for a Sunday) when the phone rang, Jonny Boy answered it - and then came in to tell me the news. We spent the rest of the day watching the television, like virtually everyone else, and being slightly embarrassed by the fact that we were so interested.

Margaret Thatcher's resignation - 22 November 1990
I would have been at law college at the time. But... if I'm honest, I really can't remember when or how I heard, which is a bit bizarre. I assume we celebrated, but I think it all felt like a bit of an anti-climax. I'd rather have seen her lose an election.

Attack on the twin towers - 11 September 2001
I was at the TUC conference in Brighton, in the visitors' gallery waiting for Tony Blair's speech. There'd been a fair bit of pre-publicity about how he was going to be given a hard time by the union delegates, with staged walk-outs and organised heckling, so the atmosphere was tense. Then the Chair, Bill Morris, announced that two planes had crashed into the Twin Towers. A few minutes later, Blair came in, said a few words - which was when we realised it was a suspected terrorist attack - and headed back to London. The conference was called-off, we headed out to the foyer where we watched repeat clips of the planes flying into the towers, and then a bunch of us ended up in Phil from Tribune's hotel room, watching the news coverage. I remember copious amounts of Jack Daniels being consumed by some people in the room, and the rumour that more than 50 planes were missing. Everyone was stunned, and some people were in tears.

England's World Cup Semi Final v Germany in - 4 July 1990
Watching it with a bunch of mates, because that's what we always do. I think this one was round my house, which would have put me in charge of keeping the supplies of veggie sausage rolls, potato wedges, Pringles, tortilla chips, chilli dips and other nutritious food coming. The lads - Dan, Ray, Bronek - would have been abusing the England players, especially Chris Waddle; I would have been telling them off for not cheering 'our boys' on (and also suggesting that Chris Waddle was perhaps a slighter better player than any of them); and Jonny Boy would have been pretending he knew something about football. Oh, and this was New Order's year, wasn't it - so I may have been doing my notorious version of the John Barnes rap.... 'You've got to hold and give but do it at the right time, you can be slow or fast but you must get to the line...' Yes, I know all the words.

President Kennedy's Assassination - 22 November 1963
I wasn't born.

I now have the task of nominating five other people to do the same. So - I nominate:

Over to you folks!

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