September 02, 2008

Where were you when you heard about...

Dave Cole has just tagged me with a meme- and as I think its an ok one- and furthermore I hadn't got any better ideas of anything to write about this evening here goes,

The Death of Princess Diana- I was half asleep. To be fair I remember being half asleep and my brother coming into my room and saying Diana's dead and we went down and watched it on TV. I can't remember anything else about it- apart from the fact that all the TV networks were showing Diana non stop for weeks afterwards.

Margerate Thatcher's resignation 22nd November 1990- actually this is an interesting one because it is my first significant political memory (before that I'd been far more into Arthur Ransome and history). I was coming home from Sainsburys and school with my mother- we got out of the car and a neighbour shouted across, 'She's gone', no need to know who 'She' was. My next political memory interestingly is a chat about John Major with my dad.

Attack on the Twin Towers 11th September 2001- this actually came at an odd time in my life when every time I was abroad there was a national disaster. It all started with a trip that me and Vino and some others took to Europe- immediatly there was the fuel crisis. The next year again I set off with Vino and the same group to Ireland, and we were on a bus in Ireland, got off the bus went into a neighbouring cafe to wait for another bus to take us to our youth hostel- and this must have been in the late afternoon- they had footage of what had happened on the screen behind us. Cue, as you would expect, political argument ad nauseum...

England vs Germany World Cup Semi-Final 1990- this seems to be a good exercise in picking firsts- this was the first football match I properly and consciously watched, being aware of how it went, aware of what the tactics were etc. I still remember the desperation of the last half hour and the terrible bad luck of the German goal...

President Kennedy's assassination 22nd November 1963: strange to think that this was 27 years before Margerate Thatcher's resignation! But I wasn't alive at that point- it is one of the many events- from the Potsdam and Yalta conferences forward that my generation lives in the direct shadow of. I suspect with Ted Kennedy's speech at the Democratic convention we are moving yet another step further away from JFK- if that is indeed his brother's last contribution to politics- and one of the perilous insights of historians is that all these events will one day, however dramatic they seem now, pass out of story and song into forgetfulness. It is happening with Diana's death- it is happening with that semi-final, will happen to Thatcher and to September 11th. Kennedy's death was so important at the time- but now it is fading and I suspect for my grandchildren will be as important as President McKinlay's is today.

I suppose I have to tag someone incidentally- I'm going to go for James Hamilton, the Organic Viking, Ian Appleby, Chris Dillow and Matt Sinclair.