The irrepresible Mrs Bloggs and esteemed Paul Burgin from planet Mars Hill have both “tagged” me to participate in a questionnaire thingy doing the blog rounds. Mrs B got it from Kerry McCarthy MP who I note has me on her blogroll, so I’ve returned the favour. This is a blogtastic equivalent of a chain letter that emanated from Iain Dale. Here are the answers then:
Princess Diana’s death – 31 August 1997
Was living in Strasbourg in the Eastern armpit of France. Woke up on the Sunday, flatmate was away. Rang my parents wanting my mum to check for exact proportions of everything to make pancakes. Only my dad was in who didn’t know. I asked “any other news?” And he said “Princess Diana was pronounced dead this morning..” I turned on the telly and it was true. I think it was Liberation who had the headline “Lady Dies” le lendemain.
Margaret Thatcher’s resignation – 22 November 1990
Was in my college room at Newnham almost electrocuting myself with a coathanger and the object I had which pretended to be a “ghetto blaster” trying to receive LBC which is not intended for the good burghers or student layabouts of Cambridge. Austen Mitchell was doing a mid-morning phone in and referring to her departure. When the news came round again on the half hour it was confirmed. I wrote “Rejoice, Rejoice, Rejoice” on the notepad I used to have hanging outside the door for missed visitors to leave missives (this was before mobile phones).
Attack on the twin towers – 11 September 2001
I was at work at the Humanities Building of University of Manchester doing admin-y type things as we were not into term-time yet. My colleague the donnish John Hunter-Jones stuck his head round my door in the middle of the afternoon and told me. “Something very strange appears to be going on. People keep crashing planes into buildings in New York”. He had found a 14″ television and set it up in his room. Everyone from the department was watching aghast. That morning the Today programme the presenters had been discussing how annoying it was for them to walk down a flight of stairs to the loos to getting running water (or something equally mundane). All that paled into insignifcance compared to this.
England’s World Cup Semi Final v Germany in – 4 July 1990
No idea. Clearly didn’t register. It wasn’t the Maradonna one was it? The Gazza crying one? I suppose it would have been the Summer before I started my career in higher education that I’ve never got out of since. For pocket money purposes “I was looking for a job and then I found a job”… in Debenhams, Oxford Circus as it happens.
President Kennedy’s Assassination – 22 November 1963
Way before my time, although I am quite partial to the Magazine track “Motorcade” which was insipred by it. Ditto New Order’s “1963” (B-side of “True Faith”).