I think we all have dates in our lives where we remember exactly where we were when key things happened in the world. Here are a few of the key newsflashes that stand out in my memory.
June 1997- Tony Blair wins the general election
I remember being in school, in year 5 when this happened. I think up to that point I was aware we had a Prime Minister and that he was called John Major. Pretty much it. I think our teacher filled us in on the election result and was asking us who knew about it. I seem to remember which classroom we were in, but other than that the memories are pretty vague!
September 1997- Princess Diana’s death
Around this time, my sister and I had spent a lot of time hanging out with some children who lived across the road. We found life with them fascinating and a bit of a culture shock. Our Mum liked pottering about in the garden pruning and reading serious things like the Independent and lots of books. Their Mum, liked sunbathing semi-naked in the garden (I vividly remember Alex describing to us the day she sunburnt her bum) and reading OK! and Hello! magazines. Other than spending a lot of time pretending to be the Spice Girls and putting on concerts, we would have the odd flick through her Mum’s magazines, and more often than not there was a glossy spread of photos of Diana and Dodi on an exotic holiday somewhere or other. I wish I’d been a bit older and understood the context of her death more clearly, but at the time it was a bit of a blur. My sister often woke up really early on a weekend and when she bounced onto my bed to wake me up and tell me Princess Diana was dead, I thought it was a big joke and quipped ‘What, did Dodi’s yacht sink?’ when she dragged me downstairs to see the news, I believed her, and that is as far as my memories of the day go. Her version is that she woke me up as she was annoyed there were no kids shows on due to the news coverage.
September 2001- 9/11
I think everyone remembers this day, right? I remember getting home from school and being glued to the TV. For some reason I think I was home before my sister and I remember being there on my own watching the twin towers collapse over, and over on the news. I think that was the day I really realised that there are an awful lot of messed up people in this world.
May 2010- General election result
This is a little bit of a lie. I had planned to stay up all night for the results, but when our local result came in and I felt the nation sweeping Blue, I gave up and decided sleep was more appealing than crushing defeat. I’d spent the past month assisting the local Lib Dem incumbent on the campaign trail. I dread to think how many leaflets I folded and envelopes I stuffed in those weeks. I’d spent election day door-knocking from 8 to 8, so to lose the seat was hugely disappointing (if perhaps not surprising given the nation’s feelings towards Mr Brown). As it happens, we lost a fantastic MP who really cared for a woman who once declared herself ‘too pretty for politics’. The new MP? Managed to get stung by the Mirror with her toyboy lover under 2 months into Parliament, natch. What a role model! Hmm, perhaps not.
14 February 2013- Oscar Pistorius shooting announced
My sister loves Oscar Pistorius and has been going on and on about the paralympic athlete for years. The interest is part professional (she’s a sports therapist who wants to work with disabled athletes) and part amorous- for a while he was known as the future husband. She met him at a conference a year or so ago and as a joke Mum and I framed the photo of the two of them (with the famous blades in hand) and left it on her bedside table. Quote Mum- ‘don’t they make a lovely couple…‘. I remember waking up at my parents and hearing the news of the shooting on Valentines Day and having to hear it twice before I believed it. I went to wake Mum to let her know, as I was a bit in a state of disbelief. She sat bolt upright with a shocked ‘NO!’. I think that dream of a son-in-law might be over before it had ever begun. My sister’s facebook status that day? Well it’s safe to say I had ALOT more text messages about Oscar than I did about valentines day. At least my friends have their priorities right!
Which newsflashes stand out in your mind?
This post represents day twenty of Blog Every Day in May #BEDM with Rosalilium