Meme: Where I was when…

Sorry to make my first post for a couple of weeks a meme. I was much busier than I expected last week, and with a grand prix this week my blogging activities were focussed on vee8. I’ll still be busy this week but Steven Hill has tagged me in a meme and these are quick posts to do so I may as well do it.

I have to say where I was when each of these events happened.

Princess Diana’s death – 31 August 1997

I was in bed. I first heard about it when my brother came into my room wanting to play the PlayStation but ended up watching the television a bit instead. At first I thought it must have been the Queen Mother who had died, and when I found out it was only Princess Diana I struggled to see what the fuss was about. Never liked her.

Margaret Thatcher’s resignation – 22 November 1990

No recollection whatsoever. I did know of a time when Thatcher was Prime Minister, and I of course remember John Major being in charge. But I remember nothing of the transition.

Attack on the twin towers – 11 September 2001

I remember this very clearly. I was at school in my German Writing class. The first time I realised something was up was when the lesson hadn’t started after we had been sitting there for ten or fifteen minutes. Our teacher was constantly moving between the classroom and the staff room. I didn’t mind because German Writing was my least favourite subject at that time.

Eventually our teacher wheeled the television through and said, “I’m going to show you this because it’s very important and there will be a lot of consequences” (or words to that effect). I was a bit peeved that he chose ITN over the BBC, but never mind. One of my strongest memories is the fact that one certain person in our class particularly struggled to grasp what was happening. In retrospect, I suppose he was right to be so sceptical of the idea that people would be mad enough to delibrately crash planes into buildings.

Of course, we did not get any learning done in that class. Of course, not everyone’s teachers wheeled the television through like ours did. I suppose most teachers will have been completely oblivious. It was the major talking point among my classmates after school, but people from other classes thought we were tacking the mickey.

It was also strange going home, and I got the feeling that I could kind of tell who knew what was happening and who didn’t. I remember seeing a few people driving cars who obviously looked like they were listening to what was happening on the radio. When I got home my parents were both in the living room watching the television (my dad had the day off for some reason that I can’t remember). I carried on watching it for around two hours.

England’s World Cup Semi Final v Germany in – 4 July 1990

Ciao I have no recollection of this match in particular, but I was aware of Italia 90. I liked the mascot, ‘Ciao’! I also took in the design of the graphics used during the matches — an early example of my interest in television presentation.

President Kennedy’s Assassination – 22 November 1963

I was 23 years away from being born.

I now I need to decide who to tag:


  1. I’ve been toying with starting a non-F1 blog for months and now I’m worried if I do I might start getting ‘tagged’ in ‘memes’ which sounds like blogspeak for ‘getting sent a chain letter’.

    Pardon my cynicism. Actually I really like this thread idea, here’s mine:

    Diana – It happened overnight and I was asleep. I remember I was the first person in the house to get up that morning, saw it on the news, and turned it off because I wasn’t interested…

    Thatcher – I was at primary school in Dunfermline. They mentioned it in assembly that morning but I can’t remember what they said.

    Twin towers – I was working at a cheese factory in between university and it was a total news blackout in there. I found out what happened when I got back in the afternoon. That evening I went to see Moulin Rouge with my girlfriend – we could see all the planes flying back to Manchester Airport because they were being grounded.

    Football thing – Uh? No idea. If it was July 1990 I was probably still sobbing over Nigel Mansell’s ‘retirement’ at the British Grand Prix.

    Kennedy – Not born.

  2. Aah, I knew you had some kind of Scottish connection, but I didn’t realise you went to school in Dunfermline! Which high school did you go to? There is a chance you could have been taught by my dad.

  3. Princess Diana’s death – 31 August 1997

    I was in a coffee shop in St Kilda on a very clear sunny winter afternoon, during my first trip to Australia, having a break during my look around Melbourne. The television cut away from whatever they were covering to tell the sad story. The whole place went quiet as the customers glued themselves to the unfortunate story

    Margaret Thatcher’s resignation – 22 November 1990

    She resigned? I was very oblivious to UK politics, living in Washington DC. I have no real memory of the event other than she was no longer PM. Many Americans couldn’t quite believe it. I mean Britain was not Britain without Mrs T in their minds.

    Attack on the Twin Towers – 11 September 2001

    We were living in Sacramento California and did not have a television. It was early in the morning and our neighbour knocked on our door, realising that we did not have a television to invite us to come and watch the reruns at their house. The last time that I went anywhere to watch a rerun of a news event was the Moon landing, when my dad drove around to the local farm to watch it. I had no idea at the time the impact of flying planes into large buildings would have such a big effect on our lives. It directly led to us not being able to live in america and luckily for us to end up in Australia. We had the television on in the office, crap reception and all, all day. The sense of shock and bewilderment amongst my american colleagues was palpable. Talk about a life/ world changing moment. I went to the top of the Twin Towers with my brother and his wife when they visited in the early 1990s. One of my American relatives worked in the building. The logistics of getting up were complicated by all the different lifts that you needed to catch to get to different floors.

    England’s World Cup Semi Final v Germany in – 4 July 1990

    No idea. Likely on the mall in Washington DC celebrating the national birthday. They had very spectacular fireworks, which were very good to watch from the Virginia side, based on my years living there.

    President Kennedy’s Assassination – 22 November 1963

    Althouth I was alive, four year olds don’t really care about that stuff. I have been to his grave at Arlington Cemetary. The never ending flame is Very moving. His influence on us life and politics lives on. I lived next door to a retired journalist in Washington DC. He told me it was the most significant story during his long journalistic career. He had been in the room when Bobby Kennedy was shot and called his story in from a pay phone. They held the press until his story had been filed. The other interesting story that he was part of was being part of the press group that went with Nixon to China.