25 August 2008

Attack of the Killer Meme

Angry Steve has decided to tag me in the latest meme to bounce around the blogosphere like a ping-pong ball in a tumble dryer, having started with Iain Dale, migrated from him to Tom Harris, spread to Scottish Tory Boy, popped up at Two Doctors, generating a case at Angry Steve's before landing here. So, without further ado, I present a brief potted history of where I was and what I was up when I hear about various moments in history.

Princess Diana's death - 31 August 1997

I heard about the car accident in a slightly odd set of circumstances - my parents had the neighbours round (the one with the daughter whose unmentionables are built by Cammell Laird), and while they were there, they disclosed that their satellite receiver was, once again, on the blink. I was sent round to have a look, and as I was re-tuning all the stations (remember that this was in the days of analogue: Sky Digital would not hit these shores for another year), I happened upon CNN, where they were talking about it. I passed the news on to the party, such as it was, where the neighbour muttered something about her probably having broken a nail. When I switched the TV on the next morning, it turned out that things were actually a lot more severe than that.

Margaret Thatcher's resignation - 22 November 1990

At the precise time of the announcement I would have been in Miss Codd's Primary School class, but I found out about it when I got home. I remember watching all the Leadership Election results on my grandad's old TV, enthralled. Of course, I didn't totally understand why she hadn't actually won when she got more votes than Heseltine in the first ballot, but the Douglas-Home rules were a bit much for a seven-year-old to follow.

Attack on the twin towers - 11 September 2001

I was, for the 500th time, trying to show my dad how to work Lotus Organiser in an effort of utter pointlessness as he'd completely ignore it after a couple of days. Anyway, while I was trying to contain my frustration, a friend of mine called to tell me to put the TV on. I did. Once we got the full picture of what was going on, my dad started to panic - his depression and anxiety were at their worst then, anyway - as he was worried that my sister might have gone on a business trip somewhere, and even knowledge that she was at work, in the office, but busy wasn't enough: he had to speak to her, to make sure.

England's World Cup Semi Final v Germany in - 4 July 1990

Being in a Scotland-supporting household, and having adopted Italy as my team after Andy Roxburgh's players embarrassed themselves, my interest in the tournament waned somewhat, though I was hooked on the Panini sticker collection. So I don't recall watching the match, though I think I might have been ill with something or other that night: I remember watching the penalty shootout replayed on the Breakfast News the next morning, lying on the couch, under a blanket, which was the standard illness position for me as a kid.

President Kennedy's Assassination - 22 November 1963

Well, seeing as I was -19 years old at that point, I wasn't around for this one, so I guess I first heard about it on some form of documentary. Or read it in a book.

Anyway, I am hereby swallowing the meme. Because I'm like that.

1 comment:

Alwyn ap Huw said...

Will, you might think that your father's need to speak to his daughter on 11 Nov was a symptom of his depression and anxiety . I can assure that it wasn't. It was just a part of being a Dad.

On the day of the Aberfan disaster, my Mam and tens of other mams from my town came to meet their kids from school.

I was embarrassed, I was a "big boy" who didn't need to be met from school, I couldn't understand why a tragedy that happened 150 miles away should mean that I was no longer "big enough" to walk home on my own!

I discovered why on the day of the Dunblane tragedy!

I knew when Dunblane happened that my boys were sleeping in bed, having an afternoon nap, but when I heard about the tragedy I HAD to go in an check on them and cuddle them and make sure that they were safe!

I'm sure that there were hundreds of dads, throughout the world who needed the same assurance, that your dad needed on that day, and the fact that they needed it was not considered to be anxiety or depression - it was part of just being a dad!