On September 11th, 2011, I wrote this mini memoir from ten years ago.
We are relaxed after a sunny day at the Lost Gardens of Heligan. It is early September and we are on our way to stay with friends near St Ives. We need to buy fresh fish from the shop in Grampound and we’re relieved that we just make it before closing time at six o’clock. In the shop we can’t quite hear the radio in the background, but we think a light aircraft must have lost its way or the pilot had a blackout. Or something.
‘Something’s happened in New York,’ says the fishmonger as he weighs up our fillets of plaice, ‘There’s been a plane flown into the World Trade Centre’.
We thank the fishmonger, pay and leave, and I switch on the car radio to catch the news. Somewhere towards Truro we hear it’s a big plane, with people on board. Then we hear another plane has hit the second tower. Through villages and towns, and down the A30 past Hayle, the story unfolds.
We arrive and our friends greet us, ‘Come in, the television’s on. Have a drink: you’ll need one. We all need one.’ The four of us watch, mesmerised and horrified, and the history of the world changes as we drink Hamish’s best Lagavulin. Through the evening the news is repeated and up-dated over and over. When we finally get to bed we know things will never be the same again.
I remember the day! I was leaving work in London and waiting at my local station for a friend who was also leaving London to meet me at Falconwood Station, Welling, Kent. When she arrived we went to my home and phoned for a Chinese before going to the cinema to see the film Moulin Rouge. Everywhere we phoned was an answerphone, closed in circumstances, we couldn’t fathom out why, we turned on the TV! And the news!!!! It was unbelievable, it still didn’t really hit us as to what had actually happened, we made a snack, seeing as we couldn’t get a Chinese delivered and went to the cinema, the film itself, if you have seen it, is very bright, jumpy and in your face, I don’t think we were actually concentrating, a bit of a blur, when we got home we again watched the news on TV and the full horror of what had happened hit us!! I will never forget that day, even typing this, I am cold, cold, cold. 😢
Hi Pat, Thank you so much for sharing your experience! You can see how long it is since I was here, but now I am going to work on the site and upgrade things. I guess you must be the Pat Moss we met in New Zealand!