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.