Monday, 12 September 2011

9/11 - What was I doing at the time?

10 years ago today, I was excitedly running round travel agents in Nottingham clutching 100's of pounds worth of travel vouchers some of our love,y guest invited to our wedding had sent us as gifts. We had struggled with a wedding list, we had not long since bought our first house so had most of the essentials we needed, so we decided to ask for holiday vouchers alongside the traditional wedding gifts and took the plunge to book a last minute deal.

So there I was 10 years ago today running round the city centre checking all available last minute deals that left from the 17th September onwards.

In Choice Travel I found 2 potential destinations Turkey in a 3* hotel for 2 weeks or Malta in a 4* hotel for 2 weeks. I excitedly rung t'husband-to-be from the phone in the travel agent to ask him to look at each on t'internet and see which he preferred but instead he told me they were having problems with the Internet for some reason. So i left the travel agents with the agents glossy brochures in hand and jumped on the first bus out to his work to excitedly thrust them under husband-to-be's nose.

We quickly choose Malta and someone in the office gave me a lift back into town. As soon as the lady started booking the holiday, she told me to head out to the bank and get the deposit in cash and use the travel vouchers to pay the balance.

As I opened the door, the first thing that struck me was the silence and stillness. Nottingham city centre was at stand still. Directly opposite the travel agents was an Echo Newspaper stand and he normally had a radio on, I was greeted with the sight of dozens of people all crammed round this stand. I turned right towards the bank and couldn't go much further due to the crowds gathered outside the windows of Dixon's. I pushed my way to the front to see what was happening just in time to see the second plane hit the twin towers.

There I was giddily running to the bank to get my deposit for my honeymoon, and then I witness one of the most horrendous events in our history. Suddenly the travel vouchers in my bag seemed irrelevant, the deposit sat in the bank meaningless.  After what seemed like hours just standing and wathcing the horror unfold in front of our eyes, I made that walk to the bank, no longer running instead fighting back the tears and feeling a sense of guilt.

On the 12th I had officially finished for the wedding and spent the Wednesday sat in my lounge, watching the TV. I sat and cried and cried. Debenhams called with our wedding gifts, and still I sat surrounded by beautifully wrapped boxes, crying, the wedding seemed so irrelevant. The delivery men stood with me, I made them tea, and we watched the aftermath together, watched the repeated scenes played over and over of 'the falling man'. It was surreal. It seemed unbelievable.

I will never forget 9/11, or the thousand of people whose lives were ripped apart. My wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life, but we remembered all those affected and raised our glasses to them.

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