Seven years ago tomorrow I had a job interview for a teenage magazine.
It was like THE BIGGEST DEAL OF MY LIFE. Seriously. For several reasons. For one thing, it was one of the first job interviews I'd had since I graduated with my marketing degree. For another, it was a MAGAZINE. Finally, it was based in Dundee. Which, to me, meant I would probably have to move there - I've never been very good at commuting, and nearly two hours on a train would not work for me.
Anyway . . .
It's weird cos I remember so much about that day. The fact my dad made sure I got to Queen Street Station okay and basically put me on the train to Dundee (my sense of direction is awful). I remember getting totally lost on the way to the building DC Thompson was housed in, despite studying a printed out map religiously on the long train ride. I remember what I was wearing (I'm not going to describe it. it WASN'T good), my make up and my hair style.
I remember the interview was a bit of a nightmare - the woman asked me who I would interview and I said Destiny's Child since they were big in 2001. And then she asked what I would dress them in if I had to do a fashion shoot with them and I really didn't have a clue so I blurted out "lilac trousers" for some unknown reason. I think I knew at that point I didn't have the job.
I remember the fact I was DESPERATE for the toilet by the time the interview ended but so embarrassed at how badly it went that I didn't have the nerve to ask where their toilet was. I ended up going to the main shopping centre in Dundee and finding it there instead. I remember being on the train home and the book I was reading ("Flavor of the Month" by the late great Olivia Goldsmith). I even recall going to Hamilton post office to buy postal orders and having an awkward encounter with a girl who used to be my best friend in primary school.
It's funny because although I have a great memory, day-to-day things generally fall by the wayside.
But not that day.
I remember I had ran into my friend from school about two-ish and then headed home to have a bath. And it was while I was in the bath that my mum got home and told me that some planes had crashed into the World Trade Centre.
Despite my knowledge of geography, this didn't mean much to me.
I assumed she meant light planes with just a few passengers. And despite my good geographical knowledge, I didn't actually realise many people worked in the World Trade Centre. I actually thought it was kinda like the Eiffel Tower.
It was only as the aftermath unfolded that I realised the consequences of what happened:
I realised that tens of THOUSANDS of people actually worked in the World Trade Centre.
It hit me for definite that a large proportion of these people had not left the towers alive.
I discovered, for the first time, who Osama bin Laden was.
Even now, I find it hard to get my head around the whole event. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Let's face it, it struck the whole world. Hard. Everything else that has happened since then, even the horrific things that have happened in London during the terrorist atrocities in 2005, or the attempted attacks at Glasgow airport a year ago . . . they've not had quite the impact as 9/11. I can't define why this is, I'm useless at historical and political stuff . . . I just know that since the events of September 11th 2001, I don't feel quite as safe as I did. I watched the news virtually non stop for two or three weeks after it happened - I've lost count of the number of times I watched the planes strike the Twin Towers but even now I can't get my head around it. I witnessed a friend of mine of Indian descent being abused because people saw the colour of her skin and associated her with terrorists. I know even years later we're still seeing the after effects of this event and it terrifies me.
It's really not like me to be serious, and SERIOUSLY not like me to venture into this territory . . . but I felt like I couldn't not mention it.