What’s it like to live through history?

I’m sharing this blog from my good friend Anna – in amongst all the partisan political debate of the last few days, it’s good to have a historian taking the long view!

Dark Age Voices

I was talking to my two older children the other day about how significant the EU referendum could be. How one day they may be telling their grandchildren about what it was like to live through this day and the events surrounding it.

This got me thinking of the significant historical events of my lifetime and two immediately sprang to mind. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in 2001. So, how will I answer my children and one day my grandchildren when they ask what it was like to live through those times?

The strange thing is that the answer is “pretty ordinary”. If you are directly involved in such events the effects are immediate and obvious. For the East-Berliner on the 9th November 1989, catching up with a cousin they hadn’t seen in decades or for the people of New York…

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A truly creepy ending to this story! Beware seemingly deserted houses as dusk is falling….

Becoming Unstuck

img_1421 Photo Credit: kirstwrites

After being evicted from the property where he’d been living for two years, Will alternated between staying in homeless shelters and temporarily vacant homes, and occasionally had to sleep on the streets. Tired of moving around, he was looking for an abandoned house to occupy on a more permanent basis, recently setting his sights on one that ticked most of the boxes: a grossly overgrown lawn, a mailbox full of uncollected post, no lights at night for months on end, etc.

At dusk, he looked through the window at the first sprinkling of snow that season, and the thought of having to sleep outside spurred him into action. After gathering his meagre belongings, he crawled into his sleeping bag for a nap, preparing himself for the night ahead.

Jolted awake by a passing car blasting punk rock, Will was confused by his whereabouts for a moment. Recalling…

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