mumsisdaughter: (Default)
Here is the entry I made for 21st July 2009, of a very special memory from my teenage years:

"Well, for us in UK it all happened in the early hours of 21st July. My parents had arranged for us to go on holiday in that week but as I was a month past my 16th birthday, I persuaded them to leave me behind.

My best friend, Pam, stayed with me and we had lots of fun, I seem to remember. She is still a close friend even though she lives thousands of miles away in Washington DC.

All day we watched the BBC broadcasts. We even ate in front of the telly, a rare decadent event in those days. We had roasted a chicken (supermarket pre-cooked chickens had yet to be thought of) and pulled it apart with our fingers as we watched. For dessert, we opened a tin of pears and ate those straight from the can, with our fingers. You see, we were so scared of missing anything that we didn't want to waste time going back to the kitchen.

We stayed up late to watch the live footage of Eagle landing on the moon. The fuzzy black and white images captured our attention completely. No-one not old enough to have seen it live can understand how nerve-wracking it was. It WAS exciting, it was. Then the boring bit when the astronauts took a few hours to prepare for the walk (boringly termed EVA--Extra-Vehicular Activity, yes, the whole space programme was full of such abbreviations) so we set the alarm clock and settled for a nap.

Picture the scene: Two teenage girls, one just 16 and the other 15, stripped to underwear and lying on the floor in sleeping bags, in front of the TV. The alarm rang, we woke and watched Neil Armstrong step onto the moon. I think it was around 2:30am or so, I'm not exactly sure. ANYWAY, the point is we saw the sun come up and heard the dawn chorus and still we watched. Then round about 5am, we heard the rattle of milk bottles on the step. I grabbed my dressing-gown and, get this!, opened the door and started talking to the milkman about humans on the moon. Apparently, he had slept through it all (no VCRs in those days) because he had an early milk-round.

So, I invited him in!! to watch one of the many repeat showings of Neil's famous first step. Luckily, Pam had heard me and had just enough time to don her dressing-gown before he sat down to watch. I wonder if he's thinking of that strange event tonight, or even if the poor soul's still alive.

There you have my memory of that night. Such excitement then, that means very little to most people only 40 years on."

Today, those of us who witnessed that event are reminded that Neil, Buzz and Michael thrilled us with the idea that mankind was on the verge of taking that giant leap to the stars. Brave men all. Achieved at a time when computers had less power than a modern mobile phone and we thought digital watches were 'a pretty neat idea'.

mumsisdaughter: (Default)
Well, for us in UK it all happened in the early hours of 21st July.  My parents had arranged for us to go on holiday in that week but as I was a month past my 16th birthday, I persuaded them to leave me behind.

My best friend, Pam, stayed with me and we had lots of fun, I seem to remember. She is still a close friend even though she lives thousands of miles away in Washington DC.

All day we watched the BBC broadcasts. We even ate in front of the telly, a rare decadent event in those days. We had roasted a chicken (supermarket pre-cooked chickens had yet to be thought of) and pulled it apart with our fingers as we watched. For dessert, we opened a tin of pears and ate those straight from the can, with our fingers. You see, we were so scared of missing anything that we didn't want to waste time going back to the kitchen.

We stayed up late to watch the live footage of Eagle landing on the moon. The fuzzy black and white images captured our attention completely. No-one not old enough to have seen it live can understand how nerve-wracking it was. It WAS exciting, it was. Then the boring bit when the astronauts took a few hours to prepare for the walk (boringly termed EVA--Extra-Vehicular Activity, yes, the whole space programme was full of such abbreviations) so we set the alarm clock and settled for a nap.

Picture the scene: Two teenage girls, one just 16 and the other 15, stripped to underwear and lying on the floor in sleeping bags, in front of the TV. The alarm rang, we woke and watched Neil Armstrong step onto the moon. I think it was around 2:30am or so, I'm not exactly sure. ANYWAY, the point is we saw the sun come up and heard the dawn chorus and still we watched. Then round about 5am, we heard the rattle of milk bottles on the step. I grabbed my dressing-gown and, get this!, opened the door and started talking to the milkman about humans on the moon. Apparently, he had slept through it all (no VCRs in those days) because he had an early milk-round.

So, I invited him in!! to watch one of the many repeat showings of Neil's famous first step. Luckily, Pam had heard me and had just enough time to don her dressing-gown before he sat down to watch. I wonder if he's thinking of that strange event tonight, or even if the poor soul's still alive.

There you have my memory of that night. Such excitement then, that means very little to most people only 40 years on.

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