We were living in Amsterdam. My children were 1 and 5. My husband’s cousin had come to stay and I switched on the television so that the children could watch Tweenies while we had a cup of tea and a chat.The Tweenies weren’t there. Instead there was an office building, a blue sky. As we watched – irritated, the children whining for their programme – a plane smashed into the building.
What on earth? There was no sound, but a caption on screen said: ‘Pictures from the WTC.’ I only knew one WTC…the Amsterdam WTC, right next door to my husband’s office. I must have switched onto a Dutch channel, I panicked, this must be happening just down the road. What on earth? Was he OK?
Then the sound kicked in, and it was the BBC, and it was New York. And so my first feeling as I comprehended what was happening and where, was - momentarily - relief.
Ten years on, I still feel bad about those five seconds of relief.