A Big Day in History – Story Telling Saturday

Hi hi!

This week I’ve been busy writing my final article for The Artistry Blog (you can read all my article so far here). I’ve enjoyed writing the longer pieces and this final commission was for interactive pages, which led me back to a story about the event I was recording. Of course the article wasn’t about my story at all, but instead how I created the interactive elements to hide extra journalling / photos etc. I also used an example I’d made previously but I’d had to grab the photos from my old blog where I used to take part in something called “Story Telling Sunday. This was the idea of Sian Fair but like many people, sadly she’s not blogging and creating in the same way anymore. I loved the idea of telling stories again though and so, I bring you, maybe once a month, Story Telling Saturday!

Let’s start with the layout and then if you want the story that goes with it, you can maybe grab a cuppa, curl up & continue reading.

I came across the photos for this layout just randomly in my box and they seemed like a good size for the sketch challenge at the recent Go Go Cyber retreat. They were taken 20 years ago so printed in the old smaller format, which I have to say, is about perfect – 6×4 feels too big these days but 3×4 can seem a bit lost. Anyhoo, the sketch required a lot of small layers which was great for using up some scraps of Cocoa Vanilla Legendary. I’ve really been trying to bust my CVS boy collections so that if / when they bring out the next one I don’t have the guilt of adding to an existing pile!

I thought for ages about the title but then I hit on the word History and it was perfect for the bigger story and the castle photos too. I used some gold Shimmerz paint to pick up on the gold in the Pink Fresh lettering and along with the enamel dots and some bits from my tiny pieces box it was done. It’s a great sketch and an easy one to use although I did faff a lot with the layers to get sufficient contrast. Never underestimate my ability to make an easy thing difficult…

So what was the big day in history? If you’ve spotted the sub-title at the top you can guess that it doesn’t have anything to do with the historic monument where the pictures were taken, although Mr P did point out the twin tower connection.

20 years ago I was working for the police as an analyst on major crime, sex offences, gun violence and drug crimes. The work was challenging and my boss was a bully. I was also studying for my psychology degree with the Open University. Most of the country had been badly affected by the Foot and Mouth virus and this had impacted my work too. We desperately needed a break. We decided to head to the family cottage in Wales via the Brecon Beacons as we’d never been.

The area was like a ghost town because there were still a lot of restrictions in place surrounding farmland etc, and the children had just gone back to school after the summer break. We had White Castle all to ourselves and we went a bit mad, jousting, saving each other from dragons, generally being daft and carefree. We got in the car to drive back to the hotel and the cassette tape had run out so I turned it over (how very old school…). In those few seconds we caught the news that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers. And then another. We never pressed play, just continued to listen in shock and horror at what was unfolding.

We’d intended to spend the rest of the afternoon reading and drinking tea but instead we couldn’t stop watching the news about the terror attacks on the TV at the end of our four poster bed. From then on it obviously dominated every conversation, every item in the paper, every story on TV (remember there were only 4 channels back then too). We left for the cottage the next day trying hard to avoid the news.

The following day we grabbed some french bread and soft cheese and “ran away” to the beach. We remember actually hiding in among the rocks at a really small beach with our backs against a tree trunk. I documented this story on this layout here but as a memory when we went back to the beach years later as I hadn’t taken photos at the time. It’s nice to see that I had used a border when I made this layout several years ago using Crate Paper’s The Pier collection!

A few weeks earlier we had been trying to decide where to go next on our holidays and we were tying ourselves in knots with so many places we wanted to go. What we really needed was a long multi-centre holiday! As we sat on that beach, hiding from the horrors of the terror attack and the horrors I saw daily at work, we decided that a long multi-centre holiday was exactly what we were going to do. A year long, multi country holiday to be exact.

Exactly one year and 1 week after the attacks on the twin towers, we landed in New York for the first stop on our Round The World Trip. I took a career break, Mr P left his job and we found someone to rent our house to cover the mortgage. Of course, we had an incredible year. It’s really strange to think that on this day, 18 years ago, we were wandering around Bangkok and SARS was about to become a significant issue!

Remembering that event and the ensuing decision and subsequent trip has made me very nostalgic, and it has reminded me that I have hardly scrapped any of the trip at all. I hope that you’ll come back for more stories, some might be about our travels as I create the layouts for that album. Stories are important, it’s why I scrapbook. I’d love you to drop me a comment about why you scrapbook (if you do) and what your “what I was doing on 9/11” story looks like.

Stay safe and keep smiling x

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