Saturday, September 11, 2021

Omerta.


After the excitement of a trip to the airport Sophie sleeps in late. Sliding doors can take it out of a girl. By the village pond she considers stopping for a reviving nap but settles for a lengthy yawn. The large yellow JCB being used to reroof one of the chateaus outhouses is parked on the village green. The tyres require leisurely and thorough investigation.


A C-A-T asleep on the courtyard of a neighbours house is ignored. The C-A-T looks at us with feline disinterest.


On the pond one solitary young moorhen and its parents. They scuttle, clucking loudly,  into the safety of the water lily leaves as we approach.

9/11. Can you remember where you were ? Angus was having lunch in a restaurant in Berkeley Square. A beautiful warm, cloudless London day. In the space of a minute phones started ringing and customers started to ask for their bills and leave. A memory of a growing unease that something wasn't right.


A strange omerta seems to have descended over the village court case. Madame Bay has heard from the new mayors secretary that the judge is reviewing the evidence and  will issue his verdict in due course. This leaves the protagonists in a state of heightened tension. It also seems to signify that neither side has a 'slam dunk' argument.


 Another day. Another 'do come and visit' e-mail. Another new hotel - promising ' coaxing smiles and kindling sparks'. This one is in Paris  :https://www.chevalblanc.com/en/maison/paris/


12 comments:

Lisa in Tokyo said...

It was a beautiful cloudless day in New Jersey as well. We had just arrived from Manhattan the day before, bringing our just 1-year old son to meet his grandparents for the first time. Our stay in Manhattan had been kind of idyllic - they were doing construction on the Plaza and we were able to snag a beautiful room overlooking Central Park on the cheap. Back home in New Jersey, my father had planned a trip to a mall up in Westchester, and we were standing in the driveway getting ready to leave when we heard on the car radio that the first plane had hit. We figured it was just some inept small plane pilot but then the second plane hit. My parent's house was up on a hill, and we could see the twin towers from there, with smoke billowing out the side. My father being a tough guy who wasn't going to let "them" interfere with his plans, we still went to the mall, arriving just before it was closed - I remember a lot of confused Japanese tourists milling around wondering what was going on. After that, it was a long dreamlike couple of days before we were able to get a flight back to Tokyo - that flight was our introduction to the plastic cutlery that was to become a regular part of our flying lives. My brother was married in Windows on the World. I've never asked him how he feels about it, but on top of its global political implications, it was a very personal attack on New York.

Coppa's girl said...

I can't really remember where I was on that fateful day. Except that by evening the whole world was glued to their TV sets watching in disbelief, and fear - could it happen here too?
Oh - tyres on a JCB to sniff, Sophie you lucky girl - Inca is green with envy!
The video for the Cheval Blanc left me wondering if it was a promotional for the girl, rather than the hotel.

WFT Nobby said...

Clouds gathering over the village pond. An ominous sign for the imminent fall out of the court case?
Rather boringly, I was at work chairing a meeting with an always awkward co-venturer group on 9/11. Two days later I record in my diary relief that a difficult colleague was stranded in Houston for a few more days. Rather unfeelingly I wrote ("every cloud has a silver lining").


Angus said...

The week before I'd been to see Fiduciary Trust. To this day the most impressive offices I've ever see. Triple/quadruple height ceilings. They had a telescope in reception where you could see the traffic far away on the Hudson. The boardroom looked across to the South Tower. Some of them joined me for lunch in Windows. I still have the Amex receipt which is kept for some inexplicable ( there but for the grace of God ) reason. The Head of Research was one of the kindest, gentlest men in the business. A true gentleman in the purest sense of the term. That night I met a local Scots farm lad in the bar of the Royalton. Something I did from time to time to reassure his parents. He was enjoying life as trader in the big City far away from the cottage in the Mearns. Blue tab collar and yellow silk tie a sign that he was assimilating into American life. Roll on a week to the 12th and it was a trip to the parents to reassure them not to worry and that when the phones were working again he'd be sure to call. It was not to be. The serendipity of time and place.

paphosmuseum said...

I was at work in my legal office in Aberdeen. I used a forum, hosted by Fodor's, the travel guide people. It was as much about the chat as the teacel and I ran it in the background all the time. At the back of lunchtime it lit up. I couldn't get onto the BBC website, which has crashed through the overload, and I followed the whole thing unfolding through my online friends in the US.

As Lisa, the initial thought was that it was a light plane.

The Dunblane massacre- presumably because of proximity- pips it for horror for je, but nothing, not even Brexit, in my adult life, has affected me so much.

Camille said...

During our typically uneventful and dull weekly work meeting a secretary quickly stepped into the room and with shaking hands snapped on the TV. Here in NH and 250 miles away, we all stared at the image on the screen in front of us as the smoke poured out of the North tower. Then in stunned disbelief and just minutes later we watched in real time as the second plane slammed into the South tower. Within the next hour, news of the crash into the Pentagon, then flight 93 in Pennsylvania and watching the collapse of both towers still feels like a surreal experience. The entire airspace over the United States was shut down. Friends and family stranded in place for weeks afterwards across the country. Waiting and dreading the announcement that, no doubt, we were once again going to be thrust into war. To this day it's difficult finding the words. So many lives lost and our world changed irrevocably in the blink of an eye.

Travel said...

Can C-A-Ts be herded?

Fay said...

I was on a plane leaving Dulles at 9:02 am on 9/11. My husband had just left Washington by car. Not a word of anything amiss, while we were in the air. When we landed and deplaned, I saw crowds of people clustered around the televisions in the airport. At first, I thought it must be a big sporting event, but the timing was all wrong (what sport? at noon?). I stopped and asked a fellow, with a phone, and he told me. My sister, who was at work at the State Department, wasn't sure which flight I was on....So much tragedy, with years of ramifications, including Trump's Muslim ban.

Taste of France said...

I was working in Brussels when a colleague told me a plane had hit the WTC. I had lived in Brooklyn at the corner where in 1960 a passenger plane had fallen into the street after a mid-air collision with a smaller plane; 30 years later there were still many vacant lots. So I thought it must have been a small plane. Then the news that it was an airliner--and the report cited a NY colleague, a humorless guy not prone to exaggeration. That was shocking. But as the second tower was hit, then the Pentagon, then Flight 93, it was as if the world was ending. Our offices were across the street. They were evacuated and soon we lost phone and computer connections to the servers in the building. We tried to pick up the work of NY while also trying to watch the news and find out whether friends in the area were OK. It was utter chaos. Worse day of my life. I think I worked 24 hours straight, and then continued to work almost nonstop for weeks after. When I got home that first day, I just collapsed and sobbed harder than I ever had or ever have since.

Sharon said...

I lived in Toronto at the time in a Condo where the dinning room window faced Pearson Airport about 10 miles away. I had been watching morning TV and it was reported a plane had hit one of the Towers. I also thought it was a small plane until I saw the large plane intentionally hit the second Tower. North American air space was shut down and International planes were allowed to land in Canada. I watched (with binoculars) plane after plane from around the world landing at Pearson and lining all along the Airport property. There was concern that Canada would be attacked as well and downtown Toronto started to empty out. A Korean Airplane flying over the Pacific Ocean for some unknown reason sent out a Hijack signal and requested to land at Whitehorse Yukon in northwest Canada. It turned out it wasn't Hijacked. Everyone was in a panic and people in the Toronto area were offering help to the stranded passengers from around the world. Those planes crossing the Atlantic ocean were sent to Gander Nfld. where the citizens did their best to help the passengers stranded there.

Angus said...

Many years ago, when an impoverished student, I was on a low cost carriers DC-10 that developed a fuel leak and had to land at Gander in the depths of pre-Christmas winter. The people there have large hearts.

The Bougalou Bear said...

We had just moved into our new house which meant that my husband was exceptionally home from his very peripatetic job. Our music-only radio-station interrupted their morning program to report an " incident" at the WTC. We turned the TV on just in time to watch, in stunned silence, the second plane hit. Then the Pentagon, then Pennsylvania...
On our street, people were gathering on driveways and sidewalks; you could feel fear, uncertainty and also anger. I heard the word "war" uttered...Rumour was that major Canadian cities might be targets as well, and we could hear traffic building up and streaming North out of downtown Toronto. I gased-up our car and swung by the bank to withdraw what is, to this day, the largest cash amount I ever took out; I can still see the manager's face when presented with the slip by the clerk. Then we waited uneasily, watching events unfold on TV as the day went by and I was on the phone trying to reassure my European family and friends that we were fine so far.
We were grieving for our neighbours to the South, of course, but I remember thinking that North-America had lost more than met the eye that day; a feeling of invulnerability and might, perhaps, a sense of safety for sure.

When the North-American airspace reopened, I took my husband to Pearson Airport for his rescheduled flight; the new safety-check lines were snaking around the terminal, into the concourse and spilling outside onto the sidewalk. This was the new reality of air-travel. Little did we know the future would hold a few more "new realities"

Oh, and the money went back into the account a couple of weeks later. I have been unmercifully ribbed ever since; yet, I still think it one of the most sensible decision in my life.