Friday, April 10, 1981


Today felt special somehow, whether because it was the last day of term or the Shuttle launch, I don’t know, but I felt it as soon as I woke up. The bright morning sun probably helped. All day, everything felt so temporary, as if everyone was just biding their time. Lee and Claire started their Geography Field trip to Boggle Hole today and are gone until Tuesday; I saw them fleetingly at registration.

I slaved away all morning writing up my History essay. After dinner Jeremy and I rushed back to my house to see the Shuttle launch, which was scheduled for just before one. Andrew was already watching it and I felt growing excitement as T-0 approached. Fifteen minutes to go, then fourteen, ten-and-a-half, and then at 9 minutes out a hold that dragged on and on and at ten after two we had to leave. School was packed out with sweaty shouting fifths and everyone was either watching or talking about the launch. Ingham came up demanding his essays and then school was over; I think it’s sad to see a school empty, the long, silent corridors that only an hour before were full of noise, bustle and life.

When I got home I found out that the launch had been delayed "at least 81 minutes" and, inevitably, it was eventually put off until Sunday, maybe even Monday. What an anti-climax. Sunday would be good though, for that would coincide exactly with the anniversary of Gagarin’s 1961 Vostok 1 launch.

Wrapped up in thoughts all evening.

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