The twin towers of the World Trade Centre fell five years ago tomorrow, as if you all didn't know that. I just lit a pillar candle to remember the dead.
The attack on the towers was the most frightening moment in modern political history. I remember receiving a call from a relative telling me a plane had gone into one of the towers. I was at work but on my own, so I went into the tv room to switch on the telly, put BBC 1 on as most English people do in times of crisis; the regular programming had been abandoned and they'd gone over to live streaming from New York.
The one thing I don't recall is seeing the second plane go in. Or had it already hit? I can't remember. I do remember thinking, America is under attack. World War III is here.
Then my manager and a colleague arrived back from a council bungalow they'd been decorating ready for the move of a resident out of the main house, which is where we were presently sitting. They sat down with me and watched the developments for a while. Then they began talking over the news about the jobs still left to do on the bungalow before the woman could make her move.
Life goes on, for the lucky ones. But my sense of foreboding wouldn't permit me to go on with normal conversation, normal activity. I felt there might be more developments. I was waiting to hear that the White House was under fire, or the Statue of Liberty.
And I wasn't wrong in any of my gloomy predictions. But it would take longer than I expected, and the attacks on the two greatest symbols of American democracy wouldn't come from the direction I anticipated.
As for World War III--well, my friends, we may actually be in it. Newspaper commentators this weekend pour cooling water on the alarmist talk of politicians and police about the perils of radical Islam, but the world is an infinitely more dangerous place while Bush and former Prime Minister Blair use the memory of 9/11 as an excuse for establishing a tactical bridgehead in the Middle East. This is a rocket that is locked and loaded and ready to be fired across all of our lives, and only God knows how much destruction it's going to wreak.