The terrible shooting disaster in Conneticut spawned Mapelba’s post. Her questions at the end spawned mine.

What news event do you remember from your childhood? Any story from the news ever have any lasting effects?

I thought about the big events from my childhood. The assassination of President Kennedy, the death of Winston Churchill, the Aberfan mining disaster, the moon landing. Yes, I’m that old. I remember watching all of those on television as they unfolded. But none of those events had any lasting effect on me.

Then I remembered one that did. The Six Day War. It was the first time I’d thought much about Israel and here were these people on the TV showing maps of this tiny, nineteen-year-old country surrounded by enormous enemies. The way they showed it, Israel had no chance and would be wiped out. Yet, in the end, Israel won.

I didn’t hear any criticism in Britain and I don’t think there was much. Israel, which had clearly been the underdog, won against all odds. I think that must have been the first of many factors that made me decide to come and live here.

I thought about writing some of this as a comment on Mapelba’s blog, but decided not to. Times have changed. At most, I’ll post a link to this post.

It’s good to be back home. It really is. Back to my family, my home.

But. Twenty-five days without news (almost) was great. The news here seems to be designed to make us melancholy.

On top of that, this is a day for remembering. Eleven years ago, I was at work. Someone told me a plane had crashed into a building in New York. I thought it was an accident. On the way back home, it became clear that it wasn’t.

We were on holiday in Ireland when our ten-year-old son announced that Princess Diana had died. “Not possible” was our reaction. We were wrong.

As a child, I was always at home when these things happened. John F Kennedy and his brother. Aberfan. And more. The TV screen didn’t lie.

But I have come across some good news today. About our gold medal in the Paralympics. And about a rather special army officer. They put me in a better mood on this sad day. So does Andy Murray’s well-deserved win, which I stayed up to a rediculous hour to watch.