Moments that changed the world in my lifetime

I’ve often toyed with the idea of writing a ‘Coronavirus 2 years on post’. Keeping a COVID diary during the early stages of lockdown literally kept my blog afloat since there was nothing else to write about. BUT I decided against it, because.  what else is there to say? It’s all be a bit shit, the government are a disgrace and the concept of anti vaxxers is Darwinism at it’s finest and not moments that changed the world that need too much extra press right now!


One thing I do think about often though, is how we are living through history. Like actual history, that will be taught in schools and people like Dave who did history A level, will, in 30 years time be saying to their wives when they think they know everything about history ever ‘the covid pandemic wasn’t my period’. What’s sparked regular discussion in our house, is what other moments that changed the world, which have happened in our lifetime. And since I turn 40 in like, two actual weeks, it felt like a good time to look back.

The launch of MTV (1981)

Not my lifetime and only just Dave’s, but certainly something that’s had a massive impact on me for sure. MTV was probably all I watched as a teenager and let’s me honest, there would probably be no YouTube without it.  And there definitely wouldn’t have been anything for Sting to sing at the beginning of Money for Nothing.

Live Aid (1985)

I mean I was very young when Live Aid was first televised but it’s probably one of my first memories. Partly because it was the biggest live free concert the world has ever seen, and partly because my mum and dad donated 20p to the charity on mine and my brothers behalf as we forwent our weekly packet of chewits. A modern day saint I believe I was hailed as at the time.

Chernobyl Disaster (1986)

I was only 4 when the Chernobyl disaster happened so I don’t remember it in that much detail but I do remember a couple of years later we had some children from Chernobyl and the surrounding areas come and stay with families on the army base for a few weeks so as to expose them to clean air and help their families out. The girl staying down the street came round to play Barbie one afternoon and we shared a packet of Fruitella.

Fall of the Berlin Wall (1989)

Living in Europe at the time meant it carried a bit more gravitas, or at least that’s what it felt like anyway. We lived and worked with a lot of German citizens so the unifying of both East and West felt like a real step forward for our German friends. And to think it was all down to David Hasselhoff in the end.

The Real World (1991)

Roll your eyes if you must but the Real World all the way back in 1991 was the beginning of all the reality TV we see today. 7 Strangers in a house living together, filmed to see what happened. Yes they poked the bears a couple of times, but they were quite upfront about that from the start, way more real than the ‘constructed reality’ you see now. And the original is always the best.

The internet (1995)

Yeah I know it was ‘invented’ long before I was born however in the mid to late 90s when the internet finally became accessible to all, it was a pretty big deal. Anyone of a similar age can still remember the horrific sound of the old dial up modems and the absolute rage you felt then the connect would cut out if the phone rang.

Princess Diana dying (1997)

One of those ‘remember where you were when…’ moments. It was sunday morning and I was looking forward to catching up with some MTV. There were messages on every single channel saying to turn over to a news channel. I was the bearer of bad news to the whole family. When I asked my brother whether he’d heard the bad news, he said ‘sunday lunch is at tea time’? That was the extent of how bad things got in our house in the 90s

Geri leaving the Spice Girls (1998)

It all feels a bit daft now but it was breaking breaking news when Geri left the Spice Girls, possibly even more so than Take That splitting up because they seemed so on top of their game at the time, they hadn’t even toured properly when Gery jumped ship, and I would have loved to see them live. The only reason I didn’t more recently was it was the same week as The Backstreet Boys and you all know where my priorities lie on that one. The fact that she did it through her solicitor made it seem way more serious than it was I think, in hindsight.

9/11 (2001)

Another ‘where were you’ moments I think we can all agree. I worked at a newspaper at the time and there were early reports of a bomb going off in one of the towers, 2 minutes later a plane, 5 minutes later a second plane etc etc. And I think we all just watched on in horror for the next few days/months/years in some cases. For me it felt like the beginning of multiple scary terror related attacks across the world, and was 100% the catalyst for my anxiety about travelling through London.

Introduction of the Euro (2002)

I was confident at the time that it would only be a matter of time before England got the Euro too but thankfully it still hasn’t happened yet. We still get the thrill of getting our money changed at the airport and paying for everything with a note because we’re too scared to work out the coins. I do miss Deutschmarks and Guilders though.

Smoking ban (2007)

Probably one of the biggest noticeable changes in recent times. When I first started going out, you could smoke freely in pubs, and when I would wake up the next morning I would stick of smoke. Washing your hair the next morning was particularly disgusting. It started slowing whereby you weren’t allowed to smoke at the bar for a while, but when the pull bad came it, it was pretty welcome as far as I’m concerned.

Barack Obama becoming president (2008)

What a man. What. A. Man. I always assumed American would have a woman president before they had a black president but, hey, it’s not like that worked out brilliant for Britain in the 80s anyway. Finally there was a politician who seemed to actually be grounded in reality and able to relate to everyday folk. We could do with someone like him in the UK right about now for sure!

Michael Jackson dying (2009)

I’ve gone into this in much more detail in a post about Michael Jackson dying, however when someone who you listened to a lot as a child dies, it has an impact on you. I really wish I’d had the opportunity to see him live while he was still here, it was a real bucket list show for me. This might not be one of the moments that changed the world for everybody, but it changed the world for me a little bit.

Brexit (2016)

Whichever way you voted, you’d got to agree that the outcome was a shock. And I genuinely believe that the political campaigning, the result and the aftermath, will be studied in schools once enough time has passed. And I find that very concept really fascinating. I will never forget the referendum in 2016 and hearing the result on the radio and being genuinely shocked. Then of course, hilarity ensued…

COVID-19 (2020) 

Like with Brexit, I believe COVID, the response and the aftermath will be studied in school. I mean the fact that we’re over two years on and there are still some last effects in bonkers. And if anyone had told us 10 years ago we’d all be locked in our houses because of a flu like virus we would have thought it was a film plot. I like working from home though.

What historical moments that changed the world stand out in your memory? Have I reminded you of anything you’ve forgotten?


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