Thursday 13 September 2001

Today at the Vicarage The

Today at the Vicarage: The Betsy, London.

Given the enormity of recent events, and the ongoing suffering of so many, it is easy to descend into platitudes, and to strive for "political correctness" in what I write. Why do I find myself so nervous about pointing out the huge surge of positive energy that has resulted from the disaster? This is not like me!

There will never be a louder or more blatant wake up call. Let us wake up to core basic values in our lives and focus on what is important to us. Life is too short and too tenuous for anything else. This is a transitional week, and I am entirely positive about the future.

I was disturbed at lunch today by a call from Fripp in Nashville. He politely rang off to allow me to finish my pitiful bowl of mushroom soup, accompanied by slightly mouldy bread rolls, before calling back to discuss my possible involvement with future archiving plans for the 1973/4 Crimson.

Fripp mentioned that on Wednesday he had lunch at a favourite restaurant in town. The manager, a Crimson fan who often says hello, sat down and told him this story: on Monday his cousin had a job interview on the 80th. floor of one of the World Trade Towers. Tuesday morning at 08.00, he received a call – he had got the job managing the two WT Towers. Would he go in for 10.00 please? The restaurant manager couldn not get through to his cousin in the day, but was able to speak last night. The cousin obviously had not kept the appointment - perhaps the two 'planes flying into the towers put him off getting in the elevator - but 'everyone he knows is dead'.

It is difficult to realise that the Twin Towers housed a population equivalent to that of a small provincial city.