Oliff’s Life

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Last Sunday morning I switched on the radio to listen to a discussion programme that has always been a favourite of mine.

As I filled the kettle I began to tune into a conversation they were having about the day that Neil Armstrong stepped into history.

Within the previous days the first man to step foot on the surface of the moon had died and, following his funeral, his family had asked people to just stare at the ‘blue-moon’ that night and think of him and the achievement by Nasa that day in 1969.

What really caught my attention was when the discussion moved on to reveal that the BBC’s own television recording of the Apollo Xl events from that day had somehow been lost or destroyed.

That in itself came as a huge surprise to me. Who on Earth (no pun intended) could have been responsible for such a massive faux pas? However, all was not lost.

They’d managed to track down a man who’d been a boy of 14 at the time of the Moon landing and who’d recorded all of the BBC’s output from the landing on a reel-to-reel tape recorder.

I became quite animated as this man described how he’d found his recordings in the loft and had been in touch with the BBC who, in turn, had become very excited at finding these ‘lost recording’.

It was like hearing oneself being described in the third person as I too recorded the entire BBC TV production from that day and in almost exactly the same circumstances.

Indeed, somewhere I’ve got recordings of many of the early Gemini and Apollo missions purely because of my boyhood fascination with space technology and travel.

The feelings I’d always harboured of being an isolated alien: youthful “Anorak” on the planet quickly diminished as I heard this man speak.

Remember, in virtually everything you do you are not alone. You’d be surprised how many people think and act exactly as you do!