Sidney in the 1990s

1990 Margaret Thatcher is kicked out by her friends and Nelson Mandela walks free after 27 years in prison. Mary buys me a cello and I start having lessons with Liz Kettle. Shouldn't she be teaching timpani?

1991 Donald is killed in a flying accident. This is the last picture we have. We plant a tree to his memory in Mayow Park and scatter his ashes at Biggin Hill. He was 28 when he died so he'll be 28 forever now.

1992 Bill Clinton is elected president - at last, a clean-living family man. Our new friend is Celeste Rush who plays violin with the LSO while we look after her son Alexander. What fun - here he is, wearing the latest fashion.

1993 It's reported that the ozone layer is 20% thinner - than what? The Late Starters String Orchestra plays at the QEH, with yours truly on cello. I fly to Granada and ride 30 miles up to the top of the Pico di Veleta, at 11000ft the highest road in Europe. Riding down was fun.

1994 The Channel Tunnel is built - with no cycle path surely it must have a quite limited usefulness. We have two computers now, and Alexander is master of both. He's at school now, I sometimes take him there and pick him up on the back of my bike. What again?

1995 Barings Bank seem to be 800 million short - oh dear. Mary takes the society snaps at her brother John's wedding I retire from college and immediately go back part-time. Will I never learn?

1996 Boris Yeltsin elected president - vodka sales increase dramatically. We go to an NS25 reunion to meet guys I last saw 43 years ago. We all visit the airfield where we had trained - it's been privatised!

1997 Labour wins with huge majority and Dolly the sheep is cloned. We go to America to see Celeste married to Alain, and meet her dad. He beats me at table-tennis and lends me a bike to ride up Sandia Crest (10468ft). I have my first deep-vein thrombosis after the flight back. Mary retires and I stop doing part-time work.

1998 The impotence drug Viagra is launched - the effect is felt immediately in Northern Ireland, where peace is declared. We go to Ireland for a car-assisted cycling holiday where a mad Irish motorist kills off our old banger. Time for a nice little Micra.

1999 NATO bombs the Chinese embassy in Belgrade - oops! Julie and I ride our bikes from Brighton to Cornwall, to meet everyone else and see the solar eclipse, but it's too cloudy. OK, let's get on with the next millennium.


Donald Maclean Schuman
1962 - 1991

Alexander makes himself at home

Society photographer Mary Ireland

The first RAF reunion

Mary and me in Killarney