Thursday, July 07, 2005

Flowers, birds and bombs

I woke up this morning to see a bright yellow flower beaming out at me from a courgette plant. It was beautiful, and looked like something from Hawaii, not downtown Crystal Palace. I then saw the birds as usual, tweetering happily on the sunflower seeds. Despite it drizzling, they seemed totally non-plussed. It was a joy. And then i jumped on a train and headed for work.

As much as people moan about the commute or whinge about the city being an unfriendly place, secretly everyone who lives and works here loves the place. I don't spend much time chatting to my fellow commuters, but we all see each other every day. Faces become as as much a part of the scenery as Battersea Power Station or the London Eye, which I travel past each morning and evening. We are London.

I reached Victoria easily enough, but then found all the tubes were down. The buses were rammed so I walked; hundreds of people were doing the same. Police cars were everywhere. The Arcade Fire were singing of impending doom on my mp3 player. Helicopters were in the air. Something was happening. When I eventually got to the office and saw pictures on Sky news of an explosion, it all hit home. London had been hit.

The bombs hit London. They hit people like me. All people doing exactly the same as what I do, day in day out. Even though I was lucky not to be involved, i know I'm a part of this great living breathing entity of london, and somebody's just punched it square in the face. And it hurts.


Clare said...

Glad you're safe.

Al said...

thankyou. It's really odd around here. Blitz spirit has kicked in and the streets are empty because most people (at least in publishing) are filling the pubs. Londoners will always be Londoners!

Jim and Barbara said...

Had a few awfull hours finding out if my sons were ok. One works at the Royal Albert Hall and lives at Aldgate so was a great worry. My other son works in Crawford Street off of Baker Street close to Edgware Road where one incident took place.Both sent me e-mails to say they were ok but no idea how they will get home.

Asha Thiruchelvam said...

Hey Al, spot-on sentiments. I was amazed at how calm everyone was being. Just wanted to do something to help. The whole incident just makes me angry - it was so unnecessary and pointless.