Friday, July 08, 2005

Yesterday in London

Well, it's been a pretty strange time in London recently. Fortunately, no-one I know has been hurt in any of the bombings yesterday, and everyone's pretty shocked and disbelieving of what happened yesterday.

Looking back today it all seems slightly unreal as I'm sat here. I felt a palpable level of fear which after the realisation that what was happening was bombing. Not really a fear for my own safety, but a kind of collective fear, which I've never felt before. As the afternoon wore on, and it brightened up, I was walking into town to meet up with L, and people released from their offices seemed pretty cheerful. Everyone was walking, following the bus routes, all walking on the left-hand side of the road, and the scene resembled the aftermath of some kind of giant office carnival. A couple men were propped up on the railings at Highbury Corner, watching events, and as I passed, one turned to the other and remarked, "Look, there goes Moby". I think the capital's ability to face its aversity in the only way it knows how (directing snide comments at me) is heartwarming. Actually, people did seem to be coping, knowing that the whole situation was out of everyone's control, and that there was little point in belly-aching about it, which is genuinely quite moving. Except for one guy who ran out of a building on Upper Street, dressed in a blue work-issue polo shirt, kicked a lamp-post with a cry of 'fucking cunts', and then ran off to kick another lamp-post with a similar outburst.

I've been overhearing a fair amount of wild pronouncements offered with great shows of authority from people about the events, using intelligence buzzwords, the most prevalant is 'chatter' or the lack of it. I'd cleverly refer to the dinner-party speculators as 'the chattering classes' if that didn't make a pun so dizzyingly brilliant as to be indistinuishable from the phrase itself that it makes your eyes water, that is.

Anyway, this hardly seems like the place to dwell on the issue, save to say that it's pretty sobering as the death toll continues to rise and people are still unaccounted for, and I hope that everyone you know is OK.

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