Wednesday, 7 July 2010

We were not afraid. Or were we?

We all have memories.

0850. Damn that Hammersmith & Shitty Line. Doors slide slowly open and I'm late into Liverpool Street station, shit, its already nearly nine and even if I just walk to Old Street and not wait for the bus I'll still be at least half an hour late. Great. What the hell was that bang. Never mind, carry on up the escalators. Too many people, I hate tourists. God I'm hung over. Why do people always stand on the left can't they see its for walking up? And I'm late. Great there's the 214 bus. Thank f. for that. Here's a colleague, at least I'm not the only one late in. Lot of traffic. Wish I'd walked. Crowds outside Moorgate spilling on to the roads. Must be a fire alert, they're closing the station.

What are all these police cars streaming down city road in the opposite direction for? A lot of them dont have any markings. Some of them dont even have sirens or lights. Something's happenned. Must be the fire. Anyway I'm late. And who'se standing at the door - the chief executive. Great. I mumble something about delays. He swears about Transport for London. I think he's an idiot.

0930-1500 - glued to internet. a bus goes up. "it's an attack" says a colleague. No shit sherlock. Translating Blair's statement into sign language for deaf colleagues but my hands are shaking so I dont know if they understand. Two of them start to cry. They do understand. My mobile only works for one call and I make it through to mum. She is in shock. I get through to my partner on the landline. She is in shock. But the baby gurgles away in the background. I have to get back to them. Pointless meetings fill the day where we dont decide anything. Staff start to leave anyway. HR graciously give in to the inevitable and we all start to leave.

1500. At last leaving the office. But how long will it take to walk to east London to get to the in-laws? In my work shoes too. and this bag. must have the laptop. cant believe I just paid 5 pounds for an A-Z. Some people are making money from this. Everything surreal. Look at that. A stream of humanity coming up behind me . Most are suited city workers doing exactly the same thing as I am. All the taxi firms are shut on commercial road. I cant believe all these people are just sitting round laughing in these cafes and bars. They either dont care or they still dont know. Then passing the London Hospital in Whitechapel. Look at that. This is really happening. Oh god look at that one on the trolley. oh god. Now its starting to rain. And I don't have a coat.

1 comment:

  1. Nice piece of writing Chris, was this your original post? Memories will fade unless directly involved. I lived in London during the 70's,80's,90's IRA attacks and latterly the Real IRA and have to think hard to remember which impacted most on me.....Probably Hammersmith Bridge (twice), the Spaghetti House siege in Knightsbridge, Staples Corner, Whitehall mortar bombs and more recently BBC Wood Lane and Ealing (son was close by when it went off)and there were many more. There is a strange sort of stoicism we adopt at such times, a continuation of the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' spirit.
    Iain Muir