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Mild irritation July 21, 2005

Posted by ayasawada in Uncategorized.

Another Thursday, another attack on London, or attempted attack I should say. Firstly, I’m fine, having again been close, but not involved to the ‘bombings’. It’s still not completely clear what happened this afternoon, but it’s looking like four explosives failed to go detonate – which is in itself miraculous, especially since their synchronised timing was so perfect. Only one person was hurt and there are suspicions that he/she was involved in the plot.

It made for another, slightly uneasy afternoon, which had our staff wondering if PLFN meetings carried some kind of curse (PLFN is our ‘Prolonging life in fetuses and the newborn’ working party and the last time we tried to have a meeting was 7/7 – BTW, the term ‘7/7’ really irritates me. I think it’s a big insult to 9/11 victims, because the London bombings were nowhere near as bad as New York). Anyway, Warren Street is, of course, just off Tottenham Court Road and the Police were out in force: armed guards stationed outside UCLH, Police tape stretched across lampposts, traffic redirected around a 200m radius. Hordes of commuters marched in an eery patrol, filtering into various backstreets in search of a way around. Imagine – Londoners, walking! There’s something very ominous about that, it’s like a sign of the apocalypse or something.

Anyway, everyone was in reasonably good spirits, despite the nervous tension. Londoners love a good moan about transport inconveniences and people were whining happily into their mobiles or discussing the finer points of the threat in the packed out pubs. When you’re stuck, why not have a pint? I walked my way round to Baker Street, which took a bit of time, but it was smooth running from there. At least ten of us pulled out Harry Potter and eagerly delved into reading. Normal service resumed then.

All the news agencies were quick to jump on the story: within minutes BBC News online erected an updated blog and at least ten accounts from hysterical people around the scenes. Anyone near the tube at the time must have been terrified, especially given the media-driven hype, but most people seemed normally calm. The whole event was irritating more than anything else. Let this be a message for the terrorists: London stands United. We’re used to far worse inconveniences from London Transport itself and you won’t get anything out of us, except maybe good old English complaints.



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