Thursday, July 07, 2005

Just to let you know, I'm okay.

It's a very sad day in London. This morning, I was just about to set off to work, slightly late, when we got a text message from my wife's mother in Athens, asking if we were okay because there'd been explosions in London. First we'd heard of it, so we looked online and, sure enough, they were saying that there'd been some sort of explosions at tube stations in London. So I rang the three people in my section at work and told them not to take the tube - all were just setting off for work - and went to get the bus into town. I took a radio with me so that i could hear the latest.

At the bus stop, the radio was saying that it was power surges in the tube stations that had caused the explosions, which seemed a bit odd, but meant you felt pretty safe getting the bus into town. Got a bus to Archway, where the tube station was shuttered up and then managed to get on a bus, which was going down to Kings Cross station. On the radio, they were still talking about the power surges - British Transport Police had confirmed that, I believe - but the eye witnesses who were ringing in on their phones were all talking about explosions. Then someone called in and said they'd just spoken to their friend who'd been in Russell Square, about half a mile from Kings Cross, and seen a bus explode. This was the first anyone had heard of such a thing - remember, we thought it was a power surge at this point - and the radio presenters were quite keen to point out that this was an unconfirmed report, but the student calling in certainly seemed convincing.

So by now I'm on the bus on the road down to Kings Cross - one of the places where the tube explosions had been - with a work colleague who'd happened to get on, and we were both listening to the radio on a headphone each. Then they said there had been further reports of the exploding bus at Russell Square. That was about a mile from where we were, so we decided it might make sense to get off the bus. By now, mobile phones weren't working, I guess because of the demand from everyone trying to get through to their families telling them they were okay.

We wandered about a bit, thinking maybe we shouldn't go into town - as we were so near to where most of the explosions had been happening. Around now, the radio started saying that the tube explosions hadn't been power surges after all - they'd been bombs. Nobody was in a panic where we were - Londoners have a sort of stoic air about these things - like, this is really annoying, what's going on, how will I get to work. We're sort of used to disruption. I didn't really feel at all scared, just a bit weirded out. The bus that had exploded was only about 200 metres from the building I work in.

Eventually, we decided to try and walk down into central London and get into a work - a few hundred yards away - but it was clear from the number of people streaming the other way that they weren't able to get through. We asked a woman coming the other way and she confirmed that the police were stopping people and telling them to head the other way.

So now I've walked the 5 miles home, much to the relief of my wife. We now know that there have been around 6 explosions and there are fatalities. It's very strange watching news footage of areas of London I know so well, and I'm just very grateful that I wasn't caught up in it and, as far as I can tell, neither was anyone I know.

Such a sad day for London after the joy of getting the Olympics yesterday.


Dawn said...

So glad to hear you are OK, as I hope your family is as well. Do you think these bombiong were related to the Olympic decision?

Anonymous said...

Just woke up and turned on the television and saw the news about the bombings. My first thought was that I hoped you were OK. I'm so glad both you and your wife are fine! I'll bet your families were worried sick! My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those effected by these senseless events.

KJ in the USA

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your update. I've been listening to BBC News on internet radio, and it just makes me sick at heart. Fortunately all of my other friends in London are safe as well.

Dawn - I think the general consensus right now is that it was timed to coincide with the start of G8. Probably to disrupt or even cancel it. Don't think they counted on the determination of the G8 leaders and Londoners themselves.

My prayers go out for everyone affected and all of their loved ones.

~ Cathy in NJ

Andria said...

Glad you are OK. I just got a chance to check up on you, but I thought about you and prayed for you and your family this morning!
Andria in Texas

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you're ok.


Anonymous said...

Hello all. Kits eldest brother here.

Its been an interesting few days and I know what i'd say and I have no problems about travelling on the buses and the tubes and the trains. I do it every day and am not going change for them, I can't as I work for the railway.

Anyhow on a lighter note we've all been away for the weekend to the coutryside to celebrate two birthdays and generally get away from london, perfect timing. However unfortunately there are no pictures of Robin. Kit tells me that he forgot to take a picture but I reckon he drank my Pimms and lemonade that seemed to disappear when the blokes were all playing cricket and all the ldies were nattering(as they do). This is no way guarenteed and may I just say that i'm not responsible for the bird!

Hope you all have a quiet week and roll on 2012(chin up Frenchies)!

Same old bloke in NW10