Tuesday, July 03, 2007

a few thoughts

Bogged down today by some unseasonable blues, the likes of which I just can’t seem to shake off. Not entirely sure what the cause is for such gloom but I’m pretty sure that the events of the last 72 hours have not helped matters. A government source says that when the terror threat level is raised to ‘critical’ then we should worry. But what good will that do? Worrying is not an answer or even a worthwhile suggestion. Worrying is something I do all the time, every time I leave the house, sometimes whilst I am still in it. Now is not the time for worrying; now is the time for vigilance, for being careful, open, friendly, for breaking the we are Londoners and therefore we do not talk on the tube rule, now is the time for living..

London is my home and has been for the past 4 years. The events of 2 years ago have not been far from my thoughts since Friday morning, both because of the upcoming anniversary as well as the timely reminder from some more failed terrorists that London is not a very safe place. It is polluted (the Euston Road where I used to work is the most polluted road in London), there are huge amounts of crime, people are being mugged, killed, burgled and attacked every day of the week, yet I cannot imagine living anywhere else.

As I write this the rain has stopped falling and there is sunlight shining through the window. There is a church bell tolling nearby, which when I started writing this only served to underline my sense of doom but now that the sun has made an appearance (and about time too, as it is July) it actually sounds more like the sound from a holiday past. Yet still I cannot help but wallow in my general feeling of self-pity. I feel uneasy, on edge, as if I am waiting for some rather unpleasant news but of what kind, I don’t know. The tubes were delayed again this morning; security alerts at Hammersmith and Baron’s Court. The circle line was closed because of something at Tower Hill. I heard these announcements as I stood on the tube, waiting for the delay and wondered if there would not be a better way, a safer way, to get to work. It’s all about playing a numbers game, these days. Buses crash more often than tubes and the morning journey is much, much slower. Statistically I am far more likely to be killed when riding a bicycle to work (being both female and an observer of the Highway Code the odds are stacked very unfavourably towards me as a cyclist – not that I am, as they are expensive to buy and insure and I do not know anyone with one who has not had at least one stolen, even when ‘locked’ up) than I am to be injured on a tube journey. But when the tube flashes past those new red wires between Kings Cross and Russell Square every morning, I can’t help but think what if it’s me next time? Because there surely will be a next time. Maybe not on the tube, or the bus, but somewhere.

I know, I know. Time to pull myself out of my black cloud and start thinking of pleasant thoughts, of all the things that are going well in my life, but what is this blog for if not for somewhere to record my thoughts so I don’t bore anyone in actual conversation…

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