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The show must go on. - The Paranoid Android
...musings of a mechanically depressed robot...
paranoidandroid
paranoidandroid
The show must go on.
Just what the hell was all that about yesterday?

I was running a little late (as usual) and don't normally get into London until gone 09:00 anyway. by the time I got to the Station the underground system had been suspended. My trip into Romford for the overground rail system met with about as much success: All trains into London had been suspended. It was about this time that I wondered what the hell was happening. Reports from the station staff were "power surges in the London area." Rumours from the passengers were varied, and included crashing trains and exploding buses. I was to find out some of these rumours were close to the truth.

I tried to call work, and Misty, and my parents, all without success! The mobile phone network was obviously under some strain! I found I could receive calls (Whavy called) and could send SMS - so I got Misty to call me. She seemed glad to have got in contact - she'd heard about a bus exploding - maybe more than one.

I guess it was about this point that I realised these reports could not be coincidence. The worst had happened.

Whavy had suggested I headed home and work from there. The bus stops were packed, the cabs all taken. I managed to get heading in a homeward direction.

I stopped off at the parental units abode. My mobile was still not working, it insisted all my numbers were not correctly dialled, or I'd get a engaged or unattainable tone. I wanted to let Mum know I was OK.

After a nice cup of tea and a quick look at the news on the TV I headed to my home. The news was depressing, but I could not stop watching. I logged into the remote work site. I completely failed to get the important tasks I needed to get done by the close of business yesterday. I did spend the entire day (up until 21:00) sodding about with a database and watching BBC News 24.

The news showed roads I walk down to get to work. It showed them cordoned off by the emergency services and people who had been on the trains I could have been on (if I ever got in on time) led out of the stations into waiting ambulances or double decker buses! It seemed unreal, and to a certain degree still does.

It reminded me of times past, during the "troubles" with the IRA. Watching news of bombings in places near and far, wondering how the people who lived and worked in those areas must feel - how they could get on with their lives after such violence.

Now I was looking at places where I have been, where I work (I have on many occasions walked from Aldgate East station to Liverpool Street on my way to work) places I might have been at during the morning rush to get to work. My inability to get into work early on the busiest day of the month was a blessing for the first time.

Misty called, concerned with how she was going to get home. The underground system would not operate for the entire day, the main line trains started to run limited services from about 16:00. She was not keen on getting a train, but there was no real alternative... so like the multitudes of others in the same situation, she walked to the nearest main line train station and caught a train to Romford.

She was home safe and sound about the same time as she would normally be, on a normal day, except it was far from normal, and she had left work at 15:00 instead of 17:00.

The news had finally worked out the facts of the day. The death toll was still not known, as far as I know - it still isn't. 49 confirmed dead. over 700 injured. There were 4 explosions, 3 on trains and one on a bus. The earlier reports of 7 explosions were due to double counts of the same incident where survivors emerged from two different stations.

Everyone in the office had been contacted. There is only a single person in our company still unaccounted for. I can only hope they are ill or lost, the alternative is to sad to contemplate.

Today it is heartening to see so many people getting on with life. The tube was a little emptier then normal on the way into work (and we met _mauler_!!)... some of the streets around the Liverpool Street area still taped off... but life was still moving on.

If anything the atmosphere was more friendly than normal. A normal trip to work is spent avoiding eye contact. Today people look at one another with a look as if to say "strange isn't it?" The office was half empty, but the ones that made it in all went to the pub together at lunch... from the "top dawg" down to me (the lowest graded person in my department!) We were not scared, although I was feeling a little dazed, and the conversation at lunch was about fast cars, sport, and smelly food. By 13:00 the place was packed, and it would be hard to tell it from any other lunchtime. Our food was the requisite 20 minutes late.

I sit here, having completed the work I should have sent off yesterday, waiting for Misty to get to Liverpool Street, having decided to go for a couple of beers in a local pub before heading home on the still slightly scrambled tube service.

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Current Mood: chipper chipper
Current Music: Erasure - Always

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