Friday, July 08, 2005

London Bombs

Yesterday, only a day after the country celebrated the award of the Olympics to London, it was hit by a series of bomb attacks on tube trains and a bus. As I type 50 people are known to have been killed but the final count is bound to rise.

What a difference a day makes. On Wednesday I commented how withdrawn and unfriendly people were on the tube last weekend. Yesterday, in the midst of tragedy, stories started to appear of selflessness amongst London's commuters and passers-by. Everyone has been touched by what has happened. Not just in London but throughout the country and perhaps the world.

It's been noticeable that the right words have been hard to find for many people and I have been surprised at the level of emotion shown by people who I would normally think of as quite hardened or reserved or both. That emotion has come through as anger in some, as distress and frustration in others and for still others in tears.

One friend who takes the bus daily was clearly shaken by the thought that someone like him, who commuted by bus without a second thought, had been killed out of the blue without warning and so senselessly. His anger - even via email - was palpable.

When I came home Hayley evoked the image of a couple like us kissing goodbye in the morning unaware that one of their lives would be snuffed out and the other would be blighted permanently after they received the worst of all news. As she thought aloud of the police making that most unwelcome of calls the full horror of the day started to sink in.

I guess many people did the same as us last night: put their arms around each other, realised the fragility of life and counted their blessings.