08 July 2005


When I walked from work to my house a few miles away, there was a lot of people - more than usual - on the street. If anything, they seemed resolved to go on. Probably they knew, like me, that below the streets there will still people trapped in tube trains; still people dying down there in the tube trains, buried, still people escaping from tube trains, saved, still people being rescued, dragged from down there in the tube trains, hanging on... And still we walked on, directly above them, resolved to go on; still we phoned our friends, let them know we were safe. Still we headed on our way knowing homes awaited us.
People weren't scared; they knew what was happening and still were doing what they wanted to do. Shocked, no I don't think so, although I'm sure like me when they got home, saw the TV images, absorbed it all, or tried to absorb it all, they were so much more saddened than they might have seemed up on the street.
As for anger - I don't think so. We've been warned about this from officials and politicians, told it was coming, told it was inevitable, that however many they caught, that however many flats full of chemicals and plans they caught, that it was coming... So most Londoners I know thought it was in the post, one day or another. I think resolved to go on with what counts for us, that was the thing we all had in common. But I can't say any of this sure: it's a city of, I don't know, seven million or so? There will be fools and heroes, the strong-minded and the trembling. Maybe we are all little pieces of each. I can't simply judge from those I saw.
So, what is the general mood? When I think about that question in terms of my office, I think of all the mobile phones ringing, all the office phones used for personal calls, all the emails which were non-work-related, all the deadlines suspended, all the in-trays sliding to the corners of desks: what counted was family, friends, lovers, husbands, wives, what counted was making contact, checking life was still life, and so the general mood if anything was one full of love. Love for one another that is always there invisibly, in the background, the shadows, quiet and subtle, but which, in emergency, filled every human contact there was going, that filled that which anyone valued at the time.

1 comment:

Fist said...


thanks for the quote and link. I like your blog, having had a look around.