What a day. It’s a surreal experience, turning up at work, tired and hungover from the previous night’s indulgence, then to discover that your home city is under attack from deranged Islamofascists. That bombs were going off, and people were being murdered, only a mile from where you sat at your desk, drinking coffee.
As events unfolded, it felt almost dream-like. For the first hour or so, we did not even know if this was a terrorist attack or not. The official line was that a power surge had caused an explosion near Liverpool Street tube station. Then another one at King’s Cross. Then Russell Square. Then Edgware Road. Then buses blowing up? What the fuck is going on? Telephones wouldn’t work, mobile phones were useless, the internet told us nothing, Sky News and the BBC could only report an ‘incident’. Very scary indeed. It felt like 9/11 again (albeit it on a much minor scale), that feeling of hopelessness, where all you can do is watch events on the TV.
I work in the City, but a good mile from the nearest explosions. My beloved Citizeness Sane works a bit nearer, but she was also safe. The Realist was right in the thick of it (see below) but was fine. Gradually, through e-mail and text messaging, news got back that everyone we know was OK, if a bit shaken. Under instructions not to leave our buildings we could only sit, wait and hope that nothing else was going to happen. Thankfully, this was the case.
In terms of getting home, I was one of the lucky ones. The Underground remained completely out of action, but overline trains were operating. Packed to the rafters, but operating. I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved to get home.