Not long after I blogged about London Bridge it witnessed another terror attack. It is extremely sad to learn that two people died and I hope the injured make full recoveries. It has really put me off crossing this bridge, or any in London for that matter. I know it is pretty illogical to think like this though as these things can happen anywhere at any time. But on a bridge there isn’t many places to run.
I was working at the time, on a 7am to 3.30pm shift about a 7-8 minute walk away. My GM was reading something on his phone and said ‘Sam, don’t tell anyone to head towards Borough Market, there’s been an incident’. Naturally I got my phone out to see if there was anything on the news. I also went to text my mum in case she was worried, already seeing a text and missed call from her. After notifying my mum and sister I was fine I had to keep working and actually wasn’t able to leave work until closer to 6pm. It was a busy day and for charity we were holding a gin tasting event, I was allowed to have a couple of gins after work after a small donation and this helped to take the edge off the day.
You could see the police race down the busy street to the scene as it was happening, four or five cars and vans bravely rushing to the incident. I cannot imagine what that would be like. Nor can I imagine being on the bridge at the time, especially for those that fought the terrorist and for those that were stabbed. So close to Christmas too, but sadly that’s often the case.
After work I walked home, the area around Borough Market and the whole bridge closed off to public. I have recently decided to take smaller, quieter roads home that for so long had been the opposite to what I have been told. It is strange how the age of terrorism has changed things. Usually in emergencies we are told to walk calmly to safety, now we are told to run. The busy, well lit streets are now the ones I try to avoid. The less people, the lonelier, the better.
Police cars stopped traffic before stopping pedestrians, I could walk a little further before we were also stopped. My typical shortcut was the last street to be accessible to public, the road no longer full of vehicles but flashing lights and news reporters. It felt strange taking photos and videos but I am not doing it for fun. I have blogged about my life for the last 5 years or so and it would be strange to leave something like this out. Especially as it is currently affecting my day to day life.
I could get a little closer walking around the blockage to Borough High Street, at this point I was still trying to understand what had exactly happened. I heard a few things before leaving work, there was a stabbing, a shooting, a shooting on a bus… the usual mix of stories after something like this. But Borough High St looked like a movie set for all the wrong reasons. Cameras everywhere, police and London buses that had to be evacuated and abandoned now it became a crime scene.
You can see in the far left of the above photo, a policeman moving some signs. These were signs left by people- or maybe taken from people- saying things like ‘love will win’, ‘no room for hate’ and so on.
I would like this to be true, but sadly it will take a while for things like this to stop. It will also take more than a couple of signs after an incident. Now in my earlier days of blogging I would have been more than happy to have a rant and get my opinions out there on this kind of thing. But over time my opinions change, and I am realising that trying to talk on topics such as terrorism, religion, politics, immigration etc isn’t easy and very messy. Not to mention dangerous and that conversations with both the left and the right is getting more and more difficult without someone being triggered. All we need is conversation. Even if it is infuriating and with someone closed minded or with opinions different to ours, if they are willing to chat that is the most important thing. Cherish any conversation with someone that is willing to sit down and listen, even if you don’t agree with them.
Today the weather was beautiful. London Bridge seemed to be getting back to normal, traffic is moving again with a police presence.
The bridge seems to be open again, with the pavement where the attack took place still closed.
Christmas time is always magical, but is always a time when certain people want to do the cruelest of things to ruin the holidays. This is tragically the case for Jack Merritt, 25 and Saskia Jones, 23, and their families. They were the ones that lost their lives a few days ago, it turns out this happened in a building not far away. London Bridge was where the attacker was finally brought down and shot.
Life is fragile, and unpredictable. One minute we can be worrying about buying presents, planning holidays and what to have for dinner this evening, the next we are no longer here. It really makes me realise what to prioritise in life and that 99% of problems aren’t actually problems. It also reminds me that I should contact my family every day. We have been ever since my dad passed. Life seems to be a road that every year becomes more and more like a tightrope. And I am trying not to take every day for granted like I used to.
RIP to the young adults that lost their lives, and stay safe everyone wherever you are.