This morning I routinely opened my laptop after doing the daily daybreak routine. I'm on holiday, so daybreak is much later than usual. I reload the couple of online newspapers I always keep open in my browser and the hairs on the back of my neck stands up in .. terror?
The tube! The bloody TUBE! It's the first thing I do whenever I arrive in London, Liverpool Street station. I get hold of some coins with the Queen on, head over to the ticket machines and get myself a ticket to the London underground. Everybody does that. Every tourist cathing the next train to Bristol and every random traveller heading for Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road, British Museum, Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square or friendly flats in Twickenham. To me, London is the tube. Too warm, too crowded, too busy, to humid and too London. Ask anyone about any place there. Everything is relative to an underground station. Near Maiden Lane, near Holborn, near Euston, near King's Cross.
Without the tube, London screeches to a halt. A transportational, economical and social standstill. It's one of the biggest cities in the entire world, and now people can't travel through it or around in it. Not easily, anyway.
I've been to all the involved stations at one time or another.
I shoot off an SMS to a Londoner and get a couple of thumbs up. Nobody knows what is going on. It's just after 10 in the morning here, an hour later than what's on the clocks in the neighbour capital. The news outlets are all hearsay and grainy MMS pictures. Confusion. I have StrawberryFrog's mobile phone number somewhere. Where's he? Where's mort? I cannot find his number. Tiefling is in the US, and so is wertperch. SharQ is all over the place, hopefully in Liverpool. What about the others, mostly smiling faces in parks and pubs. I don't even know most of their proper names, much less their phone numbers.
I decide there's nothing I can do but wait it out. The Londoners need the phone lines for more important things now. Don't they?
The news at nine says 37 people have died, apparently nobody I know.
My thoughts are with the dead and their families, and I sincerely hope all the known London britnoders check in okay. I also wish the Edinburgh suit clan gathering aren't evolving into yet another chest thumping exercise. I think we've had enough already.