[ 16:30 thursday 7 july – old aske’s hospital, shoreditch, london ]
i’m just back from biking down to ludgate hill, right in front of st paul’s cathedral, to drop off some papers with our accountants. the streets are filled with people on foot, pouring out of offices and streaming southward, presumably towards the mainline stations at london bridge and waterloo. many are dragging suitcases behind them. the streets are almost devoid of vehicles. one can hear the patter of footsteps and a murmur of conversation, usually drowned by internal combustion engines. the eeriest thing is the absence of red double-decker buses.
modern urban horrors such as todays generally achieve their most pervasive impact through their affect on infrastructures (electricity, water, gas, cash machines, transport). yet as a cyclist i’m almost completely unaffected by today’s collapse of all public transport within and into london. i came into the office as usual, dropped off my papers and will return home when i’m finished. there is a gulf between my experience of the day’s reality and that of the many for whom routine and normality have been turned upside down.
the number of casualties is yet unknown so the usual bidding war proceeds in the media. 2 dead. 20 dead. 33 dead. each outlet waits gleefully to pounce on a higher number so that they may wring their hands the harder and wail the louder, so that their voices may be more clearly heard in this ever-competitive marketplace.
a flurry of sms and email through the day has probed and confirmed the wellbeing of friends. i pray that nobody i know is hurt.
: c :