July 7th, 2005

Checking In

I'm OK. So is flick. We're both at work, and look to be walking home tonight.

My mother is stranded at London Bridge, trying to get from my flat to my brother's place in Dartmouth Park. I may have to go out and take her home, if I can make contact. Alas, she gave her keys back to me.

News Update

Radio is on in the office. At least 90 casualties at Aldgate. Looks like five Tube stations and three buses have blown up. As far as I know, there are no Tubes, buses or (maybe) trains running in and around London.

Charles Clarke says people in London should not make unnecessary journeys.

A Note To The Government

If it turns out that at least one of the terrorists was a UK citizen, with known terrorist connections, who used fake identity documents to accomplish an important part of the plot, then you can start to bang on about how this demonstrates the need for ID cards. Not until then.

Logistics

My mother has been staying for a couple of nights, and was going over to my brother's in north London for another four days this morning. And I had a meeting in Maidenhead at 11. So I went out with her at a bit past nine with the intention that I would change for Paddington and she would go on direct to Swiss Cottage where my brother would meet her.

We got as far as Bermondsey, one stop from home, when the train stopped -- supposedly due to power surges interfering with equipment. Then the driver said we should get off and continue our journey by other means, and then they evacuated the whole station. We got a bus, and she got off at London Bridge with the intention of getting another bus up to north London.

I went on to Waterloo, and was looking for a bus from there to Paddington, but flick was online and keeping me posted, and it seemed decreasingly likely that the station would be open when I got there, or that I really wanted to be travelling, so I cancelled my meeting and walked up to the office.

Then my brother phoned to say that my mother had called him and was stranded at London Bridge as all the buses had been suspended after a bomb went off on a bus. He'd suggested she go to Tate Modern, which would have been my suggestion too. flick was on her own in the office, and had had a near miss at Edgeware Road -- her train to work had got that far before they evacuated, and one of the bombs was at Edgeware Road at about that time, although there are two Edgeware Road stations and it was the other one. So she walked down to my office, and we headed off to Tate Modern to look for my mother. We managed to get a boat from the Savoy to Bankside, failed to find her, and had lunch. Then my brother phoned to say she was at the Tower, and he'd told her we were on our way home.

So we got another boat, with more difficulty, to Greenland Pier, 3/4 of a mile from home. And half an hour later she phoned from Rotherhithe tube station, which she'd walked to, and she's home with us now.