Friday, July 22, 2005
I was promising myself that my next post would not have anything to do with bombs in London - especially as I had such a good weekend with Philip and Denis coming over to visit me for my birthday, but I'm sitting here and I have to admit - I'm a bit freaked out.
Yesterday there was another attempt to blow up more tubes and buses in London. For some reason only the detonators went off and all the bombs were more of a pop than a bang. Good news for Londoners, as no-one was hurt. Unfortunately these one's were a bit closer to home as Warren Street is a station very close to my office, and Oval is actually the station that I use everyday. It's the one closest to my house. Getting home last night was a very difficult as the police had cordend off huge areas of the road so buses were on massive diverts.
The Breaking News of the moment is police have shot and killed a suspect trying to get on a tube at Stockwell. The reports are unbelievable. I feel like I'm in a movie or something. The suspect had a rucksack on so I'm guessing the reason the suspect was shot was to stop him detonating it, but this is starting to become too horrible for words.
Obviously things are going very wrong for the terrorists right now - and while that is a great thing for us, I wonder if this is going to make them even more desperate than they already are.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Arup sent an announcment around the office - and I initially thought that idea would not come off at all. London having two minutes silence, that is impossible in a city this large.. right??
I could not have been more wrong. I have just returned from standing out on Tottenham Court Road and it was amazing. The entire city went completely quiet. Buses and taxis pulled over to the side of the road and it felt like no-one was talking or working. Sent complete shivers up my spine. I felt that if the wind had been blowing right I would have been able to hear the chimes of Big Ben.
Very weird and very inspiring.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
A lot of the stuff there I think is totally made up and not to be taken too seriously... but the following one made me laugh.
"They're asking everyone to stay within the office."
"Oh. What about lunch?"
"We can go out for lunch, right?"
"Well are you ordering pizza or something?"
When it all went down on Thursday we were told by Arup not to leave the office - and this was exactly what everyone was worried about. LUNCH!! Most everyone left the office to get something to eat.
You can blow trains and buses up - but nothing gets between and Englishman and his stomach. *grin*
The BBC paused news coverage to show *Eastenders*. That'd be the nationwide fear, terror and panic, then."
This is absolutely true!! Can you imagine this. Bombs blow up in four different places in London at 9:00ish in the morning. Only nine hours later the BBC goes back to regular programming and shows the ever-faithful EastEnders. You know Britian is in a bad state if EastEnders ever gets pulled *grin*
Friday, July 08, 2005
The trip home last night was not as troublesome as I thought it might be. I left at 5:30 on the dot and met up with Jodi and our usual bus stop (halfway between my work and hers).
It turns out that some of the bus routes were running again so Jodi says we should just jump on a bus. I, not wanting to appear nervous, just agrees. But I was a bit taken-aback. Today though I was very glad of it though, as it made catching the bus to work much easier. I decided against getting the tube, mostly because I assumed through my particular line was running (a few are closed), it would have a reduced service. I've been informed that this is not the case so I'm going to get over the nerves and get back on it tonight.
Other than this, really everything is back to normal today. If you don't watch the news you would have no idea that anything had happened yesterday. About half the people in my office did not turn up today - but I really think by Monday everything will be 'business as usual'.
Thanks everyone for your nice comments/emails. Nice to know you still think of me even if I don't email or blog!! *grin*
In response to Tina's question below I am intending to head home Jan/Feb 2006. I'm going to spend one more Christmas with my Grandparents and then it'll be time for me to head back to Australia and start to think about getting organised for my future, rather than this 'playing' I've been doing for the past five years. I have to say I would never have thought when I left in May 2000 (Yes Mum, I haven't forgotten - it was Mother's Day - enough guilt!!) I would have been away for over five years. I have met some great people here and had amazing adventures, but I am truely saving hard at the moment and have every plan to head home. Of course, Mum doesn't believe me until I've actually purchased a ticket - but I'm very resolved to this plan now *grin*
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Well it's started to wind down here now. This whole day has been really weird. I've felt so many different things and different times. And it has been really weird being here surrounded by English people. I don't want to be obvious and say stuff about the English stiff-upper lip and being stoic and everything. But you would not believe how matter-of-fact everyone is being here about it. I am pretty much the only person freaking. I'm not really panicking or anything - but I haven't got a single thing other than bomb-related stuff done. I just can't focus on other stuff at the moment. But most everyone else here is actually WORKING!!
Anyway here is my extremely boring story...
The first sign that something was wrong was when I got to the Oval tube station at about 8:45. The tube had stopped and you could only travel southbound - not Northbound on it. This didn't really tell me anything about a terrorist attack or anything - as this is quite a regular occurance with public transport in London.
I decided to catch a bus to Victoria instead and then catch the Victoria line to work from there. When I got to Victoria there was a HUGE bunch of people wanting to get on the tube - but I decided it wasn't worth squashing in with these people and I got my frapaccino (sorry Philip) and got the bus to work. On the bus I noticed quite a few ambulance's and fire trucks racing about - but still had no clue (I was really a Jennifer Cruisie novel - you know me)... I did overhear somebody say something about a train crash at Liverpool street. But even that didn't worry me as we seem to get a couple of those a year here too (..and now I'm wondering what I'm still doing here *grin*).
I got into the office around 10:15 and had to rush to help someone unpack all our cooking/cutlery stuff from our kitchen. They are demolishing it today to make a new one. So I was quite focussed on that. It wasn't until someone asked me if I knew where someone was - and I rang them and they told me about the buses exploding that I first got concerned. And I think this was about 2 hours after the first attack! I'm dense.
From that point on it was a mad rush to phone people and ensure than everyone in my group was OK. In the midst of that I was thinking "I have to call my grandparents". Of course today is the day that I left my mobile at home. So I have NOBODY'S numbers. ARGH!! Of course they are unlisted, so I have to call my brother - to get my parent's number off him (they are always moving at the moment) - and then I can finally ring my grandparents. But when I could finally say that I'm OK to everyone was great.
In the midst of all this I'm trying to get our television hooked up so that we can find out what is happening on the news. It's funny but I ended up having Judith, who is in Australia, tell me alot of the news that is happening. I think the Australian news could report information differently than here - cause we got the fatality numbers much later than they did in Australia.
Now the trains and buses are starting to come back on. The tube will probably not be open until tomorrow (with delays)... but I think I am going to meet up with Jodi and walk with her to Victoria - and then maybe catch a bus from there. If I can't it will probably be a two hour walk all up. Really wish I had one of those you-beaut fold-up bikes now. And there is not a lot of traffic on the roads so it actually wouldn't be that scary to ride a bike on it.
Thanks to everyone for thinking of me.
I'm struggling to contact people to let them know I'm OK. I'm thinking some of you might think to check this very rarely used blog.
If you do - I'm OK. I'm stuck at work at the moment. Very busy trying to make sure that everyone in my group is accounted for.
I'll write more later
Sunday, May 29, 2005
I've finally been shamed into updating my blog.
With all honesty I thought that hardly anyone read it. But seeming I've had comments from pratically everyone I know - even people that I hardly contact any more (Hi, Ben!), I figured that I better get back into gear with it.
It's been over eight months since my last update - so you would think that I would have a tonne of stuff to update about huh?? Well lets see...
1. I moved into a new house with a lady called Elaine and her sometimes 13-year old son, Cameron. It's not that he is sometimes her son, cause he's actually her son all the time - it's that he only lives there sometimes - the other times he is living with his father *grin*. They are really nice and I have been getting on with them well. Hopefully this is going to work out until I'm ready to leave at the beginning of next year, cause I really don't want the hassle of moving again. The only downside to living there is that there is no shower - however the most fantastic shower ever is at my work - so I make do with that when I want to was my hair and I just suffer through a bath everyday.
2. Mum and Dad came to visit me at Christmas... OK they came to vist me AND my grandparents - but I'm sure I came first on the list *grin* - I took them to Brussels to visit Philip and Denis and it was the coldest it had been for a long time - I don't think my mother had been in weather like that since she emigrated to Australia so it was a bit of a shock to the system for both of them *grin*
3. Neil, Beck and my nephew Nelson - became a legalised family in January and were coming to France for their honeymoon. Of course, me, being the tactless individual that I am, invited myself along - and my very limited French was used an abused by everyone. It was funny to actual feel quite knowledgeable!! *grin* I can finally understand why Judith likes learning all these words before she travels.
And that is pretty much the three big things that have happened to me since I've last spoken. Unfortunately I don't know how interesting my blogs are going to be in the future cause I've bought myself a laptop and am curently on a major TV glom at the moment. It sounds really boring to everyone else but I'm having a good time. And the big advantage is that it's become much easier to save money seeming that I'm not going out to plays and movies and drinking as much, so I'm hoping that I can reach the end of my time that much quicker.
At the moment I'm in Brussels visiting Philip and Denis again (I know I said I didn't do anything intersting anymore - well, I lied!! *grin*). It's been fantastic weather here (32degc on my first day)... and I am feeling so relaxed and recharged that hopefully it will be a pleasure to go back to work on Tuesday (public holiday tomorrow). I'm actually catching the train at 7:00am in Brussels which gets into London at 8:30am - can you believe that my commute is going to be from ANOTHER COUNTRY!!! Even though I've lived here for a long time now - it still freaks me out.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Update on my two stressors of last week
Morley College – everything seems to have worked out OK with this. I faxed over a copy of my passport to Daphne on Monday morning and she rang me back and we processed my enrolment. I should get a whack of stuff in the mail about this course and my first lesson is next Monday. Hope I enjoy it.
Virgin Trains – didn’t hear back from them, so rang the Customer Service line today. Spoke to Sonia Kingscott, who must have more that two brain cells to rub together cause she understood my problem exactly and told me to post the tickets to her and she would send a cheque back to me with a full refund. Love it when the system works.
I must have just been having all my bad Karma turn on me last week. I must stop kicking little dogs and stealing sweets from 5-year olds *grin*