I thought I would share with you my expierence of being in London this Thursday and hopefully convey the emotions most Londoners may have expereienced.
I woke up on Thursday morning at about 6.30 am slightly hungover as I had been out on Wednesday night with a mate celebrating London getting the 2012 Olympics. I had planned to get up later but due to being hungover got up half an hour earlier. Got the Thameslink into Farringdon and arrived at Farringdon at about 8.20. Still euphoric from the successful Olympic bid having read the newspaper all the way. Got the tube to Liverpool Street and was in my office next to Liverpool St at 8.35. I was feeling immense pride at London getting the Olympics.
It was shortly after 9.00 am that people were talking about an explosion at Aldgate. Looked at the internet and first reports were that two trains had collided, causing a power cable to explode and causing a power surge. First thoughts was that this was another example of the transport problems that plague London. Soon another report came in that there had been an explosion at Edgeware Road. Still thought that it could be down to a power surge but mainly less convined mainly trying not to think the unthinkable.
When people started talking about a bomb on a bus it was then I realised that this was not due to power problems. Kept logging on to websites (BBC, Sky and CNN) to try and get more news but these were slow due to amount of traffic. Also tried TA where Mr Cellophane had started a thread and Emparr kept up a good commentary as to what was happening (thank you to you both).
My sister phoned me from her mobile but just as I answered it it went dead. Tried to phone her back but couldn't get through. Eventually we did speak and as I was speaking to her, my other sister was on the other phone so I knew they were both safe. Then phoned my mum to let her know I was Ok and as it turned out she had been trying to contact me on the mobile but couldn't get through. My brother sent me a text to find out if I was OK. Sent him one back but it took about 20 minutes for it to be sent.
We were getting advice not to leave the building. As the day went on, I tried to work and get some done but was more interested in finding out what was going on. Emotions ranged from anger to sadness and I was close to tears at times as the horror unfolded.
Gradually most peoples thoughts turned to how they would get home and people started to try and find out what stations were open. Spoke to a friend who worked at Chancery Lane but who lives in Hertfordshire, about 40 minutes from Liverpool St. Agreed to keep each other informed of developments.
At about 4 pm the mainline stations began to re open but tubes and buses were not running. Went down to Liverpoool St to check that trains were running, which they were. Phoned my friend back but the next problem was that she didn't know how to get to Liverpool St (she had always used the tube). Told her I would walk to her office, meet her and walk back to Liverpool Street with her. Took me 25 mins to get there about 40 mins back as she had a bad back and couldn't walk fast. I was actually relieved to take it slowly as it had become a bit warm.
We got to Liverpool St at 5.50 and she got on a train at 6.00 pm. She has a young son and wanted to get home so she could reassure him everyting was OK.
I had arranged to meet one of my sisters at London Bridge for a meal and a drink to let the rush calm down. Gave each other a big hug when we met. She left at about 7.15 to go to Liverpool St to get home and I started to make my way to Blackfriars for my train home. Phoned a mate to see where he was and he was also on his way to Blackfriars. Both agreed to meet for a couple of pints to let the rush calm down a bit more and talk about the events of the day.
Eventually got home just before 10 pm. At this stage I was planning on working from home on Friday but as I thought about it more and reading all the goodwill messages on TA, I decided that I would go in as a sign of defiance if nothing else.
Also, watching the news, seeing how the emergency services and ordinary Londoners coped made me again feel proud but also saddened at the loss of life. Emotions are still very much up and down as details emerge of people looking for relatives and loved ones who haven't been heard of since yesterday morning and also of the good deeds that happened during the day.
On the way to work this morning London again dominated the headlines for a second day running but this time for a completely different and more horrific reason.
Thank you for reading.