Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Not The Day Anybody'd Planned


Sonata:

London seems to have decided to become wildly exciting, just as I arrived for a few days .
There's a new buzzword suddenly . On Sunday night Smitonius's local MP , hastily shoved in front of a BBC news studio camera , talked about the looting and disorder kicking off ...... today we're all saying it . The very nice young woman in the mobile shop in Islington asked us , as we paid , whether we were going straight home , " Because we'll be closing at 4 . It'll be kicking off then , we've been told . "
Having seen an exhibition at the Brunei Gallery advertised , I went off to see that , leaving my trip to the bookshop till another day . And loved it . It's only tiny but the jewellery exhibits are exquisite and the photographs fascinating . I ordered the catalogue , so will show you a couple of pictures when it arrives ( had it posted straight to Holland . It weighs a ton !)
Leaving and fancying a coffee and bun , I tried to go to the Brunswick Center , only to find that it was all closing down too . Police were urging people to go home early . The buzzword was used again .
And then I suddenly entered the Modern World .
My pocket started to play a perky little tune . I looked round , mildly surprised , and realised . I Had A Mobile .... and this was My First Call!
Fumbling madly through a pocketful of Oyster card , various cards , more cards , even more cards and a ballpoint .... Oh , that's where that was ..... I found it and answered . It was Smitonius and we met up and went home . Safe and sound and listening to helicopters circling nearby . It's kicked off somewhere else instead .
And , of course , despite the air of unreality , this is horribly real .Small family run businesses will be protecting themselves as best they can from groups of masked yobbos on the rampage , acting as though they're on Supermarket Sweep .
I wish everyone a safe and happy evening , wherever they are .

12 comments:

Angel said...

Stay safe. When I was a young teenager I lived through the LA riots (I lived in a suburb that was safe, but close enough that we could see the billowing smoke from the main part of the city-- plus many of my family members lived right through the whole mess and watched their neighborhoods burn and my mom ran a school in the riot zone) and what I keenly remember from the whole thing was just the sense, or maybe smell, of fear that pervaded everything. We evacuated my grandmother to my house (she lived in the riot zone) and she was in hysterics for days. The main difference between the UK and the US is that guns are a thousand times more common here, so the running gun battles between rioters and police in the streets were what made it all really seem war zone-like. It only ended when they called in the military.

Even though I was only 12 at the time I remember the whole thing quite well..... I hope in your case it all dies down soon and does not get any worse, and that you can enjoy your trip into the city.

Friko said...

I always thought there must have been a good reason for leaving inner city London and moving to the sticks.

Here we get excited if a lorry gets stuck on the bridge.

mary said...

Sonata, I thought I was the last person in the world without a mobile!

colleen said...

You are so right. It has been strange. It's a bit like after the 7/7 bombings when you checked people out on the tube and the buses. Just in case...

Let's hope the worst is over.

Suse said...

Take care over there. You're all in our thoughts.

Tattie Weasle said...

Hope you have all been safe. Quiet last night thank heavens. Great to see such community spirit. Up the brooms!

Penny said...

It's hard to imagine when you live in the middle of a field as we do, but horrendous to see what is going on in cities all over the country. Just dreadful, stay safe, Penny x

Anonymous said...

Let's hope that the worst is over now. I do remember -can it be nearly fifty years ago? - when every Bank holiday saw clashes between Mods and Rockers at seaside resorts. But who ever heard of shopping riots before?

Rattling On said...

The quote by the Waterstones' employee was possibly the best. He said they would remain open and if books were stolen then maybe the looters would actually learn something.
Not a good exercise in PR for the country at all...

Tania said...

The very first time I arrived in London, alone and at 17, it was Bonfire Night and I was staying in the East End. Fireworks are banned in Victoria, so I thought that was 'exciting'(!). Then I was living in Brixton during a few nights of rioting and that was 'exciting'. Thank goodness the 'excitement' has died down. I second: 'Up the Brooms!

Liz said...

Nasty business.

But I'm the same: I look around totally bemused when my mobile rings.

Loz and Dinny said...

It all seems a little surreal watching it from across the world. Hope things die down soon for you all xx