What a morning! (by )

Ok. My days are usually pretty stressful. I'm supposed to work from 9am to 5:30pm with an hour's lunch break, but most days, I can't; with the school run I rarely get into work before 9am, and with picking Mary up from nursery (Mon+Fri), or getting Jean to Cubs (Wed), or getting Jean to Ju Jutsu (Tue), I tend to have to leave at 5pm at the latest. So I eat at my desk and work through the "lunch hour" to fit my working day into 9:30am to 5:00pm. Except on Tuesdays, I need to leave at 4pm to get Jean to Ju Jutsu for 4:30pm, so I make up for that by also skipping lunch on Thursday, despite staying until 5:30pm then (I manage to get in for 9am on Thursdays, as I can drop off at school slightly earlier on that day, and Tuesdays too). So it all balances out and I fit my contracted hours in each week, but with zero leeway and no lunch breaks.

But that is merely the backdrop to today's story.

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10 Years Ago…. (by )

Ten years ago today Alaric got to the train station and thought "you know what I don't want to go to work today, my pregnant wife is very sick and in that hospital just there, I'll go and see her instead". This was an unusual thought for him, as it was he mostly worked from home and only went in once a week for meetings.

It was bizar behaviour on his part but something I am so glad he did. He held my hand as I sat on machines that monitored my vitals and then he went to get my breakfast. I think I fell asleep, something was going on, nurses were running past the door, Alaric came and with a nurse helped get me to the breakfast room with it's TV.

He explained a bomb had gone off, we watched the news as it unfolded with a sickening sense of relief, Alaric could have, should have been on that train. Then the panic as we realised that it wasn't one attack but several - that it was hitting routes we knew. I tried to phone my friends and family who worked in London. Unsurprisingly the networks were jammed - in hindsight we should have been leaving the phones for emergency stuff but we weren't thinking we just wanted to check everyone was safe.

Our Drs started to disappear as they left to help or be medical stand by, my parents turned up thinking they were going to have to tell their very ill very pregnant daughter that her husband was missing on one of the blown up routes. They had been trying to phone him, none of the phones were working.

They were angry with him in that way you get angry when a child didn't come when you called, and you imagine the worst. Then he got hugged. And then the maternity ward began to break down. They say there is no stress induced pregnancy but woman after woman came in with blood pressure problems or in labour or both. The ward filled, there were women on trollies in the corridor - we were not on the labour ward but one woman ended up in the advance stages of having her baby in the maternity ward with me. They pulled the curtains round her bed, she was calling for her husband - her parents didn't know where he was, he had not done an Alaric, he was either dead, injuried or stranded in a motionaless London.

There was not enough beds or staff and bloody foot prints appeared and stayed on the floor. I was bewildered.

After much trying we got hold of as many friends and family as we could, checking they were all ok. More than one had had a near miss, were sitting still in London, sitting on steps crying or telling me how eeri it was with all the traffic stopped, with the hush, and with everyone being kind. London is normally a free for all, pushing, rushing, ignoring the press of humanity but that wasn't what was happening. Everyone was milling, quiet and in shock, everyone knew they were the lucky ones.

Everyone had been expecting the attack since 7/11 in the US, in truth London commuters had been being a bit nicer to each other since that point all fearing that this day was coming. If your train was delayed by more than ten minutes and you had no reception but someone else did - they would lend you their phone to phone and say you were alive. This affect multiplied on the day, I did not really register the stories at the time - I was too ill and mainly wanted to know that the people I cared about were fine.

That is not saying that I had no feelings for those who weren't, it was horrific but I needed to know my friends were fine.

When he got home Alaric found we'd been added to shout outs, it was before the days of social media but we did have blogs and mailing lists and everyone was checking that we were ok. People were worried.

My friends and family were lucky, but mum's friend son - not so much. He's alive due to the carriage he got in but bar the shock of the actual explosion and minor injuries he then had to be escorted past the carnage. Last I heard he still hadn't gone back to work, not all the scars were physical ones, not all of them could heal.

Much later on I realised that it had been even more of a close call for our little family, if I had not been ill and in hospital then we could all have been on the train. It's a strange twist of fate and one that wedges inside me, that me almost dying potentially saved all three of our lives. I say potentially because we might have been late or delayed or I might have weed myself on the way to the station or a million other things, but all of those things are nothing but grace as was me being so ill Alaric felt justified in not going to work that morning.

Terrorism is a horrendous thing, life taking for political gain, for power, religion, to make a point, to drive the wedge... murder is the only name for it.

It was muslims that time but it followed a tradition of London bombs. Someone asked me how I could still travel on the tube into London - the answer, "The RIA didn't stop us, oil disputes in the 70's did not stop my mother, hell she even had her bank hijacked, so why let this lot?". They weren't all muslims like the RIA were not all the Irish, the point of the bombings was to divide, to make an us and them, sadly with some people they succeeded and that is sad. Muslims were killed on the trains and buses, muslim doctors came and aided people straight away - before anyone really knew what they were dealing with, weather those drs were putting their own lives at risk or not.

Terrorists don't really care who they kill, who they injure or maim, that's kind of the point of the bombs. Ever wondered why we don't have metal bins anymore?

Anyway that is all besides the point. Today there are people remembering loved ones who should but aren't still here and no amount of photos shown on international TV is going to heal the wholes in those families. Later today I am going to light ten candles - one for each year, for the yawning chasm of pain, for those who were lost and those that still bare the scars.

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