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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Aftermath. We're home. [20050707|20:00]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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I walked into Central London, met Marco, Jade and Sander, ate a meal and walked home again. We're staying put now.

I took some pictures on my walk. It was hard to stop my hands from shaking. They're not beautiful and they're not Photoshopped except to resize.





In Camden, the police diverting the traffic from driving into the West End.



Walking towards Euston. It was a little before 4 PM and there were an unbelievable number of people streaming quietly towards me, leaving central London. I heard snippets of conversation as I went. Portly woman to her friend, over and over: "Terrible thing, terrible..." Dozens of people asking the police: "How do I get to Holborn? Can I go to Oxford Circus? Can you please let me by, I'm trying to get to my family?" A man in a suit, into a mobile phone, anxiously: "So you all right, then?" A woman crying openly, listening to some bad news on her phone. A lone man, to himself: "This is only the beginning."



Gower Street, where UCL (University College London) is located, was completely blocked off. Normally it teems with people and double-deckers. Seeing it like this in the middle of the day shocked me immensely.



Tottenham Court Road. Most of the people are walking towards me, in other words, out of central London. They all had the same drawn, worried expressions on their faces. Not that Londoners are typically a cheery bunch, but it was noticeably more somber than usual. This was literally a forced march home.



Most of the businesses along TCR and in the West End had signs like these up. I'd just like to point out that this particular one was on the Spearmint Rhino.

Now I'm going to go drink a lot of 10 year old Ardbeg.

ETA: Anyone who wants to copy these pics or add this post to their memories, please feel free. I have to stop answering comments, e-mails and IMs and go to bed; I'm shattered.
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From: 24db
2005-07-07 19:17 (UTC)
shocking, but Londoners have been through far worse.
Business as usual
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-07 19:28 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it was business as usual, but some places were definitely open, and people seemed to be trying to deal with their predicaments in a fairly matter-of-fact way. Buying bottles of water to fortify themselves for two-hour walks home, for instance.
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From: capitalflash
2005-07-07 19:18 (UTC)
the picture of gower street made me burst into tears.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-07 19:31 (UTC)
I was blinking them back for most of the walk. It was difficult to watch, let alone bring myself to photograph. I felt like I had to, though. My heart was in my mouth every time I heard a siren, and there were a lot of them, although they tapered off from the morning when they were constant.
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[User Picture]From: sparklepbass
2005-07-07 19:23 (UTC)
i simply cannot believe that picture of tottenham court road. i can't put into words how it makes me feel. x
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-07 19:35 (UTC)
It was shocking. And so quiet. People were talking, but all very softly.
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[User Picture]From: ravengirl
2005-07-07 19:37 (UTC)
i've been thinking of you today~
so glad to see this, and sorry as well~
*love*
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-08 09:53 (UTC)
Thank you; this has been exhausting, so I apologize for not responding yesterday. I went to bed at 10 PM and had weird dreams all night, but at least I got some sleep.
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[User Picture]From: repoman
2005-07-07 19:42 (UTC)
I don't think I've ever seen Tottenham Court Road look so.....somber in my life.

I just hope the backlash doesn't happen against the Muslim's living in England. Nothing like living in the country on the other side of the new holy war...
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[User Picture]From: sparklepbass
2005-07-07 19:51 (UTC)
some high-up person has warned all muslim women to stay indoors, fearing that anyone seen in traditional dress will be attacked by angry londoners desperate for "revenge".

that just makes me feel even more sick.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-08 09:58 (UTC)
I figured it would be an efficient way to let a lot of people know that we were okay. Everyone's checked in with me now, including my cousin, who it turns out was in New Zealand for a visit. Phew. I hope everyone you know is safe too.
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From: ripperlyn
2005-07-07 19:49 (UTC)
Would it be OK for me to send these photos to my parents?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-07 20:17 (UTC)
Please do. I'm sending them around myself.
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[User Picture]From: sadira42
2005-07-07 19:52 (UTC)
I know all of these - the empty streets, the masses of people walking home, people crying while talking on the cell phone. The setting is different, but it's all exactly the same. Gah.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-08 10:00 (UTC)
I hate to say it, but that probably is part of the intent - the "we're going to bring this home to everybody" sentiment.

Ugh.
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[User Picture]From: victorine
2005-07-07 20:21 (UTC)
I"m very happy to hear you guys are in one piece. My friend Meg sent around a mail letting people know she and Luc are ok as well, though he was very close to the train that was bombed. Here, while we are bracing ourselves for early hurricanes, we all feel the impact of what has happened. My love to you and Marco.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-08 10:20 (UTC)
Damn, it is awfully early in the season for a Category 4, isn't it? We'll be watching Dennis. Keep us posted, and thanks for the good wishes & affection. We send them in return.
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[User Picture]From: opheliablue
2005-07-07 20:32 (UTC)
Thank you for posting those pictures - I'd like to add this post to my memories, hope that's ok.

There was so much 'stillness' and quiet here all day apart from constant police sirens and ambulances - Kings Cross is really near to me, I guess that's why I could hear the sirens all day.

I'm glad you all got out and back safely.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-08 10:41 (UTC)
The buses are back! And I've seen lorries now, too. Marco took the bus to work but had to get off and walk the rest of the way because of gridlock. But at least they're running.
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[User Picture]From: bellelaqueen
2005-07-07 20:50 (UTC)
Good to hear you're safe. I was out in Marlow today so was through and out the tube super early. I came back through town about 7pm (luckily got a bus) and it was really strange, I'm still trying to find the words.

Do you mind if I copy the TCR pic to send to my folks?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-07 20:52 (UTC)
Go ahead and copy the pic. I'm glad to hear you're back safely.
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[User Picture]From: minirth
2005-07-07 20:51 (UTC)
A lone man, to himself: "This is only the beginning."

What a heartbreaking day. I'm so sorry -- this is just beyond words. I'm thinking about you, and praying for your continued safety.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-08 09:48 (UTC)
Marco rode the bus to work today. He had to get off halfway there because the bus got trapped in gridlock. I find this oddly comforting.
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2005-07-07 22:47 (UTC)
Geez...just...be safe, ok? It's hard not to think of/obsess over those you care about that might be in harm's way. I watched eye-witness & victim accounts and it was devastating. Thank you so much for checking in.

(Don't worry about replying--you've been swamped).
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-08 10:43 (UTC)
Not that swamped. At least, not with the way I've been clinging to the internet. I really appreciate all the concern, thank you.

It was good to go outside yesterday and walk around, even if the atmosphere was surreal and subdued. Marco rode the bus part way to work this morning. People are making an effort to behave normally, which is quite heartening to see.
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[User Picture]From: thefounder
2005-07-07 23:30 (UTC)
i'm glad you're OK. *huge hug*
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-08 10:48 (UTC)
Thank you. The buses and lorries are back. It's still a bit of a mess in central London but people are making an effort to return to normal. It's good to see.
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[User Picture]From: lord_darkseid
2005-07-08 04:40 (UTC)
We've not met or anything. I just happened to look through your photos via a friend's lj. Just wanted to say I'm sorry you have to go through this and despite all the B.S. I'm looking forward to visiting London someday no matter what. Take care and peace.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-07-08 10:51 (UTC)
Definitely don't let this deter you from visiting London. It's a phenomenal city and I've loved living here.

(P.S. Nice icon.)
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