I wake up to CP24 cross broadcasting CityTV’s Breakfast TV. Liza is coo-ing and oo-ing over a puppy. Oh and some bombs went off in London.
I switch over to CBC to see an arial shot of Aldgate station as EMTs try to erect a tent. A Canadian is voicing over from a scratchy British phone line explaining that she heard the explosion and described it as “not your typical English explosion” Whaaa? I think she meant that the rumble was not the usual rumble of traffic or underground train. They say that the cellphone network has collapsed due to the weight of calls.
For shits and giggles, I turn over to CNN. Nothing but technical problems as a reporter fixes his hair while he has nothing to say and the camera lingers on him a bit too long. Meanwhile The voice over describes the bombings as “horrific” and “deadly” and offers nothing in the way of facts, just fear.
I go back to the CBC. They mention Kings Cross Station being one of the points of the bombings and I am back in London, Xmas 1987. My friends and I are wandering around Regent Street trying to decide if we are going to stick around to watch Prince Edward switch on the pretty Xmas lights along the high street or go to Kings Cross rail station and see two of our friends off early back to Leeds. We opt for the former and enjoy the evening. We were so far back that we couldn’t see the Prince but the lights were beautiful.
We drop the friends off at the closest tube station and say our goodbyes. When we get home we hear on the news that several people had died that night at Kings Cross when one of the super long wooden escalator caught fire. People were uncontrollably delivered into the fire by the escalator. Our friends were diverted to another station and it took them hours to get home.
London is a tough city. Londoners are tougher. They’re going to be fine. But I feel a sense of dread now that they’re on the same fear-selling precipice the US went over after 9-11.
Oh look! A puppy!