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Monday, July 11, 2005

Back to work

Another Monday on the Tube

This was my first day back at work after Thursday and I imagine quite a lot of other people's too. It wasn't really that different travelling on public transport from the things that I'd noticed on my small trips on Friday, everyone was engrossed in papers and certainly the numbers travelling had picked up from Friday. I got to the Waterloo and City Line and just missed a train heading to Bank but it gave me the opportunity to see a pretty timely and hideous poster for a new book called Incendiary, with a picture of a mocked up newspaper with explosions taking place near the Thames and London Eye and the title What If?

Incendiary poster at Waterloo

Getting off at Bank and I was facing the same image again. Great, just what I needed.

Incendiary poster at Bank

Although I've now found out that
the campaign has been axed. The book came out on Thursday and the first time novelist Chris Cleave said the timing was "really morbid coincidence".

Onto the DLR at Bank and the same sort of numbers of commuters that you'd expect for a Monday morning. However, there was a police woman at Shadwell tube on the East London Line looking pretty bored.

Shadwell policewoman

By the time I left work in the evening there were a lot more police around.

More Shadwell police

Plus all the locals were talking about seeing a lot more police around.

"But they're looking really bored man", said a girl walking past me as I took the picture. "Yeah, specially the woman", her friend replied.

Legging it up the stairs at Shadwell to the DLR and I think I was dreaming that I saw Harry Potter on the platform indicators there. Seriously is the Potter promotion so heavy now that it was subliminally entering my head, or had JK Rowling's publishers go together with the Docklands Light Railway to tell us the book was out tonight, as well as telling us that the next Bank train was in 2 minutes? My fingers weren't quick enough to snap a picture and I wasn't sad enough to miss my train to get an image, but I'm sure I didn't imagine it.

Anyway, even more police on the platform at Shadwell DLR and that was it.

Even more police at Shadwell

Very weird for me today to speak to colleagues about all the confusion in the streets as people had no idea what was going on. No one was actually panicking but I think the general feeling was that people were pretty lost without their mobiles (Most networks in central London crashed or were taken down). While I was at home with the luxury of the TV and radio and the internet, they were all wandering the streets hearing stories of power surges, buses being blown up and stations being evacuated.

So London's gradually returning to normal. Unfortunately the death toll has risen to 52 and is expected to rise as more bodies are recovered from the train at Russell Square.

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