Friday, July 22, 2005

Weird times

The Scotsman went into London today. At about 11.30 I got one of those phone calls that all us Londoners have been getting in the last few weeks.

Actually, that sentence will look a bit strange to a lot of people outside London, especially to those few US visitors who drop by, so I'll explain.

We live in Greater London. That means that we are governed by the Mayor of London, and, technically, we live in London. However, we actually live in Ham, close to Richmond, which is actually about 8 or 9 miles from the centre of the city as the crow flies. Don't you just love that phrase, by the way? In other languages, they would just say it was in a straight line, but no, here it is "as the crow flies". Native Americans couldn't come up with anything better than that. Anyway. We are at the very end of the underground network (subway, to US readers).If I am abroad, or anywhere beyond the South East of England, I will say that I live in London. Otherwise I say that I live just outside Richmond.

To complicate things further, people who live here will sometimes say that they are going "into London" or "into town", which means that they are going into the centre of the city. As I was saying, The Scotsman was heading into central London today, and called me at work, asking me to look at the internet, to see what the travel situation was, as everybody was on their mobile discussing this. I was able to tell him that the Northern and Victoria lines were suspended.

And this just after yesterday's events. OK, so the guys yesterday were graduates of the Delboy and Rodney school of terrorism. Three bombs, no casualties, and they are looking for somebody running from the scene with wires protruding from his top!

When the atrocity of two weeks ago happened, we thought we would just get back to normal. In fact, I went into the centre on the Saturday after the Thursday of the bombings, and I was impressed by how normal everything was.

But now I'm starting to worry that we'll never be normal again.

Anyway, off to hose the garden. Yes, we got our hose nozzle thingy woe sorted out.