Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Defiance free zone

Posted by Picasa I've had a lot of visitors in the past week from around the world. Being a London blog, they're probably looking for me to give some message of hope and defiance* against the fear of terrorism. Saying something like "Hitler never broke London's spirit" or "We are not afraid." But no, no defiance here, just random shit and whinging about my health. This is London after all.

Maybe it was different in Madrid or New York, but I didn't see many people bigging up London or taking to the streets with candles. And I don't think any of us are "brave" or "defiant" for getting back on the tubes or buses. They may have taken away our sense of security, but they haven't taken away our credit card repayments and our angry managers.

Speaking of which, by a strange coincidence Manager sent me to Hertford yesterday. This always tends to happen when I'm ill. I just don't think she likes looking at me when I'm sneezing all the time.

The route home took me down Holloway Road and towards Kings Cross. Battling a high temperature on the streets and on my skin, I looked for the fastest way home. It just had to be the number 30.

Eyeing my fellow passengers with just the slightest hint more suspicion than usual, I repeated the usual platitudes to myself:
  • "Lightning never strikes the same place twice"
  • "Grow up"
  • "It's just a bus route you hysterical idiot"
  • "You're more likely to die under a bus than on one"
  • "Especially the way you cross the road"

And I am right; compare the number of people who died last week with the number of people the M25 took out last month, or the deaths from substandard light fittings or Kilburn Primark. There's no point in changing your habits to avoid the tiny chance of being a victim of terrorism if you're not willing to take on the far more significant risks of smoking, drinking and/or driving. And you're not brave if you travel by tube when just driving to the station was far more dangerous. If you take account of what's really dangerous there's no need to be afraid.

But still, I held on a bit tighter than usual. I'll probably be doing that for a while.

*Or they think I'm dead.


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