Kate Allan

The online diary of Kate Allan, author

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I'm supposed to be posting more about the RNA Conference, but I'm interupting and want to talk briefly instead about London where I travel to work every day. I've been kind of shielded from seeing and feeling stuff because I was off work at the end of last week to attend the RNA Conference - a kind of unreality.

There are reports that London is not giving in to terror, and that London is back to normal. Well, this is the reality of London, how I feel it, today:

There are more people on the streets than yesterday, certainly more tourists, but perhaps this is because they aren't on the tubes. I would normally travel into work via Kings Cross. I haven't been able to face travelling via there yet although I must go, perhaps tomorrow.

So I'm taking a roundabout route which means the daily commute now involves about a mile and a half of walking and an hour of trains and tubes each day. There are sniffer dogs and Police at the tube gates. Walking the final section into work Police were searching cars. There are Police on every street. Sirens all day. An ambulance screams past our window at lunchtime and nobody is able not to think the worst. Everyone at work is trying to be brave and normal but it's not. The nervousness shows on their faces when they forget to be jokey and smiling. It's really hard to concentrate on work. I can't wait until it's time to head homewards...

Leaving work this evening, my plan to grab a can of lemonade from Tesco was foiled as Police cordoned the street next to my office off. I'll soon be in Hertfordshire, safe, I think. Away from all this.

Battling to come home this evening on a train which waited in every station ten minutes before moving on because Luton station is closed. Bomb scare, someone mutters. Bomb scare? Outside London? Near me. I hope it's not true.

When we at last reach St Albans we are hearded off the train. I walk past the lines of Police trying to marshall hot and tired people into queues for the various buses as the trains aren't going any further North. They just want to go home like me, I think, consoled by the thought my own home is only a few minutes away now. I don't have to wait, and then take a bus. They've closed off a road near the station to cope with the buses. They are handing out bottled water. This is serious, I think. You don't just close Luton station and all this for nothing.

At home I check the news. So it's possible the suspects took a train into London on the same line I use.


  • At 1:38 am, Anonymous mary beth said…


  • At 9:32 am, Blogger Michelle Styles said…

    You're doing fine, Kate.
    Thankfully you were not anywhere near the bombs. But it is scary when you start thinking about how close to home all this is.

  • At 5:25 pm, Blogger Nell Dixon said…

    (((Kate))) Thinking about you and Biddy and all the others I know that have to face that daily commute at the moment.

  • At 12:01 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 12:11 am, Blogger Lis said…

    ((Kate)) I can't imagine how scary it is for all that to happen so close to home.


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