Our London Life

It would be an understatement to say that the events of the last two weeks have been shocking.  First Manchester and then Borough Market.  These two attacks have rocked the UK.  Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.

Naturally such events make us reflect on our own lives.  They shine a spotlight on the paths our lives are taking and the choices we have made for our families.  This is true for me anyway.  Having adopted London as my hometown fifteen years ago I have not been naive to the risks of living in such a big city.  However, the vibrancy and energy of the capital has drawn me in and it would be difficult to see us moving away from here now.

London landscape focussing on the Thames

Credit: Canva

Yet, I feel uneasy.  The atmosphere, as I expect is the same in other large metropolises too, is tense.  Yes, London is open. Yes Londoners continue to go about their business as usual.  Yes there are some wonderful displays of positivity and courage around the place. However, my mind plays tricks on me and before I know it  I am taken back to the days after the 7th July attack in 2005.  The summer of 2005 when London was tense.  Uncertain.  Subdued.  

We were living in Kilburn, northwest London at the time.  I remember continuing with life ‘as normal’ as we were told to do.  Getting on the tube and buses and going out in central London.  Yet, it wasn’t normal.  I looked over my shoulder much more.  I thought A LOT about the people around me. I began to get off buses a few stops earlier because panic was taking hold, berating myself for doing so but not being able to stop myself either.  

And so we all looked like it was ‘business as usual’ but for some Londoners, like me, I’m not sure it really was.  However time passed and normality did seem to return.   

But, yet again, following the Westminster and London Bridge attacks, there is a ‘new normal’.

This time though I’m not a twenty-something young professional with few ties and responsibilities.  I’m finding it even harder to carry on in the same way as before.  I have 3 children now.  We live a 12 minute train ride away from London Bridge and my husband commutes into town every day.  We were out in Borough Market on Friday night.  Life will be the same…but different. 

And yet there is so much to love about living and working in this part of the world.  The children have so many opportunities on their doorstep and the community that we live in is warm, friendly, diverse and tolerant. 

What I suppose I am trying to say is that we are forever weighing up what is best for our families.  And sometimes this rumination can be helpful.  Sometimes not.  For now I’ve decided not to ruminate too much more and just to get on with our London life.  As a friend and colleague also living in London wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday morning:

“Unlike millions of others, we are safe this morning.  The world is no different than it was yesterday, last week, last year.  It is just as violent and as venal, as beautiful and wondrous.  We are truly citizens of that world.”

Life goes on and so must we.

Take care and much love.

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Tammymum
diaryofanimperfectmum
The Pramshed

Lucy At Home

29 Comments

  1. June 7, 2017 / 9:10 am

    Beautiful post and something I can really relate to. I live in Hertfordshire but work in London and have done for my entire 13 year career. I remember that feeling after 7/7 and you’re right that it’s there again. I too have got off trains early or waited for the next one simply because my brain has just become irrational. But I suppose that’s how we cope. You’re right that we have to keep living though and London is still a fantastic place to be. Stay safe xx #FamilyFunLinky

  2. June 7, 2017 / 1:05 pm

    What wonderful words by your friend. They will really stay with me so thank you for sharing xx It’s so hard when my husband works there every day and friends and family. I was on the tube last night and I felt so anxious, only really relaxing once we got further out of the hub. It is so hard not to but I will try to remember your friends words xx #FamilyFun

  3. twotinyhands
    June 7, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    Yes Hayley, there is a different vibe to life after these events. It is right to carry on but it doesn’t stop you thinking what if from time to time. I know I don’t live in London or a big city but we’re not too far from barrow where our nuclear subs are stored, or two prominent power stations… if these became a target we’d be wiped out… but life goes on and this is t something to dwell on! ❤❤❤ ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

  4. lisalambert38 - Mumdadplus4.co.uk
    June 8, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    Beautiful post and I agree life must go on. I see things on the news and it doesn’t effect you much, you are aware of it but not scared, you think about the people effected but you don’t know any one personally. That was until Manchester we are 20 min tram ride away and my partner passes under the arena everyday. It really hit home and made it all that more personal, I said in the days after I would never let my kids do this and that but then retracted that and said we cant wrap them in cotton wool. This is the world we now live in and life must go on. #Ablogginggoodtime

    • June 9, 2017 / 1:32 pm

      You had a very natural reaction to something very close to home and then on reflection became more rational again. That is totally normal and it’s so good to recognise that. Thanks so much for the comment. xx

  5. June 8, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    I was working in London at the time of the 7/7 bombings and I remember the feeling well. Walking past armed police at every tube station, the much emptier tube carriages, the hyper vigilance. Things weren’t ever the same but we did carry on and gradually the carriages filled up again and life seemed to return to normal, but it stays with you. Love your friends words x
    #FamilyFunLinky

  6. Emma
    June 8, 2017 / 10:14 pm

    Beautiful and thoughtful with strength as a thread thank you xxxx

  7. June 9, 2017 / 6:35 pm

    that’s a great quote at the end. Having kids really does change the perspective of just about everything. Its not just worry about their safety, but about what kind of world they are now growing up in #familyfun

  8. June 9, 2017 / 8:41 pm

    Such a brilliant attitude towards things and the way the world is. I have had lots of different conversations about this in the last few weeks and this is one of the best pieces I have read or heard about things. #fortheloveofBLOG

  9. June 10, 2017 / 10:16 pm

    That is a beautiful sentiment at the end. It must be so strange living in such proximity to such terror. I think about it more than I ever have in recent days and I hate myself for it. You’re right we do carry ‘as normal’ but I’m a bit unsure just normal it really is. Thank you for sharing this lovely post at #familyfun

  10. Lucy At Home
    June 12, 2017 / 9:31 pm

    It is a new normal for the whole country, but I can imagine that feeling is multiplied substantially for those of you with such close connections to the places affected. Even though we live miles away from the incidents, I find myself more aware of those around me, and I worry about going near big cities. I love the facebook quote – wise words indeed, that we must try to take to heart #blogcrush

  11. June 16, 2017 / 6:39 am

    This is a beautiful post and a real eye opener from someone who has been in the thick of these events rather than just seeing it on the news. We’ll never forget the victims xx #blogcrush

  12. June 16, 2017 / 7:18 am

    It’s so nice to hear all these different perspectives. I’ve read different accounts from Londoners and others in the UK, and everyone seems to have their own, unique, and very personal emotional response. There is no one way to react to a tragedy, let alone several of them. And then this week with that horrific fire, I can only imagine what you’re going through. Praying for you and all of your country. #blogcrush

  13. joysofamum
    June 16, 2017 / 10:08 am

    Lovely post and in many ways when terrible things happen you see the beauty of society as we stick together on the whole to overcome the monsters of this world! #blogcrush

  14. June 16, 2017 / 2:08 pm

    This is very similar to how I’ve been feeling. I’ve lived in London for 19 years but the last few weeks have made me more nervous. It definitely has something to do with having children and being that much older. But I am also determined to not let the idiots win. So I am off for a drink with an old pal on the South Bank tonight. And I’ll raise a glass and take a moment to remember the good people who can’t enjoy this summer evening.

    #blogcrush

  15. mackenzieglanville
    June 19, 2017 / 4:58 am

    it is heartbreaking and I can see why you are shaken. I live in Melbourne and a few small things have happened here, it makes you question your safety and impacts your thoughts so much, but we are all part of this big, beautiful world and we must all love and support one another. Sad but beautifully written post #blogcrush

  16. June 19, 2017 / 11:45 pm

    Thank you for these words, strung together so beautifully. They have helped me to try to not be overwhelmed by the recent events. They are every day, sometimes more than once a day. I am trying to focus on empathy and love. #blogcrush

  17. Mom Of Two Little Girls
    June 20, 2017 / 7:53 pm

    I remember the 7/07 bombings like it was yesterday. I was working in Carnaby Street. I remember walking through Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, over the bridge and all the way to Elephant and Castle where we queued for hours to get buses home, trying to find my sisters and housemates. It was eerily quiet, no panic once I’d located my loved ones, but so very strange and so unlike London life. I now live in SA, by my sister still works in central London. I try not to dwell on it too much but every time I turn the TV on and see another attack, I am transported back to the day I was there.
    Stay safe! Be Brave. x

    • Mom Of Two Little Girls
      June 20, 2017 / 7:53 pm

      Sorry – also, that is a beautiful quote from your friend.
      #blogcrush

  18. June 20, 2017 / 8:02 pm

    I recall the attack on London so many years ago now. My sister was just about to move to the area for her studies and despite our fears she still went. It’s true that awful things happen but there’s a lot of beauty out there in contrast too. #BlogCrush

  19. June 22, 2017 / 12:25 am

    Love your friends words, they are so true. I must admit I would be really scared if I lived in London now but that’s just what I’m like, a real worrier! It must be hard to go on as normal but we’ll done to you for trying xx #blogcrush

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