Legends from our own lunchtimes

Monday, August 08, 2011

Too Close to Home

It was nearly ten thirty and time we were leaving when the phone rang.

"Dad, we think you should get a cab home, things are getting a bit interesting outside. It's not safe."

Deep down we knew that we would have been fine on the Tube, change to a bus in Kensington High Street, walk from Notting Hill to Queensway and home. Anyway, we were miles from last night's troubles.

As we bade our farewells, we laughed with Paul and Bertha at the fact that we were old enough to have children who worried about us, quietly revelling in their concern for us, and we wandered out into the night to do as we were told. The taxi driver was quite sombre when we told him where we lived. "Queensway is closed, and I'll have to go around Notting Hill, they're all over it there", he said. "I don't know where this is going to end".

The streets were eerily almost deserted, few cars, fewer pedestrians, Policemen in pairs guarding electronics shops as we passed by. The radio broadcast sounded like the natural disaster reports from home, except this disaster wasn't natural.

Fortunately for all, the damage in "our" neck of the woods was petty, but the atmosphere that pervaded that night was one of incredulity.


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