I was on the train to London yesterday for some meetings about my Prince’s Trust fundraiser. My friend Nick Jones rang. ‘You might have some problems getting into London. There’s been an explosion and some stations are closed.’
Then Rodney Byram, one of the people I was meant to be meeting, texted me: ‘Don’t come into town today. Not safe. 3 buses have exploded, no tubes. Stay away. Now four buses.’
My sister and mother rang to check I was OK. It started to feel like 9/11, when I was hiking on my own in Scotland and my only source of information as events unfolded was from calls on my mobile phone from concerned friends and relatives.
Still my train headed northwards, and I wondered whether to persevere. I’d been up since 1.30am – I’d woken in the wee small hours worrying about how I would meet the new accelerated payment schedule for the race entry fee. And tiredness makes me indecisive.
Eventually the announcement came over the train’s loudspeakers. Major incidents in London. All passengers advised to avoid the capital if at all possible. The meetings were important, but not that important. I turned around.
There seemed to be death everywhere – a fatality at Chichester – in all I spent �23 and 4 hours going nowhere. But how can I whinge, when there are people lying dead and injured. Just as with 9/11, my heart bleeds for a city I used to call home. There but for the grace of God…