RE London bombs. Due to mobile networks being down etc, am just quickly posting here to say I’m ok – hope you are too.
Am personally stuck in BBC office at White City, away from the usual base at Broadcasting House – but all my team and most others I know have been contacted and are safe and accounted for – we’re attempting to keep BBC streams and services up under massive load on the servers (particularly as the US awakes). We’ve gone into ‘lite’ mode on many radio sites and pulling many streams to keep Five Live up, which is also simulcasting over Radio 4 and Asian Network. Bear with us.
There’s a Flickr photo pool here. Thoughts go out to those who have been directly involved. Horrible.
Now home, via a combination of BBC shuttle bus and walking …
Walking through the streets that I do everyday has a surreal feeling just now. Lots of people also walking, as much of the travel infrastructure is variable at best, despite the clearly herculean efforts of transport staff. The mood in central London is odd – actually very stoical and with a real sense of fellowship and camaraderie. Half the shops and pubs are shut – but many are open, with people hanging out on the street corners, reflecting and talking but certainly not downbeat. Streets look like this at moments of celebration – just yesterday in London – or disasters like this. Odd that such polar opposites bring people together in the same way.
Work had a similarly surreally calm and professional air to it, with the BBC in ‘disaster-mode’ very quickly. The load on the servers was immense immediately and the day for us was keeping those servers up – swapping pages and streams about – whilst also tracking down staff and ensuring folk were OK. The streaming servers achieved the highest number of simultaneous connections we’ve ever had – horrible that it took this. BBC journalism, and supporting services, has been of the highest order all day. But our work pales into insignificance compared to the emergency services and transport workers, who look to have been incredible.
The Tavistock Square bus bomb and Russell Square tube bombs were a couple of blocks away from home, and many streets around here are still cordoned off – including Senate House across the road – and the generally quiet lull that has fallen over the city is still being frequently punctured with the sound of police sirens and the occasional helicopter. All looks to be returning to normal but our thoughts are with those who have been directly affected and for whom normal won’t return for a very long time.
Yet London goes on, and Mayor Ken Livingstone’s defiant speech captured the mood perfectly I think, finally talking directly to whoever did this:
“In the days that follow look at our airports, look at our sea ports and look at our railway stations and, even after your cowardly attack, you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world will arrive in London to become Londoners and to fulfil their dreams and achieve their potential. They choose to come to London, as so many have come before because they come to be free, they come to live the life they choose, they come to be able to be themselves. They flee you because you tell them how they should live. They don’t want that and nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our city where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another. Whatever you do, however many you kill, you will fail.” [From Mayor Ken Livingstone’s speech]
Leave a Reply