|This is what it looked like at London Bridge station last night|
Back to England yesterday. A weary journey. Two ‘incidents’ brought trains to a complete halt between Gatwick airport and Victoria station London, resulting in extreme congestion and delays on the remaining services. Forcing our way through crowds - like a riot, or sale day at Harrods, having station gates slammed in our faces because there were too many people on the concourse for safety. Then missing the main line train we could have got on because the doors were locked just as we reached the train (still 2 minutes to departure) Policemen patrolling the station in threes with AK47 assault rifles in their hands and other weapons slung about their persons, accompanied by sniffer dogs. This isn’t an England I recognise, but fear I must get used to.
It took less than 2 hours on the plane from Pisa to Gatwick and another three and a half to get from Gatwick to London (normally 30 minutes) then another three to get out of London northwards. Hungry, tired, cheated of an evening with my children and grandchildren, I wasn’t in too good a mood by the time I arrived in the midlands. But thinking about the suffering of the families of the two people who died after throwing themselves under high speed trains put it all into perspective. England isn’t in great shape right now.
And maybe it had something to do with the fact that the third week in January is statistically supposed to be the most depressing week of the year, and Monday, 'Blue Monday', the most depressing day. Obviously Tuesday wasn't good either.