Monday, 6 July 2015

What is Fate?

Wikipedia defines it as:

A power or agency that predetermines and orders the course of events; that these events are ordered or inevitable or unavoidable and that humans can have no effect upon their own fates or upon the fates of others.

I’ve always wondered about fate. Are our lives predestined or do things happen purely through chance?

Is it fate that makes you miss the train or the plane that crashes or is it just luck?  Or is it just bad luck for you to be on that train or plane. 

It’s definitely grist to the writer’s mill and it’s something that has been particularly on my mind recently, especially after the recent terrorism in Tunisia. What if those people on the beach had decided to spend the day by the pool instead, or go on a day trip, or even go on holiday to another resort or country? It makes you wonder.

It would be hard not to be aware of the fact that this week is the 10th anniversary of the bombings in London on 7 July 2005.

Like 9/11 I don’t think anyone will forget where they were as the news of these devastating acts of terrorism unfolded, and watching the documentaries which are being shown in memory of the anniversary, I am no less horrified today than I was ten years ago.

I lived in London for nine years, only coming back to the north-west in 1995.  I thought nothing of whizzing around on the tubes and buses, it really is the only way to get around.  So those bombers weren’t just making a protest they were trying to destroy the very essence of London life. 

A week after the event, I had to go down to London for a work meeting, to Russell Square of all places, where the organisation I worked for had an office.  I must admit to being very nervous.  What if my one-off journey proved to be the day that a further strike was made on the city?  It didn’t help that armed police were patrolling the tiny Chester train station, which completely unnerved me.  My boss told me to get a taxi when I reached Euston station and so I made my way underground to the taxi rank.

I phoned my husband to let him know that I had arrived safely when an alarm went off and over the tannoy we were told to evacuate the building.  The rail staff directed us outwards towards daylight but when we got there, the police were directing us back into the building. I was pretty scared I can tell you and I seriously thought that these might be my last moments.  I can still remember the relief when I made it out in one piece.  All thoughts of getting a taxi fled from my mind and I walked to the office.  Mind you, walking down the route that the fateful bus had taken was unnerving in itself.

It turned out that the evacuation was the result of someone who had left a bag unattended, but the police were on high alert because the next day the accomplices to the bombers were arrested.

I’m not sure whether it’s because of that experience, or because London is very much in my blood, that the events of 7 July have always been very close to my heart. Afterwards I did a lot of research on how the events unfolded and put that into a story. 

Over time the story has lain on my hard-drive as I’ve never been sure what to do with it.  As time went on I thought that it was probably redundant.  But I’ve decided that I don’t want it to lay dormant forever, and so tomorrow on the anniversary I’m going to post it here on my blog.

I hope you enjoy it.

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