Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Kentish Town

I had an astonishing dream last night. I'd submitted a score for a musical which the director told me he didn't like very much. He said the score didn't have enough ebb and flow and told me the only way I was going to become a better writer was by doing character building physical exercise. He made me run with the cast of the musical in a circle around a table. We were going so fast that centrifugal force sent me spinning off to the edge of the room. The cast then decided to wade in and give me some ill-conceived hints about song writing. At that point I lost my temper, "how on earth is running around a table going to help me as a writer? And why am I taking hints about composing from non-musicians?" To which the response came, "if you're resistant to ideas you'll never know..." I was then accused of being difficult. The sense of injustice woke me up!

The tubes were in a right old mess today. Someone had "gone under a train" on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line, and so, as I returned from my osteopath appointment this morning, there was a huge queue of people, who'd been thrown off the tube network, waiting for busses at Camden. The roads were gridlocked, so I sat for twenty minutes in a jam near the tasteless Jews for Jesus shop in lower Kentish Town before getting off the bus and walking. Everyone was flustered, tutting and miserable. Of course we always assume that the person who's gone under the train has committed suicide, so everyone thinks "how selfish" and continues to feel annoyed. But what if that person was pushed? Or stumbled? How awful to be one minute looking forward to getting home to put your feet up, or see a friend for a coffee, and the next being hit by a train. How long will your friend sit waiting for you in the cafe you've agreed to meet in? It's too miserable for words.

I've left the previous paragraph in. I wrote it as I was wandering up Kentish Town High Street before discovering that the gridlocked traffic had been caused by thirty or so emergency vehicles parked up outside Kentish Town tube.
Twitter was buzzing with the news that a man had been pushed under a train at the station, which made me feel a bit odd after writing the previous paragraph. I wasn't sure why quite so many emergency vehicles were there. Perhaps the multiple ambulances had been called for distraught passengers who might have seen something awful. But ten fire engines? I tweeted a picture of the emergency vehicles and was immediately contacted by two news teams asking if they could use it. The BBC ran my picture all day. I started to wonder whether something had happened that we weren't being told about...

The day ended with the news that we're now at war. I have a terrible feeling that we're going to end up bitterly regretting this decision. Civilians will be killed. More Muslims will be radicalised and I think we can expect a terrorist attack on our soil almost immediately. As a Londoner, that scares me enormously. Just seeing how a single person being pushed onto a train line can bring a city to a standstill, I can't image what would happen following a larger scale event. It makes me shudder. My further worry is that David Cameron will merely use the vote as a point-scoring exercise over Jeremy Corbyn and that the UK dropping a couple of bombs on Syria will actually prove to be insignificant in the quest to rid the world of these nonsensical fanatics. It is, as we've proven, easy to get into a war, but almost impossible to get out of one.

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