I remember one time, back a decade or so ago, maybe more, I have no way of knowing accurately any more - I was living in SOuth Africa at the time, so it must have been in the eighties. It was during another state of siege - different bombers, same shit. I remember, I had lunch at a tiny pub someplace in central London, I could probably never even find it again, and then I wandered out of there after I'd eaten and went meandering down the street. I saw a shop, saw a sweater or t-shirt or something I liked in a shop window, went into the shop, tried it on, liked it, bought it... and as I was paying for it a fire engine raced past out in the street, all sirens blaring.
Someone walked inside and told us that the fire engine was on its way to a pub which had had a bomb in it.
It might have been the same one I had just had lunch at. I had no way of knowing. I did not go back to check. But I went out of the shop, shaken, and walked on down the street - and somewhere along the way I saw a teashop of sorts where a gentleman was calmly reading a crisp copy of the Times, a black umbrella hooked over the back of a chair and an honest-to-goodness bowler hat on the table in front of him beside a cup of tea.
And I knew that all was right with the world, after all.
Love you, London. Keep your chin up. And have a cuppa, on me.