london

Post-Elizabethan London

I went on a photo-gathering trip to London yesterday, while preparations for the Queen’s funeral were in full swing.

The train station was warning people not to join The Queue.

Shop windows were full of Queen Elizabeth images/merch, and also Paddingtons. It infuriates me how Paddington has become associated with the Queen but more on that some other time.

This is not just public mourning! This is M&S public mourning!

Flowers and flags popping up in all sorts of places.

The Marble Arch area was packed with people. I did get this nice picture of a bird though.

Onto Hyde Park. People and police everywhere, and a load of screens and portaloos set up for the funeral.

(other crowds, cops, & the odd yelling person not pictured.)

Found a weird beehive type thing and an unbothered raven.

Apparently this also happened in Hyde Park:


and I’m glad I didn’t see that because I would have lost my fucking mind. Just a really, really shitty thing to do. (The part of me that still has a shred of optimism about human nature wonders if some of those flowers, the ones unmarked by any Queen pictures, genuinely were for Holocaust victims but I suspect not. I mean, I hope so, I just suspect not.)

On lighter notes…

I do like this pic of the Union Jacks at half-mast, it came out really well.

This shot of a plane going past a statue isn’t too bad either.

Oh look more Paddingtons, Paddingtons everywhere. Wouldn’t it make SO MUCH more sense for these to be given to refugee kids who arrive in Britain with no toys?

So Buckingham Palace itself was closed off but the area around it was MENTAL.

The tributes from children I suppose are touching in a way, but only in the same sense any children’s drawing left out in the rain is.

Those photos probably don’t give the full scale of everything but hopefully this video does.

Absolute chaos I tell you. So were the surrounding areas.

Piccadilly Circus looked beautiful but police were everywhere.

There was a moment of silence for the Queen on the train! ON THE TRAIN! Madness. A voice came over the tannoy asking for a minute’s silence but most people in the carriage were asleep anyway.

Got home and was informed shortly afterwards that my grandmother had taken a turn for the worse. Apparently, she can’t even recognise her family members now. It absolutely sucks. But the country won’t stand still for her, will it.

7/7

Today marks the 15th anniversary of the 7/7 attack on London which claimed a lot of lives. I remember bits and pieces of that day but nothing really concrete. (I probably wrote about it on this blog, back when it was on Livejournal, fifteen years ago.)

I want to mark the occasion somehow but I don’t really know how and I’m wary of reposting tributes I found since you never know who’s appropriated the deaths for their own gains. So I’ll just post this, from Mayor Khan’s twitter account.

Photos of cities in lockdown

London, taken by Sophie Raworth

Oh, the caption on the bus on that one…

God, it looks so apocalyptic. But I’m glad that sign is there.

New York, from here and here

Los Angeles, from here and here

Yeah, I too thought of that scene from The Walking Dead.

Paris (and a film set there) from here and here

Oakland, from here

God, that’s a striking image.

And Leicester, my home city, from the Leicester Mercury:

London Bridge

This afternoon I saw on the news that shots had been fired at London Bridge. This immediately set alarm bells ringing. (The last terrorist attack there, I was in the area just the day before.) And it was worse because my brother lives in London, albeit not near any of the landmarks. So reading through the news stories as they came out took up most of my day. At first I thought no-one had died except the attacker, but now the death toll is two innocent people, and that really sucks.

I would also recommend never, ever following developing news stories on Twitter.

A thing that should be remembered for years to come: Mohammed Mahmoud, a 30-year-old iman, stopped bystanders and witnesses from beating the Finsbury Park terrorist to a pulp. He got people to form a ring around him and held him in place until the police arrived. He and most people on the scene did that to a man who had just ploughed into a crowd of people and killed one of them.

“He was screaming, he was saying, ‘I’m going to kill all Muslims, I’m going to kill all Muslims’. He was throwing punches.
"Then we managed to get him on the floor. Then he was saying, ‘Kill
me, kill me’. I said, ‘We are not going to kill you. Why did you do
that?’ He wouldn’t say anything.” –
Abdulrahman Saleh Alamoudi, survivor of the attack

I just think everybody should know that.