Difficult to believe it is a year since the bombings in London. I had just started a new job and just moved house, so my commute had just changed, as had my working hours. This meant I was a distance from the events when they happened: I got kicked off a tube at Knightsbridge/Hyde Park Corner, and walked.
It was a strange morning: my best friend and brother were both on the net, and their updates changed as more information became available: originally power surges, then bombs on tubes, then bomb on the bus....at which point I stopped trying to get to work and walked home. And there was an eerie quiet as people walked back, seeing things above ground for the first time in a long while...phoning parents (mine had no idea of what had happened, and didn't register the seriousness till later) and talking to each other.
And I remember the next day: I got back on the District Line (the Piccadilly was, of course, out of action) in the morning, and got in early, because there were so few people getting on and off. And I got stared at for having a bag with me between my feet. In the next few weeks, I witnessed people leave carriages when an Asian person got on (and others then apologising for their actions), and people asking whose bag something was and so on. None of which happens now.
At the two minute silence this morning, I was trying to remember my feelings that morning. It wasn't shock or surprise, because we all expected it at some point; it wasn't fear, either; it was relief and sorrow for those affected. A kind of world-weary acceptance and quiet resilience which exists under the surface of many people in this country, and of which we should be proud. That is the ongoing memorial to those who lost their lives.
And I thought also this morning that I was pleased to be one of those trying to change things, and improve things more; to make a difference in the time I have. It might only be a minuscule effort in the grand scheme of things, but it is my small commitment to words we don't hear much these days: optimism and hope.