Letters home, 2001, Nov 04

4 Nov 2001

We do wonder about what’s going to happen with all these terrorist threats about, but they don’t seem very real and they are certainly not an immediate danger.  From time to time during the working day there are teams of police cars and vans screaming around the South Bank and St Pauls areas but where they are going and what they are after is always a mystery; there’s never a word on TV or on the BBC web site. We take this to mean that nothing happened.  Still, they make an impressive noise and they do need something to entertain themselves with, don’t they?  How else do we find out they are important?

I didn’t tell you about the bomb scare we had. The street outside Rennie House filled up with sirens and screeching-to-a-halt police vehicles and we looked out the window on to the road one floor below us to see what was going on.  Security sent a message up to us to say there may be a bomb in the blue van suspiciously parked in the loading bay of the building opposite our window and for us to move to the other side of our floor.

When we moved to the other side, as directed, one of our supervisors waved at the phones on the desks and told us to log on and go back to work. And I thought, well they’re taking this seriously, aren’t they? Vacate the building in an orderly fashion, leave your personal belongings behind and assemble in a park nearby? For us? Never. If the bomb goes off and all that glass from the windows overlooking the van comes showering, snaking and slashing towards us we would take it like a man, shake it out of our hair, pick it out of our bleeding faces and go back to helping the people who really matter.  So don’t worry about me ….. I’m being well looked after by caring and safety-conscious employers and cocooned in impregnable buildings.