I texted C as soon as I heard, which was rather late as it happened as I wasn't listening to the radio yesterday morning. She rang me just before one to say she was heading home to sleep as she was being moved to the night shift to cope with the large numbers of casualties. C works as a radiographer in a hospital in central London. Last night she emailed me this:
'Completely anti-climactical though for all our preparation-its really quiet now not many patients. Just met the minister for state-she popped round to say thanks! Its all a bit surreal though -we ve ben realising how close we are to where the bombs went off. Also been updated about the patients we x-rayed this morning- there was some amputations and stuff so not v nice. No one died here though so that's good.
'I ve x-rayed one girl who got off the tube after one explosion - [she] got on a bus and it was the bus that exploded. She was sitting on the top deck but only had some glass in her hand. How amazingly lucky.'
Aoife texted her brother who works in London yesterday morning to check he was okay. He failed to text her back till late last night, when he was out in the pub, and making slightly premature jokes about bombs. 'Hyped up on the heady relief of being alive,' I suggested gravely. 'No', sighed Aoife, 'He's just locked.'
My father has refused to ring his sister and brother in law who live in East London because 'they never travel in the city centre' and he 'never normally rings them anyway'. One would have thought that their home city being bombed was impetus enough to review the traditional norms of communication with one's family, but what do I know. I realise, by the way, that all this meloncholia sounds overly dour and false coming out of my usually trite and flippant gob, so, following in the Aughney family tradition I think I'll call a halt to it now and stop because I never normally talk like this anyway. And I'm not one to change my ways just because of world events.