Saturday, January 19, 2013

Unpredictable Disruptions to Routine Days

January 2013 is proving not at all predictable.

Although  most of the unpredictable events of the New Year have so far been  bad and sad news, there was a bright unexpected moment near the begining of the year when  mrs maytrees and I were unexepectedly invited to   some  great hospitality at one of the Wimbledon SJ houses. We were engrossed there for quite a while and were especially intrigued and pleased to see serving there, a young man whose parental home was a few miles down the A3. He was  apparently considering joining the Society and had survived quite a few more months in the process  so far than apparently had been predicted by some family and friends so we wished him well.

Sadly, a few days later,  after arriving at about 7:30am  in the dark at the day job office just north of the Thames, with the still being built St Georges Tower on southern side of the river next to Vauxhall  SWTrain station, shrouded in dark mist and gloom,  a helicopter crashed into a crane being used to complete the top of the tower. Two people including the helicopter pilot and a  passer by walking along the road for an early start at his work place tragically were killed. The dreadful accident  the like of which I think has never before occurred in peace-time London,  could have been even worse however as the crash occurred yards both  from the main railway line into Waterloo as well as the very busy  relatively recently constructed Vauxhall bus station. Nearby roads the bus station and the western half of Vauxhall Bridge are still largely  closed  to traffic which has meant a rather strange walk over Vauxhall Bridge to the SWTrain station for the journey home over the past few days. The reason for the strangeness was  tragic. Despite that   the comparative silence is a  reminder of  how intrusive motor vehicles are in our every day lives especially noise-wise.

Then the next day after leaving the District Line at about 7:10 am (free 24 hours whereas SWTrains is only fare-free from 9:30 am)  and making my way through  to the Victoria Station main line exit klaxons were sounding and shutters were up. Nonetheless exiting was just possible. It appeared that a thankfully empty  Gatwick Express Train had caught fire causing the station to be evacuated.

The London snow which started a day later is trivial when compared with those accidents and incidents.

 For the families and friends  of the two who died the helicopter crash was especially tragic.

These happenings  remind me of human frailty and vulnerability and  of the need to take nothing, even life itself, for granted.

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