Thursday, August 04, 2005

Taking back my journey

Exactly one month after the bombings , the Piccadilly line reopened. And I decided to take the journey I should have taken on 7/7. Once again I put on a new suit, because once again I had a big client meeting. This time I wore flat shoes, so I could run.

John came with me. I walked the same way to the tube, another bright sunny morning, but cold for the time of year. I bought a ticket and the Guardian. The station was not at all busy. Last time it was crowded. There were police, with a dog.

I walked up to a police officer and said that I wanted to say thank you, for protecting us. For being there.I said I was making the journey on the Piccadilly line for the first time since my train exploded. 'Don't worry,' she said. 'There's lots of us here'.

There are two ways to get onto the Piccadilly line, turn left or turn right, depending on whether you want the front or the back of the train. John started to go to the left to the back of the train. 'No', I said, 'I want to go this way'.
Iwanted to walk down to the train the same way that I did on 7/7. I wanted to take back the exact journey that I should have had four Thursdays ago. It felt very important.

So I got on at the first set of double doors. The carriage was almost empty. I sat down and stared at all the passengers - there were about 11 - and then I stared at the second set of double doors, about ten feet away. Where the Jamaican man with the rucksack had pushed on before to blow us all up.

We approached Kings Cross. John had to get off here. I kissed him goodbye.

As we left Kings Cross I remembered all of it. The bang, the smoke. I looked at the empty seats by the doors and thought of the people who should be filling them. I looked out of the window and saw sombre faced police. People got on and I looked at all of them. Nobody had a rucksack.

We made it to Russell Square. I did not have to walk down the tunnel covered in soot and blood and broken glass. I did not have to get off and make my way to the station entrance, leaving the dying, the screaming behind.

We got to Holburn and I was in tears. But I was still on the train and I was still making my journey.

We reached Covent Garden and I got off. I felt triumph and sadness. I looked over my shoulder at the people still on the train. My eyes were still full of tears, but they didn't fall

The triumphant feeling rose in me as the lift rose to the street level and I walked out into a sunny morning. I walked down Neal Street and stopped to buy a Big Issue.

'How are you?' asked the vendor. I looked him in the eyes and smiled.

'I'm all right, ' I said. 'I'm fine'.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done to you! This was a good thing, very important. I am so glad to hear you are winning your life back step by step. I wish you all the best!


August 04, 2005 12:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I know you don't want to be known as "the bomb survivor" for the rest of your life. But just as regards your journey today, "Well done!".

Hope they nail the b*****d who did the identity theft.

Best wishes


August 04, 2005 2:37 pm  
Anonymous J said...


My husband was also on your train, on the other side of the bomb and would like to get in touch with you and other survivors. We live in Islington too and he would definitely be interested in hearing about any other "kings cross united" get together. Not sure how best to get in contact with you. He was injured and is only just starting able to get back into looking online so has only just come across your blog.

Glad you are feeling so strong today.


August 04, 2005 5:36 pm  
Anonymous seth said...

hello rachel,

i can imagine how difficult it must have been for you to retrace your steps 4 weeks to the day. im also glad that you are taking your life back a small but significant piece at a time.

go plan your holiday and i hope they catch and hang the slime who stole your ID.


August 04, 2005 5:57 pm  
Blogger Carol said...

Dear Rachel , I was sent this site by a wonderful friend that lives in the UK . I had met him and his wife through a chat room and had the chance to meet them face to face in 1999 . An amazing experience it was for me . He will always be my friend across the pond as I call it . His wife recently passed away (not in the bombing ) I live in the United States of America and I fully understand the magnitude of what has happened as I lived in NY the time of the World Trade Center disaster . Although I lived about 400 miles from the city itself , it still shook me from my "safe world " How strong you must feel now having done what you did . I applaud each and everyone of you that has had to take that same journey ( to work, to visit etc ) The old saying " what doesn't kill us , makes us stronger " is so very true . May you stay well and safe Rachael in each and every journey you take in life . I love to chat and e-mail , so if you ever find the need for a friend across the pond ..feel free to drop me a line . A special thank you to Steve for guiding me to this site ! You are a beautiful friend ..stay safe ...and may our Countries get back to where we feel safe again .....

August 04, 2005 10:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


What you did today was really courageous and I think you and all the survivors I have read about are amazing the way you have managed to get your lives back on track.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us all. I'm sure you have helped others get through this without even realising.

August 04, 2005 11:46 pm  
Blogger Northern_Guy said...


I am very, very proud of you. Your diaries have been very touching. I travelled from Leeds yesterday morning to reach a meeting, and was also on the Picadilly line when it re-opened.

Take care,
From a neighbour in the north.

August 05, 2005 4:27 pm  
Anonymous Mike said...

You're one of the good ones, Rachel. Things like this can be a help to a great many people.

Like me.

I lost a brother at the World Trade Center.


August 06, 2005 11:49 pm  
Blogger Carol said...

Hi Mike ..sorry about the loss of your brother in the World Trade center . I didn't lose a loved one , but I truly think we all knew someone who knew someone . My sons friend had a brother that was also killed . He was one of 5 brothers in the family . 4 of the brothers joined the service and one didn't believe in war and chose college instead ....he was the one that was killed that dreadful day ...I pray for all families affected by the tragedys of the world , caused by heartless cowards that walk our streets ! Keep up the good work Rachael ...So many read what you and others write and so many more feel blessed to have the privlage to do so . Thank you again !

August 07, 2005 7:47 am  
Anonymous Bill Hunt said...


I'm probably being dim but I can't find any link to contact you directly rather than posting a comment.

I wanted to let you know about an organisation I've set up called 7/7 trauma which is a national network of nearly 30 mental health workers specialising in treating trauma victims. All have volunteered their time for free to treat anyone who was directly involved.

Full details are at I'd be really grateful if you could get in touch with me at and please pass our details on to the others you know who were also involved.

Many thanks & best wishes

Bill Hunt

August 10, 2005 8:14 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thank you everybody for your comments. J, when I am back I wıll contact you about Kıngs Cross Unıted, the survıvor group who meet up and go to the pub. Mıke, I am sorry about your brother, our thoughts have been much wıth the 9*11 vıctıms and all bomb survıvors ın the last month. Bıll, I have sent the other survıvors your sıte detaıls, thank you. To all of you and everyone who reads thıs sıte, I am sendıng you good wıshes for peace and quıet from quıet and peaceful Turkey.



August 12, 2005 2:39 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...


Kings Cross United are just deciding where and when to have their next drinks. I have also discovered this site called

where you can contact me via the email details that I have left there. Your husband can also get in touch with other survivors via london recovers and there are sections of the site for Aldgate, King Cross etc - all the different bombs have their own notice board.

Best wishes for a peaceful weekend; I hope to see you at our next drinks evening.


August 21, 2005 1:40 pm  
Anonymous Fabrice said...

Hi Rachel,

Congratulations in managing to recover from your fears.
I am writing because I have been involved in the past in a bus accident were two people died and I had some similar symptoms to people who have been affected by the bombings.
However, I discovered a technique called EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy) which helped me get over all my fears and memories in a few hours. I now leave a normal life and I am studying meridian therapies in order to become a practicioner.
I really believe that EFT can help a lot of people affected by the bombings (self help works in 85% of cases and the remaining can be solved by talking to someone with experience in EFT).
I am really keen to help people affected by this event because I know how bad you can feel and how stupid you believe you are to be "not normal". If anyone would like some help in finding the right open statements or support in order to applying EFT, please feel free to email me at (remove .com added to avoid email scanners).
Good luck to anyone affected.


October 11, 2005 3:35 pm  

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