Kings Cross United drinks
We had a really good Kings Cross United pub session last night; it was great to see so many familar faces and some new ones - including two lovely girls who were right next to me at the first set of doors. In fact, there were loads of people from carriage one last night, so we had a proper carriage one catch up ( carriage one was the one with the bomb). Another few pieces of the jigsaw slot into place. Usually carriage three has the most people coming to KCU drinks, for some reason, there are more from carriage three than any other carriage. But there are passengers from all of the train. We're 110 people now! Amazing. And still they come.
We all felt proud of how we had helped each other, and will continue to do so. We'll all be together again for the anniversary. I won't put our exact plans down as we want to be private on the day. But we have some plans in place, and they will mostly involve doing what we have always done, being together, buying each other drinks, helping each other through the hard bits as well as looking to the future, finding strength in being united.
The barman asked what we were celebrating. ''Just being here'', we said. And we laughed and laughed.
As usual, we were the last to leave the pub.
Quite a few of us have been doing interviews and everyone has managed okay, with help from the wondrous Ann Marie, our volunteer press officer. I am glad that people feel strong enough to tell their stories, so many voices from can be heard from the darkness of the underground, one year on.
My boss has been a star. He took me out for a drink, and pointed out I looked like I was about to collapse. I have been now signed off work, as of this afternoon, and put on compassionate leave for next week. So I can sit in my sunny back garden, read books instead of newspapers, do yoga, stroke fat Miff the cat, water my lavender bushes, do my admin, get my hair cut, go to the dentist, clean out the aquarium, all the stuff there hasn't been time for, and generally take a breather, because the last few months have been relentless. J and I have managed to book a holiday and think about planning our wedding. We fly to Turkey on July 28th.
I will keep writing, perhaps I will finally get the confidence to write about more than terrorism and bloody bombs. The bomb shocked me into writing, now if I can write without bombs running through everything I do as a leitmotif in a minor key, I will be happy. I've tried a little, in the past. I want to keep trying, learn more, get better.
The magnificent Fergal Keane, who got me into this writing lark in the first place when I met him a week after the 7th July, after blogging for the BBC for a week, and who told me I was a writer and I must write every day, emailed to check how I was and to see if I am still writing and to offer practical help. I am very grateful to him for changing my life over a mineral water in a hotel, and so giving me the best present to any new writer: the blessing and encouragement of a proper published author. There have been so many lights ahead shining the way ahead, this last year. That is one of the things I have learned this last year, how much help and support there can be, from the most unexpected places.
I have written a small follow up to the BBC diary of last summer, that will be on the BBC site next week, and a few other pieces. The piece I really wanted to write, a comment piece, I couldn't. The last manic month had scraped any passion and sensible argument out of me, and what I wrote didn't sing. But the editor said never mind, try again later when you have had some rest and can think straight. And recommended a good novel to relax with. He is a lovely man. More support. I am lucky indeed.
I have one project on the go to finish before the end of next week, a couple of small pieces, and I think I have done my last interview. Only one interview has been crap. No, I do not ''feel cursed''. No I do not '' hate Muslims''. No, I am not ''pleased to be in the news''. Do me a favour. Grrrr. I should have walked out. I am too easy to push around sometimes.
It is almost the weekend. Hurray! Come on England, come on sunshine, come on a quiet life. Nearly there.
One bum note: my phone was stolen last night. I feel lost without it. All my numbers, all my contacts are on it. Plus a rare video of Miff having a bath. But maybe that too, is a blessing in disguise. It means that people will not be able to contact me for a few days, which will help with the resting up. And my friends know where I am, and how to get in touch. (Email is fine, or call J.)