Remembering 7-7-05 with my email home, ‘alright’

Remembering today, as all Londoners are, the tube and bus bombings of 7 July 2005. I was over here studying Shakespeare at RADA and this was the email I sent home to family and friends with the subject title, ‘alright’

Me in London, summer 2005
Me in London, summer 2005

Well, I’m safe, I’m ok. I don’t quite know how to describe
today… I don’t know if I can describe today… 07-07-2005 (777)… But for the first time
sitting down at this computer knowing that I’m writing to you all
across the other side of the world makes me feel a bit sick in my
stomach and like crying for the first time today… I’ve been very
brave – I surprised myself. I was at RADA, got there at 8:30am,
had my warm-up with the 14 people I’ve been spending most of my
time with here, then we watched and participated in Bec, Patrick and
Lauren’s presentation of Act 5 of Cymbeline which was beautiful, I was
acting. Then Sally, the administrator came and took Nona (my
director) out of the room while we continued to discuss Cymbeline – a
play about war, deception, confusion, heartache, love and humanity –
they came back in and told us that there had been a series of bomb
blasts across central London, that the whole of central london was
cordoned off and that we had the opportunity to phone home to tell
people we were ok. It was surreal. I immediately gravitated
to my Aussie-mate Bec because we shared the huge distance from home,
and I was surprisingly calm and quiet, though naturally shaken on the
inside. Leaving the Chenies Street building to walk across a
couple of roads to the Gower Street building was so weird – London was
quiet – London is never quiet… As we got to Gower Street, we could
see that the intersection a few buildings down was blocked off by a big
police van and “do not cross” tape… Trying to ignore it, I got into
the building and phoned mum and dad who were watching the news on tv –
a very brief phone call to say I was ok and get off the phone so other
people could phone their families… Some of the girls began to get
teary and panicky but I was so calm so so calm – I wanted to be by
myself. I felt safe in this building – this building filled with
acting studios and theatres, props and costumes, actors and directors
and techies and the history of years of art and creation… And I wrote
some stuff down, shared some time and hugs with a couple of people and
realised at that time all I wanted to do was sing and act – I just
wanted to sing or do a play – to release while the air was electric and
while there was so much to say about life and being human – to act and
to sing. I felt safe. But I knew too how far away I was
from home – my home – Melbourne and all of you – and I knew that there
was nothing I could do about it but be happy to be where I was and be
happy that I was living my life – truly living my life. I steered
clear of news and images and radio for the rest of the day cos I knew
that would do a good job of giving me some fear but we talked some more
about Cymbeline and as I left one building for the other for lunch as I
stepped outside the heavens opened and wept for London, the day turned
grey with the buildings and the mood and the faces of the people
walking in the quiet streets, trying to find their way home or at least
a sense of home. I walked back to Alex’s at the end of the day –
a 90 minute walk, but I shared part of the way with hundreds, thousands
of other Londoners who rely on public transport to get them around, I
walked with them as I headed ‘home’. All I wanted then was a
shower and to sit, to sit and watch the images on tv to see what I had
so bravely and sensibly breathed through that day… Once I was clean,
I watched the news with my AtoZ and saw that the bus bomb blast was
only 4 streets away from RADA, and the tube stations all lay in the
close vicinity. I hadn’t realised how truly close to the danger I
was. And so I needed to tell you all… Tell you all that I love
you and that I hold you in my heart, that’s how I was able to feel
happy on a day like today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring x

Me in London, summer 2015
Me in London, summer 2015