Wednesday, 10 August 2011

What weapons do you keep in your bathroom in the event of a riot......

It's Wednesday, in London so far we have had five days of riots, actually I'm not sure about the number and it doesn't really matter.  What I've been thinking about is how living in a riot zone changes the way I think and feel.  So you may think, she lives in an unaffected and leafy suburb, and nothing happenned there;  well yes, that is true to some extent.  Though a car was set on fire in Burnt Oak, which is less than two miles away, and an attempt was made to break into Edgware Shopping Centre, again about a mile from here, and rumours abound about attempts on our mega-mall Brent Cross.

Well here is a photo of implements in my bathroom, and no, they do not normally reside there.

When Chas returned from work on Monday evening, the riots had begun in Dalston, and we prepared our evening meal and watched events unfold on the news channels.  As the evening went on he became more and more anxious, and really I couldn't understand why?  To me it was obvious or it seemed so that the targets of the rioters were shops and shopping areas. It was when, just after nine o'clock that he went to the garage and returned with the implements that you see, that I thought, he is overreacting.

He didn't sleep much that night, and as a result of his constantly getting up at the slightest noise, I didn't sleep much either.  I could feel his anxiety rising, and so was mine.  So after a few hours sleep, I got up at six to let the cats out and have a cuppa. Standing in the kitchen gazing out at our peaceful garden, something slipped it's mooring in my memory banks,  1969.

Chas was living in Kuala Lumpur in 1969, (link to Wikipaedia page on the riot) when a Chinese-Malay political party won the elections.  Some of the parties opponents declared Jihad, and riots ensued that were directed mainly at the Chinese population of the country.  I recalled Charlie telling me how for a week they lived on the upper floor of his house, because there was random shooting into houses; how it was the kindness of a friend of his Father's, an officier in the Army and a Malay who brought food to their house. And the only weapon they had to defend themselves was Chas's Archery Bow,  I realised that he was connecting back to this event in his life and imagining the worst.. when he woke I mentioned it, and we talked about it.

So I'm wondering how those caught up in and or affected by the worst of London's Riots will be feeling. Will this change their outlook on life?  Will they ever feel safe again?  Will they ever again want to live in a flat above a shop? Will they have the choice to decide where they want to live?

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