Live, Laugh, Love.

Today is another beautiful day, 16°c and clear blue skies at 0700…what more can you ask for…? Well, there are lots of things really, but the things that we need, will not happen over night, and the things that we want may never happen, the best thing to do is to enjoy yourself today, smile, laugh… have a conversation with a complete stranger… or someone close just chat bubbles, tell them a cheesy joke and enjoy the time with that person. Here’s a joke actually, what does a penguin wear to the beach….? Flipper flops…!
One thing I do want to say is, the post on Facebook yesterday, like this one today was for myself, I have no ‘agenda’ with it, yesterday’s made me feel different, pretty much instantaneously, however, I am glad that people shared the status, and reached a wider ‘audience’ the comments and messages I’ve had from all corners of the globe are heart warming and reassuring, but please, remember, I was just in the wrong place at the right time, there were many that were there and were targeted for being there. A couple of people that were there have messaged me, understood exactly what I have said and it has encouraged them to do something similar, which is amazing, I’m glad my ramblings has helped at least one person, other than myself in some way.
I genuinely couldn’t talk yesterday, I didn’t want to, couldn’t be arsed, my wife kept talking to me and trying to be as normal as she could, she got the occasional grunt back, if I was half paying attention at that time, I couldn’t tell her what I was thinking, writing some of it down in the way that I did would probably help others, like her to understand, not just myself, I don’t want to push people away, which is apparently common.
How am I today…? I still don’t really know, I don’t feel like I did when I woke yesterday, so that’s a good thing…I guess..?
I really didn’t sleep good last night, I woke up loads of times, got up a few, just broken and disjointed really. I had some really odd dreams when I did sleep, some related and some not apparently related but vivid and…. very odd. The sound, smell and initial image is so prominent in my mind as well as a number of faces. Someone has just asked what it sounded like after reading my description yesterday, i still can’t really describe it properly really, it was a loud boom but the echo was… almost like the lasers on war of the worlds, but there was a secondary sound with in it as well that was plinking.
I still standby what I said yesterday about hate towards particular groups of people. It isn’t going to get us anywhere. This was one man, ONE MAN, brainwashed by a ‘cult faction’ of sorts, that happens to ‘follow’ one religion, it does not mean that everyone ‘genuinely’ following that religion is the same… they are quite the opposite and in the eyes of this ‘cult’ they are also the enemy. Let’s not forget that people who follow this religion were there, beside me and everyone else, they were and still are a massive part of the aftercare for the incident, helping the injured and their families in so many ways.
Let me put it another way… I think that I have around 2.5k Facebook friends and 4K on Instagram, if one of you… and I know that none of you would, were to commit such an atrocity, would that make the best part of 7000 people eligible for the blame for their hand of being involved in it…? The answer of course is NO! There are so many narrow minded and short sited people that jump on the bandwagon and follow like a good sheeple would…. this needs to change.
Today, I drove the car… as daft and simple as that seems, yesterday and the day before, I couldn’t really concentrate on anything longer than a couple of minutes, I had to be told to put my seatbelt on even though the alarm was going to tell me that my seatbelt wasn’t on every time I got in the car…I was vacant, staring at the window, not through the window, just at it. Today, I think I’m a bit clearer, maybe it is just because I am focussed on normal things getting some new keys to replace the lost ones for the Harley and that I am going to see some old friends, getting out there and doing something whilst also still reflecting on going out for a meal with my wife and daughter last night for her birthday, rather than sitting on the sofa tuned into the news all day and getting myself down… but I am shattered 😂.
I’m still unsure as to what I am supposed to do really, do I just go in work as normal next week, do I take time off… what will I feel like after going to Victoria station for the first time… or he subsequent times after…? Who knows. I’m hoping that tomorrow, someone will give me some answers or at least aid me to get some from myself.
I am also thinking more about the wider picture today, how this was planned to be carried out at such a time when this will cause maximum damage not only in the immediate local but also to the system, causing rifts in the country, right before an election and potentially causing a wrongful outcome, which in the long run would affect the country in many more ways. I can’t tell you who to vote for, I won’t tell you who to vote for, we live in a democratic society, I will say that you must use your vote, not stupidly, not to make sure that one party doesn’t get in even though you know the party you are voting for also won’t get in! You have a say, use it wisely.
I have read a couple of things today one that struck me was people complaining that the army are being drafted in to aid the police… I can’t see why this is wrong, well I can, but, before you judge the Army being deployed onto the streets of our wonderful nation, stop and think of them and wonder why they are there, that young soldier guarding an important building, spare a thought for him as well. He’s paid 15-16k a year and will be doing 12 hour shifts to help fill the gaps in an ever thinner ‘blue line’ who themselves, aren’t paid that much more, have been massively cut back and they are needed more, to do the job they should be doing, policing!
Go up to any of them, police, army, fire, ambulance staff and say thanks for protecting you, shake their hands. Let them know you are grateful for protecting this country and world we live in!! Don’t give them a hug though if they have firearms… they won’t like that… I doubt you will either.

The day after…

I decided to write this on my phone in the notes section to see if I could verbalise it a little bit better to see if I could try and understand it better myself, but then, as so many people have shared their intimate and personal experiences from situations that are similar and ones that are different, in the last couple of days, I thought it right to do the same, but in the open…. share my musings, if you will! For sympathy… no, for attention…. no… for myself!

I don’t feel too good today, I don’t know if it’s because the adrenaline has completely ran out now or….. well, I can’t really explain why… just… meh!
The little girl who ran up to me asking me to help her mummy, I just couldn’t help, well her mum is now another face and name that I now know. I know that the list will continue to grow with the amount of people I did come across.
I feel like I just can’t be bothered with doing things, even conversations.
I have found myself staring into space and or having tears rolling down my face, I just don’t know what I can do… what am I supposed to do..? Yet I am a lucky one… the stuff upper lip approach, as a good friend described, is utter bollocks as he said it would be! Yesterday, I had what you could almost describe as bravado I guess, I wasn’t going to let it consume me, I was upset, but I ‘thought’ I could deal with that.
The noise from the blast is still prominent in my mind, it wasn’t like a comedy cartoon boom… it was almost musical, tuneful, the echo that resonated around the flash and the associated ‘plinking’ was unreal, I couldn’t describe it if I tried. The smell was something I couldn’t really place, burning but not like how you’d think and not like explosives I’ve smelled before. The calm, immediately after, when I set foot into that foyer… was just so strange. All this is what I fell asleep with in my head…for the little sleep I did get.
I have had some great messages and supportive comments from loads of people, some of whom I’ve never really spoken to, you have all made me smile. THANK YOU, I can’t thank you enough, I’d say I’d buy you all a beer but I couldn’t afford it… it would end up being a messy night 😂
I’ve had lots of advice, great advice off a number of people and the things that they have all said has started to make a lot more sense.
I went to Tesco and felt like I didn’t want to be there, I walked round the outside of all the aisles and wanted to get out asap, I felt really uncomfortable… in Tesco… at 0900…
I’m a small fry in this whole affair, I’m no one, just someone that was in the wrong place at the right time, there are people that are in far worse positions than I am right now and I thankful that I can go out and celebrate my little girls birthday and make many more memories.
I don’t want to get into debates about religion, bashing certain people, racist and bigoted ideals along with the politics of it all… we need to make sure that we are all safe in the NOW, in the immediate aftermath. We cannot lose site of the fact that people, innocent people, CHILDREN, our friends, family, colleagues, auntie Doris’s dog walkers next door neighbour, whoever, were murdered and injured in a horrific, brutal, cowardly way by a man that walked amongst us as one of us. We (and this is golden, coming from me right now) need to pull together, rise above it, but stay alert and not let this deter us from whatever our normal lives are, look after eacother… love each other!
For those of you that have expressed a concern about me, Northern are holding a counselling session on Friday morning, I am going to attend. I don’t know how I feel about it as I have to meet at Piccadilly train station, but as my job is based in that environment,I guess I need to suck it up and see.
I’d just like to say thank you to everyone that’s read this, the two lads that were with me on the night and to the hundreds of people, professional or other that came to the aid of all the people involved!

I just walked in…

On Tuesday morning at about 0305, I had just walked through the front door, poured a large one, put the news on, and I was getting a bit pissed off with the reports and the people that are ringing in with ‘information’
There had been a bomb at a concert in the Manchester arena. I was there.
It did go off just outside the arena but within the foyer, there were nuts and bolts everywhere and a lot of injuries and fatalities were caused by these…..I was within distance to see the effects and of course hear it.
My two colleagues and I were pretty much first on scene along with two British Transport Police officers… as soon as we heard the one loud bang, we looked at each other made sure we were ok and that what it was is what it was and ran up to the arena….regardless who you are, what we were confronted with was not a really a textbook situation.
The sites, the smells, it was unnatural, unreal… surreal almost… I still cannot believe it. I do not envy the job of the person that will review the footage from my body worn cctv. I came across people that were clearly dead as a result of their injuries.
There are many things that I will take away from that night that are etched into my brain..

The world we live in is one fucked up place! This is political, with the election looming, they have got what they wanted and put the country into turmoil… they have done this… with our children…

Keep your close ones close.

I cannot wait for management ( My wife and five, soon to be six year old daughter) to wake so I can give them a big hug and let them know that I love them!

They have confirmed that it was a suicide bomber, I can say that it definitely was… the huge chunk of flesh that didn’t belong to anyone along with all the nuts and bolts confirmed that to me pretty much straight away.