Wednesday, August 10, 2011

All Quiet on the (South)Western Front

Josh and I are both doing fine, and have not been directly affected by the looting and violence that has been sweeping through London and across the UK.  Thankfully, things were pretty quiet here in SW London last night.  Josh's dinner went until 10, so he didn't get home until 11:45 since the trains don't run very frequently at that hour - but he didn't encounter any problems on the way home.  I spent most of the evening on the phone with my parents and a couple friends who called to see how we were doing and catch up on the latest news.

[I have a UK cell phone plan with a US number that will ring my phone here, so anyone can call me from the US for the cost of a call to the Washington, DC area.  For most people, that means FREE.  If you don't have the number, email me and I'll send it to you.  Just remember the time difference...]

I met some local AWC friends up in Wimbledon village this morning for tea/coffee, and everything seemed more or less back to normal, although the mall and some store windows were still boarded up as a precautionary measure.  A couple shop windows up in the village were smashed on Monday night, but the increased police presence seemed to help keep things calm across London last night.  They saturated the city with over 16,000 police officers -- triple the number that are usually on duty. 

There were reports of looting and violence in other cities last night, including Manchester and Birmingham, but I'm hoping this is winding down.  Several events have been canceled in London, and an estimated £100 million in damage needs to be cleaned up, so it may be a while yet before things are back to 'normal,' even if the worst of it is over.

This doesn't present a pretty picture to the rest of the world, especially right on the tail of the phone-hacking scandal.  With the Olympics coming up in less than a year, there is increasing concern about safety and security during the 2012 games.  What a mess!

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