The best and worst birthday ever
Today is my birthday.
The day started fantastically. Cards poured through the letterbox from all corners of the world. I opened presents. On Facebook and Twitter, I’ve had hundreds of happy birthday messages. And most wonderfully of all, I got my first card from my daughter complete with scribbles created by her own fair hand.
I spent most of the day with Baby. I met up with other mums this morning; we met James for lunch and then I got Baby weighed. We went home and I played airplane with her. There were lots of giggles and smiles.
At 6:45, I was getting her ready for bed. I even shed a happy little tear, thinking how ecstatic I was to have her and how this was the best birthday ever.
Then James came home. He told me he was heading back to the studio to get our server because it is very likely that our business will be looted tonight.
I put Baby to bed in a state of shock. I rocked her to sleep, imagining not only the studio on fire, but I was also worried sick about James going back there. He said that there was already a very strange vibe when he left at 6:30.
Now Baby is asleep upstairs, but for once, it won’t be her crying that keeps me awake tonight.
James and I are sitting in our kitchen with our laptops, keeping tabs on what’s going on. It is only a matter of time until our phone rings via our alarm system. The Tandem Centre, which is about 500m from the studio, is on fire. The PC World in Colliers Wood nearby is being looted.
All I can hear in the distance is the sound of sirens. Constant noise. And the only thing I can think to do is write a blog post about how incredibly angry I am.
This is an outrage. How does something like this happen in a “civilised” country? My short list of blame includes:
1) Bad parenting
2) Closed youth centres (bored youth)
3) No discipline in schools, too much emphasis on the rights of kids
4) Social networking
5) Government (so glad Cameron is coming back from holiday. So kind)
Has this not reached the level of a state emergency? When can the army be called in?
I was so excited about tomorrow. Baby, James and I were going to her first swimming lesson. I have a feeling we’ll be busy clearing ash out of our studio.
I’ve spent years building up this business. That business supports my family and the livelihoods of two other people and gives support to countless other small businesses in the area. We work hard to be a good addition to this society. Thankfully, no matter what the rioters do to us, our business is much bigger than just one room. We can keep operating from our house indefinitely.
I’ve just been up to our loft and looked out at the sky. It’s full of helicopters. Coming back to my computer, I read the news that Jessops nearby the studio is on fire.
I pop upstairs again to check on Baby to try to get a sense of perspective. As long as I can keep her safe, nothing else really matters.
Here’s to a long night ahead…
I’ll update in the comments below as I learn more news.