Italy -

Underground blasts

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(Looking for 21st July blasts? Click here)

London Underground closed after multiple blasts. More at The Guardian. Reason #567 why I… oh never mind.
Update 10:15am :
Most controversial comment so far: “It’s probably the French.”
Update 11:00am:
Flickr has some pictures coming in, and Google News will keep you updated. Also, The Guardian’s blog is keeping track of the updates.
Update 12:05pm:
Fellow blogger has updates at the ready.
Update 12:12pm:
Jihad group in Europe admits responsibility in 200 word statement on website.
Those wikipedia guys are quick: Wikipedia: 2005 London Underground explosions. Also, Londonist has an eye on events as they happen.
Clique update: Friends will be pleased to know that Mel N, Jac, Elli C, Jon B and David B are all ok. Mel was in Aldgate station an hour before the explosions…
Update 1:18pm – Statement from terrorist group, from Europhobia:

Jamaat al-Tandheem Al-Sierri (secret organization group)
Organization of Qaeda’t al-Jihad in Europe

In the name of God the most merciful…

Rejoice the nation of Islam, rejoice nation of Arabs, the time of revenge has come for the crusaders’ Zionist British government.

As retaliation for the massacres which the British commit in Iraq and Afghanistan, the mujahideen have successfully done it this time in London.

And this is Britain now burning from fear and panic from the north to the south, from the east to the west.

We have warned the brutish governments and British nation many times.

And here we are, we have done what we have promised. We have done a military operation after heavy work and planning, which the mujahideen have done, and it has taken a long time to ensure the success of this operation.

And we still warn the government of Denmark and Italy, all the crusader governments, that they will have the same punishment if they do not pull their forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

So beware.

Thursday 7/7/2005
Jamaat al-Tandheem Al-Sierri (secret organization group)
Organization of al Qaeda’t al-Jihad in Europe.

Update 5:58pm :
Reader Nadem Khan raises an interesting question – can anyone vouch for the veracity of this article?
Update 6.18pm : Guardian tells readers that “Bloggers react quickly to London blasts.” Damn right…!
Update 7.10pm : The BBC now has a dedicated subsite.

Uncle Enzo

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“Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.”
Tupac Shakur
It’s not often I remember my dreams.
But yesterday morning’s was particularly vivid. I had gone to a house in the country. My Italian cousin Sara was there – we were playing catch, as I remember. It was a sunny day and we were outside in a field. And then my uncle Enzo, a kindly Italian man, walked in to the room, a room that suddenly appeared out of nowhere – as they do in dreams. Behind him was Auntie Cookie, whose nickname stuck when my mum called her Cookie as a child.
And I remember being happy to see them all. They all live in Italy – I don’t have many opportunities to catch up with them, and I was very pleased as I sat down and chatted for a while with my uncle, all about life and what he was doing. Slowly, he faded. I remember waking up, and wondering how they all were.
Uncle Enzo died yesterday morning, after a short fight with cancer.


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You can just imagine the conversation around the Powergen boardroom table – “We’re going to build a website to show our growing presence in Italy. But what to call it, what to call it…” And when all was said and done, they proudly announced:

England vs Italy – A Visit to Twickenham

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England vs Italy. Bound to be a triumphant rugby victory in England’s quest for the Grand Slam. And, fortunately, 8 of us were there to cheer them on from the north stand at Twickenham!
A chance email from an old school contact led to eight superbly placed tickets at Twickenham on Sunday. Elli, Ed, Mel, Jac, Nick, Tim, Michelle and I met at Clapham Junction at 11am. Well, that was the plan – in reality, Nick and Tim decided that few drinks were in order the previous night, and barely managed to arrive before we’d left the Slug And Lettuce pub at 1.30pm. Still, spirits were high – we had flags and rugby shirts on, and Mel had painted St George flags on everybody’s cheeks, and amusingly the word “prick” on Jac’s forehead. Nick went the whole hog and had his entire face painted with a the flag – sadly, he looked less like a flag, more like a hot cross bun. We were such a sight that a camerawoman working for the Metro newspaper took pictures of some of us, rightly judging that the rest of the group’s facial features might have cracked the lens.
After I had bought the obligatory stupid hat, we arrived at the stadium at 2.45, and at 3pm England kicked off. The first 20 minutes went to form – England scored 33 points in 22 minutes. But then they obviously thought it wasn’t really worth it – for another hour not a single point was scored. To cheer up the deflated group, Jac suggested a betting game. It went roughly like this:
Wibbler: “I bet one English pound that the next penalty with go to England.”
Jac: “Ok.”
Next penalty kick goes to England.
Wibbler: “That’ll be one round pound please.”
It was a suggestion that Jac was soon to regret. After 30 minutes, he was six pounds down, and with nothing left but a couple of guitar picks, he gave in.
All in all, a very good day, and a great experience. The game wasn’t the best, but the male streaker certainly warmed the hearts for the girls present. Thanks to everyone who came – even Simon B turned up on the East stand. Which was nice.

Strolling Along…

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I’ve been a little sparse (good word) on here of late, having been as busy as a blue-bummed fly. Between booking holidays to Dublin, tickets to Matchbox 20 and Bon Jovi concerts, rugby tickets to see England vs Italy in March, and running my work department on half the usual number of people, it’s been a little hectic. Still, a few things have happened to it would be rude not to mention. First was a free trip to Woking cinema with Michelle, her brother and his fiance (Michelle had won 6 tickets, the lucky tyke) to see City By The Sea. It was more of a private showing really – the first 20 minutes we were the only people in the cinema. Then there was the first visit of the New Year to The Drink nightclub, where we met Alex and Milly for the first time in ages. Alex seems to be still the man to know around town – Champagne flowed freely while he implied that he could get cheap deals for anything I wanted. I took full advantage, and decided to meet him again on Wednesday for a meal. Cracking.