After the Riots: I Heart London

Pictures of the riots and their aftermath were beamed all around the world.

It’s easy to imagine the place as a city under siege, or where the inhabitants are all at each others’ throats day and night, snarling and aggressive.

That’s not the London where I live, the London I know, the London I love.

Today, two young (black) families squealed in delight at the sight of Not Cat, who is the same colour as the cat belonging to one of them.

Gingers are the best, I said, and we all grinned.

The day after the riots in my area, I took this photo of the doorstep of a neighbour’s house.


They are still cleaning up the main road. Shops are still missing windows, but there are chirpy signs saying Business as Usual, and people are smiling and talking to each other.

This is London.

It’s good to be home.


10 thoughts on “After the Riots: I Heart London

  1. I can imagine what you mean Isobel, our roots are hard to shake off, even at times of such deliberate destruction.
    Your image is lovely, such signs are common here, especially in the country areas, but to see it in a city, at this time especially, is heart warming. As a matter of fact, only the day, a house not far from me, left a sign in their drive, leaning against a pile of stuff saying “just cleaned out the attic, if there’s anything you fancy, take it”. It was all gone inside an hour. Saves taking it to the tip, as well. One mans rubbish, and all that 🙂
    Lovely post Isobel.

    • Thanks Val. Glad you enjoyed it.
      Here people often put things they don’t want on the pavement so that others can take them. It becomes a problem only when no one wants an item!
      In my mother’s neck of the woods, there’s usually a charge…

  2. Good to read this, too, Isobel. I’ve never lived in London but always loved visiting and thought of it as a series of villages and towns. When son no 2 lived in Shepherds Bush, it certainly seemed like he had a local village, with a friendly newsagent, a fishmonger, a great fruit and veg shop – all at the bottom of his road.

    Good people will prevail. London survived the Blitz. It will survive the immoral minority too.

    • Yeah, I think you are right. There is more good will than bad; more friendliness than aggression. Our communities haven’t been shattered, they’ve been shocked, but the habits of chat and neighbourliness will persist.
      Mind you, Shepherd’s Bush…!

  3. Its interesting to read this. I’ve just written an essay to evaluate the claim that “Britishness is a set of shared values and ideas”. I wonder, and hope, that the riots might unite rather than divide the people in the cities affected.

    • I like that premise. I come from a long line of immigrants and I think the various parts of my family have espoused British values down the years.
      I believe there are always people who will reject a community’s values. That is nothing new. Maybe these recent riots will make others make more of effort to support their community, and create contacts.

  4. It was shocking, but communities such as yours will recover and life goes on. Good to hear, you know.

    It has happened before and no doubt will happen again, but you are right, we have always pulled together. The difference this time was the irresistible, to a small group, images of our police standing by and watching it happen. The press coverage was in some instances, inaccurate and inflammatory, in my opinion, and this did little to help.

    • I was quite taken aback to read a piece in tonight’s Standard poopooing comparisons between greedy bankers and greedy rioters. They are very similar and very selfish in my book.

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