It took less than a day for the BBC news website to relegate the bombings in London to an ‘also in the news’ story. Here on the west coast of America I woke up to the news of the blasts as my friends back home in the UK were starting to make their way home at the end of another working day. A day that despite the bombs and the 40 or 50 people who died, was in most ways pretty much the same as any other day.

My first reaction was of course to make sure that my friends and family who commute to London were all okay. I used AIM to ask my friend Will back in the UK to call the various people I was concerned about. As I had assumed, everyone was fine so I sat and watched some CNN for a while to see pictures of the destruction that had been wreaked across my countries capital.

As the news networks were still clamouring for dramatic pictures and good sound-bytes the people of London were, it would seem, more concerned about getting home in time for dinner on the obviously disrupted public transport system that the city is so reliant upon. It didn’t take me very long to learn all that CNN knew, and after the second time of listening to them repeat the same information in differently formulated sentences I decided to drink the rest of my cup of tea and get on with the day ahead.

The sad truth is that London is no stranger to terrorism, and while it may have been a few years since the last bomb tore through the city the lessons learned from years of bombings, bloodshed and carnage, have given the city and indeed the country, the ability to apparently take a day like this in their stride.

There was no widespread panic. Eyewitnesses commented on how calmly everyone dealt with the situation. Indeed only in the UK would you expect to read that people actually “queued up to escape” and that volunteers were on scene giving support and cup of tea to the walking wounded.

My friend Darryl summed up the feelings of many of my friends back home. “I think the mood from most people is that London has been through much worse and it’ll mostly be back to normal tomorrow.” He said in an email. “A lost working day maybe, and unlucky for the people who lost their lives, but I don’t think this will make any difference politically.”

It would seem that Darryl was proved right too. London appeared to be back to normal the very next day with people gathering at bars and clubs as they would do on any other Friday night. The stock market remained strong and the public transport system was once more fully operational. And as investigation officers swept the scenes of the four bombs Prime Minister Tony Blair praised the “inner resilience” of Londoners. As sad as the whole event was, it’s business as usual in London.

Traveling today from Portland to San Francisco by air there was a very obvious and visible increase in the amount of armed personnel on the ground to make everyone feel safe no matter how far from the truth that may or may not be. President Bush of course didn’t miss the opportunity to tell us that so called ‘war on terror’ will go on and that ‘we’ will emerge triumphant. It’s an old sound-byte of course, and one that isn’t ever followed by telling us how exactly he plans to rid the world of terrorists and hatred. But he’s a politician and politicians say things like that at times like this.

Being several thousand miles away has only been frustrating in so much as the lack of intelligent news and information. I quickly gave up on TV news who as expected were only interested in sensationalizing the story or concentrating on the human side of things. My email inbox has been filling up with kindly worded emails of good wishes from American friends, and people have been asking me how I feel about what happened in London? Of course I’m grateful for their concern and the show of support. But how do I feel? I feel like this is the price we pay I suppose? I’ve accepted that there will always be a maniac somewhere who will inflict pain and suffering, that’s part of life isn’t it. If we catch the people who planted those bombs will it stop others from at least wanting to do the same again? Of course not! So how do I feel? I suppose I just feel sad that we live in a world where bombings and acts of violence are seen as a means to an end. Sad that it would seem despite all the bloodshed and broken hearts, history can teach us nothing.

Thanks again to all my American friends who said and wrote such nice things by email. I really did appreciate your thoughts.