10 years on – memories of July 2005

 
10 years, some days it feels like yesterday, others make it seem a lifetime ago. It is a lifetime – my nephews, my children and even some of the people I’m interviewing for work have no memories or only very vague recollections of July 7th 2005. For some of us the memories are as vivid as if it were yesterday. The blogging world, the press and conversations will be full of stories of 7/7 over the next few days, after all a decade ago life changed. These are my thoughts.
10 years ago this week I sat at my desk in London and waited as news unfolded around me, unsure of what was going on, waiting as the rest of the world did for confirmation of what had happened. In a city that only a day before had been jubilant after being awarded the 2012 Olympics. I learnt from my sister that my dad was in London that day – and that he was safe. I emailed my then fiancĂ© who at that point knew nothing. I waited for colleagues who were delayed to get to work. I saw snipers positioned on the roof of the palace opposite. I listened and waited as our boss explained that there was only one member of staff who they couldn’t contact, the following day we learnt that she was one of the 52, RIP Anne. I joined other staff to walk from our office to the station. I bought a coke because the station had sold out of water and travelled home on a train packed with people all trying to come to terms with the day’s events.

52 people set out on a journey that morning. 52 people died. Many more suffered physically and emotionally. Today is about them.

Yet it is not July 7th 2005 that has influenced ME it is not the fear and worry that projected itself around the capital that day that I remember frequently. It is the words I heard a week later when I (and what felt like most of London) attended a vigil in trafalgar square. I stood in the hot sun and witnessed the nations faith leaders stand shoulder to shoulder, Christian next to Muslim, Muslim next to Jew, Jew next to Hindu. They stood in front of crowd that should have been angry and frightened and declared that ‘these atrocities were not done in the name of my faith.’ It was the most moving occasion of my life, I was a part of a crowd who were proud and not scared to be in London, who wouldn’t be beaten by terrorists.
10 years on it is July 14th and Trafalgar Square I think of frequently. Those leaders who were determined to preach peace and tolerance in a city that could so easily have become fractured and allowed hate to dominate. If they could be tolerant at such a challenging time surely we should live our lives that way too. 
If anything I feel more strongly now than I did then about the need to promote understanding and religious tolerance. When we stop defining people by their faith (or gender, or sexuality) and see them as friends then we can start to understand them and celebrate the differences and similarities between us!

July 7th changed the world but July 14th changed me.

 

A playground a day – Hursley recreation ground

 
Name of playground – Hursley recreation ground

Location  – Main road Hursley SO21 2 JY

Toilets – No, the closest are at the Kings head pub

Parking – Very limited street parking

Dogs allowed- yes

Refreshments – no

 Comments- 

This is a fabulous park in a beautiful location. For older children there is a basket ball hoop, football goal and rugby posts as well as amble space to run around. 

The play area is at the bottom of the park close to the main rd which is behind a thick hedge. 

For younger children the train is great, it includes a tunnel and a slide as well as a cabin to drive the train from. 

 There is a traditional see-saw, 3 kinds of swing and a great play structure with multiple routes to the slide. 

   
 

We picniced at the top of the park away from the road noise. Whilst the grown ups relaxed the children ran up and down the slope and played amongst a big tree grove 

  
Sadly the park seemed to be lacking in litter bins and dog waste bins, take your rubbish home with you please. 

I think this is a park that we will bring the older children to in the school holidays, it’s a lovely spot for a picnic. 

A playground a day – Templecombe rd

 
Name of playground : Templecombe Rd

Location: Templecombe rd Bishopstoke SO50 8QJ

Parking: free on street

Toilets: no

Coffee shop: no

Dogs allowed: no

  Comments: 

This is a lovely little park at the end of a cul de sac, you have to know it’s here as you can’t see it from the main rd. We visited here on a bright sunny morning and had the park to ourselves. It’s well fenced in and immaculately maintained. 

There is a great climbing structure with several different ways to access it.  

 Smaller children can climb up the steps to go down the slide whilst bigger ones can negotiate a ladder and a hooped bridge. 

There are toddler swings and a basket swing.  

 

A bouncy seesaw and a single bouncer.

   

A big roundabout 

  Speaker tubes and cogs to twirl

   

 What we really liked about this park was the attention to detail, the floor has rockets and other pictures painted on it, there is a litter bin and a bench for grown ups to sit on. Everything is immaculate. Whilst it’s not the biggest park there is plenty for younger children to enjoy. I wouldn’t make an effort to go back with my 7 year bit can see me taking the 4 year old again.

   

A playground a day- Wickham recreation ground

 
Name of playground: Wickham recreation ground

Location: Fareham rd Wickham PO17 5DE

Parking: yes

Toilets: no

Coffee shop: No

Dogs allowed: yes on the playing fields but not in the park

  Comments: This is a great park for children of all ages. 

There are 2 climbing structures, 1 aimed at younger children. 

   With several ways to the top and a slide down. The high part of this structure is well enclosed so relatively safe for young children.

For older children there is a slightly odd looking structure 

  
Be warned one of the spinning parts of this spins very fast! 

Going round the playground there is a balance trail.

 
Which proved suitably challenging for both children and adults.

   There are also baby swings set away from other play equipment.

   
A bouncing animal and a circular roundabout/balance wheel.

   

 There are also picnic benches, tree stumps to climb on and the coolest bin  ever.

   

Outside the well fenced play area there is a big basket swing and a zip wire. 

I loved that the potentially hazardous zip wire and basket swing are well separated from the rest of the park, there is no danger of a toddler running under the zipwire or being decapitated by a swing. 

The large field provides amble space for football or frisbee and dog excercising with well signed footpaths leading to wildflower meadows. 

The only real downside to this park is the road noise, it is set very close to a busy road so noise is inevitable. Hopefully when the trees that have been recently planted at the edge of the field grow they will provide some sound insulation .