I left my idyllic life in the French countryside a few days ago. Having been there a month, tending to the place, playing in my kitchen garden etc. I decided to take a quick trip to Paris and London to do some work. My kids arrive next week -- then it's full on. ( I literally run a hotel. The only difference is no one gets a bill. ) I went to look for distribution for my fabric line in Paris and visit my new show room in London. Paris was great: just before going to get the EuroStar I thought "What am I doing going back south?" The reason really for going was to see some great friends who where there from Mumbai. I didn't really want to go. Something said to me, "go home."
This morning I woke up to one of my best friends in a complete panic. We were to have breakfast, but her teenage daughter was interning at the British Museum, and she had just heard of "the power surge" that had occurred. I assured her it would be fine, but something told me it wasn't. I turned on the TV to hear that it wasn't only the tube, but a bomb on a bus. This was reported on Sky, and going back and forth from channel to channel we were getting all of these conflicting reports -- in fact what no one realized was that there were multiple attacks.
No cell phones worked -- the satellites were down -- I heard that was how they were setting off the bombs. I was staying in the un-chic part of Notting Hill near Westway so we could stand on the roof and see what traffic was like there and hear the fire sirens. My immediate instinct was to get out of the city as soon as possible. But there was not a cab to be found, and the car services didn't have anything, so I got dropped of by Hammersmith Bridge thinking if all else failed I'd hitch to Gatwick. My pay-as-you-go phone was out of money, so I asked my brother to stop everything and meet me on the south side of the bridge to take me to Gatwick. While topping up in an Indian newsagent a Pakistani man came and asked if he could help -- he had seen me standing rather hopelessly on the corner. Then another man also asked what he could do. Tragedies like this bring the best out in people. All of a sudden you look at people differently. They are not trying to mug or make a pass at you. There was real pure human compassion and camaraderie wherever I was today. I got to Gatwick thinking that the airports would be closed, but I made an earlier flight to Toulouse and I'm so thankful to be here in the depth of the countryside surrounded by my horses, dogs and cats. Such tragedies bring out the best in people. Good will come out of this. Maybe Bush will come to his senses. Innocent people are dying everywhere now because of his and Blair's decisions.