A nasty feeling it gave, to have travelled by tube into King's Cross just a few hours before the bomb, and to have been challenged by someone worried about security about the provenance of Pad's luggage.
My pal is safe and well. I'd left him at Knightsbridge tube station. Here's an extract from the email he sent me yesterday:
I'm safe and well here in London. I'm staying at the Olympic House
Hotel in Sussex gardens, Paddington-just a stone's throw from the
Royal Norfolk Hotel (where I stayed at the end of last cycle ) and
Paddington Station. I wasn't on the tube this morning between 9am and
10 when the bombs went off. The first I knew that anything was wrong
was when I turned on the tv in the hotel room at 11.30am this morning
and saw the breaking news headline on BBC News 24. The strange thing
was I had gone out to HSBC ATM machine next to Paddington tube station
to get some cash at about 9.15am. I noticed a lot of people streaming
out of the station instead of going in and there were a lot of
ambulances with blaring sirens outside. It took ages to get through the
crowds but nobody seemed to be talking so I didn't overhear anything
that might have prompted me to ask someone what was going on. I
returned to the hotel and went to my room and lay down to sleep
again. I was still recovering at that stage from the overdose of wine
from yesterday. I fell asleep and was awakened some time later by the
sound of a helicopter flying quite low overhead. I also thought this
was a bit strange but I turned over and went back to sleep.
When I eventually woke up and turned on the tv I just couldn't believe
what I was seeing.