25 February 2019

Capital

I'm in London as I write this. Three nights with our lovely daughter and we also saw our beautiful son on Saturday evening. Frances's fiancee is away in Qatar on business having recently taken up a new job with a jewellery organisation. 

Wood Green, where Frances and Stew live, has a strong Turkish community. Linked with this, the main drag boasts some of the best Turkish restaurants in London. They are efficient establishments and pretty good value too. We attended the "Capital" restaurant on Friday night. 

Before your main courses, you receive complimentary Turkish salad with hummus, warm Turkish flatbread and a yoghurt and cucumber concoction called cacik. If you are not careful you can easily overindulge on this free starter.

For my main course I had lamb shish with rice, grilled peppers and a little more salad. It was delicious and happily washed down with Turkish beer. The bill was most acceptable.

We wandered homewards but when we looked up Vincent Road, near Frances and Stew's flat we could see several blue lights flashing. Something had happened just two hundred yards from our daughter's front door. We had an eerie feeling - a premonition that something bad had happened. Not just an unfortunate road accident.
Forensic checking of parked cars on Vincent Road
after the killing of a 19 year old lad
Indeed the following morning we learnt that a young man of nineteen had been killed. Another was in hospital. There had been a street fight between warring gangs of young men and  there had been knives with a gun also being discharged. The clash happened at just after eight in the evening.

This was how the London Evening Standard broke the news.

Such events are terrible. They are becoming far too common in London. For law-abiding citizens who cherish their lives, it is exceedingly difficult to understand the animosity and violence that underpin these killings. Life is challenging enough without courting danger through street warfare, without carrying weapons, without forgetting that the young man in front of you is also human.

The blue lights on Friday night were far too close for comfort.

25 comments:

  1. So glad that you & your family were safely (and unknowingly) enjoying a good meal and family time together and not in harms way! I agree - it is hard to understand the violence and horror. Bad enough that gangs fight each other, but worse that innocents are sometimes caught in the crossfire. The days grow ever more evil.

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    1. Life was once simpler and personal security was not a big issue. Thanks for calling by again Hilly.

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  2. That puts a stop to the enjoyment you just had at the restaurant. Sad that deadly weapons are used to settle things.

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  3. Very sad, and scary for it to be so close.
    Did you/Ian see the mention that " Bosh" got in an article in the Mail ...Friday I think...It was Sarah Vine's 2 pager about going vegan for a short while.....it made her ill !!

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    1. Thanks Frances. I will mention that to him.

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  4. Our Grandson lives on Roman Road in London and takes it as said that there are stabbings all of the time. He reckons he is safer when he goes to America than he is in London.
    Briony
    x

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    1. I wonder how the clock might be turned back on street violence. More youth workers, youth clubs and police on the streets would surely help. You might say that some of these young men have been killed by government cutbacks.

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    2. Totally agree. At the top of our road there is a huge playing field and an unused large building that could be used as a youth center but insurance and health and safety would probably make it so that it would be too expensive to use.

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  5. Oh dear, that sounds really scary. I am so sorry for the families of the young men that get into such horrible situations. Even if maybe some of the families are partly to blame for how their young men turn out, it must still be a tragedy for the mothers and fathers to lose their sons before they even can make something other than a mess of their lives.

    As for Turkish food, I may have mentioned a few times that nearly everyone in my house and next door is Turkish and that we have many Turkish shops and restaurants dotted around town. I do enjoy the food but usually am full already after some of the delicious warm flat bread and hummus.

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    1. All such deaths affect family members forever. It's such a waste.

      Living amongst Turkish people you must be very "au fait" with their dishes. The Turkish community in Sheffield is very small and we only have half a dozen Turkish restaurants but none of them as "authentic" as in Wood Green.

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  6. Wow. I guess this is life everywhere now. At least it feels this way. I'm so sorry.

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    1. It certainly didn't feel that way when I was at my brother's place in France - but in general you do get the feeling that the world has become less secure, less peaceful.

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  7. There is so little that most of us can do when we hear such stories: especially those of us living in an area which might as well be another planet. One problem seems to me to be that politicians all want to blame some ideological cause (whether it be poverty or drugs or whaever) but seem very reluctant to tackle, or completely incapable of tackling, the problem at source.

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    1. The present government have pared youth services to the bone and have reduced police numbers greatly but appear to wash their hands of any blame.

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  8. I am sorry to hear about that and I'm sure it concerns you and Shirley with your daughter living in the city. It is awful to see how times are changing and much of it is to be blamed on the gangs. Unfortunately such occurances happen all the time in our cities. That is why we live in a small town on the outskirts of Kansas City. The shootings are far too common even in the daytime.

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    1. Perhaps fortunately the killings appear to involve territorial disputes, revenge and drugs. Near all those who die are young men with limited prospects.

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  9. Shockingly close for comfort. Sadly a sign of the times.

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    1. I doubt such scenes will happen in your sleepy Lincolnshire village.

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  10. Very unsettling with your daughter living so close to this incident. It does seem to be young men who are particularly vulnerable to getting into these situations but the fallout can affect anyone in the vicinity.

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  11. Very worrying to have Frances live amongst it all. The random violence - stabbings and acid attacks -is the reason we have not visited London in a while though there is much which we haven't seen there. Paris has become very scarey too. Makes little old Brisbane seem very safe though of course we have our share of these dramas too.

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    1. The deaths are almost exclusively amongst Afro-Caribbean and mixed race youths but that doesn't make it any easier for those who do not fall into those categories.

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  12. My sister moved away from the area I live in after there was a fatal stabbing in a nearby park. In the "safe" area she moved to there was a dead man dumped from a van on a local road during peak hour....
    I've come to the conclusion that bad things happen anywhere.
    Having said that, I understand that it can be traumatic to have these things happen close by and I'm sure it was too close for comfort.

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  13. I read about this incident in the newspaper and thought of Frances. It IS scary how often these incidents happen, and it's hard to fathom. This one sounded especially crazy given the large number of people involved.

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