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.