A hundred yards and a lifetime away


No. I don’t want to believe it. I was watching the end of Newsnight.  BBC anchor Evan Davis had been enjoying himself with the late-night review of the election news, teasing a Daily Mail journalist.

As the show ended, his unconcealed pleasure vanished suddenly. “News is coming in of an explosion at the Manchester Arena.”

In the next few hours, I listened to follow-up broadcasts. Casualties. Young people attending a pop concert. Eye witnesses relating their panic running away from the blast. An image of a prone teenager, her white T shirt splattered with blood.

Twitter explodes, spewing hateful shrapnel directed at the other.

I want to tweet saying I was there, a hundred yards and a lifetime away, when a van exploded gutting the city’s centre. Miraculously, no-one was killed that day.

Eventually I tweeted.

Manchester Arena. Dreadful. Best to stay with supporting the injured and families of those who died. Other news still speculation.


Whatsoever is false news, whatsoever is alternative truth, however much I strive for a creative expression of truth in my writing, everything else has been wiped away momentarily.

In fifty years, it will retain its ultimate core of horror together with acts of bravery and kindness from emergency services, taxi-drivers, and volunteers of #roomsforManchester.

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