Tuesday, 6 September 2011

My Sparkly London has Lost it's Shine

It is exactly a month since London riots kicked off in Tottenham. I am sitting in my lounge listening to sirens going off and wondering what on earth could be going on in my corner of London today? I'm sure there were lots of sirens to be heard before the riots but I didn't really notice them then. Now things have changed. I have changed. I hear the sirens and always wonder what has happened and where. I didn't realise it at the time but the riots have had an effect on me. They have made me more aware of my surroundings and what is going on in my community. The knock on effect is my shiny sparkly view of London living has been tarnished. It is making me question whether this is where I want my son to grow up?

Over the last few weeks there has also been stabbings and shootings in Ealing where we live and while I know these things happen everywhere and often go unreported it just feels a bit too much of it is happening right here, on my doorstep at the moment. I don't want my son growing up in a community where there are people walking the streets brandishing knives and even worse guns. Perhaps I am being paranoid or a little extreme in my views but I really don't think so. I just read some tweets from a person in another part of London whose fourteen year old son got mugged during the day today. He was told he would be stabbed if he didn't hand over his five year old mobile phone and newly acquired second hand bike. One of the tweets by his mother in reply to a question asking her sons age was "14. The age where they start getting mugged...". That's just not acceptable to me. I cannot stand the thought of having to worry about Ben falling victim to such acts at that age.

I find myself again questioning the kind of society my son will be growing up in and wondering where you have to go in the UK to find a safe environment for your children to grow up in. Does such a place even exist?


A Mother in France said...

I can understand how you feel - it's part of the reason we decided to move to France 7 years ago.  I've just got back from a visit to Westgate-on-Sea in Kent and couldn't believe the change there.  Almost every evening there was some sort of disturbance in my sisters once quiet road - bins being set on fire, cars screeching up and down and gangs loitering on corners.  It made me appreciate just how lucky we are living in rural france where our children can play outside safely and we never feel scared to go out after dark.

Michelle Twin Mum said...

What a great photo but what a sad picture your post paints.  There does seem to be so much rubbish going on at the moment, I have no idea what the answer is.

Mich x

Mummy's Space said...

Thank you - I took that the day we went to the Total Greek Picnic and had forgotten about it until I was looking for a pic for this post.

I agree there does seem to be a lot of stuff going on everywhere at the moment alright but I do wonder was it always like this and am I just noticing it more now.

The whole London thing is a difficult one as there is still so much I love about It here. The city itself is amazing with so much to see and do and fantastic places like Notting Hill, Covent Garden and the rest of the West End, not to mention over by London Bridge and Southbank but I do question is it the best place to bring up a child given the amount of crime there seems to be around but then again where is these days?

Mummy's Space said...

Places do seem to change quickly these days but I don't think you notice it until you leave and come back again to visit. I find I see it when I go back to Ireland and the crazy thing there is, it is the once quiet and rural places that seem to have more crime now,

Sounds like you're lucky to live in such a lovely part of France - the weather must be a big bonus too! :)

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