I (like I assume pretty much everyone else) have been glued to the news over the past day watching with sickening horror the riots in London and now other parts of the UK. The images of rioters is not something new, however they usually have a cause. They are protesting for political change or against multinational corporations or something. The thing which I have found so scary about the sight unfolding in the UK is the seeming lack of reason beyond a fearless defiance of authority, the opportunity for theft and enjoyment in destruction.
At times like this, thoughts immediately turn to those we know and love who live in the vicinity. I'm pleased to say that no one I know has been directly affected, although a friend of a friend had their flat burned down and everyone seems on edge as they wait for the next night to fall.
But as always, it seems when times are dark and troubled, ordinary people emerge and do wonderful things. I'm sure the coming days will reveal many heroic stories along the lines of the kitchen staff from the Ledbury restaurant defending their patrons with rolling pins and deep fryer baskets, but the story that really made me smile this morning was that of the Wombles.
Hundreds, if not thousands of people have turned up all over London armed not with the weapons of the night before, but with brooms to help clear the mess. Nicknamed the Wombles, they are showing those whose businesses and homes have been damaged and destroyed that the community is behind them and ready to support them. I think it really goes to show, that despite the terror that a relatively small group of people can inflict, what it does is inspire a community to rally together.