To now be on edge about a London / Belgium trip (with a 3 yr old and 93 yr old)(20 Posts)
I was living in London when 7/7 happened and was very stubborn about not letting 'terrorism win' and being scared. I also flew a few weeks post 9/11 with the same attitude. I also realise that the chances of being in the wrong place at the wrong time are still very slim.
However... I am due to go to London for a few days, then travel via Eurostar onto Belgium in mid December. DH works for a Belgian company so we are meeting him there then all travelling back together. However, my DS (3) and my 93 year old grandma (who's in bloody good nick for her age, but is hardly a spring chicken) will be with me. This has made me feel a lot more edgy about going, IF the worst happened we would be sitting ducks! Hiding would be harder, running would be unlikely (I can carry DS but not Grandma too!), DS would probably make noise / move and draw attention to us. Central London around Christmas may well be a target, as might the Eurostar and there appear to be links with Isis cells (or whatever the terminology) in Brussels which is where we are staying.
I'm getting annoyed with myself thinking like this, I'm not normally neurotic at all, so please snap me out of it!
I have a break to Brussels booked Mid December to go to the Christmas Markets also travelling on the Eurostar. I have to say, I have been wondering how safe it is too. I would have my 5 year old with me, usually I don't let these things change my plans but I feel quite on edge about this trip.
I understand. I feel more vulnerable out and about with a toddler and being pregnant even before all this happened. But you just have to get on with your life. Just try to be aware of what's happening around you. Keep an eye out for exits and safe areas, etc. Good luck op.
I don't blame you for feeling concerned I would too. We travelled as a family to Paris earlier this year and I was aware that security wise the city was considered to be at risk. Clearly this is even more so after the weekends events. We took some practical steps of our own to give us some reassurance. These were to note down and take with us the contact details for the British Embassy, ensure we had adequate insurance, make sure yourself and other members of your party have charged mobile phones on them when you are out and about. Give family members at home all details of your travel arrangements and accommodation. Be aware when you are out and about observe exits etc.
Thanks for your replies. I think it's the toddler and geriatric that make things so much more complicated.
I just spoke to my grandma about it and she said 'I can't run but I can hide, and will ask DS to be extra quiet for his grandma so don't worry.'
Thanks yumscrum. That sounds a good idea, I realise I'd probably come off worse if I had an altercation with an AK47, but practical and sensible precautions do help make me feel more in control.
OP, your granny sounds ace
The thought that those IS animals live on the same planets as my wee boys makes me feel sick. The best way to deal with terrorism is to carry on as normal but its so hard when its
our loved ones at risk.
Thanks, she IS ace!
I agree it's so much harder when you have children. Before I wouldn't have even considered changing any plans!
My daughter has a school tip coming up in Brussels soon and I am really in two minds about it. It's her first foreign trip without me (she's 9) and I'm really nervous about it. I'm not usually one for getting scared but I am really worried about it.
I grew up in Belfast and witnessed a lot of pretty awful things. I never worried about it at all when I was there but my attitude changed completely when I had my daughter. That was 19 years ago but I can clearly remember not wanting to take her into the city centre when I visited my parents. I would be as nervous as you are, however having lived through it the only thing I can say, is don't let them win. Terrorism feeds on terror. Be aware, be vigilant but don't let them win.
I'm the same op. I'm not an anxious person and tend to think quite rationally about the chances of it happening to me. But I've found this all very unsettling and find myself being more of my surroundings amd planning escape routes in places like shopping centres. I work in London once/ twice a week too and increasingly find myself becoming quite claustrophobic about trains and tubes. It doesn't help that a colleague was on one of the tube trains that was bombed on 7/7. He was in an unscathed carriage, but it all feels 'too close' to me. All I can say is that I will travel as normal this week, though with a heavier heart and a heightened awareness of my surroundings. I'm going to give it a few weeks before i start planning a family trip to London with my 5yo in the hope that time ans distance will make things seem a little better. It's all very sad. It helps to know that statistically it's still very unlikely to affect me personally and I do believe we can't stop going about our business.
I understand exactly how you feel, and have the same dilemma. We are going 2 Brussels in a couple of weeks time with 2 preschoolers, and have only just seen that several of the suspects behind the Paris bombings were from a Brussels suburb.
I completely agree that we shouldn't let the terrorists win by cancelling plans to travel etc, but when you are making decisions for young children and potentially putting them in danger it feels like a burden.
I completely undrstand.
We are supposed to be going to London this weekend: have tickets for Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park booked for Sunday and Santa's Grotto at Harrods on Monday. For some reason I feel VERY on edge about Winter Wonderland - seems like a prime terrorist target... We have a DS 5 and I think that is why I feel so on edge - can't remember feeling like this before he was born!
I think 'potentially putting them in danger' when talking about your choices of where to take your children sums it up perfectly.
I have discussed this now with my mother too. Her response? 'You'll be okay if you take the buggy, put DS in it and RUN!'
As I can easily outrun a speeding bullet, me
I think there are two sides to it - especially with young children - firstly (and far worse) putting them in danger, but if they did survive and you didn't... Would be horrible to leave them parent-less.
Those are both my worry.
Our nerves get heightened with all the 'what if's but really, if you stay at home the days you would have been there, having a good time, will pass without incident, and you will have stayed at home....and how much longer will you live like that?
Stay at home and you could be struck by lightening, poisoned by faulty boiler, run over, develop a serious illness, anything.
We are afraid by the ideas. The actual risk is minute.
Ever drive your DS on the motorway?
I think that each individual has to assess the risk and benefit for themselves.
I am certainly not risk adverse by any means. Being in London, as such, doesn't bother me, but being at a big gathering in London does make me worried.
I went out for food and drinks tonight and worked out the exits/ kept monitoring the door. I'm so ashamed that this is happening to me. I've just got back from Paris and London too! I just feel so fearful.
I am supposed to be going to France on Friday overnight with my old uni housemates for a trip to a Christmas market.
They are totally cool about it, even the pregnant one with a child. I have two dCs and live very rurally while they are in London.
So I have to get a train from my home to London, "do" the underground, then Eurostar (under the bloody sea), stay in France overnight and come back the next day.
I suffer from anxiety and it is through the roof right now. I am not taking the DC with me, but they need me to come home to them.
My friends don't seem worried and don't understand why it is a big thing for me.
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