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Himeji Castle

Threat Level Pink

London was bombed today, which made my lunchtime trip to pick up plane tickets to that very city more than a little weird. I'm heading over for the first week of August, and I sincerely hope I'm not maimed or killed in a terrorist attack. This level of hope is probably not any different from my usual level ("extremely high") but I will feel a little more edgey and ready for action. Perhaps I should take a couple of bricks of C4 and an Uzi on the plane, just in case terrorists try and take it over and crash it into the Tate Modern. I could even wear a bushy fake beard so they don't recognize me.

Seriously though, it's a nasty business. London is a huge, old, rambling town, with over seven million people stacked on top of each other in the Greater London area. The Tube alone seems extraordinarily hard to defend, at least to me. There are dozens of dodgy old stations like Royal Oak all over the city, where a very naughty person could hop on board with a very naughty bag (they probably could even jump the turnstiles and not pay) and ride all the way to a major station like King's Cross in a matter of minutes. I'd love to be wrong of course - maybe Royal Oak has fourteen different explosive-sniffing sensors embedded in its crumbling brickwork, with a highly-trained cadre of counter-terrorist ninjas in a cupboard, with Jack Bauer himself leading them, all ready to leap out and shut down any conceivable terrorist threat at a moment's notice... but I doubt it.

I'll try not to be thinking about all this when I get off the Tube at Royal Oak, and walk down to the Westbourne for some lunch. I'll also be doing other stuff like seeing friends (and their ever-growing legions of children), checking out a few cool sites and even catching up with my dad, who will be starting a nine-week European holiday. It should be a fun whirlwind tour, so lost London buddies, drop me a line. Leave the mercury switches at home though.