The following morning I learnt that two days after I left Shepherd's Bush for my holiday full of excitement and Panama hat firmly positioned on my head (giving me hat hair for the rest of the day) a man with exactly as many years of life as me was killed on Askew Road.
Naturally these stories sadden me deeply as do all the killings and senseless violence we learn about all too frequently but when this happens on your doorstep, where you get the tube everyday to work and where you see families living their lives it does make you examine it with a new focus.
It is not for me to even suggest the rhyme or reason behind these type of incidents. Nor, sadly can I offer any concrete explanation for why they should (or shouldn't) happen in Shepherd's Bush, a neighbourhood which, despite this and so much more, I still feel safe in. Yet perhaps that is the point I am trying to make. Though I am acknowledging the fact that both a tragic murder and stabbing occurred in Shepherd's Bush in close succession, I am determined not to let this affect how I treat Shepherd's Bush and how Shepherd's Bush treats me. Devastatingly still, the truly awful events in Cumbria only go to prove that locations are just backdrops to violent crime that could occur in all corners of our country, though on the surface statistics will suggest, and with good reason, otherwise.
Instead I choose to pray for the family of Jaabe Roberts and every victim of violent crime. And I choose to count my blessings: for life, for holidays with lovely ladies and for my home, Shepherd's Bush.
(If you don't already please do follow Chris Underwood's Shepherd's Bush blog who I always link in to - he is the real man in the know about all things Shepherd's Bush and frequently has local information and news first. Thank you Chris)