That time I got caught up in a terror attack scare

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So, a kind of eventful weekend for a change, took my car to get fixed up and found my brake pads were 95% worn, got a haircut, and went to Bluewater shopping centre and we thought there was a terror attack in progress.

Wait what?

So we were in John Lewis at the time, just shopping as you do – Me, my parents and my brothers girlfriend Scarlett, when suddenly there seemed to be a lot of commotion from outside (the entrance to John Lewis, from the shopping centre), we suddenly started seeing LOADS of people start running into the shop and people shouting, like 50+ people suddenly just running in our direction. So naturally, so naturally – herd mentality and all that, we started moving as well.

My family were somewhat more distraught than I was, I remember hearing my mum shouting for Scarlett, and my dad yelling for me whilst I was trying to work out what the hell was happening. The scene was a bit chaotic, with parents yelling for their children, and a few people had fallen over whilst running in the panic. Hundreds of us streamed through the store while the staff looked baffled, I saw a bunch of them retreating into staff areas. Towards the end of the shop, a large revolving door had stopped because people were pushing on it, and a couple dozen people were ‘trapped’ inside trying to get out (protips: use the fire escape doors, not the revolving doors…)

As we gathered outside, many people were trying to find their families and loads of people straight up just left – got in their cars and just got out of there. We all got out safely and without injury and looked on as people continued to stream out of the building. We were fairly sure it was a false alarm, as there had been no sirens or fire alarms sounded yet, so we began to walk the perimeter of Bluewater to get to the next exit (map) over by the Village. It was really interesting walking around and hearing people talk about the situation, and see it all develop, majority of people had no idea what was happening, but similar to us, just saw a crowd start running and went along with it – better safe than sorry and all that. The rumours and Chinese whispers ranged from gunman, to ‘suspicious package’ to ‘bomb’ to ‘fire’.
Protip #2 : Twitter is awesome – I basically got all my info from twitter whilst we were walking outside, the #bluewater tag suddenly flooded with loads of tweets from ranging from urging people to stay away, to people talking about ditching their KFC, as well as the more useful stuff like what actually happened. 5-10 minutes later we heard police sirens, and then 5 minutes after that I started seeing some retweets from the Kent police with the actual updates.

The cause then?
Apparently a kitchen appliance went off in Nandos and made a loud bang with smoke, a fire alarm was pulled, and then someone shouted bomb and then began asking people to evacuate. The crazy thing is that, for anyone who has been to Bluewater, Nandos is pretty damn far away from John Lewis, so it must have really been a major reaction of people following other people running for it to have gotten to us.

It was a really interesting though kind of scary experience, a useful ‘drill’ if you will – and an interesting look at how everyone naturally reacts to these sort of events, it’s unsurprising to hear that apparently over the food court, it was complete chaos – with food being thrown about, overturned buggies and chairs and all sorts. I found myself surprised at my own natural response, which was to stay calm but alert – perhaps just the gamer in me, but my first reaction was to break line of sight with the entrance and put some shelving between me and the front of the shop, which in retrospect probably wouldn’t have saved me if there were an actual bomb situation occurring.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5003953/Faulty-oven-causes-bomb-scare-Bluewater-Shopping-Centre.html 

Life – October 2017

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Oops.

I may have accidentally neglected the blog for a month. not that much has really happened mind you.

 

Screechy Car? :(

So about a week or two ago my car started making some hella squeeky/screechy noises from the left side, and I don’t really know what it is or how to sort it out – I’ve booked it in for a look this coming weekend, and i’m hoping it’s just a brake pad which needs to be changed or something. The obvious bit is that it screeches when I brake, but the more confusing bit is that it makes the same (less pronounced) screeching when i’m cruising at low speeds (around 20mph), so i’m wondering if it’s the axle or something because the brakes shouldn’t really be doing much unless i’m braking… right? Not looking forward to that diagnosis though, as I’m going to assume changing brakes is going to be over £100 at least. Being an adult is hard yo.

 

Migraine

I’ve also rather annoyingly been getting migraines during work over the last 2 weeks. It’s been quite a pain because I end up going to work and then just being in a state of death after work – leaving me with not much to do but go to bed, getting my physical rest sure, but i’d like to do some other stuff other than work, cook and eat. I kind of assumed it was maybe my eyesight dying on me, but I went for an eye test today and to my surprise, my eyesight doesn’t seem to have gotten any worse over the last 8 years or so. The last time I actually had an eyetest and got a pair of glasses was before I started university, and i’ve certainly done a lot of stuff since then which could potential affect my eyesight.

 

Board games at Luke’s

We had an awesome little meetup at a friend’s for boardgames, we played a game called Dark Moon – which played a bit like the game Tharsis on PC, but with people trying to sabotage the game secretly, basically it’s co-op but a few people are secretly bad and try to sabotage the mission but trying to make it not look obvious. It was a good bit of fun, though quite tricky.
We played codewords too, which I really enjoyed but we unfortunately only played one round of it – basically a word association game but team based, defo recommend giving it a try if you get a chance.
We also tried to play Avalon but unfortunately one of the dudes at the games night had too much to drink, and our host was too kind to him, trying to include him and it all just kind of fell apart as one team was effectively man down with a complete wildcard.
I hope this turns into a regular thing, maybe I should look into joining that London on board group (London boardgaming society)

 

Games

Have been thoroughly enjoying some of September/October’s games thanks to Steam family sharing,
Cuphead is a 5/5 masterpiece : amazing visuals, very polished and fun boss fights, interesting characters, good music… It’s an absolute blast to play while it lasts, though sadly for me it was over a bit too quickly, lasting only 4 hours or so.
A Hat in Time is also an amazing 3d platformer, easy 6/5 though let down by it’s relatively short length – or more likely, it’s just nowhere near as long as I wanted the game to be – for a 3d platformer though it really has an amazing mix of levels and objectives, you’ll be racing to a marker in one level and then the next will suddenly have you in a stealth murder mystery, it feels like the development team had a ton of neat ideas of levels and just went ahead and made them all, I pray there is a sequel at some point.
Human Fall Flat was an unexpected surprise, I nabbed it for $1 from a humble bundle, and it turned out to be an incredibly enjoyable few sessions with the girlfriend, which was a huge surprise because she sucks at games so I have no idea why she stuck or was so entertained by what is actually a pretty difficult game in terms of mechanics (think QWOP but 3d puzzle platformer), she usually gives up rapidly after getting frustrated yet somehow managed to spend 30 minutes trying to nail a jump staircase thing. Definitely recommend playing in co-op if you have a partner even vaguely willing to play games.
I’ve also given Elder Scrolls Online and Borderlands presequel a go recently, the former i’m not too big into yet, but borderlands is pretty fun playing with my group (though a bit too easy). Unfortunately i’ve not been able to play too much due to the migraine situation.