MONDAY night. I find myself sitting down to dinner in a restaurant in London with a work colleague.

Nothing too remarkable. Except that it’s London. Just 48 hours after the eight minute frenzy in which terrorists targeted innocent diners on just such a night out.

I try to disentangle my thoughts...

How surreal it all seems – to be sitting here innocently without a care in the world, concentrating on which starter would go best with which main course, as no doubt the victims were when they were attacked.

How undeterred Londoners are and how determined they are to carry on as normal and not let the terrorists have the last word. My colleague recounted a telephone call with her 93-year-old aunt the day after the attack, determined to go out for her weekly trip to the shops and continue life as normal. “We lived through the blitz,” she said. “If that couldn’t stop us, this certainly won’t.”

The defiant attitude and solidarity of the performers in the One Love Manchester Concert; Ariana Grande’s words ‘I want to thank you for coming together and being so loving and strong and unified.’ The three recent terror attacks in the UK have demonstrated heroism, the resilience, courage and dedication of those who work in our emergency and security services. And huge public solidarity as local people have rallied round victims and those directly affected.

The feeling of disbelief that anyone could do such things – whatever the cause. “That’s horrible,” said my young son on watching the news of the London Bridge attack. “Why would anyone want to do that.” I have no words to answer him. Can any cause justify the bloody slaughter of innocent bystanders and children?

The reminder that life is a precious gift. I go numb at the thought of what I would do if my son became the victim of a terror attack.

The lamentable realisation that some young lives are worth more than others. The natural outpouring of grief and solidarity for the parents of the young victims of the Manchester bombing, contrasts with our shameful national indifference towards the suffering of parents in Syria where hospitals and schools are targets and whose children are slaughtered daily. Their parents’ loss is no less than ours; but our TV screens no longer entertain us with their anguish.

The recognition that the lesson from history is that tightened security measures alone have never yet brought an end to acts of terrorism. They need to be matched by political initiatives to eradicate the misguided sense of injustice which provides the breeding ground for such misguided, heinous and criminal acts.

My thoughts remain entangled. A meal out in London is no longer the pleasure or treat that it once had been….