I was running along a small canal down towards the Thames at Shadwell when I noticed a group of mixed race and mixed sex 12 year olds hanging around an overpass above me. I saw one of the kids (in a Chelsea shirt incidentally) pick something up and then a stone wizzed past my head.
This was some kind of mystic signal because, at that moment, about a dozen kids started throwing stones at me. It was like running through a hail of sharp stones. I was worried about my head as some came very close. Because it was an overpass, there was no way up to the kids, and as I was in a deep valley of bricks and canal there was no way out. So I did what any human would have done: I ran, really fast, faster than I ever thought I could still do. The kids ran along parallel to me on the other side of the canal, but above me, still chucking stones. Running and throwing made their shots inaccurate, and believe it or not, they could not keep up. So they finally scarpered.
I turned off and up to the main road which had just had the last marathon runners along it, and the big rubbish clear up was beginning. Police were everywhere. I calmed down, slowed down and cantered home. I felt vulnerable, and angry but also lucky that there was no damage apart from a sore thigh muscle unused to sudden acceleration.
What did I learn: dangers come in every shape and size. And the power of numbers and the power of mass hysteria is a wonder and a worry. I imagined being a blogger incurring the wrath of the blogocracy. One stone, then a hail. What to do: run!