FATE STEPS IN FOR TANYA
By JANE GARDNER
WHEN news about the London attacks broke, Ray and Gayle Collyer spent three nerve-racking hours trying to discover if daughter Tanya was alive.
Jammed phonelines prevented the Wardell couple from getting through to their daughter in London.
Tanya takes the tube every morning to her job as a chef in Russell Square in the city's central district.
Her route to work is on the same underground line where 21 commuters died in one of the train bombings and she disembarks close to where a bus exploded at Tavistock Place almost an hour later.
Fortunately, Tanya had received a call from her boss who said she didn't have to work and was happily sleeping in when the bombs went off.
"I've spent a lot of time thinking about it ? the what-ifs," Tanya said.
"It could have been me if that job didn't get cancelled, so I feel very lucky and it's almost like someone was looking out for me."
When Tanya finally managed to get through to her parents, they pleaded with her to return home.
"The first thing I said was that it's time to come home now," said Tanya's mother Gayle.
"But then I realised she's got to live her life, otherwise the terrorists would win."
Tanya, who moved to England two years ago, said the people of London were walking around in a daze, struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
"There is a very sombre feeling in London tonight, it's very calm and strange ? almost eerie.
"The thing is, everyone expected this to happen, it was just a matter of when and how.
"I knew it would happen on the tubes, and it's no coincidence that it's come just after the announcement of the Olympics and during the G8 and the World War II anniversary horse guard parade."
Tanya spent the day at her nearest electrical store to watch the events unfold on British television news.
On her way she saw people crying in the streets, the visible effects of an entire city in shock.
"There's no real other emotion, only sadness, there's no anger and it's strangely quiet," she said.
"We need to stick together and we will beat them, and if they want our freedom, we're not going to give it to them.
"We've got to fight it and people will get back up and unite against the terrorists."
Tanya Collyer and her parents will be reunited in Australia in December.