Saturday, 17 April 2010

Damn volcano

My favourite headline from the last couple of days is one from yesterday's Daily Express:  "Britain is Shut to the World".  To me, it ranks up there with a classic from The Times "Fog in Channel.  Europe Isolated" (apparently published on 22nd October 1957 according to a quick search).  Neither are true, of course.

The eruption of the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano has thrown a huge spanner in many people's plans for the weekend:  three people from Site have had their holidays cancelled.  My Dutch colleagues can't get home.  My client's French staff can't go home.  And my brother-in-law is marooned in Dusseldorf. 

When it all kicked off on Thursday morning, it didn't occur to me that BIL would be affected.  Surely the ash cloud would dissipate by mid-afternoon, or get washed out of the sky (this is Britain after all.  It rains almost daily).  But no.  By the time I got back to my hotel on Thursday evening, having sat in an office full of Dutchmen and Frenchmen all day, I knew that all the ferries were booked out and Eurostar was probably fully booked, too.  (One of my colleagues even contemplated driving the 750km home to Rotterdam, but couldn't secure a ticket on le Shuttle. )  I could only hope that BIL had managed to secure the Eurostar tickets we'd talked about on the phone on Thursday afternoon.

Sadly, he hadn't.  And flights haven't resumed.  Slowly, my plans for this weekend went up the Swannee.  Since we're currently living in our bedroom and the kitchen, BIL couldn't stay with us, but we'd planned to spend all day today with him.  The plan was to go to Portsmouth and tour the Royal Dockyard, hopefully getting there in time to secure a boat trip in the harbour this afternoon.

It's a bloody great shame.  I was really looking forward to catching up with BIL.  He's a lovely guy and we don't see him that often.  We probably won't see him at all now - they've booked him a backup flight direct from Germany to Australia, for when flying resumes in Germany.  He's holding out hope that if the flight to London goes first, he'll come here instead, but he's risking getting stuck here instead of having a guaranteed flight home.

Yah-boo-sucks you damn volcano!

- Pam (shaking an impotent fist at a clear-looking sky)

1 comment:

amy said...

I've very grateful my husband was in Belgium a couple of weeks ago, and he's in Australia now. (I mean, I'd rather he were home, I've about had it, but you know what I mean!) If he were in Belgium, he'd be stuck, and I'd descend into madness and despair. Because I've about had it! But he gets to fly over the Pacific, thank goodness, and barring any other freaky natural disasters...

But basically the news is showing an awful lot of people who are stranded and very, very angry. At what, I wonder? It's useless to be angry at the volcano, and do they really want to fly through it and risk their lives? I hope you do get a chance to see your BIL, but best of all that he's safe!