Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ash Tuesday

I've had a new idea, which is that I am going to post on here once a day - this is not going to happen, but i am going to try and write something for posting as often as i am able, which is quite often at the moment. This is inspired by hearing that when you run a blog - although I more walk a blog, or possibly shuffle along a blog - it is quantity not quality that's important, a sad indictment on the world in which we live, I guess, and a very typical indictment as well.

Anyway, for my first of no doubt millions of somewhat ropey but definitely existant blog posts I wish to mildly mention the absence of planes from English skies due to the eruption of a volcano in Iceland with a name so mental it sounds like the sort of thing an alien would jibber at you after snorting far too much ketamine. Thanks to this force of nature there has been not a single contrail to mar a beautiful succession of azure skies for the last week; a curious impression that perhaps it's a bit quieter round here lately; a lessening of the global CO2 whatsit for a bit; the warm glow that comes from the likes of Mr Ryanair getting a jetplane up the backside; and the smug satisfaction that comes of being too skint to fly anywhere this easter and not getting stuck in some holiday idyll with no money and having to sleep on the beach.

There are apparently millions of people stuck on easter holidays that they don't want to be on anymore, easter having long past, and the Royal Navy are being called in to go and collect them; Dan Snow, who - I can safely say, having once subbed an interview with him and his dad - is a bit of a twat, has tried and failed to "rescue" people from the dungeons of Calais, sort of like the Scarlet Pimpernel, except not; schools are shorn of their teachers and their pupils; complete peace and quiet for the residents of far West London and similarly unbenighted places; and impending doom for airlines, oh the horror

It is difficult to have sympathy for the people stuck on holiday, although no doubt there are people conversely stuck not on holiday, and also people from nice places stuck on holiday in Britain, although you haven't heard much about them in the news. But the people on holiday, well no doubt it is awful having to stay for three weeks on Tenerife when you were getting tired of it on the fifth day, but they rather remind me of that vision of hell - which the briefest of googling has informed me is likely to be Dante's - where the gluttons have to eat cake all day, even as they puke it up, and the cokeheads have to snort coke even though their noses are bleeding profusely, and the holidaymakers have to stay making holidays even though if they get anymore sunburnt they're going to become radioactive, and anyway they spent all their money on presents on the way to the airport and now they're eking out an existence living on stale bread that the shoddy restaurants on the strip chuck out at the end of the day, and making friends with the tramps that they told the police to remove in those halycon days before the planes were grounded.

In other developments the International Air Traffic Association called for a better response, which everybody ignored (ba-dum!), and plane companies claimed that they could have flown in the ash cloud anyway what the hell was the problem you idiots, and even the officials who grounded all the flights said perhaps they shouldn't have, which makes the whole thing even funnier than it was in the first place, just as a new belch of ash from the Eijeeiufkjnfakjnfliua volcano threatens to smother Europe again.

I'm off out now to enjoy the beautiful clear skies and even possibly take a photo over London, to show my grandchildren I guess, and I hope everyone takes note of the important lesson here, which is that it is possible after all for environmental protest to stop aviation, as long as it's well targeted, media savvy and takes advantage of prevailing circumstances.

late extra: I did actually go out, although without a camera cos it was getting cloudy anyway, and I distinctly saw several planes flying north-west above London, contrails like knife scars across the sky, and this despite the news saying that Southern England airspace is not open until tomorrow. So make of that what you want. I smell conspiracy. And kerosene.