Thursday 22 April 2010

Arising from the Ashes 2010

It is hard to believe that it was seven days ago, on a Thursday morning, that I was on a train to London with the first reverberations of the Icelandic volcanic eruption and its cloud of ash.

Would visiting Celloon CEO Mirko Kisser actually arrive in the UK on a flight fom Berlin? My arrival in London was matched with the confirmation of his landing.

Then the ash shut down the airspace.

To us, the sun shone in a clear blue sky.

Yet the invisible ash shut down airspace with a finality that was to last for nearly a week.

In a semblance of normality, Mirko's meetings went well with several positive connections made. Then his flight too was affected and uncertainty prevailed.

Mark had had a successful Grundtvig program with delegates from 12 different countries across Europe. When it ended on Friday, here too the ash held sway. For one night, Fitzwilliam College generously helped out by allowing a further nights stay for a tenner each. Then some began their individual adventurous journeys to find their way home.

Five others were offered a haven in Mark's house as the uncertainty continued.

On Tuesday, stranded Irma Jona from Iceland came with Mark for our Cambridge admin meeting.The car, cleaned in the morning, had a thin almost invisible layer of ash by the end of the day - carefully collected for future microscope viewing!
And the sun shone in a blue sky whilst the invisible ash still kept planes from flying.

Suddenly, yesterday - Wednesday, six days after the flight ban started, the airspace sprang into life again. Mirko escaped back to Germany in the morning and soon Marks house would be empty too.

The sun shone in a blue sky and planes were flying.

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