For the last couple of weeks the skies of the New Planet have been closed to all incoming and outgoing craft due to a plume of ash from an erupting island you'd think was too far away to have any effect on us (apart from the banks of course).
Travellers have thus resorted to ingenious ways of returning to the home planet via trains, buses, hire cars and minivans, small craft, the Royal Navy, an extremely expensive taxi ride by one celebrity and one chap buying an old rusted car to drive across the 'continent'. Just think of the adventures that will be regaled over the Christmas roast for decades to come.
When ferries began refusing foot passengers,some clever sorts (who of course come from the New Planet) toddled off to the nearest supermarket to purchase a bike that they could then cycle triumphantly aboard. I wonder if expressive hand gestures were produced for the benefit of les bureaucrats. Most inventive and once again that good old 'Dunkirk spirit' raised its head with one intrepid historian rounding up an armada of small craft, sailing them across Le Channel, only to be stopped by French police who feared he was was planning on smuggling illegal immigrants back to Blighty. You'd think the maroon passports, the piles of dirty luggage, the tearful, exhausted children, newly acquired tans and television cameras might have been a clue that it was in fact a rescue, but non, he was allowed to rescue but a select few...mainly attractive females with taut little bodies I might add. Sacre bleu!
And now another great tradition raises its head on this small planet. Blame. Whose fault was it that hundreds of thousands of voyagers were stuck abroad on other volcanic islands, in heaving ports and deserted airports? The clamouring voices and finger pointing has begun. 'They' over-reacted, 'they' were irresponsible and ridiculously panic-stricken, cost the country and airlines millions, failed to anticipate for such eventualities and on and on, trying to find a scapegoat.
And yet I wonder what those same judgemental people would be saying had a plane been allowed to fly, become clogged with volcanic ash and crashed causing hundred of deaths. Then who would they blame? God?
This constant need to find someone to punish for an event that could never have been predicted much less controlled once it happened, is very tiresome, to me anyway. And it has certainly highlighted the reliance we now have on air travel. Let's hope then that no more 'natural events' occur that will inconvenience and disrupt our perfectly ordered little lives, but at least if we do get flooded or blown over or if our street erupts or the village green collapses or our town slides into the sea, we can then then spend the next few weeks and months finding someone to blame and hold accountable and 'demand' compensation and maybe that will make us all feel better...until the next time.
But let us not forget what lies ahead for the planet in the next month or so....and the debates and character assassinations have only just begun...