23 Apr 10 7 Comments

The ash from the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland has had a very personal knock-on effect on our household.

Connor, my son, was supposed to fly to England to return to school after his Easter break and his flights were one of the many cancelled. The Saratoga was parked in England so we couldn’t transport him underneath the cloud and so we decided to wait it out until commercial aviation was back to normal. Unbelievably, he is still here because we’ve been unable to come to a resolution with Thomson’s (TUI) who seem to believe that it is not their responsibility to provide him with a new flight.

You can read about it on BBC News: Volcano ash: Airlines dispute passenger rights. As quoted in the article, TUI are telling us we should accept a refund and purchase a new flight at the current extravagant prices. Meanwhile, Connor is missing important revision for his GCSEs which he’ll be taking in just a few weeks.

I’ve learned a lot about home schooling in the past week, primarily that I never wish to consider home-schooling as a full-time option. I’m pretty sure Connor agrees.

Anyway, while I bone up on my GCSE-level poetry analysis and pretend that I understand the chemistry questions, you can find out more about the effects of the volcano eruption on these great sites.

The Big Picture has a collection of breath-taking photographs and Sulako posted video of the volcano taken from a local flight on Monday.

An amusing and educational video on YouTube attempts to help news reporters in their attempts to name of the volcano. In a similar vein, the New York Times has a fun article asking random subway users to attempt to pronounce it.

Aviatrix writes about the nitty gritty volcanic ash and why it is a risk and Matthew Stibbe takes a look at flying through an ash cloud.

For General Aviation, there were positive aspects to the closures. Plastic Pilot asks whether This cloud is THE opportunity VFR pilots are waiting for, Max Trescott points out that Volcanic Ash Clouds Present Unprecedented Opportunity for General Aviation Pilots and Runway Repairs and Aluwings has photographs of Touch and Goes at Zurich.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to practise my French verb conjugations.

Category: Fun Stuff,


  • Remember when we met at the Giraffe? My hostess for that week and her son were on vacation in South Africa when the ash occurred. She was stuck for a few days–originally rescheduled for THREE WEEKs later, but she got on a last-minute flight when Lufthansa called her and said, “Can you be at the airport in two hours?”

    As to pronouncing the thing… yikes.

    Good luck with the home schooling. I don’t know what GCSE means, but it sounds scary.

  • Ouch. Glad she’s made it back. Connor’s booked onto a flight this evening so finger’s crossed, my studying time is over!

    (General Certificate of Secondary Education and he gets examined in each subject and they effect what he can study from here on out. Very scary!)

  • Hehe, Julien. Great link. And it even knows that the future of pourvoir isn’t je pourverrai — which is more than I can say for several French teachers I’ve had. :)

  • I noticed that some French tenses are still taught in French as a foreign language classes but no longer taught in France because they are considered archaic. This is the case with “passé simple” (simple past). Which is kind of sad since French 19th and early 20th century literature uses that tense quite a lot. You can’t read Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary” without it.

    Connor could try so use the following sentence in his GCSE exams “Vous fîtes ce que vous pûtes et vous m’épatâtes”, it’s a classic double-entendre based on irregular verbs and passé simple.

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