Monday, April 19, 2010

All quiet on the western front

It's soooooooooooooooooooooo peaceful here, apart from the 4 children (1 is mine) in the garden next door charging about on bikes and cars, my son and his maths teacher at the dining table and the cleaner hoovering upstairs (ooh yeah! I gotta new cleaner!) and the lawnmower in a garden somewhere nearby...but other than that it's quiet and peaceful, I can hear the birds singing in the garden, how wonderful.

You might think there is nothing unusual about such tranquility but you'd be wrong, you see we live under the flight path to Düsseldorf airport and normally from 6.30am to 10pm there are planes overhead on their landing approach (unless of course the wind is in the other direction in which case they take off over us) either way, there are always planes in the sky. ALWAYS.

So the last 5 days have been weird. We bought this house in full knowledge of the airport, in fact the proximity of the airport is one of the reasons for choosing the house, Simon flies, a lot, most weeks he's airbourne en route somewhere, and so to live somewhere only a 20-30 minute drive from the airport is a good idea, he lands, and half an hour later he's home, perfect. So we've never complained about the noise of the planes, we chose to live here afterall, but if this ash cloud continues I might just get used to the reduction in the noise pollution!

It is all very worrying though, just when we thought the financial crisis was drawing to a close and things were starting to look up we get another crisis courtesy of Iceland, as someone on Twitter tweeted at the weekend; "can't they spell? we said; 'send cash' "

On a personal level (noise aside) we're not really effected - although I could do without the ash making my car dirty (Simon's in Germany all week and although he should have flown between Hannover and Munich, he at least has the option to drive) but I know of friends who should have been in India for work and others who got stuck on the wrong side of the channel for the weekend and others who face a very long drive instead of a quick flight. It's amazing how the world suddenly shrinks isn't it?

It's wrong for me to trivialise this ash chaos that has descended, there will be many paying the cost for this act of nature from the obvious airlines and airports and passengers to the fruit and vegetable growers in Africa whose crops lie rotting in the sun instead of basking in the artificial light of Sainsburys. But I do enjoy the quiet - ironic that as I type that plane should go over, apparently German airspace has been opened to a few flights to enable people to get to where they should be.

It better be fixed and everything back to normal by next week though - I've got a girlie weekend to get to...

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