Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why, oh why...

... didn't I have the foresight to book myself a holiday for this Easter break?

Just a subliminal blip or two sent back from the near future would have been enough to encourage me to make the necessary arrangements. I guess it's a game you play: the holiday lottery. The jackpot? Being able to phone work and say something like "I'm so sorry I can't come in! I'm trapped on this hideously beautiful beach because there are no planes going back to the UK and I'm just not a strong enough swimmer for the alternative: I tried, honestly I tried, but I had to turn back." before adjusting your sunglasses and signalling to the waiter that you'd feel most comfortable with an extra strawberry daiquiri for the other hand as well, just for medicinal purposes you understand, in order to drown your more immediate sorrows about not being able to leave this island paradise and instead having to stay right here and have sunblock massaged into your shoulders by gorgeous people.

As far as natural disasters go, this has to be one of the best: Whilst a few hundred people have been evacuated from the area, Eyjafjallajoekull*'s eruption doesn't appear to be putting anyone in any real danger. Many, many people have been inconvenienced by the situation, but when life gives you lemons shouldn't you just have a go at making a soufflé?

Volcanoes and such things fall into the category of 'Things I Find Really Interesting,' and I've found this nifty graphic that explains a little of the geography (and geology) of the area. I lifted it from this page on the BBC news website which has some interesting information about Iceland and its volcanoes. It's worth having a read if you're at all interested in things like how this planet works and why it does what it does. I remember studying the 1973 Heimaey eruption in my geography lessons at school: it was one of the few aspects of the subject that managed to grip me in any way.

There's some interesting and impressive footage of the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption in the video embedded below. It helps to get some idea of the scale of what's going on; some of it just looks unreal!

* It seems to be pronounced something like "Ay - yeff - ell - oke", with the stress on the first syllable. But don't quote me on this.