It’s hard to know what to make of the current situation particularly as I’ve not been affected by it in any way. In fact, I’m watching it with detached interest. As someone who’s previously worked in the reinsurance industry, this type of disaster, low probability/high impact, is fascinating. I’m sure most actuaries would agree with me.
The Eyjafjallajokull volcano last erupted in 1821 and its outpourings lasted for over a year. Clearly, with the airline industry losing hundreds of millions of £/$/Euros per day, this won’t be sustainable for long. As an aside, I’m not sure that I’d appreciate having my beloved home, and demanding to be fed at regular intervals, for over a year. For the sake of my sanity, and the sanity of other women whose husbands travel as frequently as mine, it is to be hoped that a safe solution is found sooner rather than later.
Of course, the news has been full of tales of intrepid travellers who have ingeniously managed to get back to Blighty. Indeed, a colleague of my beloved needed to get back to the UK from Munich last Thursday evening lest he miss out on his week end birthday celebrations. He took a train to Calais where he found that the only places left on the ferry were those reserved for cyclists. Undaunted, he acquired a bicycle from a local bike shop which he then rode (as required by regulations) onto the ferry. Apparantly, he was not the only businessman who resorted to this ruse.
Professional cyclists, used to hopping onto planes with the same alacrity with which they climb into the saddle, have also had to use their initiative to reach races. The Spanish contingent, including Valverde and Contador, drove over 2,000km to Belgium in time for tomorrow’s Fleche Wallonne. Andre Greipel took 36 hours to get back home to Germany after spending fewer hours racing to 5 stage wins in the Tour of Turkey. Others, particularly if they didn’t fare as well as their Directeur Sportif might have hoped, may still be wending their weary way home.