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Posts Tagged ‘Ash’

Returning holidaymakers relate horror of getting stranded in sunny, exotic, foreign climes

In News on April 21, 2010 at 09:46

Passengers arriving at Heathrow airport have described their relief at finally arriving home, after finding themselves marooned in a variety of sunny and exotic foreign destinations.

All airports in the UK  have been closed since the end of last week, because of volcanic ash clouds from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland, which left hundreds of holidaymakers stranded abroad.  The first planes back began arriving back into the UK last night, with passengers keen to spell out the horror of their experience.

A British holidaymaker in abject misery

“We’ve been stuck in Bali for almost two weeks now, because of the volcanic ash” said Adrian Watson, 36 from Surrey at Heathrow’s Terminal 5.  “I mean, look at the state of me.  I’m so relaxed I don’t know what to do with myself. and with nothing else to do and have done nothing over the last few days other than lying on a sunkissed beach for up to seven hours each day – sometimes more.”

“My skin has turned precisely the kind of exotic shade of brown which evokes a deep mahogany, and I’ve been force-fed a seemingly endless diet of fresh seafood and cocktails.  It’s been unbearable.”

Adrian’s wife, Sheila, was moved to tears by her ordeal, and could only say: “It’s just so good to be back home.  Sometimes the sun was so hot that we would be forced into feeding ourselves ice-cream just to cool down.  If I have to look at another Cornetto, then I just don’t know what I’ll do.”

But it hasn’t just been the soaring temperatures and laid-back beach-bum lifestyle which has inconvenienced British holidaymakers forced to extend their stay.  Passengers arriving from locations all over the world been forced to endure a series of cultural differences which have made their enforced stay impossible.

“I went out looking for a good, English fry-up,” said Frank Dobson, 43, from Southwark, who had been stranded in New York since Thursday.  “Do you think I could find one?  No I could not.  Instead they kept offering me eggs ‘sunny side up’ – whatever that is – with hash browns and waffles.

“I swear, the first thing I did when I got off the plane was to run into the Garfunkels at the terminal, and get myself a full English with a nice cup of tea.

“Is it my fault these people live like savages?” he concluded.  “It’s so good to be home, and away from those freaks.”

Trains cancelled due to ‘wrong kind of volcanic ash’ on the line

In News on April 19, 2010 at 10:46

Rail services the length and breadth of the country have been severely disrupted after reports of “the wrong kind of volcanic ash” covering train tracks.

Services run by Virgin Trains, East Midland Railways, and National Express have all ground to a halt after the discovery of the ash, which had originated from the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull.

As a result of the volcanic eruption, rail customers nationwide have joined those abroad who found themselves stranded in their current destination.

The wrong sort

“If it’s a good enough excuse for the airlines, then it’s good enough for us,” said Bernie Southall, 54, a train driver from Stafford, as he sat out in his back garden in a deck chair, lamenting the news.  “Look, the thing is that our trains are all finely tuned machines, and they can only work at their optimum level when conditions are perfect.

“I mean, if it had been Norwegian volcanic ash, or even volcanic ash from Russia, then it wouldn’t have been a problem.  But this Icelandic stuff can be pretty tricky.

“Instead, we’ll have to just grin and bear it, and get on with the gruelling business of sitting outside and enjoying the warm Spring sunshine while everyone else is trying to get to places they need to be.  Oh well.  Fancy a beer?”

Melanie Jones, 29, from Norfolk, has been stranded just outside Leamington Spa since Saturday night, and added her voice to the chorus of disapproving voices.  “Listen, we just about bought it when they told us about the ‘wrong kind of leaves’ and then the ‘wrong kind of snow’ on the tracks  – but this is just a p*ss-take, isn’t it?

“What’s next?  Are they going to stay at home whenever it’s a bit rainy, or there’s something good on the telly?  I think we should be told.”

Meanwhile, union leaders have denied that their members are trying to find ways to cause more natural events in an attempt to gte more days off work.

“Rumours that we’ve sent three of our members to begin an evening class in vulcanology are only half-true,” said Phil Hedges from train drivers union ASLEF.  “Yes, we do have some guys taking the course, but there’s no sinister motive – they’ve always been interested in the subject.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with our drivers looking for more reasons to avoid doing any sort of work.  What’s more, if you suggest that again, we’ll strike.”