The volcanic ash from Grimsvoten, Iceland, that descended on us, is sticking like a limpet to any surface it has landed on. This morning, I spent time rinsing the car, it was absolutely no use. That stuff does not come off with water alone. No wonder rain was not much assistance. The car windows and the windscreen were in need of special attention.

The volanic ash is abrasive: I have no desire to etch the car windows with doodles from attempted cleaning.

The car roof was equally as resistant to the clearing of volcanic ash: I lifted a layer of ash with a soft tissue napkin. Where it lifted, another skimming of ash has descended. Everywhere else, the dust has increased in density.

The car windscreen responded to a soft tissue napkin quite well, till the next ash coating formed. If this is what I am finding, likewise my neighbours, I can only think that an aircraft would be subject to a greater deluge of the stuff. There had better be an international inspection of remote flying controls. On board visibility could become severely restricted.

O’Leary’s ex-sidekick, Walsh, has had an aircraft flying on behalf of British Airways and Iberia. We do not know what type of aircraft, or other essential data about the flight. After giving out a load of science-speak, which he knows the majority of journalists and media groups would not be able to question knowledgeably, nor would a large proportion of the general public, we are left with less understanding than before. We do know that there are gaps in Walsh’s report as it stands and that there are vested financial interests to keep going at any cost. What we do not know, because we are not scientific specialists, is what all those gaps in the report are. It should not be forgotten that the UK sits in a small space by comparison to other continents, and there are fewer ways to get round any ash clouds.

As this is the second eruption in a year to affect Northern Europe, one useful aspect of all the posturing, is that research into the affects of volcanic ash is now being given a higher profile.

Air space in Northern Germany has been affected today, planes in the area affected are grounded. No-one is doing this for perverse fun. Thank heavens, I say, for a far-reaching aviation safety inspectorate. If it’s good enough for the American President to re-arrange his travel itinerary around the volcanic ash cloud, it is certainly appropriate for everyone else to have to do the same.

I trust to my eyes and in addition my throat. I can see and feel what the ash is doing. In simple every day language, the volcanic ash sticks and is very difficult to remove without abrading the surfaces it sticks to. That says quite a bit in my book. :-/

The silver lining in the ash cloud is that it should provide a boost to agricultural and small growers by improving their soil no end. 💡



  1. Extraordinary stuff. Reminds me a bit of the harmattan – covered everything with dust and hung in the air for weeks. No way of getting rid of it. Sometimes we just have to respect what nature is doing and adapt ourselves. We may even (heaven forfend!) have to postpone something or find something else to do.

    However, if it had started a bit earlier then we might have found ourselves stuck in Italy … now there would have been a silver lining.

  2. Interesting too, that although Ryanair claim to have flown a plane in the dust cloud to see if it was OK, the air traffic control radar showed they went nowhere near the ash. Porky pies, it would seem.

  3. Last year, with the other Volcanic ash cloud, our immediate neighbours were forced to stay put in Malta on their package deal, for an extra five days. They made use of the enforced extra luxury of rest and warmth, by visiting places they had not originally put on their agenda.


  4. What’s new ….O’Leary is a past master at disingenuity. So far, the press have managed to pick to pieces all his statements and latest posturing. How many people will be aware of it, hear it, or even care. They should care about themselves, even if O’Leary doesn’t care about anything but his own personal requirements.

  5. I reckon Ryanair lost a mint last time and this is a panic reaction. Interesting post and even this far down south I think we will get some residue if it rains in the next few days.

  6. Ironically speaking………

    The neighbours were bouncing with vitality when they returned. The green eyed monster, from my side of the wall eyed them and put on a smile. So be it.

  7. Thanks for your comment Mick.

    Ryanair and all other airlines were affected last time. As usual, O’Leary makes the biggest noise without any substance to his claims, except personal and business economic ones. All the airlines shared the latter.

    Gillyk mentioned the harmattan in one of her thoughts about the ash cloud. It’s worth looking at Wiki about this. Airspace is similarly closed down when it occurs, the affects of the volcanic ash is therefore, not exclusive to air travel disruption. I don’t think O’Leary’s operation travels that far, so he wouldn’t care a hoot about the harmattan or its affects. Other airlines do travel worldwide and have space to work round the harmattan, or they have to avoid it altogether.

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