Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Every cloud does not have a silver lining…

…especially the one spewing out of the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano (surely a name conjured up by a cruel news editor to challenge Alastair Burnet and company). The chaos caused by this unprecedented event has left over 150,000 Britons stranded abroad, three of whom happen to be my wife and children.

As pissed off as I am (and I am) there is no one to complain about, no one to complain to. Their safety has to come first and while there is any risk at all it is only right that they stay where they are. This makes it even harder, because without anyone or anything to rant about I have no outlet for my burgeoning rage. Instead I am left pottering around my quiet, tidy house with only our wretched cat for company. I don’t even like the bloody animal, but yet it has turned into a little black shadow following me around at all times. I can’t even go for a pee without two black paws and a head appearing between my legs to check if all is in working order. Urinary personal space issues aside, a Morecombe and Wise-esque relationship seems to have developed between us. Two lonely beings co-existing in their suburban retreat; me mooching around looking for things to do, and the cat following behind to see if it can join in. I half expect a song and dance routine to start at any time, and a famous actor to pop up as a surprise guest.

When we are in the middle of our busy, stressful lives we all crave some quiet time; a little quality period of rest and reflection. Yet when you have it, by God it’s boring. Did you know for instance that we have 326 tiles in our kitchen, or that if you close your eyes really tight for a long time and rub them with your fingers you get an amazing kaleidoscopic light show of all different shapes, colours and patterns behind your eyes? No of course you didn’t know about my kitchen tiles, and I’m sure you couldn’t care less about my kaleidoscopic light show because they’re fucking pointless and you would have to be bored out of your mind to even think about it. Can you imagine how depressing it is to have a water gargling competition on your own?

My family are stranded in Dubai trying to make the most of their unexpected stay, while I muddle along here in good Old Blighty. I’m not sure who has the shittier end of the stick, although I know where I’d rather be. At least I know they are safe, and as I watch the news I am heartened by the spirit and resilience of those affected by the disruption. Whether finding their long way home or making new friends. Out of adversity has come ingenuity and isolation has come friendship.

However none of this helps me much so I’m off to kick the cat.


  1. this "crisis" has brought forth some of the Dunkirk spirit...

    hope your family get sortedsoon

  2. Glad they're all well and on the way back. However, I am concerned that the experience has mellowed you: the above is a very balanced, considered view. I trust normal service will be resumed along with your normal hectic schedule.

  3. John, thanks for your comment. Family have now arrived home safe and sound. As you can imagine, I'm very glad to have them back.

    Darrel, a balanced view yes, but I did finish by kicking the cat. Not that mellow.
    Anyway not to worry, normal service will be resumed in next post where I strangle a Heathrow security guard.

  4. Just remember all that boredom in the midst of chaotic, untidy, noisy household with unreasonable children and even more unreasonable wife!!!