Thursday 15th April

Awoke this morning to the slightly unnerving news that a gigantic plume of volcanic ash was headed in our direction.  

The Eyjafjallajokull volcano apparently erupted in Iceland and British airspace was closing due to the fact that a plane, if caught in an ash cloud, was in danger of its engines cutting out. At around 30,000 feet, with no engines a Boeing 747 would be, as they say, in a spot of bovver. 

The teenager, Annabelle and I sat, spoons frozen halfway to our mouths, watching the drama unfold and wondering if anybody in Iceland had been injured or killed. The BBC’s roving correspondents were in the thick of the action, interviewing stranded passengers at the major airports.

The stranded passengers must have been strategically shielded from news of these historic and potentially catastrophic events to prevent panic as when interviewed they appeared to be genuinely miffed that the airline, to whom they had paid good money for their ticket, was swindling them out of their in flight meal and causing irreparable inconvenience to their travel plans.  

Unsure whether to panic, I took my lead from the obstinately upbeat television presenters, forgot all about it and went to Tescos in search of an iCarly remote control for Annabelle’s imminent birthday.

Stood helplessly in the children’s toy aisle wondering why I hadn’t had the presence of mind to ask Annabelle for a list of what she actually wanted.

I remember the halcyon days of the ‘under 5’s’ when I could buy her any old rubbish as long as it had a picture of Upsy Daisy on it. These days she would give Carrie Bradshaw et al a run for their money in terms of up to the minute intelligence on what is currently trending in the global market. 

Pulling a brave Sir Robin, I decided to live to fight another day and return armed with a cunningly researched list of what she actually wants. I’m not expecting that this will be much of a challenge as the only time my kids open their mouths is to complain or to ask for something.

All that’s needed is to switch on Cartoon Network and wait for the first advert break.

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