Sunday, April 25, 2010

You went *how* far for *how* long?

I wonder if the ash cloud business will prove to be one of those quietly pivotal moments. Suddenly we're hit by the dismaying realisation that we have built a world where closing a few airports for less than a week means the economy all but seizes up. I've heard of schools with 17 teachers who were unable to get back into the country. And this isn't even the main holiday period of the year. It's as if the music stopped suddenly in the middle of a holiday and you got a unique opportunity to see how far away so many people had gone for such a short time. Before cheap, easily booked air travel nobody would have considered travelling to certain destinations at all and certainly would have had difficulty understanding the idea of taking a five-day holiday a thousand miles away. Maybe we'll start thinking about it now.


  1. Nipping to Hamburg or Oslo for the weekend is the equivalent of our parents going to the top of the street for a pint of milk.

  2. Have to disagree slightly (well, a lot!) here, David. Not meaning you particularly but I can't help noticing that the people who are most critical of the supposedly planet- destroying package-touring hoi-polloi are people who have themselves clocked up a whopping number of frequent flyer points. Yes, that means you George Monbiot. And you Prince Charles, while we're at it...

    Oh, and Trudi Styler.

    There's also a Southern aspect to this, I feel. It's probably preferable to nip across the channel by ferry or Eurostar if you live in the South East. For many of the rest of us however, flying is by far the most feasible option for reasons of cost, convenience and speed. Not inclined to wring my hands over that, to be honest, despite Rowan Williams best efforts.

  3. Certainly I'll be thinking about leaving more space on either side of travel. Though I had left 3 days this time and it was not enough.