Sunday, 18 April 2010

Fallout from Icelandic volcano

It really is quite extraordinary. I live midway between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports therefore aeroplanes in the skies above are not exactly a rare sight. But they have been for the past three days. Not so much rare as non-existent. And with sunny days and cloudless skies, there has been no escaping the fact. No planes means no vapour trails. It's eerie I tell you, really eerie, and surprisingly peaceful. Why has this happened? All aeroplanes in UK airports have been grounded because of the danger from the cloud of ash drifting over Britain and other parts of Europe from the volcano which is still erupting in Iceland.

Of course, with all those particles in the air, it makes for some colourful sunsets so, yesterday evening, I popped up to Epsom Downs, the highest spot for miles around, and took this photo on the little road which runs across the course. The grandstand is on the right and the sun is setting over Surrey, looking towards Stoke d'Abernon and Cobham.

For two mornings, the fallout of ash has been evident as a thin film of dust, noticeable on cars left out overnight. The air yesterday was not at all pleasant. After taking a walk into town, I developed a tickle at the back of my throat. The air seem cleaner today so perhaps the prevailing wind has changed. But there are still no planes in the sky, and there are unlikely to be for the rest of today.


  1. I used to live just along the road from this view - nice memories, thank you for posting it.

  2. Hello Chris,

    Did you ever go up on the Downs on New Year's Eve? The view over London is incredible and I understand it's a bit like Clapham Junction up there at midnight for the new year fireworks.

    By the way, good luck with 'Turning the Tide' when it's published in June.

  3. The pictures and news about the volcanic ash is really quite startling. The silence in the sky is quite eerie, isn't it?