What A Wonderful World....

....... for some of us! I guess it's the same throughout Europe, but the main concern for people over here right now is friends and family stranded by the volcanic ash. We have local friends who can't get back from the UK, and friends who have family with them who can't get back to the UK. Our own youngest daughter is wondering how on earth and when she will get back to the UK from Gambia after attending a friend;s weding there last week. Tonight I was watching BBC news on satellite and was struck by the heroic efforts made by so many people to get to Calais from quite unbelievable distances - Singapore being the most distant origin.
But something else struck me powerfully; something first raised by my brother last year when we all rushed to France to be with our youngest brother when he died after a terribly short illness. "What would our parents have thought about the fact that we just came to France at a moment's notice!" What for that matter, would they have thought of the fact that Pete had retired to France and that I and my wife had retired to Spain!
In their lifetime a holiday wa something which you took for one or two weeks in July or August each year, and that in the British Isles. The popular mode of transport was the train, and I still remember the vast crowds thronging the platform at Manchester's Exchange Station, waiting for the train to North Wales or the Lake District. Now we jet away for Easter, Christmas or New Year, a summer holiday, maybe even a city break or two.
And travellers arriving in Calais today were talking of the financial cost of getting there - often €2000 or more. OK, it's probably on a credit card and will take some time to pay off, but the line of credit was instantly there.
Despite the disruption caused by the closure of European airspace, it really is a wonderful world for the citizens of the developed world.

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