Don't we live in interesting times! In the Chinese curse sense of the words, of course.
Iceland seems surprisingly unaffected by the dramatic turn of events of recent days, and although I can't help worrying that matters may get much worse there, Icelanders themselves seem very laid back about life on an island with a very active volcano.
We, meanwhile, are almost relishing the break from media-manufactured election fever that the unpronounceably-named volcano has offered us. Television reporters drone on about empty airports and grounded planes. Awful tales of planes flying through ash clouds and losing all four engines are repeated at frequent intervals to help keep would-be travellers' frayed tempers under control. Lots of folk are stranded abroad, and for anyone trapped in an airport, that is seriously soul-destroying, and we must sympathise.
I haven't noticed many people sparing a thought for the Icelanders though. So careless of them to let all that toxic ash float into our air space! And they have another, bigger volcano that might erupt too! How thoughtless of them!
Are we really so self-obsessed and insular in our way of thinking?
I've had calls from two strandees (yes, I just made that word up). My sister Anne and brother-in-law John are stuck in Tenerife, on a cruise ship where Anne got so badly flea-bitten in the first cabin they were allocated that she had to see the ship's doctor. She described her bites as huge boils. Well, she is a drama teacher.... Their week's cruise was marred by very wet weather, with Madeira especially torrential. They can't wait to get home.
Friend Annie and her husband are stuck too, in Palma, Majorca, but in a very nice hotel, with friendly staff and a helpful rep. The weather is beautiful. Annie is making the most of her extended shopping opportunity, but clearly feels that this is an emergency situation - she could have been a drama teacher too - commenting in her phone call to me "It's like the war!"
I had to think about that one for a while. If our skies remain plane-free, and Eurostar continues to be fully booked for an extended period - or worse, if the Other Volcano decides to go off as well - can we expect the launch of a flotilla of small boats from England to Dunkirk to bring home the trapped and the stranded? Just a thought.
But planes do bring more than holidaymakers to our precious non-volcanic island. Just in case, I went down to the allotment today and made a (very late) start. So far, in the event of food shortages, I could be self-sufficient - in rhubarb and chives. Damn those Icelanders!