What a rum old week it has been.
Whilst reeling from the horrors of the earthquake in China, there was then the tragedy of the plane accident between Poland and Russia. Here in the UK, we witnessed the first-ever televised debate between the main political leaders - my partner's polling card arrived in the post today; like a true lady she will not reveal for whom she intends to vote. Suffice it to say that her cross will appear beside the candidate whom I have instructed her to support. Oh yes.
And do not think that it has escaped me that this week marked the 98th anniversary of the loss of the R.M.S. Titanic, God rest her, and those lost with her.
Not only that, however. Oh no. For the past three days, ALL flights in the UK have been grounded, due to a massive ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano spreading throughout our airspace and across Europe.
Some have been speculating that we may be witnessing the "End of Days". I don't believe so - and I shall tell you for why. Firstly, I haven't yet completed my little part-work "The Evolution of Jasper". Secondly, I absolutely refuse to go without a last roast-beef dinner - and my partner hasn't got any beef in the fridge or freezer. So, clearly, there is nothing to fear on the apocalypse front.
And I welcome this volcanic eruption. Yes I do. Seriously - I welcome it. Somewhat ironically, our breathing air has not been cleaner and sweeter for decades. It is a sheer, utter, blissful joy to look up into the sky and not see any polluting vapour-trails from passing aircraft. Amidst the quiet countryside, during my walks, the birdsong and gentle breeze sound pure, strong and exquisite without the usual accompaniment of overhead jet-engines. I can only wish that those in power would bestow on the world at least a week like this each year. Just one week - so that nature can sound wholly as it should (apart from the cars and sounds of industry, obviously...).
Humans - and indeed mammals of all kinds, including dogs - are NOT intended to fly. They have not wings. Were such appendages necessary, we would have evolved with them. Yes. Outside of humanitarian or mammalarian crises, when all must rush to assist one's fellows, flight is not necessary. We each have enough culture and interest in our own countries to negate the need for leisure travel elsewhere - and now the proliferation of webcams, and the internet generally, can help to educate us about other ways and cultures around the globe. There should be no excuse for ignorance. My partner has an I.Q. of 159 (a somewhat meagre score, when compared with my own. No matter.) and yet she has flown in an aeroplane precisely four times (and on one of those times the plane met with an unfortunate incident, putting her off the idea of ever hazarding my life by exposing me to overseas travel) and can intelligently appreciate and remark upon other cultures, races and religions.
And I'm not entirely convinced that the UK Government hasn't invented a fictitious volcano, in order to put the country on "lock-down" so that everyone gets SO bored that they start to find the pre-general election wranglings interesting and become inspired to actually vote for their next leader. Stranger things have happened...
Enough of this diatribe. I'll be back soon with willie jokes and sniping about my acquaintances. Plus the next part of "The Evolution of Jasper". See?! There's always something to live for...!