Just as I started to plan an further weekend in East Sussex and potentially Devon, I was on the first Bermuda flight to leave the UK yesterday arriving on time around 6.30pm last night. Surprisingly the flight was only two-thirds full and it was nice to have an empty seat next to me. Even more surprising was how deserted Gatwick was. I don't think I have ever checked in and walked through security so quickly.
Whether the sudden decision to open all the airports on Tuesday night caught stranded passengers out or families were happier to give it another day or so I don't know but certainly while I sat in Cafe Rouge having some lunch I made sure I watched a good number of airplanes take off and land before I made my way to the gate. However I am not a nervous flyer and didn't think any more off it as I sat and watched a couple of movies and helped myself to some BA wine.
There was a story doing the rounds this morning that a cargo jet was grounded in Belgium due to ash being found in it's engines but this was later denied
but the RAF halted training
after ash deposits were found in the engines of four aircraft. The slightest evidence that the volcanic ash still presents danger to planes' engines is not worth thinking about and I'm sure there will be many recriminations over the week-long closure of European airspace to come but hopefully the airline and travel companies will get their poor customers home before they start suing the arse off the goverment and it's regulators.
For me I actually loved my extended stay. I picked three winners (and a second) at Plumpton Races
on Monday. I've bought tickets for my parents for the last few years to the Countryside Day at the pretty national hunt course and this year I was able to join them and a big crowd saw Tony McCoy return to the course where he rode his 3,000th winner a year earlier. He eased home on 2/9 favourite Bangkok Pete in the 3.20.
It was a favourites day except for the 9/1 winner Allterrain in the 3.50, which I masterly(!) picked. Aerospace, an obvious selection that I mentioned the other day
, was grounded in second to last place in the race that McCoy won. I should have known.
Then on Tuesday I watched my son play football after school and then if being a Charlton fan isn't enough he insisted we went for a curry and a fine place it was too
Fortunately I have delegated next week's work trip to Boston to someone else and therefore will be in Bermuda until we go to Mexico on a family holiday the day after the Oldham game.