1. Ash in Sky: UK Cut Off! ... Thanks to a volcanic eruption in Iceland virtually all flights in UK airspace have been grounded since Thursday lunchtime. The ban is now in place until at least tonight, but it looks as though it will go on for longer. Much of northern Europe is in the same position, and over 60% of flights within Europe were grounded yesterday. There is no sign of the ash cloud on the ground, but it is floating around at 20,000 feet, just where the planes want to fly. As ash is known to pose a severe risk to jet engines, nobody is going anywhere. Ironically a friend's son had his flight to Crete cancelled ... where he was supposed to be studying seismic activity! Perhaps he should have gone to Iceland instead.
2. Hopefully the volcano will have sorted itself out by the autumn, as we have booked flights for Tevye and I to spend a weekend in Budapest. Bizarrely, it is possible to fly to Budapest and back for the same cost as a full tank of petrol in our Vauxhall Zafira (not a large car!). Flights on budget European airlines are cheap; petrol is not.
3. It's been a busy week, as somehow all our Easter break activities got crammed into the second half of the school holiday. We finally made it to Alice in Wonderland and liked the 3D, though found it took a good 10 to 15 minutes to adjust to the 3D glasses. I'm trying to get my head round the idea of 3D television - somehow I think I would find it very disorientating to watch TV in 3D.
4. Monday's trip out was to Hampton Court Palace, as Star has been longing to do the famous maze there for some time. Angel opted not to come, so it was just myself, Star and Cherub. Cherub was intrigued by the royal apartments, but confused as to why King William III did not have a TV or computer!
5. On Thursday I took Star and her friend to London to visit the Tate Modern art gallery, and to take part in a Draw Like a Designer workshop. Both have ambitions to be fashion designers, so this was right up their street. Isn't it amazing how one simple but obvious idea can completely transform how you approach something. The key to fashion illustration is templates! Once you have a template of a figure (looks a lot like an undressed paper doll), drawing clothes onto it becomes easy. I would never have thought of that. Duh!
6. I have realised that complaints of "there's nothing to eat!" from my daughters actually translate as "I can't find anything junky to snack on". When offered real food, they suddenly become not-so-hungry. Unless the food is grapes, strawberries or blueberries, but my budget can't keep up with the unlimited demand for those.
7. Lesson learned last week. If sending girls somewhere by bus, to save on that ludicrously expensive petrol, make sure they know where to get the bus back. I had to rescue Star and a friend from from a shopping centre after they lost - and therefore missed - the bus home. So much for economising.