Friday, 23 April 2010

The Volcano, the Flight Ban and the Boy Who Missed the Cherry Blossom Festival

Once there was a boy who was looking forward to three weeks in Japan. He was meant to be arriving on a Friday morning, enjoying the local cherry blossom festival on the Saturday, and recovering from jet lag over the weekend ready to attend a series of collaboration meetings on High Energy Physics the following week.

He packed his bag, kissed his girlfriend goodbye, made his way to the airport...then heard that British airspace had been closed on account of atmospheric ash from an Icelandic volcano, and that no flights would be leaving the UK that day.

A week and a few more false starts later, airspace is once again open (photographic evidence above - spot the tiny vapour trail!) and M is finally off to Japan today. He missed the cherry blossom festival, and all of the meetings, but will be there for the next three weeks to undergo safety training, meet senior researchers and generally find out a bit more about the projects he will be working on for his year long placement, which starts in the autumn.

He may even catch the last of the blossom, before it flitters away, for if it is still flowering in the streets surrounding my house, as it was yesterday evening when these photos were taken, then perhaps it will still be flowering in Japan?

Have a wonderful trip M, and here's hoping you get to see some of this stuff...


  1. I hope he gets to see some! Are you going to Japan?

  2. I remember the cherry blossom festival from when I was a wee girl in Tokyo... how I'd love to go back. Hope you're well!

  3. Oh dear Becky, the flight disruptions have really messed up plans haven't they - what a shame.

    Your blossom pictures are amazing though, the trees around us are only just beginning to flower.

    Wishing you a fabulous weekend.

  4. oh no, poor M!I hope there is blossom there for him still :)

  5. Oh that volcano! Wreaking havoc all over the place...
    Glad he finally got to head off. Hope there are a few blossoms left when he arrives!

  6. Oh no! So sorry on the delay! I only know one person in real life who was affected by the flights, but the blogosphere has opened my eyes to tons of other people!

  7. Even if he experiences blossom in the gutters it will still be beautiful I'm sure...

  8. Beautiful pictures. Oh wow, Japan, how exciting...I've always wanted to go... hope he does have a wonderful trip and gets to see some of the blossom. And fingers crossed you'll be able to go out and visit him during his placement there too.