The earth rumbles, and an unprecedented moment in aviation history. The skies here are blue, if hazy, but no silver aeroplane trails litter the sky, there is both quietness and blankness. In our part of the country, there's no real sign of volcanic 'talcum powder', but still we analyse dust motes with interest: how far have you travelled? For those of us not directly affected, there's a strange unreality about it, the oddness and awe of something out of our control, nature plotting her next move, while we wait on test flights and weather reports.
But we carry on as normal - a normal which is different for those living around the main airports, experiencing an aggressive contrast: the stillness, the soundlessness. But bigger still the difference between those of us merely experiencing an absence above, and those desperate to find a way home.