Monday, April 19, 2010

Extended stay

Following the hectic activities of last weeks' NAM2010 (actual news from which can be found elsewhere, especially twitter, as I didn't really have the time to blog about it) I have taken a short break. It looks like my break may become a little longer than originally planned though.

On Saturday my plan was to fly from Glasgow to Heathrow for a trip to St Albans to see friends and family for a few days. The flight was obviously a no-go, but I was rather surprised to be able to get a last minute train ticket, and in fact made it down without any bother - I even got a seat on the train after having expected to be squeezed into a space between carriages with tens of other desperate travellers. However, tomorrow I am meant to be flying out to Hannover for a few days of intensive code review at the Albert Einstein Institute. This is looking increasingly unlikely given the current ash cloud status. Up to about an hour ago there had been some optimism with some flights expected to resume tomorrow, but just a few minutes ago there was a new update saying that the Icelandic volcano has started to up its output again. If I can't fly out by Wednesday morning the trip will be pretty pointless, so will just have to be rescheduled for a less volcano-stricken time. I put my current chances of getting to Germany at probably about 5% - I've not done a proper Bayesian analysis on this and have plucked the figure out of thin (ash-free) air, but it feels about right. For me this isn't a major disaster as it means I have a few more days of holiday before going back up to Glasgow, but I do have friends trying to make it back from Europe, and one who's trying to move out to the US, who are quite a bit more inconvenienced than me. Here's hoping they make it to their destinations.