Sunday, April 18, 2010

Living under invisible volcanic ash....

That's what us Europeans are doing. Since last week the volcanic ash has been blowing toward Europe and because of it, all commerical airline traffic is on the ground!

This is a situation that no one ever predicted. Normally the winds would be from the south/south-west, blowing the ash AWAY from us. But, we finally have a stable high pressure system, which we would normally enjoy. This system has given us BEAUTIFUL spring weather, though still chilly.... and is sending the ash directly toward us!

The first countries to close their airspace for IFR flights was Scanadavia (hi Elin and Melody!), followed by Ireland, Scotland, England. Then the Benelux countries and Holland joined in (hello Wizardress!), followed by Germany, France, Poland, etc. etc. etc. Some countries have also forbidden all VFR flights, i.e. flights conducted unter visual regulations.

But in Germany those flights are still allowed.... and I even got to fly yesterday! Visibility was hazy, which is normal under high pressure systems. No sign of any ash anywhere, but the experts, including pilots that have flown into the muck, say it is so fine it can't be seen by the naked eye. The reason for canceling all flights.... the ash can cause the engines of jets to shut down! So, closing the air space is a necesssary precaution. Lufthansa did ferry 10 planes (B 747's and Airbus's) from Munich to Frankfurt, but they carried NO passengers and flew under VFR! At the lower altitudes they had to fly at (below the ash level), it is not allowed to carry passengers. Needless to say, those planes are going through a thorough inspection to see if any ash damage occured. Some ash has touched the ground in England from what I hear (take care Susannanne, Fakebrunette, Simon, Dave, Stig and all others on the Islands).

It looks like this volcano is going to be active for some time and will continue causing havoc over European air space.

As I mentioned, the ash is invisible, making a lot of people think it doesn't exist. But it does make for pretty sunsets..... this taken last night:


Thursday, April 15, 2010

No volcanic ash here..... yet!

But it's getting closer!! The volcano eruption in Iceland is causing havoc to Europes air ways!!

All of northern Europe has closed it's airspace!! England, Scandanavia, Holland, France, and now Hamburg and Berline.... all closed!

Here's a map of the area already affected...(stolen from one of Germany's biggest newspapers):

I'm located right at the southern edge of the red line.

Can you imagine what chaos this is causing? All the travelers stuck without even alternative airports to fly out of? And trains are only good for local travel. Frankfurt has already had lots of cancelations because flights can't go to their intended destinations. I heard a plane flying overhead my house a bit ago so Frankfurt seems to be still open.... but for how long?

I just got home from dance class... so today was another loooong day. AND... it's Wheelie's birthday!!

He had tons of meetings all day and ended up working overtime... on his birthday! That really sucks!

Well, time to check the news..... the next days should be interesting, and scary!!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Shiana turned 3!

Little Shiana turned three on Thursday. Since Mommy and Daddy were down with the flu, the planned party may take place next weekend. I did go over and visit, though. I didn't take many pictures. but this one is cute....

From November 2009 until February 2010 both kids were in India with their mom, Karen, visiting their Indian relatives. My son flew over for Christmas and then again to pick them up and bring them home. He uploaded some of his pictures and this one is soooooooooooo good I just had to share it with you all!

The weather turned chilly again ... 10°C (50°F)

Come on winter, you've worn out your welcome!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Crazy weather.... Spring is here!

I'm tired.... this crazy weather is to blame! (you have to blame someone, right?).

Over Easter it was cold and windy... temps around 11°C max (51°F). Yesterday and today..... 22 fucking degrees C! (71°F)!!! SPRING IS HERE!! (so I cussed.....shoot me!)

In the morning, when walking to work, it's chilly and I need a warm coat. When I leave the office in the afternoon, I carry my coat over my arm and even my blouse and sweater is too much!! No, I'm not complaining... I think winter has finally been banned.

Yesterday I finally went flying again.... short traffic patterns in the clubs Cessna 152. After that I trained some pilots in English, preparing them for the upcoming tests they need to take (with me possibly as their examiner... ahem).

Today I had to watch the stupid telephones at the office again so I couldn't get out to enjoy the beautiful weather!

Tomorrow is Shiana's 3rd birthday (enjoy her picture from the last entry). The party had to be canceled because mom and dad have very bad colds/flu. Tomorrow after work I'll go to their place anyway and take care of the kids while mom tries to rest up and get better.

Lots to do in the next days. I'm really looking forward to my new apartment. But it'll be a LOT of work moving in. Which reminds me.... I have to put in for a cost request at a few moving companies. See y'all around!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Bragging time again ... ;-)

Easter wouldn't be Easter without getting together with all my kiddies. Starting Easter Sunday I was invited to my son's home for breakfast. The girls were, of course, as cute as can be!

Shiana just spreads the smiles...

and Priyasha is really getting to be a big girl....

but is still a cuddly little darling...

I was wearing one of my favorite Indian outfits in honor of the day.

Today, Easter Monday, is also a holiday in Germany. At my present apartment building there's a huge yard that I had never taken advantage of... so I decided to do so today. Both Carsten and Regina brought their families over for afternoon coffee and the kids enjoyed playing together. The weather was dry but still much too chilly, as you can tell by our jackets (11°C/52°F).

me and Emely...

Oh, and the Easter bunny cake turned out ok, too.......

Tomorrow it's back to work. Have a great week everyone!