OK, we get it. People in Iceland are perpetually cold. But does that mean they have to take it out on the rest of us? For the past couple of decades, they've been doing their best to bring the world to its knees.
First it was the export of Bjork, a woman whose singing pitch causes seizures among laboratory mice. Then it was the global financial crisis, with Iceland queueing to be the first country to go broke, after a collapse in the futures market for herring.
The Icelandic economy still had its AAA credit rating but the three A's were henceforth followed by the letters RRRGGGHHH. Suddenly, everyone realised Iceland mainly consisted of ice — a fact, you may think, the Icelanders had disclosed when they named it Iceland.
Still, no one was more surprised than the world's financial experts — a group of people who were already shocked to discover that unemployed people in the US's south sometimes found it hard to repay their home loans.
In the aftermath of these revelations, the world demanded that Iceland start paying its way. In response, Icelanders have developed a new export industry: ash.
They are distributing it by air, all over Europe, sourcing it from a volcano, the pronunciation of which is impossible unless the speaker is simultaneously regurgitating fish.
Traditionally, when a volcano went up, the response was to throw in a few virgins to propitiate the gods. Presumably, the world's airlines tried gathering cabin staff for sacrifice but were stymied when Qantas couldn't find any virgins.
I find myself spluttering with arrogant questions. Can't we just pour concrete into the volcano? Or blow it up? Or have Bjork sing to it?
Apparently not. We are like ants running around this thing. It's a power beyond us: a super-sized lava lamp with a missing "off" switch.
Annemarie and I are flying to Norway on 13th July and return 27th July. I hereby ask (plead) Eyjafjallajokull to take a vacation as well, in the depth of your own being and curtail any eruptions until after those dates.....or for another few hundred years!
"The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasent things as interruptions of one's "own" or "real" life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life---the life that God is sending one day by day: what one calls one's "real life" is a phantom of one's own imagination."
Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, Sydney - November 2009
2 hours ago