My Twitter feed is chock full of tweets about the Virgin London Marathon that is happening today in.. duh.. London, and it reminded me that this time last year I was there. It wasn’t the weekend of the marathon but it was the weekend of the volcanic ash cloud craziness. The Icelandic volcano kicked off on the Thursday and it grounded flights right, left and center. I’d been in London that week for a series of meetings with my (now ex-) company and our entire global team was stranded there. It was a very odd time. There was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. I made the decision to stay in London since I was due to fly back over at the end of April and given that I could stay with family so I wasn’t running up a hotel bill and I got a refund on my personal flight so it was a win-win for me. As it turned out everyone flew out within a week or so of the volcanoes initial explosion but it was an odd situation to be in. I think it was the uncertainty that flummoxed everyone.
April is always a fraught month for me, volcano or no volcano, as it signifies the lead up to my exams. The juggling of day job and studying comes to a head and leaves me with stress dreams, an uncontrollable blinking eye and a heart that feels like it is going to burst out of my chest at any moment. Things are a little different this April as I am minus the day job but with three final exams to prep for I feel like I have too much stuff going on in my head. Thankfully there is some cross over between Greek Drama, Women in Antiquity, and Nero to Hadrian. Yesterday I managed to wade through The Aeneid (one of my many bete noirs) and I am actually feeling excited about re-tackling Lucan’s Civil War on Monday. Imperial epics are probably the toughest thing I’ve had to study as they purposefully set out to be disjointed and fucked-up texts. Going forward I’ve decided to think of them as Klingon epics as they might be easier to make sense of with a couple of glasses of blood wine.