A volcano blows up in Iceland, a passenger at an airport in Rome is unable to catch a flight to Berlin where he has scheduled a job interview. A woman in London is awaiting the arrival of her fiancee in order to get married, but he is in Madrid in an airport chatting with a woman who attracts his attention and they decide since there is nothing to do but wait to wait in a hotel room. Ah, the dozens, if not hundreds, of stories emanating from ashes blowing gently and slowly across the Atlantic. We inhabit a technological world in which much of our daily life depends on what the computer says or doesn’t say. We live by schedules that depend on some form of machinery or airplane arriving on time.
The ashes to ashes week has merely demonstrated how vulnerable our lives are to the quirks of fate and machines. It makes one wonder whether we control the machines or are we the slaves of our machines?