I almost forgot two further ironies of our volcano story. The first was that when our flight was cancelled because of the ash I was in the middle of reading The Black Swan: The Impacts of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
The second was that I received this marketing email the day our rebooked flight was in turn cancelled:
Volcanoes in Literature
Let’s be philosophical—volcanoes have been changing the world and inspiring authors for a long, long time. Writers, of fiction and non-fiction, have been fascinated by the power of Vesuvius and Krakatoa, and been drawn to volcanic hotspots, like Hawaii and Martinique, for centuries. Robert Harris wrote an international bestseller set in the shadow of Pompeii, while Matthew Arnold’s famous poem, Empedocles on Etna, tells the story of a Greek philosopher perishing in the flames of Sicily’s infamous Mount Etna. And there’s plenty more volcanic literature just waiting to be discovered.
I didn’t buy any.