MrsM is pacing the empty corridors of the Department.
There are 15 academic staff stranded abroad;
they are experienced and resourceful travellers
but MrsM wants them all back. Safely.
The Intrepid Research Assistant
was the first one home after driving overnight
from Denmark to Calais.
He emails to let me know that he is
'tired and dirty but safely home'.
The Very Cultured Professor
has decided to visit Vancouver
while he waits for his rescheduled flight
'because I have never been there before'.
The Professor of whom we spoke some time ago
has had a car accident in North Carolina
but fortunately is only shaken, not stirred.
The Examinations Officer is stuck in Washington
and we confer on the phone to make sure
that the exam preparations are unaffected.
The Expert on Hand Axes is in St.Louis
but it doesn't stop him from sending me emails
which make me laugh out loud.
The Enthusiastic Academic
is in hot and humid Taiwan
about which she feels less than enthusiastic.
The Expert on Fair Trade
has decided to wait it out in a beach hut.
She assures me this is the cheapest option.
The Expert on Communication Technology
is in a very comfortable hotel in Finland.
Travelling overland is not an attractive alternative.
The Head of Department is stranded in South Carolina
and his only consolation is the knowledge
that the Dean of Faculty is stranded in China.
The Deputy Exams Officer says, gloomily,
'I hope they all get back
before the other volcano blows...'
The Young Academic confirms his trip to Iceland
is still going ahead next week.
He assures me that you can fly in from the West.
I double check that he has travel insurance.
The Vulcanologist from upstairs
is quivering with excitement;
Christmas has come unexpectedly early
if you are a Geologist.