A quick 60-mile spin by bike out into the Surrey countryside on Sunday. Notice anything different? The great beauty of the North Downs is now silent except for the sound of birdsong (and the odd car). The usual procession of low-flying jet aircraft conveying thousands of sunburnt chavs to Gatwick is eerily absent, thanks to the Icelandic volcano. The cloudless sky is completely clear of con-trails, a sight not seen for decades.
I could go on, but Alain de Botton does it rather better.
Of course there are losers. My heart goes out to those poor unfortunates who are unable to get back to work or school and are stuck on a sunny beach until further notice.