There was some air traffic in Middle England this past weekend - sadly only the rather inelegant lifting off by a number of swans from the River Wye. Otherwise the skies were blissfully clear of noise, pollution and vapour trails, replaced by the deafening sound of business and leisure travellers gnashing their collective teeth.
The man at the local cider farm thought it might all be Iceland's fiendish revenge for our dear Prime Minister's cavalier use last year of anti-terrorist legislation to freeze the assets of the failed Icelandic banks. Another conspiracy theory going the Saturday night rounds was the frankly fanciful idea that the Russians had bombed the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano for some unexplained military or economic reason.
But it was an ill wind, or lack of it that was blowing frustrated tourists into hotels all round the ancient kingdom of Mercia, who had been expecting instead to be settling down for some suitable "ooh la la" in Paris and other foreign destinations. Many an extra bottle of wine and sticky toffee puddings were sold this weekend by way of balm for lost foreign travel moments.