May 24 2011
I can’t believe we are facing the prospect of another Icelandic, volcanic dust cloud. The upcoming week sees me flying to Moscow-St Petersburg-London-LA and finally Las Vegas, where I stay put for a bit to exhibit at the largest US jewellery show.
The last cloud of dust of course had a lot of us stranded in one place or another. My family were considerably displaced: my wife in Russia, eldest daughter in Venice, youngest in Vienna and myself in Kansas City. Gnasher the poodle and Rosie the tortoise weren’t affected.
Every trip I make to Kansas City I am accompanied by an off-duty state trooper who of course has a small armoury at his disposal (they don’t muck about with truncheons in KC).
A couple of years back, while making conversation about his police-issue Glock, he offered to take me to the police range for a lesson. As usual I never found the time. Always having to get out of Dodge sharpish. However, last year, because of volcanic activity 4,000 miles away, I found myself kicking my heels in KC. I took the cop up on his offer and had a great day shooting at paper bodies with targets on the hearts and heads. I have a shotgun in the UK which I have mastered to such a level that my shooting companions have cruelly labelled me “the conservationist”. Well that’s as maybe, but that day in KC with a Glock 9mm in my hand and my own cloud of dust, I was Dirty Harry.
Before I attempt to start travelling this week I still have a couple of days in the office addressing the jewellery casualties that always happen prior to the Vegas show. At this late date I just hope there is nothing terminal.