Quarantine Birthday Blog Day 2

Not So Manic Monday

So here we are in Bristol instead of Crete in our house that feels a bit like an AirBNB! Not a really manic Monday, I expect them to get more manic over the next 4 weeks as we try to triage 20 years worth of assorted belongings, never mind the books and tapes!

Another Waitrose delivery, so we got out the exercise bike from the basement. 10 minutes at setting number 4 felt like enough for Day 2. Let’s see where I get to on Day 10.

Day 2 test. Nerve wracking instruction sheet. Take the stopper off the tube and balance it on its tiny tail. I’ll go first…. Oh was that my kit or was that yours? Can they tell? Yes, they will look at our chromosomes. It’s a Bank Holiday. What about the post? Like Sunday? But what’s Sunday like? Is that an antibacterial wipe…. Oh no, it’s the padding in the pack. Never mind, I’ll just put it back – they won’t know will they?

Then we find that Day 8 is on a Sunday, but we can’t post at the weekend, according to test pack, even though there’s supposed to be a collection. So what do we do?

The Day 5 quick release test looks expensive and too complicated to bother about. Plus which how come trips to the postbox are allowed?

Pass the remote. Have we seen that Werner Herzog film? Ok, then Star Trek Series 2 it is then.

Also on the plus side, birthday visit from all 4 Randle Landers who actually sang Happy Birthday in the street! Sorry, no video.

And the garden looks nice.

Tomorrow – Day Three, no Waitrose delivery, no birthday…..

Quarantine Blog

Quarantine Blog Day 0 / 1

Homeward Bound

So day zero was travel from Crete to Heathrow with BA – the only airline that seems to be reliably serving the UK from Chania. The trip was pretty smooth, with a near empty airport.

Just as well, since we had a struggle at the check in desk to produce e versions of our ticket, Test Results, Passenger Locator form. My phone is no more, Al’s refused to download the documents so we resorted to my laptop. The check in person was patient, and there was no queue . We checked in the baggage, and went to picnic outside on home made cheese pies (thank you Despoina), a bakery spanakopita (not quite so good) and some of Despoina’s sweet cakes. Also Al ate an apple, in case you are worried about our 5 fruit and veg! BA kept up the good work with a small bottle of water and a bag of crisps. Virus-wise things pretty OK. Around the airpot Departures most wore their masks properly. Outside Arrivals a few all-male groups clustered, drinking coffee and chatting with no masks.

Uneventful flight at 3 hours 40 minutes.

First encounter with UK BORDER. We both failed the e passport machines. Told by a security gorilla that we had probably failed to complete our Passenger Locator Forms correctly. Actually if that was the case, we wouldn’t have been on the flight at all. A nice Asian immigration bloke checked our passports and let us into a now non-European UK. Well, maybe only-just-U K.

National Express to Bristol with overweight Simon, cheerful chap from South Wales. Asked him why he wasn’t wearing a mask. He said he had post-Covid breathing difficulties. Mostly mask-wearing on coach except for an old chap who looked like he wasn’t quite with the programme. Good spacing and A/C.

Walking through Bristol with suitcase wheels rumbling away was quite a trip. Hardly and masks around and young Bristol was out on the streets, in the pubs, drinking on the dockside. First warm dry evening for a while, and there’s a bit of a VE Day feeling about things. It really feels like a lull before the next storm, since there’s nothing that reassures us that the B617-2 variant isn’t going to ramp up into another lockdown situation.

For a clear view of the science and the Government’s actions – or lack of them, try Independent SAGE.

Which brings us to Day One after a very short night. Amazing how much jet lag a 2 hour time difference can make! The house, de-cluttered looking like an AirBNB sort of familiar, but sort of not! Of course our task now is to start sorting out in preparation for the move out. 8am Waitrose delivery. Aaaargh I forgot to order tea, the most important thing. Al started the day with a large cafe au lait, toast and marmalade. I did a yoga class with Stephanie Quirk, from Australia, courtesy of Vimeo. About Stillness, important in these days of uncertainty and change. Supper courtesy of Riverford, Crispy marinated tofu, with Pak Choi and Broccoli. Delicious. Tomorrow I managed to wangle another delivery so the tea situation will be remedied, together with more ice cream and strawberries. Well, I don’t need to remind you that it’s my birthday. And before you ask, we are having a dry quarantine, to make up for a moist 15 months in Greece, so no bubbly this year.

Today sunny and warm in Bristol, so door to garden open all day – a flavour of our temporary home in Marediana.

May 2021

In the Morning

I really should have a dawn pic, since we see plenty of them! Al tends to early waking, especially when he has work going on, or he feels worried. At the moment, it’s both. Dawn here can be wild with wind, soft light to the North, deep orange glow over the Eastern Sparti Peninsular. Add in the twittering of the swallows this month, and you might have a taste of it. There is something about this song, that reminds me of the fragile, slightly nauseous feeling that comes with not having had quite enough sleep.

Song Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/7mTtcGsy8nasBYDjAWBI5t?si=a43d804212d84428

Why I like to be here

I took some random photos around the house, probably to remind me of the feelings I have here.

A bit of garden hedge and blue sky
A bit of garden hedge and blue sky
Chairs waiting
Chairs waiting
Olive tree in the garden
Olive tree in the garden
Lemon light
Lemon light
Yep, it's the view, so grateful to have lived with this for a year.
Yep, it’s the view, so grateful to have lived with this for a year.

What Happened to my iPhone?

For any of you who haven’t already read this sad tale. (Skip this bit if you have…)

16 May 2021

It was a windy afternoon, so a small outdoor social event was cancelled, leaving me a bit stir crazy. So I said ‘Shall we go out – just for a change of scene.’ We drove to the harbour. Maybe restrictions have eased a bit here, so we went to a place we hadn’t been for a while. Quiet, just the taverna open for a few men sitting around a table. We parked and walked to the end of the ferry quay, where we often see fish. Al hopped up on a handy concrete block and onto the harbour wall. I paused for thought, then followed him. I might have put the car key in my back pocket. More of a scramble for me, being smaller, so I summited the wall on hands and knees. There was a long pause, so it seemed, followed by the sound of something heavy and solid hitting the water. There it lay, in perfect peace, framed by rocks, gently reflective water above its shiny face. My iPhone. Side pocket of my backpack, not as tight a fit as I would have liked it to be, since you ask.

And generally:

It’s a bit of a stressful time here, like approaching the points on a speeding train and not knowing whether it will successfully negotiate either route on just come tumbling off the rails! Probably like many other countries (Sweden apparently excepted), nothing is straightforward about buying land and building. So selling the Bristol house seems like a bit of a jump onto that train, possibly without having really read the destination board in enough detail. A Magical Mystery Tour, then.

Corona Virus where we are

I put this at the end, because not everyone wants to think about the pandemic. The fact remains that although Greece seems to be on the downward slope of infections, and the vaccine programme has done OK, there is still a significant proportion of the younger population still unprotected, and the ‘it’s all over’ feeling engendered by the effort to open up to tourists probably isn’t helpful. Supermarkets still enforcing strict mask rules but gas stations, taxi drivers, even pharmacists have abandoned mask wearing, at least, where we are. If you like graphs etc, more here.