Fifteen months into lockdown. Fifteen months since we've been to an airport. For much of the time either the UK or France has been closed to travel. 'The Font' had planned to pop back to London on British Airways when the flights resume on May 17th. In the good old days there used to be four flights a day. Now its down to one a day on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. However, even this slimmed down service looks like it won't happen. France is still running forty thousand cases a day and the Brits are demanding that travellers spend five days quarantining on arrival and have tests showing they're Covid free. All the e-passport machines at Heathrow are closed and anyone entering has to stand in line and show their Covid compliant paperwork to an immigration official. Sometimes the queues are taking six hours. What fun ! Arranging a travel test at the local pharmacy and getting the results in time sounds as though it should be easy; but isn't.
In the meantime we will carry on recording the routines of pandemic life. For humans this can be summed up as quiet, quiet and quiet.
By contrast the canine component of the family is enjoying being at the centre of things. This morning the high excitement of a walk through the barley fields down to a different stretch of the stream. As the sun rises Sophie paddles, looks at dragonflies and savours all sorts of scents from the animals that have been drinking there overnight. From time to time Sophie looks back to make sure I'm keeping up.
All the other villagers have cut their grass verges. Angus has also cut the grass but has left a long strip of bright pink wild flowers that were simply too pretty to cut.
Gentle and kind :https://www.amazon.com/How-Love-Animals-Human-Shaped-World-ebook/dp/B08PNL5VJ5
This little British company manages style and good taste :https://www.birdandbranch.london/
Thank you for reminding me why I'm not planning to travel outside of the UK just yet. Joys are made of small gains just now. As of tomorrow my cycling group are looking forward to being able to go to a cafe (sitting outside of course) for our elevenses, as we are all heartily sick of flask coffee.
The bird and branch products are beautiful and the roadside flowers so pretty.
In our turn we are longing to go to France. Apart from anything, our "vin de soif" stock from our last trip is exhausted. Here Covid tests are very easy to arrange, even in rural north east Scotland. Elgin has a drive through testing centre in the car park opposite the town hall, and you just pitch up whenever you want. I haven't had a test, but from what our daughter in London tells us, results are available in 30 minutes. She has had a few tests due to living in a shared flat. Interesting how some countries are doing some things okay (and the UK is doing plenty that isn't okay) but very few are managing to do everything right.
I am hopeful that the new, younger ghillie here will be kinder to wildflowers along the banks of our stretch of the Spey than the old one, who strimmed everything with abandon. I would have thought that the "toffs", as they're known locally, would like to see some wildflowers.
There isn't a single item on the bird and branch website that I wouldn't be delighted to give a home to.
Things have not been so restrictive here, and we've been able to meet outdoors in cafés for some time. Now we can eat indoors too - max. six to a socially distanced table, though eateries are closed after 6 p.m. Not ideal - but it's better than nothing. Still very quiet here - the lack of tourists obvious yesterday, on the almost deserted promenade and the empty beachside cafés.
Apparently now that I've had both my jabs, I can fill in my details on an online Health Centre form, and they will issue me with relevant information, which I can download as proof of my Covid vaccine. Though I've no idea if this is going to be acceptable anywhere other than locally.
That's the problem. You could appear at your destination with what you think are the right details only to discover you don't have the right 'stamp'.
It's not the flight that's the worry. It's standing for hours ,cheek by jowl, with passengers from around the globe. Large immigration areaS free of fresh air are perhaps not the safest place at the moment.
Getting a test is easy(ish) but its taking days to get the result.This may be due to the testing centre or something as mundane as simply entering the results onto a data base.
What a long time for you all especially when you are used to traveling and family are abroad. I have had 3 covid tests, with all results texted to me within 24 hours. I sense that Covid will disrupt our lives for some time.
... and with the way India is going (and there will be others, no doubt), we have a very long way to go yet... Just to add to things this morning, we had a three hour power cut. Unbelievably, I had quite literally just unpacked the camping stove to boil some water when the darned thing sparked back to life. I still boiled my eggs on it... the three hours of peace and enforced absence from this screen are not unappreciated. But I am glad to have it back so I can 'fly' around the ethernet!!! YAM xx
DY 405 - between 7-9000 cases a day in Canada. With AstraZeneca approved for people in their 40s (varies by province) we are slowly all getting vaccinated. We have to wait 4 months apart. The quarantine requirements if you leave the country are intense. I suspect we are home until 2022.
I fear you are right although we'll try to get back to the UK if there's a window. however brief, this summer. The chances of getting Stateside to see family are pretty close to zero.
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