“‘There’s no end to this tunnel,”‘ said Peter; ‘everything has an end, and you get to it if you only keep all on.’ Which is quite true, if you come to think of it, and a useful thing to remember in seasons of trouble – such as measles, arithmetic, impositions, and those times when you are in disgrace, and feel as though no one would ever love you again, and you could never – never again – love anybody.”
The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit
Having spent a glorious, somewhat truncated 3 and 3/4 months in in the beloved country, we sadly had to make a dash for the border on Friday.
BBC News had been ‘ranting’, for a few weeks, about the 77 cases (now 113) of South African COVID variant found in the UK. And then, about a week ago, the rant took an ugly turn. Suddenly there was talk of hotel quarantines, Biden closed US borders to South Africans, Emirates followed suit, KLM and Lufhansa also freaked out – and so did Hubby.
So we planned our escape via Doha on Qatar Airlines.
I had my 6th PCR test (number 5th for Hubby) – this time scoring a negative result! We packed and sorted like our lives depended on it, and then spent a ridiculous 31hours travelling to my parents-in-law’s mews house near Victoria Station, London, to isolate for 10 days.
If you remember, back in September 2020, we had a leak in our bathroom which resulted in holes in our bathroom walls? Our preferred builder told us that he would only be available to redo our bathroom in February 2021. At the time, February seemed suuuuch a long way away. But now it’s upon us, and our flat in Fulham is a building site, and a dust fest.
That is why we are isolating in the top floor rooms of my parents-in-law’s house.
Hubby’s parents made a huge effort to make us as comfortable as possible. Their upstairs rooms in the house where Hubby grew up, consist of two little single rooms in the eaves of the house (well supplied with blankets), a bath, a loo and a Terrazzo flower room. “Terrazzo flower room” is how the house was advertised back in 1968 when my parents-in-law bought it – clearly the deciding factor for the purchase!
It’s certainly the Terrazzo flower room which is keeping us going!
They’d kindly set up a table in the Terrazzo flower room, with crockery, cutlery, butter, cheese, milk, tea, fruit and bread. We won’t starve!
It’s kind of like camping – I’ve boiled eggs in the kettle, served up pot noodles for dinner, we’re main-lining hot tea and we keep the perishables on the roof terrace outside for ‘refrigeration’ (it’s 4 degrees outside).
We’re doubling up and using the bathroom for washing dishes.
Last night I found I’d inadvertently taken a bath with a salad leaf.
Still, it could be much worse.
4 full days done, 6 more to go.SMALL PRINT:
P.s. The 2 little single bedrooms in the eaves of the house have no heating, so we don’t spend much time there and bedtime is a frenzied rush to stip, bath, throw on winter P.J’s and burrow under the covers in record time – also a bit like camping.
P.p.s. For all my love of the great outdoors, I’m not a fan of camping.
P.p.p.s. Everyone arriving in the UK from abroad must quarantine for 10 days, but if you’ve travelled from South Africa you do not qualify for the test-on-day-5-get-out-of-jail-early option … so it’s the full 10 days for us.
P.p.p.p.s. We’ve been checked up on by the authorities. They’ve asked us to order an NHS test on day 7/8 of our isolation – not so that we can get an early release, but for science. I’ve always wanted to ‘donate my body to science’.
P.p.p.p.p.s. Meanwhile, I’ve registered my interest with St John’s Ambulance to train as a vaccinator – watch this space.