It’s all a blur. Unsure till we were on the plane taxiing out at Heathrow, that we were actually going to be able to return here to NZ. How much longer can airlines sustain these long haul services? On a plane that can transport up to 350 people, ours had approximately 60! The Singapore Airlines service was excellent. A 55 min stopover in Singapore meant only a 24hour transit time.
We are locked away on the 8th floor of the Stamford Plaza Hotel in mid city Auckland. Bombarded with excellent food, presented three times a day, in paper based containers and bags. Drinks, sadly still in plastic containers. Daily temperature and health checks. Today we received our first virus swab test. In a day or two’s time we will likely learn if we have been infected en route. Unlikely as we are both in great health.
Now our bodies are starting to return to a point where the fug of sleeplessness and head congestion are dispersing. Though sleep patterns are far from normal.
It’s soooo reassuring returning here. From the endless debilitating speculation in the UK of how the virus was being dealt with, or not dealt with. Schools and universities being opened and closed. Regions squabbling over funding disparity. The government under relentless pressure and examination. Largely left wanting, would be my impression. What a time to be governing! The Virus, Brexit and all it’s implications! However, we are going to miss the many lovely friends and family in the UK. Also the amazing humour.
Medical screening occurred immediately on arrival. After passing through immigration, we were directed to a coach with our bags being stowed under by PPE protected personnel. The driver, protected by a clear plastic screen, also PPE adorned. About 10 of us driven to our hotel, arriving at 1.30am. More screening, menu selection, temperature taken again and directed to our room. Room does not describe this. A large three roomed luxury suite, with views on three sides. Mainly of other medium rise buildings, but with a glimpse of the harbour bridge.
In the air, there is a feeling of excitement, or is it dread? No matter what side you are on, the US elections are omnipresent. Unlike the recent NZ elections, where there has never been a wide separation in philosophies, the US could not be more different and polarising. How different our countries electoral systems are. Our own centred on people, with money less relevant. The US, where money seems to be the sole arbiter, creating it’s own challenges of propriety and integrity.
Tonight, Saturday 31st I will at last be able to watch the All Backs v Wallabies live on TV. Last Saturday, or was it Sunday, I tried to find a live feed in the UK, to watch the 2nd Bledisloe rugby test. In doing so, put my credit card details into a website carried within a NZ Herald website. Thinking there was some security in doing so and that the headline was ‘Free’, there couldn’t be any repercussions. Not so. Not only did they not carry a live feed as suggested, it was far from Free. My credit card was debited $113 for the privilege. Now to try and recover the fee.
While it’s only day 3, Jen is already showing signs of mental instability..:). How is she going to be by day 14! HELP.
Reading and entertainment
My son Steven has sent me on two amazing voyages of discovery. The first was the intellectual and contrarian, Christopher Hitchens. The second is Gianni Russo. Who’s Gianni Russo I hear you muse? He’s an imminently loveable rogue who was part of the Mob fraternity during it’s hey days of the 50’s to 70’s. His exploits and activities are featured in several YouTube interviews, and in the book, that I’m reading. ‘Hollywood Godfather : My life in the movies and the Mob’.
After reading Anthony Summers book on the JFK assassination, which left you with a better but still incomplete picture. Gianni completes the scene which explains why the U.S. government are withholding information that would only expose their involvement in the coverup of their assistance to the Mob, in that dastardly act.
So pleased all went well with the flights at the third attempt.
Looking forward to picking you back up from Heathrow at aome point in the future.
Enjoy the spring and summer back in NZ.
Hey Steve, thanks so much for the early morning start. We count ourselves very lucky to have made it. Restrictions coming in at both ends. Lets just hope that we can make it next year. We’ll certainly be in touch. Enjoy ‘semi-retirement’!:)
Dennis & Jen
Welcome home! Wow you guys really lucked out on the hotel suite! We had to stand our bed against the wall to have space to do yoga our room was that small. Good luck for the rest of quarantine 🙂
Hey! Renee & Carl, Yes, we lucked out all round. Things were much different when you got back. It was all uncharted territory. Slick and smooth now. Three more days. YAY!! Hope you guy’s doing well.