Well, today is the day here in the UK.
The day when we find out what we can do, where we can go and when we can do it.
Boris will announce the plans in The House Of Commons this afternoon and then take to the airwaves later on to let the general populous know what the plans are and what the caveats are as to the timings and implementation.
So can we go or should we stay now? Time and BJ will tell.
All I do know is that there’s a jab with my name on it heading my way on Tuesday lunchtime – I haven’t jumped the queue, it’s just that events of seventeen years ago have ensured that I’m higher up the list than I expected!
Well, the software has been updated and new pics loaded, so here goes!
The pics from Sunday were (top to bottom):
Sunset, Cadiz, Andalucia
Port Erin, Isle Of Man
Alfresco flamenco, Seville
The Mushroom, Seville
Sandeman’s Wine Lodge, Porto
A new month in a newish year and there’s still no real indication of when lockdown restrictions will be tightened, eased or lifted here in the UK. Quite a few books have been read and television programmes watched over the last few months as plans have been lightly formulated and then put to one side in readiness for action stations once we find out what we can or can’t do.
One suspects that most of the honey pots will be booked up rather quickly, so we may use Plan B and head into cities rather than the Lake District, Northumberland, Yorkshire Dales, Norfolk, Cotswolds, Pembrokeshire, North York Moors or Scotland.
With railcards at the ready and sites such as Expedia, booking.com and individual hotel or hostel internet sites to choose from, a one-two week UK trip can be put together at very short notice and take just a few hours to research possibilities, check availability and then do the deed.
The only outstanding question is when though!
Over to you, Boris!
It’s not often that I can say that I know precisely what I was doing on 30th November in a given year, but in the case of 30th November 2004, I know exactly where I was – in intensive care at Airedale Hospital on the morning and in the Stroke Unit at the same hospital in the afternoon.
I was one of the most mobile on the Stroke Unit in that I was allowed out of a wheelchair after the first day or so. The care I received over the period I was in hospital was great, but the food was a bit Meh…
Sixteen years on and there’s still respect for the NHS, especially in the way it has had to cope with the additional pressures this year due to Covid-19.
I still get check-ups, but things like warfarin levels are done on home visits rather than at my GP’s surgery at this moment in time. Yes, my flu jab was done at the surgery, but in a very, very secure way.
Will I be getting the vaccine when it becomes available? Yes, but when I’m called in for it according to my place in the queue. Why? Because it seems to be a good idea to get rid of any Covid-19 threat and because I want to travel!
As ever, it’s many thanks to those from Airedale Hospital and to my partner Caroline too – she had just started a new nursing job on the day everything went bang and got one hell of surprise when she found out…
Here’s looking at you kid!
Just a few of this year’s guidebook purchases…
Yes, I have the technology to browse ebooks via Kindle on my iPad, but when it comes to planning sessions or usage on a trip, nothing beats a book.
Pages of interest can be marked by the use of sticky notes whilst places of interest can be highlighted using fluorescent pens.
The book itself can be stashed away in a pocket or day bag and consulted over coffee, lunch or beer or left in the bag when you decide to follow your nose and find things out for yourself.
Series of choice for years was Lonely Planet, but examination of their Portugal guide a few years ago led me to buy the equivalent Rough Guide as it was easier to use, had a better layout and was more user friendly.
Yes, buying two guidebooks was a more expensive way of doing things, but I did notice that there were other variations – different attractions were mentioned, different places to stay and eateries too.
Since then I’ve sneaked looks at several different guidebooks to get a quick idea of what they can offer whilst planning a trip.
Books from the Bradt, Insight and Marco Polo brands have gone into the mix as has Rick Steves Italy 2020.
Now this only arrived on Saturday, but first impressions are good ones.
Yes, there are plugs for his shop and other media resources, but the info is in there – travel by trains or buses, accommodation and food suggestions to suit most budgets along with packing suggestions & timescales for visiting.
Will it be used for planning? Oh yes, but in conjunction with other guides to Italy plus some addition ideas thrown in for good measure.
Such a those from Italy Top To Toe that BBC4 are currently repeating along with one or two from Great Continental Railway Journeys and maybe a couple of ideas from The Hairy Bikers, Rick Stein and Anthony Bourdain.
Changes are on the way, hence the big gap between my last post in August and this one! Yes, we have been away for part of that time, but I’ve been awaiting news as to what was happening work-wise after furlough’s end.
And now I know – redundancy.
So, what’s next? Possibly staying in the retail world with a new employer once Lockdown II is over or heading back into journalism once more.
This site will be getting a reboot once new Mac and Office software has been sourced and a new printer installed. It may be happening at this site or at a new one as I’d have preferred recent upgrades to have never happened, another reason for the lack of posts over the last two months.
As I’m no longer working for a travel clothing and equipment brand, clothing and gear reviews will be making a comeback along with pieces on the places we’ve been to in 2019 and 2020, site and software permitting!
The Alhambra, Granada…
With travel prospects outside the UK being on hold at the moment, filling in gaps that were supposed to be holidays has been interesting.
Yes, we’ve been to Oxford and Ambleside in recent weeks and had a fortnight long Scottish trip planned using trains and buses to get between home, Glasgow, Fort William, Mallaig, Inverness, Kyle Of Lochalsh, Stirling, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and then back home.
That last one has been moved to 2021 though as there’s an impending wedding – not us, but Caroline’s eldest son and his fiancee.
In between times though, we’ve been watching a few travel related TV progs and got a few ideas from Rick Stein, The Hairy Bikers, Richard Ayoade and Anthony Bourdain (the last one seen was a visit to Granada).
Some were familiar to both of us, some to me and one to Caroline as Jerusalem was visited when she lived on a kibbutz in the late 1970s.
Greece, France and Sardinia would be new destinations for the two of us, but return trips to Spain, Portugal, Sicily and Norway are being added to the mix, along with a visit to Malta to make up for that trip which was cancelled a week before departure thanks to Covid 19.
There are other plans, but they’re not totally fixed yet and quite a bit of flexibility is built into each plan!
In the meantime though, it’s a Bank Holiday Monday here in England and there’s a few more Anthony Bourdain shows to watch on Netflix…
After all the events of the last few months, those of the last few days beggar belief , especially as the UK’s own Transport Minister is now facing a fourteen day quarantine period when he gets back from his brief time in Spain!
With 600,000 people taking a break in Spain and associated island territories, it will be interesting to see what the fall-out is going to be, especially if there are no more spikes in the UK, Spain or the islands.