Hello/Kia Ora, dear readers. I’m sure you’ll have guessed by our absence that we’re having a bit of a blogging break. Moving from one country to another, amongst the pandemic madness, is taking some adjusting. We still intend to complete our final NZ stories, from Reefton to Auckland. Thankfully, Barry got his wine-soaked laptop repaired but is otherwise engaged for a while, training to earn some spending money (we’ll reveal more in the future). Consequently, he’s unable to upload his fabulous photos at the moment.
We’ve been relishing family time with my daughters and grandsons and will be catching up with other family members and friends shortly. NB Areandare hasn’t moved far recently, so there’s little to report about our UK boating adventures.
Kim’s been back on board, this time teaching online for her new role in an International School in China. If all goes smoothly, she’ll be flying there next weekend … Kim uses the Boatman’s Cabin at the rear as her ‘office’ – where Barry has proudly hung the painting his Gisborne friend Keith painted especially for him to hang. A tribute to his love of Pink Floyd and Areandare.
We enjoyed a Family Fun Day, all together, in Fazeley a couple of weeks ago. Then Barry and I took the train to Whitchurch and spent four days in Malpas for Lisa’s birthday. Our eldest grandson and I had great fun at The Crocky Trail, while Barry took the youngest to a ‘Let’s Fish’ session in Blacon organised by CRT.
More recently, we had a day at Drayton Manor Theme Park – when I say ‘we’, that’s me and Kim and the grandsons, not Barry, who detests funfairs and theme parks with a vengeance!
The crazy crowds of people and lack of distancing has been most disconcerting. The Crocky Trail and Drayton Manor were the busiest I’ve ever known. Especially the latter with at least one-hour-long queues for the majority of rides.
Birds And Tests
We’ve enjoyed playing our new favourite game ‘Wingspan’, both together and with Lisa and Rob. Although initially reticent when Tom and Miriam attempted to teach us, we’ve been hooked once we got the hang of it whilst staying in Mahia. We’ve not been brave enough to try the Oceana Expansion yet, featuring birds from Australia and NZ. Next week we’ll have the European Expansion to play with.
If you’ve not played this game and you’re into games and birds, you’re missing a treat. Far better than staring at a screen!! It’s compulsive and extremely enjoyable.
And we’ve also started using Lateral flow tests. In the UK, we can buy a pack from a chemist or via the government website to test ourselves instantly at home. It’s a long way from the UK lockdown in spring 2020 when I couldn’t access a COVID test for love nor money living itinerantly!! I’ve started reporting daily to the COVID Symptom Study App once more, in the company of almost 5 million others.
I suspect it’s only a matter of time before we both succumb to the dreaded virus. Hopefully, having had both Pfizer vaccines in NZ, even if we do, it won’t be too debilitating. If only we could get the vaccines registered here. We have our certificates from the Ministry of Health, but it seems unless you’ve had one on the NHS program, they’re not recognised. It’s most frustrating. Anyway, we won’t be flying anywhere for a long time, so the fact we’re vaccinated is more for our health and those around us. It’s a no brainer as far as we’re concerned.
That’s all for now. We’ll be back soon …