Thursday 17th to Tuesday, 29th December :
We got here in the nick of time. Soon after we left, a travel ban was imposed on the UK by pretty much everyone and all flights to and from Canada suspended for three days. This has now been extended to the 6th January ’21; we are meant to be returning on the 11th but with the new virus strain threatening everyone, who knows whether we will be returning at all!
Yesterday the Ontario Government extended its lockdown regulations until the 9th January so, while Tony and I come out of quarantine in four days time with the whole family, we are all still in lockdown with everyone so our status doesn’t really change much.
ArriveCAN is an App we have to use to report our temperatures daily and receive and send any Covid communications necessary. From time to time either a virtual or actual telephone call will come in to check on us. So far there have been no personal visits though these apparently do happen as well.
In the end this journey will be one, long quarantine but as we came here to be with the Canadian family anyway, it does not matter a jot. It’s just a pleasure to be so welcomed by them and they have gone to extraordinary lengths to prepare for the siege. We lack for nothing. Entertainment, media & meal menus have been meticulously prepared and all my hopes of a thinner New Year have been kicked into touch!
With Gin, Jigsaws, Netflix, Bridge- virtual and actual – games and books aplenty, we have been royally looked after. We have even played Bridge-online with friends at home and both our Canadian and English families joined transatlantically in a web game called Codenames. Technology is astonishing.
Best of all is just to be here after all the months of cancellations and nail-biting moments as plan after plan went south. Its been over eighteen months since we were last together.
We are allowed to walk outside. The joy of this is Nala, the youngest edition to the family. She is a seven month old Bernerdoodle with the sweetest, kindest nature and adored by all, needing lots of exercise in the freezing cold to work off her enthusiasm! She has us all wrapped round her paws and seems not to feel the cold at all.
Temperatures have ranged between -15 and +8˚C with some light falls of snow and rain on the warmer days. Today it was –9˚C with clear skies and sunshine – and no wind.
We are of course riveted by the Brexmas developments at home, the sad slide into the new coronavirus variant and the casting off of HMS Britannia, finally slipping her moorings and leaving the European quayside to journey we know not where.
We come out of Quarantine tomorrow, the 30th December straight into an Ontario lockdown similar to Tier 4 at home. Apparently the new British Covid Variant has arrived here now. It remains to be seen what the new developments mean for our flights home on the 11th January. Air Canada have not cancelled us yet but we are expecting they might. This is certainly a spontaneous, flexible journey, who knows what 2021 will bring.
In the meantime yet another jigsaw puzzle bites the dust as Schloss Neuschwanstein, that 19th Century vanity project to honour Wagner by Mad King Ludwig II comes together. This time with all the pieces.
It’s -15˚C (chill factor) this morning. Yesterday we played transatlantic bridge with Friends Edward & Jane, our third stab at transatlantic gamesmanship. It snowed in the morning, rained at midday; during our bridge the snow melted completely; after bridge we walked Nala and Granddaughter Libby into a blizzard and over the day the temperatures ranged from 3˚ to -9˚C (wind chill -11˚C). Astonishing swings. It was my first blizzard. A small one but quickly re-covering the ground in white.
I was going to run this until New Year but think I’ll close 2020 here.
A very Happy New Year to all our dear Friends everywhere – may it be Vaccine-filled, healthy and safe.
See you all in 2021!