My CoronaVirus Distancing in Numbers – Days 15 & 16

2nd Instalment of my own lockdown journal.
Are you on your own, even if only for part of the day, during this lockdown? How are you coping? Are you managing to fill your time?

A continuation of my lockdown ‘journal’…   Click here for the 1st instalment & 2nd instalment

A * denotes that there has been a change to the total number 🙂

Today is Friday (aka Day 17)

Date:

Friday 3rd April 2020

Current Day of Social Distancing (following government guidelines):

17, but I’m writing about 15 & 16 (as it’s still before 8am on Friday, day 17)

Days spent on my own while Calv works (as an HGV driver)

10

Les Mills workouts completed

7* (well 5 1/4 as Body Balance really isn’t my thing…)

  • 3 x sh’bam
  • 2* x Body Combat – the proper workout this time.  #69, 30 mins as advised by my younger sister during our video call this morning.  Loved it – seriously!  Even though I still don’t really know what’s going on that 30 mins just flew by (or maybe that’s because I don’t know what I’m doing!!)
  • 1* x step.  I have my own step at home, but always forget just how unco-ordinated I am!
  • 1/4 x body balance – I’ve given up trying… 😦

Bring Sally Up (Sally Squat’s)

7* – it’s starting to get easier now as I am far more used to it 🙂 (Progress!)

Planks

7* – I’m still managing to add 5 seconds each day (I’m now up to 50 seconds and , frankly, gobsmacked!!)

Runs

2* – I went back out yesterday (Thursday) and suffered no problems from my calves this time.  I managed to run a whole mile before stopping for a little rest, and then another 1/4 mile.  Tomorrow (Saturday – aka Day 18) I’ll try to go a full mile and a half before any rests (further if possible).  And it’s starting to warm up, which always helps 🙂

Walks

11*

Wednesday (day 15) saw a walk, the long way round, to the station and back home via Linden Lea.  I was hoping that this route would help to avoid the same sort of numbers of people I encountered whilst walking on Tuesday (day 14), and it did!

The main photo shows the footpath up to Portchester Common – I want to walk this but it’s too narrow to be able to practice social distancing properly 😦

I think that going a little earlier (about 1pm) helped as well.  The train station was devoid of life (although a train was due in), but I did see a bus with a passenger on it!

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I also saw dozens and dozens of window displays featuring rainbows – all clearly created by children (far better than anything I could ever produce!)  I even saw 1 made from lego 🙂  (See below for a tiny selection of those I saw on my travels today)

No walk on Thursday (day 16) as my outdoor exercise for the day was my run 🙂

Wii-Fit

3 –

Trips to the van ‘larder’

So far I have visited most days and had to procure the following:-  (a * denotes a change from my previous post)

  • 2 bottles squash
  • 2 packs of teabags – the small packs you get in big boxes
  • 1 box green teabags
  • 6* tins baked beans (Branston)
  • 3 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins butter beans
  • 1 tin haricot beans
  • 1 jar of pesto
  • 1 jar of Ragu
  • 1 jar of jam
  • 1 packet of caster sugar (very important)
  • Garam Masala
  • Several bottles/cans of beer and cider
  • 1 bottle of wine
  • 1 jar of coffee
  • 1 box of pasta
  • 2 packs of Mexican style rice
  • 4* x toilet rolls

Also now:

  • 4 tins of tuna
  • Jar ground coriander
  • 1 tin of custard
  • Several stock pots
  • Crisps
  • 1 box jaffa cakes

Conversations on HouseParty/other video calls

6 so far on HouseParty / 10* on FB or WhatsApp / 1 Google hang-out with work colleagues

Ben had to call me from the shop about what butter to get as he was making cakes!

On our family FB messenger group we’ve taken to telling each other what we’ve had/are having for dinner – with photos if we remember.  I never remember – too busy eating!!

I also took my dad round a little easter egg this morning, as I’d had to go shopping.  So I took a picure so that everyone could see that he’s fine, and popped that on the group chat as well 🙂

Watching Homes under the Hammer

Having spotted the end of my obsession I’ve taken to putting it on again in the background!

Watching TV in general during the day

Mostly news updates.  Although I’m still looking for Neighbours…

I’ve still not found Neighbours, but will try again today.  Also, I’ve taken to turning the news off for the most part and trying to only watch it once a day.

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to think that the daily updates should only be conducted a couple of times each week, as nothing much changes in 24hrs, so they might have something different to say/report if it was every few days.

Is it just me? (I’m also getting pretty fed up with some of the ridiculous, point scoring questions being asked…)

Calv will definitely be home with me from Tuesday next week, so we’re going to get working on the last bit of the garden that needs doing, which is to level the lawn area up.  I don’t think I’m going to need my exercise videos next week (but will keep doing them anyway – if I’m capable…)

I’ve also order a number of perennials online (72 to be exact) which are due to be delivered by the end of April.  I wasn’t going to order anything online but seeing on the news how much will be destroyed changed my mind (and I want to try to get the garden looking nice)

I hope you’re all finding plenty to do to occupy your time.

Above all, stay home, stay safe and call someone if you’re struggling (that includes me if you know me xx)

Until the next time xx

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My CoronaVirus Distancing in Numbers – Days 13 & 14

2nd Instalment of my own lockdown journal.
Are you on your own, even if only for part of the day, during this lockdown? How are you coping? Are you managing to fill your time?

A continuation of my lockdown ‘journal’…   Click here for the 1st instalment

I did fairly well on Monday (Day 13) with staying off social media and games, although I lapsed a little towards the end of the day.  (I need to write the day every now and then as otherwise they all meld in together; in other words I don’t know what day it is!!)  Today is Wednesday (aka Day 15)

Date:

Wednesday 1st April 2020 (I’m not really expecting there to be many April Fools jokes today)

Current Day of Social Distancing (following government guidelines):

15, but I’m writing about 13 & 14 (as it’s still before 8am on Wednesday, day 15)

Days spent on my own while Calv works (as an HGV driver)

8

Les Mills workouts completed

5* (well 3 1/4 as Body Balance really isn’t my thing…)

  • 3* x sh’bam
  • 1 x Body Combat (the ‘how to’ – will do a proper workout next time)
  • 1/4 x body balance – I never could do it, but thought I’d have another go.  The one I chose involved pulling legs towards me by the ankle.  My right ankle (injured almost 5 weeks ago while playing netball) still isn’t ready for this.  So I gave up 😦

Bring Sally Up (Sally Squat’s)

5* – I still haven’t had to cheat again 🙂

Planks

5* – I’m managing to add 5 seconds each day (I’m now up to 40 seconds and VERY pleased with myself)

Run

1 – I haven’t plucked up the courage to try again after last time but have every intention of doing so tomorrow (I think it’s Thursday tomorrow)

Walks

9*

No walk on Saturday – that was the day we had our visit trip to the supermarket under these current conditions.  I was dreading it!  It was also my 1st time out in a car for over 2 weeks.

At Asda the queue snaked all the way across the front of the store and into the car park.  Everyone was standing patiently 2m apart, although we did see someone give up and go back to their car ( we did wonder if they were thinking it might be quieter later – I wouldn’t have thought so!)

We were let in 1 (or 1 couple) at a time as people finished their shopping and left.  Inside the store there were arrows on the floor to try to dictate the direction of flow.  People were clearly trying to follow these, but it’s not easy is it?  Most people were observing the 2m rule but, again, there were a couple who simply didn’t seem to understand it and would come barrelling towards you.

All in all though not a bad experience and we got everything we wanted/needed.

After dropping some bits off to my dad – he’s 85 and seems to be coping quite well with the lockdown (he has lots of books!)  He’s following all the advice to the extent that he refuses to go out into the back garden despite us all telling him that this is allowed!

Anyway, I digress.  On the way home as we pulled onto the Delme roundabout the van in front of us hit a swan, which came flying over the top of the van to land in front of us.  Of course we stopped and put the hazards on as did the car behind us.  After about 5 mins of being sheltered by us and the guy behind (and me trying to ring the RSPCA, who didn’t pick up) the swan seemed to get over it’s shock and stood up to waddle onto the centre of the roundabout – it knew exactly where to go to be safe.  Hopefully it was just shocked.

I eventually managed to persuade Calv to come out for a walk later on on Sunday, by which time there was a bracing wind.  We managed to avoid this on the way back up the hill by taking the bridleway up past the crematorium.

My walk on Monday (day 13) included stepping over the barrier in front of a footpath just before the road bridge over the motorway.  The foot traffic thinned out as I climbed higher towards my goal (I’d always wanted to take this path to see if it would take me directly to the footpath over the motorway – it didn’t).

I did see a little girl with her dad checking out the house (right beside the barrier) that recently had a car buried in it’s front room.  There is no reason for the barrier itself to be there – I wonder if it was just laziness or thoughtlessness that means it’s there?  Or does it have to extend a certain length either side of the bridge?  Who knows!

I found myself walking through local roads that I’d heard of but never walked through (they’re all within minutes of my house!)

20200330_144315
Barrier across the Footpath

Yesterday (day 14) I found that the bottom of my road was quite congested and much changing of direction and crossing of the road was required to negotiate my way safely home  🙂

Wii-Fit

3* – Yesterday, (day 14) I wasn’t really in the mood for a full on workout so decided on the WiiFit.

I was proud of myself for finishing off though with Sally Squats, some crunches (numbers upped on previous days) and the obligatory plank 🙂

Trips to the van ‘larder’

So far I have visited most days and had to procure the following:-  (a * denotes a change from my previous post)

  • 2* bottles squash
  • 2 packs of teabags – the small packs you get in big boxes
  • 1 box green teabags
  • 4 tins baked beans (Branston)
  • 3 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins butter beans
  • 1 tin haricot beans
  • 1 jar of pesto
  • 1 jar of Ragu
  • 1 jar of jam
  • 1 packet of caster sugar (very important)
  • Garam Masala
  • Several bottles/cans of beer and cider
  • 1 bottle of wine
  • 1 jar of coffee
  • 1 box of pasta
  • 2 packs of Mexican style rice
  • 2 x toilet rolls

Also now:

  • 4 tins of tuna
  • Jar ground coriander
  • 1 tin of custard
  • Several stock pots
  • Crisps
  • 1 box jaffa cakes

Conversations on HouseParty/other video calls

6 so far on HouseParty / 7/8 on FB or WhatsApp / 1 Google hang-out with work colleagues

I’m still finding that I’m talking to people much more.  I’m still not very good at phone calls though!

Watching Homes under the Hammer

I watched most of this on Monday (day 12 🙂

Watching TV in general during the day

SHOCKER – neither Neighbours of Emmerdale were on yesterday (day 13)!!

I’m still not struggling with abiding by the social distancing, but it’s only been a couple of weeks – let’s see what I’m saying this time next week (especially as it looks as though Calv is likely to be at home with me by then!!)

I hope you’re all coping as well and finding plenty to do to occupy your time.

Above all, stay home, stay safe and call someone if you’re struggling (that includes me if you know me xx)

Until the next time xx

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My CoronaVirus Distancing in Numbers

Are you on your own, even if only for part of the day, during this lockdown? How are you coping? Are you managing to fill your time?

Rather than write a full-on journal of my time during this period I thought I’d go for more of a Bridget Jones style tome (having finally watched Bridget Jones’ Baby last night – loved it 🙂 )

Also today I am trying to stay off of Social Media and also the games that I play on my phone (WordBlitz, Sudoku, ConnectOne).  Wish me luck!!

Date:

Monday 30th March 2020

Current Day of Social Distancing (following government guidelines):

12 (18 if you count the time we spent in France), but let’s stick with 12 – which is since we got home

Days spent on my own while Calv works (as an HGV driver)

6

Les Mills workouts completed

4 (well 3 1/4 as Body Balance really isn’t my thing…)

  • 2 x sh’bam
  • 1 x Body Combat (the ‘how to’ – will do a proper workout next time)
  • 1/4 x body balance – I never could do it, but thought I’d have another go.  The one I chose involved pulling legs towards me by the ankle.  My right ankle (injured almost 5 weeks ago while playing netball) still isn’t ready for this.  So I gave up 😦

Bring Sally Up (Sally Squat’s)

4 – only had to cheat the 1st time, but boy does this hurt!

Planks

3 – I’m trying to add 5 seconds each day (I’m now up to 30 seconds and, whilst you may not be impressed by this, I am!)

Run

1 – well sort of.  I put on my ankle support and had a go.  I managed 1/2 mile before my calves called a halt.  I kept having to stop to stretch.  So my run stayed as more of the walk it was originally intended to be.  I’ll have another go tomorrow.

Walks

6.

The 1st couple of days that we were back were spent sorting out the van, so I was backwards and forwards, up and down the steps and stairs.  It should count as a long walk really!  Saturday we had to brave the supermarket and I haven’t been out yet today (that’s an afternoon pleasure)

If I do need anything (that I can’t get from the van, like bread or milk) I’m trying to shop local and incorporating this into my daily walk.

Everybody that I’ve come across has been very good with the social distancing, although it still feels wierd to cross the road when you come across someone else walking…

I’ve also found it quite sad to see funeral directors waiting outside the crematorium, with no family members in attendance.

In the shops social distancing is being observed (although there’s always the odd 1 person who doesn’t seem to understand what’s going on 😦 )

Wii-Fit

2

I know this is no longer fashionable.  In fact I’ve heard people saying things like ‘Who even has a WiiFit anymore?’  Well, me.  I do.  And I still like it 🙂

On the WiiFit + I can do a ‘step’ class to get my steps up for the day (as I’m still participating in FitBit challenges).  I can also do the fun stuff that keeps me sane.  Perhaps I’ll put the Active on at some point for a proper workout.

Trips to the van ‘larder’

As many of you know we are currently supposed to be touring around Europe – right now we should be somewhere in Italy heading for Rome.

My point being the van was well stocked up with essentials that we have had trouble getting in Europe previously (beans, tea-bags, salad cream etc.)

As we are hoping (there always has to be hope even if it’s rather forlorn) to maybe get away for a month or 6 weeks of this trip (we were not aiming to be home until mid August) we have left all non-essential food in the van for the time being.  When I need something I visit the van-larder.

So far I have visited most days and had to procure the following:-

  • 1 bottle squash
  • 2 packs of teabags – the small packs you get in big boxes
  • 1 box green teabags
  • 4 tins baked beans (Branston)
  • 3 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins butter beans
  • 1 tin haricot beans
  • 1 jar of pesto
  • 1 jar of Ragu
  • 1 jar of jam
  • 1 packet of caster sugar (very important)
  • Garam Masala
  • Several bottles/cans of beer and cider
  • 1 bottle of wine
  • 1 jar of coffee
  • 1 box of pasta
  • 2 packs of Mexican style rice
  • 2 x toilet rolls

In addition to food I’ve had to retrieve 1 x ankle support, 2 x VGA to HDMI cables (so that I can see my Les Mills workouts on the TV), my gym mat & kettle bell and my running belt and headphones.

At this rate I’m going to have to fully stock the van again when we can eventually go away!

Conversations on HouseParty/other video calls

3 so far on HouseParty / 5 or 6 on FB or WhatsApp

I am finding that I’m talking to people much more.  I’m not very good at phone calls but have been making the effort to keep in touch far more then usual

Watching Homes under the Hammer

Very little.  Which may surprise people who know me as I have, in the past, been obsessed with this programme!

However, I have other things to do!  Such as exercise, making dinner (tonight I’m making a Chicken Dopiaza from the Pinch of Nom cookbook), washing, ironing, reading, updating my coronavirus tracker (yes, I’m doing that – it keeps me sane!)

Watching TV in general during the day

Surprisingly little.  I watch Neighbours daily (yes, something else I still do!!), although quite often I don’t get to watch it until about 6pm!

So, so far, I’m not struggling to abide by the guidelines (rules), although I have to admit I did have a bit of a wobble on day 1 of these being more official (last Tuesday).  More of the fact that you simply have no choice in whether you interact with people.

But I got over it fairly quickly and am now finding that I still don’t have enough time in the day to do everything that I’d like to!

I really hope that others in my situation (I’m on my own throughout the day, normally until about 6pm give or take) are coping well and continue to do so.

Above all, stay home, stay safe and call someone if you’re struggling (that includes me if you know me xx)

Until the next time xx

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European Tour cut short by Coronavirus Crisis

Did you start a European holiday only for it to be cut short? Here I talk about our recent experience of exactly this. Here’s hoping everything will be able to go back to normal soon and we can all start visiting each other again xx

When I wrote my last post we were newly in France with the 1st set of closures put in place (i.e. non-essential shops and business closed), but with the local elections set to go ahead the following day.  We felt fairly confident that our plan of making it to a site in the South of France and sitting out any further measures, should they occur, was still achievable…

Obviously this isn’t what happened!  However, it was a couple of days before this became clear – and it was rather sudden!

So I thought I’d give you a whistle-stop summary of our whole trip in just the 1 post!  So here goes…

Days 1 & 2:  Friday 13th & Saturday 14th March 2020 (perhaps there was a clue here?)

We arrived in Dieppe aboard a pretty empty ferry after a slightly bumpy crossing, and shared the Aire with a number of other vans (mostly French), before taking a walk around Dieppe (already socially distancing ourselves) and then spending a 2nd night in the same Aire.  (I wrote a post covering this already – click on the link above)

Day 3: Sunday 15th March 2020

We made the decision to use proper sites rather than free aires ‘just in case’, thinking that we would be able to stop on a site once we were there, and also to go further than we had originally planned.  So I looked through the trusty ACSI book and found a site in Sully sur Loire, about 100 miles south of Paris, Camping le Jardin de Sully  (You’ll be able to see my review here when I’ve written it!)

For us this was a long journey being 200 miles as we normally aim for under 100 miles.  Little did we know at this point that we would be driving almost 900 miles in total in the next 5 days before we made it home…

The campsite was lovely, and pretty empty, although there was another English couple in their caravan who were heading home via the tunnel because they had medical appointments and wanted to ensure they got home for them.

The French were out and about in droves taking walks along the river, and even in the evening the youngsters were congregating in their cars in car parks as they couldn’t go to cafes and bars.  We know this as we went out for a walk in the evening once, or so we thought, everyone else had gone home!  We were able to avoid these groups and walked for a few miles, crossing the bridge and finding the chateau (and the town Aire) and several closed bars and restaurants.  It looks like a lovely little town and we have no doubt that we will one day return to explore the area by cycle (the cycle path system is very good)

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Day 4: Monday 16th March 2020

We had been thinking of staying here for a 2nd night, but in the end decided to crack on further South.  On checking out I told the lady what we were hoping to do – in hindsight it would have been nice if she’d mentioned that President Macron was due to address the nation that evening with an important announcement.  But she didn’t, and we had contacted 2 campsites that both said they were fully open… So we headed off further South.

225 miles further south to be precise to Vielle Brioude, south of Clermont Ferrand and Issoire.  We chose to take the toll motorway this time, as we were going so far.  Then I forgot to press the button when paying to explain that we were a camping car (the rate will be changed if you do this).   In my defence I was intent on seeing if my Halifax Clarity card would work this time (as it didn’t the previous day when we used a short section of toll, and I’d had to use my debit card); and I just completely forgot…  It probably cost us about 15Euros, maybe 20…   I won’t forget again!

Just before our destination we stopped at an Intermarch to get some essentials, and top up with fuel.  The supermarket was very busy with several items unobtainable, but we managed to get everything that we needed, and set off again to find the campsite.

A couple of wrong turns and slightly unsuitable roads later we found it, Camping de la Bageasse, which looked much nicer in the photos than in reality!!

We were the only unit there (although there were a couple of chalets in use), and once we’d chosen our spot and found electricity that worked (by now our fridge had stopped working on gas), we settled down for the evening.

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In the evening the lady from reception came to see us to explain that the campsite was possibly to close in the morning after the president’s address.  Instead of waiting we spent the evening trying to book a ferry home.  We had problems with booking the DFDS ferry from Dieppe, and thought that we’d managed it, only for the site to crash on us again.  So we booked a ferry into Portsmouth on Brittany (at an extra £100).  In the morning though I had an e-mail from DFDS confirming our booking!

Thankfully Brittany Ferries were brilliant and cancelled our booking with an immediate full refund.  The receptionist also confirmed that the site was indeed closing and anybody on it being asked to leave.

Day 5: Tuesday 17th March 2020 (midday lockdown)

Approximately 425 miles to go, but 2 days to do this (our ferry was Thursday at 05.30am – changed from 6.30pm Wednesday foc by DFDS Ferries).

We chose to avoid the toll motorway this time as we had a bit of time.  But it did seem to take forever; so we ended up doing the last 30 miles or so on the toll; I remember to press the button this time and saved 9 Euros.  We were stopped once, just after midday, at a routine checkpoint on a roundabout – a show of our ferry booking and my ‘nous allons au bateau pour aller chez nous’ did the trick, and we were soon on our way with a smile and a ‘bonne route’.

We were then held up driving through a small town where we had to pull into a car park.  There were 2 other British vans in there with us.  A French lady also pulled up and started talking to me – I did pretty well, in that we sort of understood each other and she told me what had happened (sadly a little boy had run out into the road and been knocked over), but she just kept moving closer and closer to me!  In the end I had to run into the van saying my tea was getting cold!  (nb: I don’t understand why the police in France need to carry massive guns when attending a traffic incident in a small rural town though..)

I’d found a likely overnight stop in Mery sur Cher, west of Vierzon, and we were so happy when we made it there.  Absolutely perfect spot behind the village car park, but with a toilet, electricity, security lights and little individual pitches as well as the normal amenities.  The barrier had been removed meaning it was all free as well (although we would happily have paid).  I hadn’t been so happy in days!

20200317_154959

Day 6: Wednesday 18th March

The traffic increased as we made our way further north, although eerily quiet as we drove through Orleans.  Driving past Chartres I was, again, amazed at the size of the cathedral – you can see it from miles away and I must see it in reality 1 day!

From Rouen the traffic really picked up, and once in Dieppe we managed to get a little lost as we had never approached from this direction before 😦  This time we were 1 of only 3 vans in the Aire – we think most people turned up late and waited in line at the port.

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Day 7: Thursday 19th March 2020

An early start (4.15am) to catch the 5.30am ferry.  We were pretty much at the back of the queue (see main photo – which doesn’t really show just how many motorhomes there were).

An uneventful journey home.  2 members of staff were operating the coffee machine for everybody as you got on (free), but there was no food being served.

All in all we were pretty happy to get home, although obviously absolutely gutted that all we had achieved in our week away was 2 fairly long walks and over 900 miles driving…

If things improve in the next couple of months however we will head off again, even if it’s only for a few weeks.

Stay safe everyone – and remember, this too shall pass and normal life will resume.  Maybe at that point we’ll all be a little more grateful for our normal freedoms 🙂

Travelling during the Coronavirus Outbreak – Our experience so far

By ‘so far’ I actually mean join us from the beginning of our trip!  We left the UK yesterday on a pretty empty ferry out of Newhaven, bound for Dieppe.  To all intents and purposes it would appear we left in the nick of time, as much of Europe is now beginning to close their borders. 

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Now before I go any further I do feel the need to defend ourselves for going ahead with our trip.  It’s not a decision we made lightly, but we don’t regret it for a second.  Even though we are fully aware that we are unlikely to be able to visit all the places that we were hoping to (mainly Croatia, but this entails a trip through Italy so fairly unlikely – although we do have 5 months, so you never know…),  we are currently heading down towards the South of France – where would you rather be stuck? Continue reading “Travelling during the Coronavirus Outbreak – Our experience so far”

Coronavirus and Travel Plans – To Go or Not To Go…..?

So here we are at the end of February with a planned date to leave for Europe of 5th March… Our plans? Head down through France to Italy, take in Rome and Venice on our way through Italy to visit Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany and Belgium.
Hmm – little spanner in the works now called CoronaVirus means our plans are up in the air – what to do?

Do you ever get that feeling that you should be more excited for your upcoming plans than you are?  And then something happens that suggests you were right not to be excited – you’re pshycic – you knew all along that this might happen (or not, as the case may be).  Ever been there?

Well, I suspect that we’re not the only people in this position currently.  Only perhaps we are slightly more fortunate in that we have nothing booked and we can just do what we want, when we want – to a certain degreee anyway.

What am I talking about?  Well our plans for our next trip were well underway – in sofaras we ever plan.  This time the plan was catch a ferry, possibly on 5th March (we haven’t booked it yet), pootle down through France, finally crossing the Millau Viaduct on the way; head into Italy and down Continue reading “Coronavirus and Travel Plans – To Go or Not To Go…..?”