Saturday 7 August 2021 – Auckland.
Quarantine, Day 4, Wednesday.
The days seem to be moving fairly quickly. So far so good.
Last night I booked an 8:00am walk on the ‘ramp’, a short ramp down into the basement car park below the hotel. We can only walk on the ramp, no deviating into the car park, no walking too close to the street. An airforce person stands there, masked up, watching us. It is only us on the ramp, one bubble at a time. No running.
Most of the time I don’t feel like we are being detained, so get annoyed with people on the MIQ BookFace group we belong to who moan about being in prison. However, being watched by someone in a uniform and a mask does make the situation somewhat prison-like. The BookFace group has been useful and it was where I found out about bringing useful things like sticky hooks for the room, or getting someone to drop off crockery and cutlery. However, I will leave it once we leave isolation and I have it muted now. There is a lot of moaning and there are far too many stupid questions. My tolerance for stupid is notoriously low.
The walk was nice, no roof above us, and as Eleanor pointed out, it was the first time in a week we have walked somewhere that was not dead flat. We have a nice view of the back of Auckland District Court.
The rest of the day passed in a blur of typing, reading, eating, drinking and the Olympics. Pretty much the same as yesterday (though today we watched the movie Yesterday, which was something we didn’t do yesterday, nor will we do tomorrow). I am writing this tomorrow morning, and really cannot remember anything that stood out from yesterday, or today.
I drank a Fanta, a first in a long time, it was nice and I will have one next week too, but never again, it is too sweet. What happens in isolation stays in isolation.
Quarantine, Day 5, Thursday.
The day started with a second Russian Dolls watching session with our friends in London and Spain, we watched the last four episodes and agreed it was a very good series. We now need to choose the next series to watch, that one was fun. Truth be told, the day started with coffee and social media in bed, like every other day since lockdown started in March 2020.
I managed to grab an immediate outside walking slot outside when I rang reception, I did not think this was possible, and was very happy to get 30 minutes of walking outside while Eleanor did some exercise in the room. That is the longest we have been apart in the last week. I listened to an old Hawkwind album as I walked and enjoyed it immensely.
I needed to change the contact details on my bank account from my UK phone number to my new NZ number. This is a lot harder than it should be, mainly because all the banks send a text to your old number before you can change it to a new one. Before we left the UK I had (foolishly it now turns out) stopped calls and texts coming to my UK number. I wasn’t going to answer them so there seemed to be no point in receiving them. Ah ha, I thought, I can log into my mobile account on the Vodafone website and change that feature so I can receive the texts, except the website sends a text to authorise the login… I got there eventually. I considered it a proactive use of otherwise dead time.
We got our day three Covid test result today, as expected they were negative, though there is always a small moment of nervousness before they come through.
The big news for the day was we booked our meals for next week. This was very exciting. We were provided lunch not long after we arrived way back on day zero. What we failed to notice at the time was the feed bag (neigh) had a note attached with a QR code. Hidden behind this QR code was the menu for the week and we could have chosen from an, albeit, limited range of options. Oh well, the food has generally been good. I take excitement where I can.
We managed to get one more walk on the ramp late in the afternoon, we are only allowed on the ramp every second day, sharing is caring and all that.
There was another nice sunset.
Quarantine, Day 6, Friday.
We both had the best sleep so far, I am so glad we are getting to process jetlag ourselves, normally I would be falling asleep on mum’s sofa in the early evening while she chats to me. It will be good to not do that when we get out. I am still tired, though this is a reasonably normal state.
We woke up to grey sky and rain, and it remained like that all day. This was a bit of a relief as I told Eleanor (and anyone else who asked) that Auckland is cold and wet in August. on Tuesday our room was 26.5 degrees with the sun beating in through that large window. I was finally seeing some cold and wet and felt vindicated.
The big news for the day was fish and chips for lunch, and they were good, it is good to know that that English tradition of fish ‘n chip Friday exists in New Zealand. The only wrong thing with fish ‘n chips for lunch today was we had cancelled the hotel dinner as we were going to order a pizza for dinner. Two big meals in one day, oh well. Explains the waistline I guess. Obviously we went ahead with the pizza order, it was OK.
I had a solo walk in the covered roof space this afternoon, more Hawkwind on the headphones, LP 3 listened to now, still enjoying it and cannot believe I was so disdainful of the band for so long. For a brief moment I was alone in the space, other than the masked up airforce person making sure I behaved myself; no running, no touching the hand rails, mask on at all times. I haven’t been alone for quite some time and am absolutely looking forward to it.
We have been doing one of the jigsaw puzzles mum dropped off, there is limited space for them and the light is terrible in the evening, but it is almost done, tomorrow we will have the excitement of finishing the seemingly impossible to complete sky.
The rain stayed for the whole day. There is so little to take photos of in, or from the room, so here is some more rain from the room’s big window. I have not desaturated the image, it is just very grey out there.
Quarantine, Day 7, Saturday.
Half way through and just starting to get a bit bored, though I have yet to start doing anything I planned to do over these two weeks so that must be a good thing. I was planning on writing a short story, or at least starting one. I have a couple of ideas, but am lacking in enthusiasm at the moment. Too tired. There is plenty of time…
Awful sleep, misreading the watch I was up and making coffee at 5:05am, thinking it was after 6. This has left me feeling tired and disconnected all day, and we have run out of coffee with none due until tomorrow.
I had booked a ramp walk for 11 today and mum dropped by while we were out and gifted us some more oat milk, pre-planned obviously. It was great to briefly see mum, though it is really windy and we were 4 metres apart so could be barely hear each other. A few muffled half-shouted words were all we managed. It was nice though!
We have given up on the puzzle it’s gotten too difficult, the sky is a nightmare, for every piece I put in I am taking another piece out as it is wrong. We don’t have a great workspace so time on the puzzle is spent bent over the low top and we are both feeling it in our lower backs. Time to pack this one away and start the next.
We did our own thing this afternoon, happily. I am half way through reading Richard Osman’s ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ and am determined to finish it today, I only started it this morning. It is a lot of fun. Obviously I am not reading a book here.