New Zealand. Managed Isolation, Day 10

Quarantine, Day 8, Sunday.

Phew, made it over the hump of half way, sanity intact. I think. Eleanor may have a different view.

We managed to get out for a 30 minute walk first thing(ish), before breakfast or coffee at least. The only reason we made it out before coffee was because we didn’t have any left, and we had misread the opening time on the hotel coffee shop info sheet and thought it closed. As we walked we observed the barista through the café window busily making coffee so I double-checked once we were back in the room and ordered an immediate flat white fix. This was the first coffee we have ordered and it was very enjoyable too, as was breakfast. 

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Our supermarket order arrived not long after breakfast so life will return to normal tomorrow as we now have more ground coffee for the pot. Coffee is an important part of the day. I know I should give it up as caffeine is really bad, one day…

The afternoon walk on the roof was cancelled due to the terrible weather.

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I am actually enjoying the rain and the relative coolness that comes with it. The room gets quite warm and stuffy when the sun is on the big window. To replace the walk exercise we ordered new bedding and spent 10 minutes changing the bed, trying to give it a hotel quality finish. This is more difficult than it sounds, so my respect for hotel staff has gone up another notch.

On the subject of hotel staff… The staff here at Rydges; hotel, defence force, aviation security and others, have been magnificent, always cheerful, helpful and friendly. We have hada lot more interaction with the various teams than you do in a normal hotel, it is very well organised and I absolutely appreciate the work they do and the cheery way they go about it. Other than each other they are the only people we have had actual contact with so far.

We started watching Starsky and Hutch, from the first series made in 1974. It is surprisingly not terrible and I imagine we will watch more episodes.

Quarantine, Day 9, Monday.

Not a lot of sleep was had last night. A pre-season friendly football match between my team, Arsenal and Eleanor’s, Tottenham Hotspur was on at 1:00am and we ‘got up’ to watch it. We have been together for eight years, and the North London Derby, as this game is known as, happens at least twice a year, sometimes more if we meet in cup competitions. This is only the second time we have watched it together. Our clubs have a bitter rivalry going back to 1913, when Arsenal moved from their original base in Woolwich, south London to Islington in the north. The rivalry does sometimes come across in our supporting and it has been agreed that it is best to not watch this game together; in normal circumstances. Anyway it was a stupid game and not worth waking up for, Arsenal lost.

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I didn’t really sleep properly after the game and was tired all day, fortunately other than a 9:15 roof walk we had nothing else planned…

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We managed to stick to that plan and did nothing else all day, though I did start to scratch out some idea for the short story I wanted to start in MIQ and have failed to do so. It was a fairly listless day.

Quarantine, Day 10, Tuesday.

Four more sleeps.

I spent the first waking hours of this morning, that horrible time when I wake between 2 and 3am and don’t drift back to sleep until after 5, thinking about what things will be like when we get out into the real world.

I am a little apprehensive of this, particularly what (if anything) people expect of me/us. I am of the impression that a lot of people in New Zealand don’t get what it has been like living in a Covid world for the past 15 months. For instance, apart from the occasional elbow bump, the individuals who delivered my two vaccinations and the occasional brush of fingers as I passed a glass or a plate to a friend on those rare occasions we socialised (within the rules of course), I have not touched anyone other than Eleanor since March 2020. There has been no shaking of hands, nor mwah mwah kiss on the cheek or hug goodbye. I am socially awkward at the best of times, and I am not sure how to respond once we can see friends and family in an environment with no restrictions, or any need to have restrictions. It is going to be uncomfortable and I am hoping that people will accept that I/we need time to adjust. An for God’s sake please don’t stand too close to me in a queue.

This world is very different to the one we have just left and I might have to take public transport just to be in the same space as other people wearing masks.

Over the weekend we chose our menu for this week and have drastically reduced the amount of food we are given each day. There is still too much given the low number of calories we are burning, but the volume is less than last week. Today was the only day this week I asked for a cooked breakfast; it was poached egg on corn fritter day and that was my most enjoyed breakfast from last week.

After breakfast we secured a walk in the forecourt. I was surprised by this as it was 9:30 and I thought our chance of getting an un-booked and immediate walk would be low. There was  another couple out and we talked to them for most of the walk and it was very enjoyable, the first time we have properly conversed with people since we arrived. It helped that it is a nice, though cool day.

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It was interesting to see how many uncollected breakfasts were outside other doors on our floor as we walked back to the room. I think that now we are three days into week two some people are just spending more time in bed; for most there is no real need to get up, it’s not as if you can do anything. This may explain why we managed to get a walk in at the first call.

I am still tired, though a lot perkier today, I even spent some time writing as well as reading and perusing social media. Today did not feel like a total waste.

I have not been taking many photos, hence the lack of images in this post. I was hoping to take at least one photo each day, though have barely been able to achieve that. The view has gotten kind of boring and I am lacking in imagination. Maybe tomorrow I will try harder, one of my goals for this time in isolation was to come up with some photography ideas for our time in New Zealand. Writing and taking photos, maybe that was one creative goal too may for isolation. I had forgotten about how bad jet-lag impacts me.

Unless something unexpectedly exciting happens then this day is done. So it is time to click that publish button.