10 days of isolation: Day 8

Went out and got a new Vodafone sim card. That was a bit of an adventure. I went looking for the store and couldn’t find so I went and asked someone from a store and he said that there wasn’t one in the area and that they’d all gone online. So seeing as though that might be that case I walked back through the mall and then bam! I saw a Vodafone in plain sight. What!

Anyway, I went inside and began looking for plans and it was such an issue. Because I got a plan, I needed to connect it to a UK bank card and confirm the UK address listed to the card. And then I almost forgot my pin number lol. It’d been a year since I used my pin. Anyway, I got a plan with unlimited talk, text and internet. And they gave me a 10% discount.

Also, we did the day 8 covid tests and sent them back in the mail. We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant 🙂

10 days of isolation: Day 6

Day 6:

The results from the covid rapid release didn’t arrive. In fact, the email to say that the tests have arrived at the facility haven;t arrived either. Not impressed. I bet by the time we hear anything isolation will be over. Also, I spent the day looking at creating some low content notebooks. I’m thinking of releasing some to see if I can make anything extra.

10 days of isolation: day 5

The real day 5.

I made shepherd’s pie, but I think it could have been better, though everyone loved it. Did some more cross stitch. I also spent most of my day experimenting with creating a journal on word. I’m thinking that maybe I could create a low content book and put it out there and see what happens 🙂 We also did our rapid release tests. We thought we’d get the results that night, but I went to bed with getting an email.

10 Days of Isolation: Day 4

Saturday is like every other day. We got our negative results from the day 2 covid test by email. I still haven’t got my new sim card in the mail. Maybe it’ll arrive on Monday. Once I get it I’m going to update my resume and send it out so I can get when I arrive in Edinburgh. I spent the day watching Youtube and playing computer games. Thought more about my new story and watched a new TV series called Final Space. Chris also taught our friend Magic the Gathering. Had Indian for dinner 🙂

10 days of isolation: Day 3

Day 3:

I spent most of the day playing Cities Skylines, spending most of that time working out the public transport. However, before that in the early hours I can up with a potential new story. I’m calling it Fish Boy and I think it’s somewhat decent. Our friend posted the day 2 covid packages and my new sim card has not arrived. We also ordered some ingredients to make Shepard’s Pie for the next day. Chris also ordered that rapid release day 5 test because he wants to get out of the house.

10 days of isolation: day 2

Day 2: June 3

The second official day but the third. It was leftovers again, and I think I have developed a new sleeping pattern. Early to bed, early to rise. We did our Covid day 2 test, and it got a little confusing because the two packets were different and mine came in one less white box to put in the cardboard envelope. Chris’ was just fine. Anyway, we do the tests and our friend is going to put them in the post the next day. I did some more cross stitch and phaffed about online.

10 Days of isolation: day 1

Day 1: The first 24 hours

The first day of house quarantine went fine. I had leftovers for breakfast and found the kitties had settled. My husband told me that one of them had vomited on me while I was asleep. We got Chris’ home covid test in the mail and after lounging in our rooms for most of the day we spent the night watching British TV and I didn’t recognise anyone. We got Chris a cheap fan, and it’s entirely representative of its monetary value. Either we didn’t assemble it correctly or it’s poorly designed. Either way, the plastic blades zoom up and down the metal spoke that spins. I did some cross stitch and watched a unibomber drama series. Had takeaway for dinner again.

10 days of isolation: Day 0

Day 0: Almost all things that could have, did have.

Arrived in Newcastle, England on the mid-morning of June 2. We had 4 large bags, 2 backpacks, 2 laptop bag and 2 kitties. The entire travel process was stressful and sometimes I can’t believe that we actually got out of the Netherlands.

Prior to leaving we had to arrange a place to stay (its home quarantine in England). We planned everything a month in advance. If we had flown to Edinburgh, we’d have to do hotel quarantining, so we opted for England. A dear friend of Chris’ allowed us to stay at his place 🙂 We booked our flights with KLM and then afterwards found out they no longer take pets to the UK so we got a refund a few weeks later. For a hot minute, it seemed that we might be stuck in NL. But we found that there are ferry services that’ll let you take you pets across the channel. So we booked that. We then book our pre-travel covid test, and the 2 & 8 day tests for when we’re in England.

In the weeks leading up to departure, I’m full of nervousness and a feeling of listlessness. I also swing to excitement and start planning what I’m going to do once back. The UK is opening up while the NL kind of kept closed. So a week before we leave we check to see if the covid tests we pre-ordered arrived in the mail in England. We find out from the friend that mine arrived but Chris’ has not. We later found out that the postman arrived but because no one can to the door so it was not delivered. It went back to the post office and then got sent back to the lab. We emailed but after a few days we did not get a response and ultimately we ordered another kit. We plan on getting a refund.

So we start packing, I knew we had a lot of stuff and went to Primark and got the largest suitcase they had. It turned out to be a good thing because Chris’ Magic cards and books took up a lot of space. We also threw out a bunch of stuff to make everything fit. The last few days were stressful.

So on the 30th we go for our covid test. When we get there they ask for our travel ID and I freeze, I forgot my Dutch residence permit. For a second I think that I ruined it, but they accept my Australian driver’s license and all is good. That night at 11 we get the good news. Negative.

The next day we go to the trial of Chris’ attacker and after three hours exit. It’ll be two weeks before we find the verdict. That afternoon we get into a taxi and take all our stuff to a nice hotel in Amsterdam. During, the ride the kitties get stressed and are panting and crying. When we arrive at the Hilton, a pet friendly place, they end up sooking for the longest time. While in the hotel I get onto Vodafone and try to see if i can get my old UK phone number re-instated. But because it hasn’t been active in over a year, they can’t. They send me a link to get a new sim card and I fill in the address.

On the 1st we decide that we should get some calming spray for the cats. I find a nearby pet shop and after getting not only lost on the way to find the train station, but lost inside as the tram line I needed to take had been moved around because of major construction I get to the shop and then return. Later we take a taxi to the IJmuiden dock and while on the way get a phone call and realise that the ferry leaves at 5pm not 5.30. We make it anyway and with a little time to spare. So nerve racking. But the boat trip was pretty good. I think they could have offered internet for free, but they offered it at an hour, 3 hours or a 24 time lots. We had dinner and breakfast and I think there was not that many people on the ship.

The next day we disembark, they had a trolley for all our bags and we exit without problems. So we get to Newcastle, go through customs and exit to terminal. I found that the place was almost deserted. It was unbelievable; it was like it was a holiday or something. I was expecting a taxi ring but there wasn’t one car in sight. We only had a NL phone, and it wasn’t connecting to the UK phone network. So I go back into the building and find a dedicated free phone line to a taxi service. I pick up the phone and find it dead 😦 I exit the building again but with their business card and tried calling with our phone. Our call didn’t go through 😦 But then we hear a man ordering a taxi on his phone and ask to call from that. We tried calling from his phone but got a message saying the taxi he ordered was on his way. So we copy the number and try calling ourselves, it doesn’t go through. But then his taxi arrives and we ask the driver to call another taxi and he does 🙂 The taxi comes within 5-10 minutes and for a moment it seems that we cannot get all the luggage in, but after some tetris we do. The drive was uneventful and we get to our friend’s place. Later that day the 2nd covid kit we need arrives, and all is good 🙂

We spent the day watching TV and catching up with our friend. It was strange watching UK TV. I hadn’t watched a TV since before coming to the Netherlands. It was also strange to find how much I didn’t prefer to watch. We had take-away for dinner and it was so much cheaper than the Dutch version.

As I am writing this, I think back on our exit from the Netherlands and wonder how we even managed to not only survive that country but exit it as well.

London Holiday

View from the Tower Bridge as we walked into the city centre.

Just got back from a week in London 🙂

We flew in and out of Stansted Airport and overall it wasn’t as expensive as people go on about. The only thing we found to be pricy was the long-term accommodation for people looking to live there, other than that it was quiet a manageable trip.

Thursday 19th January:

When we arrived we got the train to Liverpool Street Station and walked through the city and saw along the way the outside of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge (that is the better bridge, not London Bridge). We got an Airbnb place in the suburb of Bermondsey, then we walked back into the city and had dinner at a german restaurant.

Friday 20th January:

We walked to the Imperial War Museum and spent an hour or two there and then went and looked around Westminster, saw the palace and abbey plus Big Ben. We then went to Trafalgar Square, followed by a stroll through St James’s Park to Buckingham Palace. It was the first time I saw a lake that was partially covered in ice! We then wandered off towards Downing Street and saw that the place was cut off with large black metal barricades and armed with armed men. Afterwards we met up with friend and had a lovely french meal in Soho.

Saturday 21st January:

We met up with the same friend from last night and another to go to a wonderful market near Bethnal Green. We used public transport for the first time, taking the train to Bethnal Green tube station. Afterwards we went to The British Museum.

Sunday 22nd January:

Visited the Natural History Museum (with another friend) and spent a good four hours there. I really liked all the taxidermy animals they had on display, but the place was packed and we even had to line up to get in. That night we had dinner at a BBQ restaurant and returned home via the tube.

Monday 23rd January:

We leisurely walked into the city along the river and explored the streets around us (four hours!) and for dinner met up with another friend at Imperial College. After that we hung out in the student bar and then with a fourth person we walked along ‘Embassy Row’, a street that had extravagant houses along Hyde Park. We went to a wonderful Japanese Sushi restaurant and took a bus back.

Tuesday 24th January:

Terrible day. We booked a return bus trip to Cambridge via National Express. But three times they screwed us with directions. The first time they failed to inform us of a change in location. The second time we were given the wrong location and when we rang up again the person on the line didn’t even know the stop we were at, so we were told to go back to the first stop and the bus never came. It was terrible, hopefully we’ll get a refund. I check them out on Trip Advisor and half their reviews are one star ratings. In the end we went back home and de-stressed.

Wednesday 25th January:

After a sleep in we went and saw the Wellcome Trust followed by the Grant Museum of Zoology. That place was amazing. The zoology building isn’t that big, but it is packed with skeletons and specimens of all types of animals and critters. It was so much fun to look at.

Thursday 26th January:

Last day, walked into London and then met up for lunch with another two other people at the same german restaurant we had dinner at on our first day. Then we went to The Alchemist and had a waffles and sticky date pudding. Then we got the train from Liverpool Street Station back to Stansted.