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January 2022 - First Trip of the Year

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

Some people call me the Space Cowboy.

Actually no one has ever called me that. I’ve been called plenty of other names both to my face and behind my back, but never to my knowledge a Space Cowboy. I’m not even sure what is meant by the term. Is it someone who rounds up lost ‘space’ or someone in space who keeps all the flying debris together?

And with that, the blog is back which must mean we are off on our travels again, this time to sunny Lanzarote for a short break away from the winter at home. Not where we had originally planned or even replanned, but we are grateful and pleased to be here.

But before all that I need to quickly fill in the gap between our last trip which was to Florida in November and now.

In one word we had Christmas and jolly good it was too. We went to lovely Christmas shows at different Theatres, attended some rousing carol services, went to the Light Show at Sandringham, caught up with lots of family and friends and pleasingly all managed to avoid Covid.

The actual festive period was great. Barry & Ellie spent the day with us, and we had Karen’s Mum and Kevin with us for as much as possible. The food was good and there was much mirth and merriment with many games being played all day and night. We even managed to have festive G&T’s in the Hot Tub on Christmas Day.

We were all blessed again with some lovely and thoughtful presents.

The only downer was the match at Carrow Road on Boxing Day. I hate matches on Boxing Day as it takes us away from what should be a period of being together, but as usual I was persuaded to go with the boys. Not only did we get soaked going there, but it was an abject performance losing 0 -5 to Arsenal where we were lucky to get nil.

Since Christmas, Karen has unsurprisingly been inundated with offers of work. Her only concession has been not to accept full weeks of work so at least we get to spend one midweek day together.

I have still been playing golf most weeks and indeed ended the year and started the new one on a high with a couple of really good rounds. Sadly, I have not managed to keep it up. I blame the cold weather, the wet courses, the leaves and basically everything bar me.

I had the last 2 years blogs printed up into another hardback book. It looks and feels impressive despite the poor grammar, spellings and sentence construction. I know it is really of no interest to anyone but us. It is a though a real record of our travels and much much more than just photos. I just wish I had started it many years ago. We do refer to it when trying to recall some precise details about trips.

Whilst looking at it over Christmas it amused Barry to read out my initial musings regarding Covid from February 2020 just as it was taking a stronghold in parts of the world. In my naivety I suggested that if everyone just stayed at home for 14 days it would go away. This cunning plan would have worked apart from me not realising two vital things. Firstly, the world cannot survive without what we have now come to know as ‘Key Workers’ who sadly cannot just stay at home and secondly how the virus transmits possibly serially within a household. Apart from these two major flaws my plan was a winner!

I undertook my first shift as a volunteer at one of the Vaccine Centres in Norwich. My hat is tipped to those people who have done so over the last 12 months. I found it very rewarding but exhausting. My problem was my legs. Having to stand in virtually the same spot for over 4 hours left me in so much pain by the end of it. I am not sure how I made it back to my car afterwards. It took 24 hours before I was able to walk normally again. I will try and have another go at helping but may have to accept that I cannot assist in that way.

Anyhow fingers crossed that as the year progresses the mentions of Covid will decline in this blog as it hopefully lessens its deadly grip upon us all.

Back to our travels. Some 11 months ago we decided to abandon our plans to get to New Zealand again in January 2022 as we were unsure when it would open its borders again. This proved to be a wise decision as they continue their policy of hard restrictions. This looked to be a wise short-term policy by them but is now proving difficult to exit to any other position.

So instead, we came up with a plan to use the flights to go to California, staying at Palm Springs and San Diego before flying to Hawaii for a week. Everything was booked and looking good. Then the Omicron wave hit us. Whatever you may think of Boris, his policy of offering booster jabs worked and meant that we are coming out of this wave quicker than anywhere else. The spread of this wave seems to be East to West across the world. This means just in the New Year, California and Hawaii were still to hit a peak of infections by the start of the year. Now the Governors of the two states we were planning to visit have during the pandemic, implemented extreme restrictions overnight. We were weary that this could happen whilst we were there meaning we couldn’t visit or do many of things we wanted. After mulling it over for a few days we decided to postpone the trip. Almost everything was easy to cancel and get a refund. We did though lose the money for the flights from LA to Honolulu (about £230 in total), which although annoying was a cost we had to take.

So instead, we thought we would still like to go somewhere, albeit for a shorter period. We settled upon Iceland. I had everything lined up for 2 weeks’ time and was ready to book when Karen checked the weather forecast and saw it was for sleet all day every day we were going to be there. Now we had already accepted that the weather would be cold with possibly some snow, but sleet was another matter. Everything we wanted to do was outside and the sleet would have made it miserable. In addition, the roads would be atrocious and dangerous, and the plan was that we drive ourselves round. Finally, the cloud conditions were not going to be conducive for us to see the Northern Lights which was one of the main reasons for going. So, reluctantly we abandoned that plan and decided to seek out some sun instead. After flirting with the thought of Tenerife we ended up booking our old familiar favourite Lanzarote, treating ourselves to flights with Jet2 rather than Ryanair – how decadent we are becoming in our old age.

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