What a week! Looking back now at the #afterthepen for week 30 2020, canal boating in Yorkshire feels like a long time ago. As I write this post, the view out my window is not of ex-industrial waterways but the below; Sydney Harbour Bridge!
I had so many flights cancelled that it wasn’t until the day before that it actually sunk in. I was finally getting back to Australia! Because of current restrictions, I also flew in style in business class from Manchester to Sydney via Doha.
Having only flown ‘cattle’ class before, this was an entirely new experience. From the short check-in queue (and extra luggage limits,) to an à la carte menu, there were a lot of improvements! Realistically though, it was probably a one-off experience as it’s not a cost I could justify again.
Despite the cost, having a fully reclining seat and tasty meal options was amazing. I often sleep poorly on planes, and I also have a long-held aversion to the meals served; to the extent that I pack lots of food! Faced with new arrival procedures and paperwork, the good night’s sleep I had had was very welcome. The food served was also (so far) superior to what is being provided in my hotel!
Quarantine so far…
I want to reiterate that I completely agree with Australia’s policy to place all incoming travellers into two-week quarantine. Because I booked my flights months ago my stay is, fortunately, being covered by the government. I am, however, concerned that they (and therefore the tax-payer) are overpaying for what is being provided. If I were paying, I would be querying what percentage was being spent on food and the value for money provided. After two meals (I never received lunch,) I was looking for alternatives! All I can say is that I am relieved that we can order additional food and have a supermarket delivery due tomorrow.
I know that I am a fussy eater, but when I was given more plastic bottles of water than meals yesterday, I wonder what priorities are. I’ve also paid to have reusable crockery and cutlery delivered as everything is disposable and there’s nothing to catch crumbs on. Not ideal in a room that isn’t going to be cleaned for two weeks!
I’ll stop complaining now! Overall it has been very smooth. Everyone I’ve spoken to, from Border Force at the airport to the nurses who did my test this morning, has been friendly and approachable. I have enough space in my room to roll my yoga mat out and hang up my washing (as I am not paying $35 for a load!) and the view and soundproofing are excellent. It is quite evident that everyone involved on the ground is taking it seriously, which after what happened in Melbourne is just as well!
At the end of the day, while I would prefer to be at home, I am happy to be back in Australia. Where wintery sunshine is much warmer than Yorkshire’s summer version! Thank you for reading the rambling that has accompanied Week 30 2020 #afterthepen. As always, it had been very therapeutic to write my thoughts down so, thank you for reading along.