Wednesday, August 19, 2020

A spanner in the works

Well that didn't go as planned! Literally the day after I'd organised the trip the U.K. placed France on the quarantine list meaning we'd have to self isolate for 14 days as soon as we got back home (Belgium was already on the list but according to the rules I think we'd have been ok if all we'd done was stop to pick beer up and not been close to anyone, as we'd planned to do). But a stop at a large supermarket and wine merchants in France would have seen us having to quarantine for 2 weeks at home - which given we were only planning to be away for 2 days seems out of the question.

So the plans got changed - Mrs AC still needed to leave and re-enter the country so we either changed our plans to travel to a country that was exempt from quarantine (which meant foregoing the beer that I'd already paid for) or we elongated our stay in order to justify doing a 2 week quarantine upon our return. Eager not to lose my beer, I mean to spend some time out of the house (we've not been away from home since we arrived back from Scotland in mid March) I chose the latter and arranged to spend a few more days in France and I've arranged a tour of the famous Champagne region of France for a few days, with obviously a few tastings along the way. Then we'll be driving down to Italy (which had been our original summer holiday plans all along) for 2 weeks for a quick tour of some bars with maybe the odd cultural site thrown in as well. This is using the 2 weeks in Italy as our U.K. quarantine as it's exempt so as long as we don't stop off in France on the way back then we can arrive back in the U.K. with no need to spend 2 weeks stuck at home. Not that we've been going out a lot anyway and all our plans to return to the US are on hold until I can enter the country again - I really can't see this happening any time soon though and Mrs AC will need to repeat the exit & re-entry palavar in another 6 months so maybe I should order more beer now!!

Now I haven't told Mrs AC yet of the extended plans as it will be a nice early birthday present for her - but given when I just asked her if she regularly reads my blog her response was "do I look that bored?" there's no way she'll find out before we leave on Friday. She also added her pet name for me so hopefully I'll be getting lucky tonight as well!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Killing two birds with one stone

We have a problem. We Brits are a pretty stoic bunch and we don't like to cause a fuss but I can promise you that it's something major - I've run out of booze! I've just finished off the last of my fancy Belgian beers that I bought last year You can only buy 48 small bottles at a time so I've done quite well getting them to last nearly 9 months, although it's not really a "session" beer and I don't think I've had more than 1 in any given sitting. 

We also have another problem - Mrs AC has been here for nearly 6 months and needs to leave and re-enter the country in order to renew her visitor visa, otherwise it will cause all sorts of problems if she overstays. When she arrived in the U.K. in early March it was only meant to be for just over a week and we obviously had no idea that it would be this long before we got to travel again. But she's been keeping Jeff Bezos's net worth high and my cardboard recycling bin full whilst ordering anything she's needed for the changing seasons. 

But anyway - Mrs AC is a grown up and can sort herself out. There are plenty of relatively cheap flights within a couple of hours from London so I'd originally suggested she take a day trip just to get the necessary exit mark and a new entry stamp. But hang on. I am a genius, maybe not a stable genius but a genius nonetheless. Why not combine a solution to both problems and kill two birds with one stone? Get Mrs AC to pick up some beers on her trip abroad! I suggested this to her and asked her what time she'd need to be at the airport. Her answer was her usual pet name for me. I think she's shy of using English when being affectionate so she uses Italian, "fottuto idiota". I think it means "my intelligent, handsome sweetheart", but I could be wrong! 

Mrs AC's suggestion that we take a trip together probably makes a bit more sense to be honest - it would be pretty hard for her to carry that much beer through an airport on her own and we'd run the risk of getting a few broken bottles at baggage reclaim. Plus we've been cooped up at home for so long and our summer holiday plans have been put on hold so it will be good to get out of the house, even if it's only for a short time. 

So next week we'll be having a day out on a booze cruise - driving over to Belgium and France to pick up some beer with a stop off at a wine merchants so that Mrs AC can spend whatever money she has left that she hasn't thrown in Jeff Bezos's direction.