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!