So today for the first time I’m voluntarily flying back into lock down, and maybe not for the last time either!
It’s a weird feeling to have this sensation of freedom in one location and to voluntarily enter another where all those same liberties don’t exist. When things shut around you there is no choice, but I’m choosing to fly into a place with more restrictions than I’ve just left, it feels weird.
But 2020 is a weird one right.
To be honest if I didn’t have a work engagement I probably would not make the trip back to the U.K. right now. But when I make a commitment I keep it.
Annoyingly due to changing Green List I’ve had to cut short possibly my last taste of freedom for a while in Sweden as I need to arrive back in the U.K. before 4am on Saturday.
And there is a real risk I won’t be able to get back out of the U.K. again this side of Christmas. Outbound travel for anything but work purposes is banned, as is U.K. internal travel and overnight hotel stays for anything other than business.
BA has scaled back operations for November as there will be very little travel to speak of, so not entirely sure what outbound flights will exist.
The lock down is supposed to be for 4 weeks, but we’ve all heard that before right. And that’s when you’re very conscious we’re an island – if I was in mainland Europe and travel was still permitted but with restrictions, there would still be a way out of the country by train, car, bus, foot even.
I’m feeling vulnerable at the prospect at being stuck in a country I no longer call home.
I don’t have a permanent address in the U.K. anymore – I’m effectively a transient solo household. And the new rules mean I can’t mix with others outside of my household, with a few specific exceptions.
I’ve booked a week’s accommodation in London and have a good amount of work to do – it should be a pretty productive week too, as they’ll be no distractions as I’m unable to socialise with anyone. For someone who travels solo a lot I do find forced social isolation hard. Ironically, I can often spend a week not leaving my abode and keep my head down working without it bothering me too much, but when I know I’m staying put because I’m legally not able to leave or socialise it feels more of a struggle. I like choice. Or the illusion of freedom at least.
I’ll be watching the news carefully out of Spain to see the feasibility of returning. It looks like cases are finally now coming down in Madrid but the city is still confined. Hopefully I can get back in given my temporary residency status and then just have to hope the country doesn’t head back to another lockdown. Spanish version of lock down = home confinement and that does not sound fun.
But being confined to the city of Madrid by contrast doesn’t seem that bad, life doesn’t sound too much different than just before I left, my standard barometer, bars are open they just close later, the Spanish are trying to adapt to eating out earlier and I could get back to running in the Retiro. I’m a fair weather runner these days, I don’t much like the rain and wind.
The main reason I’ve not returned to Spain since July is flying into Spain would mean having to quarantine when flying out pretty much anywhere. But with half the world in some sort of lockdown and no immediate business trips firmly in the diary until January that’s less of a concern.
So I hope when I can find a flight outta the U.K. – it’s not to another lockdown it will be somewhere more free than where I’m leaving.