We hope that you continue to be safe and free of this dreadful Covid-19 virus. These are difficult times indeed. The Chef and I continue to keep our heads down, leaving the house only for shopping and a brisk walk every few days. We count ourselves so lucky in that respect. If we leave the house and pretty much turn right we’re very soon in the countryside, and if we turn left we’re soon in the town centre.

Lots has happened since our last trip including the UK’s second lockdown being introduced, Donald Trump leaving the White House in a less than gentlemanly fashion, Brexit, and thank God, the roll out of numerous anti-covid drugs, including one developed and manufactured here in the UK by Oxford University and Astra Zeneca, which The Chef and I were lucky enough to have as our first jab a couple of weeks ago. We were told that our second jab would be between 4-12 weeks away, so even allowing for 12 weeks, we should have finished treatment by the end of April, and that’s the date we’re working to for future travel plans.

Given the problems around the coronavirus both here and on the European mainland, it is unlikely that we’ll be crossing the Channel until late summer. Therefore our plans are that we will undertake a tour of Northumberland and Yorkshire commencing at the beginning of May, and taking as long as it takes, dependant on the availability of campsites and whether or not we get fed up. This tour will be supplemented by short breaks in the UK to keep the motorhomes wheels turning and offer us some welcomed walking and fresh air.

Our main trip will commence at the end of August and last for two months. It is to be a tour of Spain with a bit of Portugal thrown in. Both trips have been planned and the return ferry trip, Portsmouth to Santander is already booked. This has given us something to look forward to.

The beauty of the motorhome lifestyle is that it is so flexible and if things were to change in the lead up to the summer months allowing much more freedom of movement we could be loaded and gone within hours, but this year we’re going to have to be realistic, and plan for what looks likely to be achieved.

So I’m thinking there will be three separate trip entries for the blog. One covering any short breaks, one for the Northumbria and Yorkshire tour and another for Spain.

In the meantime the only thing happening here at home is the 2021 Oxford v Cambridge University boat race is to be staged here in Ely. The reason being the risk from the coronavirus infections if it were to be staged on the River Thames in London, coupled with potential navigation risks passing under Hammersmith Bridge which is to be replaced.

The race was held here once before, in 1944 when it was deemed to be too dangerous to stage in London during the war. In 2004, there was a re-run of that race to mark the 60th anniversary with a few of the original crews in the boat. We went along to watch and it made for a bracing trip out. I understand they will cover the same course (Littleport to Ely) this year and the finishing line (GPS: N52.409011 E0.300038) is only 1.4 miles from our house, though we won’t be going along this year.

https://www.theboatrace.org/news/the-boat-race-2021-to-be-raced-at-ely-cambridgeshire

If you look on Google maps on the satellite setting then just southwest of that location is 'The Potter Group Logistics' which was formerly Ely Sugar Beet Factory, where as a kid my dad would take me for a trip out as he was his farm's combine harvester and sugar beet lorry driver. It was a round trip of about fifty miles which to a young kid was a great adventure. Who'd have thought all those years ago I'd end up living not far from it.

I was disturbed to read recently that the Chinese I believe, have done research and discovered that a covid test sample taken from the back passage gives the most accurate reading. Well call me a prude if you like, but there's no way I'm driving to a test centre to then stick my backside out of the window to allow some test centre operative to have a rummage around for a sample in my lower regions with a long swab. No sir...not in this weather.

In the meantime stay safe, as the sadly now late Captain Sir Tom Moore would say “Tomorrow will be a good day”.