A year ago post…”Knowing and the not knowing.”…Our views then and our views now…

What a pose! What was she thinking? Female feathers are brown while males are black.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from July 2, 2018, while in Marloth Park, Mpumalanga, South Africa. See the link here for more details.
It was a treat to see multiple wildebeest visiting the garden at night.
Ironically, one year ago, we wrote the following, taken directly from the post here on July 2, 2019:



“After all the excitement over the past week by finalizing several bookings for the upcoming year, we’ve now settled back into our day to day lives. The itinerary is almost completely filled in with only a few gaps for hotel stays.  

Not only has it been exciting for us, but it’s also been a huge relief. Not knowing where we’ll be in six months is daunting, especially as I continue to recover from open-heart surgery.



That is one of the important aspects of world travel after all these years, knowing where we’ll be a year from now and perhaps the following year. This fact has been instrumental in our booking so far out over the past almost seven years.

Without a home, apartment, condo, or place we can go to repack and regroup, this process must be completed while amid our travels. This could be unsettling for many.



Now, with experience, we’ve found if we know where we’ll be in a year is all we need to feel comfortable. However, we both acknowledge that most likely we’ll never be in a position to land in a new country without reservations. If we’d did, we’d figure it out and not panic.”

Elephant viewing from the fence between Marloth Park and Kruger National Park.

Funny, isn’t it? And now, not knowing where we’ll be in a week, a month, let alone a year. Next time, down the road, when we broach this topic we’ll certainly look at it in a different light.


While on cruises or socializing in any country, we’re often asked, “How far out do you book your travel?”


We always answered, “As far out as it takes for us to feel comfortable, usually about two years.” 

There may be one elephant or 40. However many there may be, we’re always thrilled to see them.

At the beginning of our world travels, we only felt at ease with bookings out as far as those two years. But, as each year passed, we became less stringent about this, generally dropping it down to about a year as time moved on, while always having some cruises booked into the distant future.


Here we are now, with nary an idea of where we’ll be at any point in the future and oddly, we’re still ok. We aren’t afraid. We aren’t stressed. We aren’t uncomfortable. 

This flock of ostriches is often found in a particular area near the river we often visit when on daily drives. Note the chick on the far left.
Our goal is to stay free of the virus and to be able to stay in a country where we can resume somewhat of a normal life, in a house with a view, with a kitchen, cooking our meals, doing laundry, going out sightseeing and, sitting outdoors on a veranda. 

We may not be able to visit crowded venues, but we’d always avoided typically crowded tourist hotspots. However, we’ve loved the opportunity to take a drive to find interesting scenery, wildlife, and nature, all the while taking photos to share with all of you here. 
Tom feeding kudu girls and boys from the veranda. 

I can’t wait to be taking photos again, even imagining that first trip to a grocery store to stock up, with a camera in hand. Most likely, our first photos will be of a new holiday home, its view and immediate surroundings, and a trip to the market to revel over the food options…humm…even some beef will be a treat.


At this point, we haven’t been inside a grocery store in six months! We haven’t cooked a meal in six months! We haven’t had a chunk of quality cheddar cheese or a handful of nuts when we’ve been hankering for a midday or evening snack! 

Wildebeest Willie ate a few pellets, looked at us, and was on his way, the other following close behind.

And, at this point, we haven’t had a glass of wine or a cocktail in 100 days! Wow! I’ll certainly take a photo of that first glass of wine, that first homemade meal, and that little plate of imported cheese to savor as a treat. 


We’d love a side salad, an olive, a pickle, real cream in French press coffee. Yesterday, while we watched an Irish cop series, Red Rock, Tom had to wipe the drool off his chin when he saw a plate of donuts.

A group of kudus is a “forkl” with females and males are together in a family unit, also referred to as a “harem.”

It’s all different now, one year later, the knowing and the not knowing, and most of all, the profound uncertainty of the future. May we all stay safe.

_____________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, July 2, 2019:

Whenever the sky is mostly clear we look forward to the sunsets. For more details, please click here.

Itinerary one year ago…Itinerary today…

We stumbled upon the Preston Fresh Seafood Wholesaler on our drive to Yorkeys Knob which is a quick five-minute drive from our then home in Trinity Beach. We returned many times during our months in Queensland.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from July 1, 2015, while in Trinity Beach, Queensland, Australia. See the link here for more details.

While searching for the “Photo from one year ago today,” it was interesting to see the upcoming itinerary we’d posted on July 1, 2019. Doing so, prompted me to post this prior itinerary revealing how much has changed at the tail end to the present, in light of COVID-19. (See below).

Their colorful signs in the somewhat remote location made it easier to spot from the highway.

This is the first time in our almost eight years of world travel that we don’t have a specific itinerary, nor do we have holiday/vacation home bookings anywhere in the world, at any time in the future.


We have some cruises booked going forward but, based on how COVID-19 is progressing, we expect they’ll be canceled or changed at some point, leaving little reason to post an itinerary including such cruises.

When we arrived at the wholesale fish market we were intrigued by what could possibly be “cooked bugs.”  Could this possibly be some type of sea “insect?” Check out the photo below of “cooked bugs.”

It’s a weird perception after all these years of world travel to literally be in “limbo” with virtually no definitive plan for the future, other than to leave India when it becomes possible, which could be months from now.


Our itinerary has been a vital aspect of the joys of traveling the world. Having the opportunity to review and revise it as needed has been a vital part in our planning. Now, everything has changed.

Gee…we’ve never seen scallops in the shell. We can imagine a plate of six of these covered in an almond flour and Parmesan-crusted buttery topping. Tom likes scallops so this will be a no brainer.

There are several couples with whom we’ve stayed in touch, mostly from North America who have been traveling the world as well, mainly from one to three years. 


On Facebook or via email and text messages we stay in touch with those couples and are up to date on their travels during the lengthy lockdown. Some have been able to travel within their own country, US or Canada, and have been able to fly in and out of several locations in order to maintain a degree of the continuation of their world travels.
These are “large cooked bugs” which are similar to crab but according to the salesperson, they taste similar to prawns. Next time we visited, we tried a few and loved them.

Had we been able to fly to islands in the Caribbean, the South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean, no doubt, we would have chosen another path during this long haul rather than staying stuck in Mumbai. 


As more time passes, more and more countries are refusing to allow travelers with US or Indian passports/visas to enter their borders. It seems this fact is escalating by the day when this morning on the news, a growing list of countries now forbidding entry into their borders where COVID-19 is on the rise, as is the case in the US and India.

If and when India’s international flights resume, we may have to continue to stay in Mumbai when few countries will welcome us with this double whammy (US and India) in our passports.

We selected a barramundi filet from this batch, caught that morning. Keep in mind, for those of you reading from countries not using the metric system…AUD $32.50 per kilo translates to 2.2 pounds which would be USD $14.77 per pound, not too bad for fresh (never frozen) wild-caught fish. We purchased about one pound of which Tom had 9 ounces and I had approximately 7 ounces.

The few countries, such as Tanzania, which we previously considered, is accepting anyone from anywhere which may be indicative of their lack of interest and caution in providing safe entry into their country. But, according to this news story (and others), it may be foolhardy to travel to Tanzania based on their lack of statistics and precautions.


The reality isn’t as simple as, “When and where international airports will open to US citizens having spent many months in equally high-risk India.” It’s much more complex.


Again, some of our US readers write, “Come back home!” But, as we continue to reiterate, ad nauseam, there’s no point in us doing that when cases of the virus continue to escalate, we have no insurance in the US (only outside the US) and we have no home, no stuff to fill it.

At AUD $64, USD $49.26, all of these items which includes a huge Barramundi filet, two pieces of made-without-sugar smoked fish and two containers of crab meat which we’ll use to make low carb crab cakes this weekend (lasting for two meals) will result in four meals for the two of us.  As a result, the cost per entre results in a cost per day of AUD $16, USD $12.31, not bad for such delicious fish and seafood. We struggle to be motivated to go out to dine when we do so well at home and have just as good a time.

This fact doesn’t make us sad or despondent. Still, we consider ourselves world travelers and we have no intention of changing that scenario one day sooner than is absolutely necessary, which most likely would be due to health considerations.

Sure, on numerous occasions, we’ve discussed the reality that travel will be different going forward to include; vaccination requirements; long queues at airports and cruise terminals; required quarantine in some countries; face masks being worn in public areas; social distancing and more restrictions we’ve yet to discover.


We had to get about 18 vaccinations when we began traveling in 2012, which we updated in 2018 while in South Africa. Although we’d both prefer not to be vaccinated if a proven-to-be-safe COVID-19 vaccination becomes available, we will accept this requirement, when most likely, having such a certification may be required to enter most countries. 

There were a few types of fish that had been frozen but it was clearly marked. We prefer not to purchase defrosted fish preferring to buy only fresh when available.

We didn’t flinch when we had to be inoculated for Yellow Fever and other diseases in order to visit certain parts of Africa and other countries. And, we won’t flinch again when this becomes a requirement to travel. We have no doubt this will become necessary in the future. Want to travel? Be vaccinated or stay home, which will be the standard travel motto in the future.


We appreciate and accept the risks of vaccination that have created a movement of sorts, who are opposed to vaccinations. We understand and accept there are certain risks. 


But, traveling the world may require a degree of putting aside some of our personal beliefs, preferences, customs, and familiar modes of living to accept that of the country we’re about to visit.

There were a few types of fish that had been frozen but it was clearly marked. We don’t purchase defrosted fish preferring to buy only fresh when available.

Here is our link from which we’ve taken this year-ago itinerary as shown below.

Itinerary 2019 – 2020
Ireland – Connemara – house rented 89 5/12/2019 – 8/8/2019 
Hotel Dublin, Ireland 1 8/8/2019 – 8/9/2019
Hotel Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2  8/9/2019 – 8/11/2019 
Cruise – Baltic – Amsterdam to Amsterdam  12  8/11/2019 – 8/23/2019 
England – Falmouth, Cornwall, UK 14  8/23/2019 -9/6/2019 
England – St. Teath, Bodwin, Cornwall, UK 14 9/6/2019 – 9/20/2019
England – Witheridge, Devon, UK 21 9/20/2019 – 10/11/2019
Wales – Chepstow, Monmouthshire, UK 11 10/11/2019 – 10/22/2019
Hotel – Southampton, England 2 10/22/2019 – 10/24/2019
Cruise – Southampton to Fort Lauderdale  15  10/24/2019-11/8/2019 
Hotel – Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA 14 11/8/2019 – 11/22/2019 
Henderson, Nevada, USA 9 11/22/2019 – 12/1/2019
Holiday Rental – Apache Junction, Arizona USA 61 12/1/2019 – 1/30/2020
Flight Phoenix, Arizona to Mumbai, India* 2 1/30/2020 – 2/1/2020
Hotel – Mumbai, India 1 2/1/2020 – 2/2/2020
Train – Maharajas Express -Mumbai to Dehli 6 2/2/2020 – 2/8/2020
Safari – India (inc. in Private Tour) 5 2/8/2020 – 2/13/2020
India – Private Tour 51 2/13/2020 -4/3/2020*
Cruise – Mumbai to London 29     4/3/2020 – 5/2/2020
Total days planned 359 5/12/2020 – 5/2/2020
*The private tour ended on March 15, 2020, due to COVID-19

Life is filled with trade-offs. Only each of us as an individual, a couple, or a family can decide what works best for their desires and choices. We pray that each of our readers is able to choose what is best for their needs as opposed to being driven by the choices and opinions of others.

_____________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, July 1, 2019:

A year ago, we posted more information on the then-upcoming tour on the Maharajas Express. One of the many excursions on the Maharajas Express train includes a visit to the Taj Mahal. (not our photo). For details, please click here.

A work in progress on our revised site…Soon…

After leaving the beach we drove to a high point in the area with this expansive view.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from June 30, 2015, while in Trinity Beach, Queensland, Australia. See the link here for more details.



When we first decided to update our site a few years ago, I was dreading it. As no expert in web development, this daunting task, requiring a tremendous amount of work by me, kept me from moving forward.

We walked past a grove of palm trees and evergreens as we made our way to the beach.

As it’s turned out, the company we’re using now, located in many cities in India, works with many US and worldwide companies and is familiar with US-based needs as well as worldwide site features.


It wasn’t as big of a commitment as I originally anticipated when I’ve only had to spend four or five hours each week working on my part of the process. Although, during these quiet times in lockdown, it’s on my mind all the time.

We walked toward this crest after crossing the dip down to the beach, wondering if any crocs may be lying in wait. 

What’s slowing down the process of “going live” with the new site is the necessary addition of our 2882 past posts (as of today), being moved over to ensure we have an easy transition. The web developers can only add so many per day as each old post must be added manually, one at a time.


The archives are of utmost importance to us as the number one most important feature we have. Many of our long term and particularly new readers, reference them on a regular basis. Also, we use them many times each day to reference past information.

Yorkeys Beach in Yorkeys Knob was serene and pristine.

During my walk this morning, I recalled a fabulous resort where we’d stay in August 2018 in Chobe National Park in Botswana, thinking that we could stay there again when we’ll have to leave South Africa again after 90-days, for a new visa stamp. 


Immediately, I asked Tom the dates (he’s the expert in recalling dates while I’m better at recalling expenses, names of people, and names of locations) making it simple for me to look up the appropriate post for details about this resort in Chobe National Park. Not only is it handy to review old posts, but, it’s crucial as we continue on, day after day.

At certain points, it felt more like the desert than the beach with various vegetation shooting up through the sand.

Based on the time it’s taking to upload each day’s archive since March 15, 2012, it may not be until early August when you’ll see our new site. At this point, we’re excited about that day, not only to be done with this big process but also to be able to share the new site with all of you.


In addition, this morning I was selecting some additional travel advertisers for our site and eliminating the frustrating duplicates, that I was unable to remove without professional help. Our former web developer closed their business about three years ago leaving us without any professional help until now.

This view was to our left as we faced the ocean.

As we move forward with the site, we’re striving to increase our meager revenue from our advertisers which doesn’t cover the cost of maintaining our site annually. 


If our readers will use some of our links, including Amazon, none of which cost you, the purchaser any additional costs for products and services will eventually increase the revenue. Using our links provides our readers with all the same data and products found by visiting the site directly, resulting in our ability to generate enough revenue to cover yearly management expenses. 

To our right, this was the view we stumbled upon.

Thanks to those who have been using our links! We receive a small commission when our links are used. We do not receive compensation for the majority of links we may mention in the body of most posts. If we do, we will always mention that fact.


One item, important to mention now, is that HomeAway, the holiday/vacation site we use almost exclusively, which is one of our advertisers, is changing their name to VRBO when in the past few years they’ve purchased the majority of these types of companies under one umbrella. Our new site will reflect this change.

We spoke with this woman who is from Sydney and travels throughout the continent with her husband in their “caravan.” She, like us, was enthralled with the number of shells on the beach, not often found on many beaches that we’ve walked throughout the world.

As it turns out, this period in lockdown was probably the best time to work on the site changes with few distractions such as preparing meals, shopping, sightseeing, doing laundry, and socializing are out of the picture.


By the time the lockdown ends, we’ll have fine-tuned any necessary changes to the new site and I’ll have learned how to manage the day-to-day operations. Few websites/blogs prepare a new post daily which makes the process all the more time consuming and intensive.

Tiny wildflower growing on the beach.

Otherwise? Not much is new here. We see more and more new guests checking in and out when walking the corridors, all of whom are wearing masks. We hold back to let them pass. We remain upbeat and hopeful for times to come!


Stay safe.

______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, June 30, 2019:

One year ago today, we posted photos of the Viking Sun, from our cruise that was canceled for April 2, 2020, due to COVID-19. Buffet dining rooms such as shown here will be a thing of the past on cruise ships in the future. Hopefully, we sail on Viking sometime in the future. For more details, please click here.

Tom’s journey in lockdown..Weight gain and…His haircut…

Prior to his haircut.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from June 29, 2015, while in Trinity Beach, Queensland, Australia. See the link here for more details.

Being in lockdown has been a challenging scenario for both of us. It was about time to share some of Tom’s challenges during these many months stuck in a hotel room in Mumbai, India.

Side view after his haircut. 

Emotionally, it’s been relatively easy for him. He busies himself with endless research and reading with history and ancestry, two of his favorite sources of information. He spends a little time reading and posting on Facebook which is much less so than in years past.

Full frontal view after his haircut.

Of course, he continues to research possible future travel, but with the uncertainty due to COVID-19, this has considerably diminished over the past many months. He has no interest in researching facts about the virus. He leaves that to me which I report to him from time to time. 


Perhaps, like the proverbial ostrich with its supposed head in the sand (which isn’t true after all), he has little interest in pandemic news other than that which may ultimately impact our future travels. Essentially, his interest in COVID-19 revolves around this simple aspect, “When will we be able to get out of here and where can we go?”

The sidewalk (often referred to as the esplanade) along the beach in Palm Cove, Queensland, Australia in 2015.

Otherwise, he is surprisingly cheerful and optimistic. No doubt, he’s resigned himself to the situation and has maintained an even keel, day after day, night after night, making this isolation all the easier for me. It would be unbearable if one of us became despondent and/or grumpy.


Tom loves food, although extremely picky over what he eats. With relatively few menu options that appeal to his tastes, as mentioned, he was eating the same dinner each night; chicken penne pasta with white sauce, a side of roasted potatoes, and four slices of white toast. 

Many of the restaurants offer Italian cuisine.

I kept my mouth shut about this unhealthy repeated meal. There was no point in commenting about what he ate. In addition, he had four pieces of white toast with butter and strawberry jam with four eggs and bacon each morning. This was an outrageous eight pieces of bread a day. 


Add in the seven pats of butter and two little jars of strawberry jam each day, the calorie and carbohydrate consumption were over the top. He gained 20 pounds since we arrived in this hotel on March 24th, in a mere three months ago!

There were diners enjoying an early lunch as we explored the area.

When I noticed him struggling to button his pants, I still kept my mouth shut. On May 24th, of his own volition, he started walking and doing the stairs. But, as we know, exercise alone won’t necessarily result in weight loss.


On June 27th, again of his own volition, he cut out all the bread, the butter, and the jam. Now, he’s losing weight like crazy while still being able to eat the cheese omelet, bacon, pasta, and potatoes. 

Casual, affordable dining establishments line the boulevard.

You won’t catch me complaining about the carbs, especially when he consumes them only during dinner, which for some people, may work for weight loss. I expect he’ll lose the balance of the weight by the middle of August at the latest since weight loss slows after the first week or two.


He’s doing fine without the bread and says he’s not any hungrier than he was while eating the bread. Once we get out of here and into a holiday home where we can cook our meals, he’ll easily be able to maintain his weight with the meals we cook.

Pizza restaurants are never at a shortage in most countries we visit. 

We’ve both read many stories about people gaining weight while in lockdown. Fortunately, I’ve lost 12 pounds since we arrived at this hotel after having gained 25 pounds after taking all those heart medications for six months after heart surgery and changing my thyroid medication. I thought I’d be able to easily lose but it was not happening, although I was eating my usual healthy diet. 


Finally, albeit slowly, I am losing the added weight with the restrictions due to our confinement; no wine, no daytime cheese snacking, and no after-dinner nuts or low carb snacks. Hopefully, by the time we leave here in a few months, we’ll both have lost all the extra weight and be back to our “old” selves, fitting comfortably in our clothes.

There’s never a shortage of pharmacies wherever we may travel.  They are often referred to as “chemists” in many countries.

As for Tom’s next issue, it boiled down to his hair. His last haircut was in January 2020. I suggested he do a ponytail, but he wouldn’t consider it. I offered to cut his hair. He wouldn’t consider that either.


Yesterday, while I was wrapped up in preparing the post and oblivious to what he was doing, he took a pair of sharp scissors to his hair. He came out of the bathroom after his “haircut” and I couldn’t stop laughing all day, which continued today when I saw it again. 

A small grocer and “take away” shop in this strip of shops.

He dug out a hat from his suitcase and now insists on wearing it when leaving the room to walk the corridors. He really doesn’t need to wear the hat since we doubt the few staff members he may see in the corridors will give a hoot about his botched haircut.

He surprised me today when he didn’t mind that I posted these photos of him. It reminds me of when my kids took scissors to their hair when they were four or five years old, especially the side view. I trimmed the back of his neck. Like most haircuts, good or bad, it will resolve in weeks to come.

Palm Cove Holiday Caravan (RV) Park is across the street from the beach.

Much to my delight, Tom is doing well. As we discuss our potential plans to leave Mumbai when airports re-open to international travel, we do so with a sense of calm coupled with sensible caution, to determine which will be our best course of action. 


In days, weeks, or months, however long it may be, we’ll share more as the opportunity to move on as it presents itself. In the interim, individually and as a couple, we’re holding our own.


Stay well.

_________________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, June 29, 2019:

A year ago today, we’d booked this itinerary on the Viking Sun cruise departing Mumbai on April 3, 2010, that was ultimately canceled on March 15, 2020. In 2013, we sailed on a similar itinerary but this 29-night Viking cruise offers additional ports of call which appeal to us. Also, other than Antarctica this was my favorite itinerary, sailing through the Middle East and the Gulf of Aden. For more details, please click here.

Loading up on protective gear…Celebrating our special day in lockdown…

Protective gears; face masks, N99 masks, goggles, face shields, and hand sanitizers. Gloves have yet to arrive. (Sorry, this is a video. I hit the wrong button, but I’d already repacked everything so a retake was too much trouble).

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from June 28, 2013, while in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. See the link here for more details.
I suggested we use the rain gutter to dry the sheets. Tom ran to get the hangers to avoid getting the sheets dirty.  Then, he moved the table and chairs to ensure the sheets didn’t touch the tabletop.

We’re confident we have sufficient protective gear for the eventuality of flying out of Mumbai, hopefully to South Africa in the months to come. This morning, I received a news blurb further stating that South Africa intends to open its borders to all international travelers sometime in September.

I’d expected to see more hanging laundry on a Monday morning while on a walk in 2013 in Boveglio, Italy.

In other news, it appears India may be opening flights to international travelers in the next two to three months. This provides us with the hope that both of these countries will make these changes in the next few months, allowing us to move on.

This was our tiny clothes “dryer.” We’d sure appreciate one of these right now in lockdown.

In the interim, we’ve been gathering a variety of protective equipment we’ll be using when we fly out of Mumbai, which will require multiple layovers along the way. The above photo includes everything we’ll need with the exception of gloves that are yet to arrive from Amazon India. Of all the items we’ve ordered gloves have been the slowest to arrive.

Early morning walk to the garden.

As shown in the photo, are the N99 masks we ordered to protect us from air pollution while touring in India. We never used them, but going forward we’ll certainly use them while traveling. The popular N95 mask has a 95% virus protection rate while the N99 has a 99% protection rate.

What a morning! What a view!

As mentioned in a prior post, at the time we ordered the N99 masks while we were in the US many months ago, there was no mention of COVID-19, making them readily available at Amazon USA. Surely, by now, they may be more difficult to acquire.

When we walked to the garden we noticed these live vines over a doorway to another “attached house.  Tom grumbled, “You’d never catch me walking through those vines each time I went outside!” I thought they were cute.

Hopefully, our diligent use of these products will keep us safe on what may prove to be 24 hours of total travel time, plus extra time at the airports, due to COVID-19. Wearing a face mask can be difficult for extended periods, but with the above-shown face shields, we may be able to remove the masks for short periods when not in the close proximity of other travelers.

I took this unfamiliar walkway wondering what was on the other end.

Before face shields became available on Amazon India, we purchased goggles to use with face masks with many reports stating the virus can enter through one’s eyes. We won’t need to wear them with the face shields, but if we take off the shields for some reason, we can supplement our level of protection with the goggles worn along with face masks.

This entrance to another 300-year-old house appeared well maintained.

Well, enough about that! Today is a special day for us which under normal circumstances we’d celebrate with a night out or a special homemade dinner whenever we may be at the time. It’s the anniversary of the day we met in 1991, 29 years ago. 

Moments later, I was walking on another narrow passageway. It was like a maze. Of course, I was concerned I’d get lost which seemed possible with my lack of a sense of direction. Tom makes up for that!

Tonight, there will be no special meal and no celebratory happy hour due to our current circumstances. There are no different or special meals we can order. Instead, we’ll both stick to our usual meals. But, this doesn’t prevent us from reminiscing over the past 29 years, which we can easily do, especially over the past eight years since we began posting.

The entrances to many homes were appealing.

Through all of the challenges of being in lockdown, we easily entertain ourselves through playful banter and appreciation of one another. The fact that we both maintain a fairly positive attitude makes this long period of isolation tolerable. When one of us becomes low or worried, it’s easy for the other to lift the mood with a bit of humor or comfort.

This was the view over the railing; tile rooftops, green valleys, clouds rolling in over the hills.

We are grateful for one another and for all the love and support we continue to receive from our family, friends, and readers each and every day.


Stay safe.

______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, June 28, 2019:

This was the only photo we posted one year ago today, as we continued with the details of the then-upcoming journey on the Maharajas Express Train. India is a huge landmass that provided us with endless opportunities to explore, eventually cut short due to COVID-19. For more, please click here.

Music can brighten our mood during the lockdown and COVID-19 stress…Why did we choose to come to India?…

This is where we dined each night with views of the pool and the sea while in Sumbersari, Bali, Indonesia in June 2016. We wouldn’t mind returning there someday.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos (final favorites) are from June 27, 2016, while wrapping up our time in Sumbersari, Bali, Indonesia. See the link here for more details.



Each day, as I begin the day’s post, I first add the “Year Ago Photo” which often prompts me with ideas for the new post. I assure you, in the majority of cases, I have no idea what I’m going to write about when I begin adding features of the post.

It was business as usual with Tom wearing a sarong as the required dress to enter the temple. He had a hard time managing the steps. He just didn’t have the same experience as women who’ve worn long dresses, knowing when to hold up the hem for ease in walking.

In some cases, I find a topic that easily prompts me to begin writing and at other times I am at a total loss. Being stuck in a hotel room in Mumbai, India since March, the ideas for topics are far and few between. 


Subsequently, on numerous occasions, I’ve had no choice but to be repetitious rattling on about the same topics over and over again. On behalf of our regular readers, we apologize for this redundancy. 

Me, at the monkey temple wearing the required sarong.

The two topics we’re covering today is: 
1. How can music brighten an otherwise less optimistic mood on a particular day?
2. Why did we decide to come to India one year ago today?


Hopefully, in time, we’ll move on to more diverse experiences to share other than those from being stuck in a hotel room, eating the same meals over and over, and walking the same corridors 10 times a day.

The flow of the river at low tide. 

And yet, yesterday’s walking presented me with a new perspective when I was feeling blue about my dear sister Susan’s status of moving into a state of hospice/palliative care as her life’s breath dwindles away.


First, I will address my music revelation while walking, while in that low mood, which is unusual for me. I listen to informational/educational type podcasts while I walk, figuring I may as well learn something while embarking on the otherwise boring walks. 

These two chaise lounges provided us with shade for part of the day.  Later, we’d move to the shade of the cabana. That’s me at the edge of the infinity pool overlooking the sea.
Over time, I’ve come to appreciate what I’m learning, not only about current topics, but also many other areas of interest to me. If you can so much as conceive of a topic, invariably, you’ll be able to find podcasts and videos wrapped around these topics presented by reliable sources. (Only each of us can determine what is a “reliable” source of education and information).



Yesterday’s educational podcasts just weren’t doing it for me. I wasn’t able to listen intently as usual, instead, allowing my mind to wander back to my state of sorrow and concern.

The villa from the beachside.

As I stopped in the corridor to find any podcast that could help, I stumbled upon a couple of music videos I’d enjoyed in years past and decided to give them a try. In no time at all, back in the room, I found myself watching the clock for my next walk longing to listen to the music once again. 


By accident, I’d found a sorrow/stress reliever I hadn’t considered in these past many weeks with Susan on my mind. The songs I chose to listen to are irrelevant to others since everyone has their own personal preferences. I found those that promoted a pleasant memory seemed to be the most helpful.

The infinity pool and Jacuzzi view from the second level.

In a matter of seconds, my walking pace picked up, and for the first time in days, I had a spring in my step, although my music choices may be considered to have a melancholy tone.


Now, I know, when a particularly sad mood strikes me, I have a “place to go” in my head that reduces the worry and stress, at least for a period of time.
I’ve never been one to listen to music on my phone. I always felt I needed to be learning something, but this simple experience reminded me that my mental state deserved some fluff in order to get out of my head and relax more.

Kingfisher sitting atop a palm frond.

We’ve been diligent about watching some binge-worthy shows in the late afternoon and evening, which surely has been a huge source of entertainment and relaxation for both of us. But, the remainder of our days need not be filled with “responsible tasks” while in lockdown. 


As for point #2 above, “Why did we decide to come to India one year ago today?” (for our new readers over the past year) the answer is uncomplicated. In Ireland in 2019, we watched a TV series with Trevor McDonald about The Maharajas Express Luxury Train. We were hooked on the idea. 

Almost every evening while we dined, these four buffaloes walked on the beach. It was amazing these young kids could handle the huge animals which obviously knew them and cooperated.

Within days of watching the episode, we had booked our journey beginning February 2, 2020, and ended on February 8, 2020, almost five months ago. From there we booked a 55-day private tour which abruptly ended early on or about March 15, 2020, when we began our self-imposed lockdown before we ever arrived back in Mumbai. Cases of the virus were rapidly increasing worldwide and also in India.


Once we arrived in Mumbai, after staying in four hotels in self-imposed lockdown, India’s national lockdown began on March 24, 2020, the day we checked in to this hotel. As of today, we’ve been in a state of lockdown for 104 days. Originally, our plan was to stay in India for a total of 64 days. Humm…

Dragon fruit, a popular local item. 

Never at any point in our lives, have we stopped learning, continually striving to enhance our knowledge, personal growth, and endurance. Now, is no exception. Anything we can do to inch one step closer to our personal potential is a step in the right direction. Fortunately, regardless of our age, that goal can never be achieved. We’re all a “work in progress,” present company included.


Be well.

______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, June 27, 2019:

It was one year ago today we booked The Maharajas Express Luxury Train in India that prompted us to come to India. For more photos, please click here.

Our hotel is full!…Realities of the current worldwide situation impacts our lives…

This was the first bridge we drove across to arrive in the center of the town of Bagni di Lucca in Tuscany.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from June 25, 2013, (Yesterday, in error, I posted June 26, 2013 photos so today, I am posting the 25th) while in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. See the link here for more details.


When I headed downstairs to reception to pick up a package from Amazon India, (a new battery-operated toothbrush after mine died, even after trying several new sets of batteries), I asked the staff how many rooms were occupied in the hotel.
The view as we approached Bagni di Lucca, not the same town as Lucca, itself, which we also visited a short time later.

Much to our shock, they stated their rooms were filled with workers soon departing to resume work on the oil platforms out at sea. With 334 rooms this was astounding. Once they leave in a few days, I’ll ask again, as to how many of us remain. 


Will it still be a small group of 10 or 20 guests since the onset of the lockdown began in March? We’ll report here soon.

Notice the “no honking” sign. 

It’s no wonder it’s taken almost an hour for us to receive our room service dinners in the past few days, although breakfasts have been arriving in the typical 30 minutes from the time we’ve placed the call.


We don’t see any of these other guests. They, too, are locked away on other floors as we have been on the fourth floor for the past three-plus months. It’s a rarity to see any of the guests on this floor when they, too, are staying in place in their respective rooms.

The vegetation was so thick as we drove along the Lima River while entering Bagni di Lucca, this was the best shot we could get until we arrived closer to the town.

Today, we made our online booking for the hotel from July 1 to August 2, 2020. But, we have no delusions of getting out of here by that date. Based on information coming down the pike from countries all over the world, no US passport holders will be allowed into the majority of countries.


Today, a notice came to my phone that Europe won’t be allowing any US citizens to enter any time in the future, which may prove to be well into 2021. 

The last portion of the road as we began the descent into Bagni di Lucca.

As we review options for other parts of the world and potential upcoming flights out of India, we won’t be allowed to enter the majority of the countries on the borders-opening list. How long we’ve been in India is irrelevant since Indians are also on the refusal lists.

Tom, at the park by the river. One of our readers commented that his white tennis shoes are a dead ringer for a tourist. Apparently, Europeans wear darker colored shoes. Although, we’re not ashamed to be tourists, spending money and savoring every moment in the current country in our journey.

At this point, we have no interest or are we welcomed to travel anywhere in such locations as Asia, South America, Australia, New Zealand and, as we’ve mentioned many times in the past, in returning to the US.

The street was so narrow it only allowed for one way traffic at a time at the upcoming “T”. As a result, we sat at this light for no less than 7 minutes.

At this point, we’ve begun to know people in the US with the virus when for so long we didn’t personally know of a single case. We pray for their recovery and future well being. 

The footbridge leads to historical points of interest behind me, where we wandered around.

With over 2.5 million cases in the US, it’s pointless for us to return any time in the near future. We still await information for a variety of island nations that may eventually accept us and of course, various countries in Africa, hoping eventually to be allowed to enter South Africa.

Many of these buildings appear newer, although less interesting from the exterior. But many of them are hundreds of years old, built to last with the simple exterior design, common at different times.

National news consists of conflicting information on which countries will allow US citizens to enter. Each day, we conduct new research to see what our options may be down the road. 

Building a park around a historical structure is common from what we’ve seen of the world thus far. Hard to read signs prevented us from determining the origin of this structure.

The reality remains, however disappointing for us, is that even when India’s borders open for incoming and outgoing international flights, where we will be allowed to enter, may still be in question. There are dozens of possibilities we watch daily to see when US citizens will be allowed to enter.

Historic ruins along the banks of the river remain a part of the properties (circa the 1900s) built over the centuries.

Also, we have to consider the risk of spending hours in airports and on airplanes. Perhaps, ultimately, we may have to stay here for many months to come, in order to reduce those risks.

Danita Delimont Bridge was built in the 1700s. Walking across we were impressed by its strength and stability. 

In the interim, we are fine. Tom is now walking the corridors and doing the stairs and I continue to walk the corridors, 10 times a day. We’re eating fresh, healthy food, although repetitious and boring, sleeping well and our spirits are as good as can be expected, obviously impacted by family member’s health and well-being.

Outdoor cafes never cease to delight us, a novelty from whence we came in bitter cold Minnesota.

We hope all of our readers continue to exercise safety procedures to remain healthy as the world begins to open up many shops, restaurants, and businesses.
Take nothing for granted.

_______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, June 26, 2019:

This is a stream in Oughterard Shrubbery near Connemara, Ireland. For more photos, please click here.

Mumbai is no longer COVID-19 #1 hotspot…Dehli is the new hotspot…Vaccination?…

This hill in the neighborhood in Boveglio, Tuscany was much steeper in person than it appears here.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from June 26, 2013, (I am one day off here due to an error) while in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. See the link here for more details.



With the numbers of cases of COVID-19 rapidly escalating daily, it doesn’t look hopeful for international flights commencing soon.

It appeared that this house may be occupied, one of few dilapidated entrances in the area.

This news story came out only a few hours ago from this site:


“Over 16,000 COVID-19 Cases In 24 Hours For 1st Time; 4.73 Lakh (473,000) 

Total CasesNew Delhi: 
India recorded its biggest surge in the number of coronavirus cases in 24 hours for a second consecutive day with 16,922 new patients, taking the total to 4.73 lakh cases (473,000) the Union Health Ministry said this morning.

This is the first time that more than 16,000 fresh infections have been reported in a single day. The government on Wednesday reported a single-day high of 15,968 new infections.

Lisa and Luca, property owners in Boveglio, presented us with this basket of cherries from the tree growing in the garden after they’d seen us admiring the tree. Lisa, speaking no English and us, no Italian, it was impossible to explain my restrictive diet that forbids any fruit sugars. Tom, fortunately, ate a few each day, while I’ve merely enjoyed their beauty. We thanked them profusely, impressed by the thoughtfulness they had shown each day since we’d arrived.  For more information on Lisa and Luca and their properties, visit them at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/casasottolatorre.villabasilica?fref=ts
Of the total cases, 2,71,697 patients have recovered; 14,894 have died so far. In the last 24 hours, 418 deaths linked to the highly infectious illness were registered. The recovery rate stood at 57.42 percent this morning.”

With these numbers, it’s highly unlikely India will open its borders anytime soon. I also anticipate the lockdown stages will be raised to the initial higher and more restrictive levels soon. 
Many individual houses are attached, a common occurrence we’ve observed in certain areas of the world, such as Dubrovnik and Mykonos.

Apparently, the lockdown has had little benefit with this level of increasing daily cases hitting an already economically devastated health system. It’s easy to see why the cases are increasing in India and in other parts of the world. People are not strictly adhering to guidelines instituted by local and federal governments in many parts of the world.


India is not unique in its increasing cases. Yesterday, in the US statistics indicate there were 38,383 new cases, the majority of which were in California, Texas, Florida. See these stats for the US here.
Rushing by this flowering plant to avoid the hovering bees, I caught a whiff of pure heaven.
For stats for other countries throughout the world, including India, please click here. India is still in the #4 position in the world statistics with the US #1, Brazil #2, Russia #3. 

As mentioned in past posts, these stats could easily be lower than the actual numbers when equal numbers or more simply aren’t being recorded. How many stricken cases aren’t going to doctors and hospitals? More than we can possibly imagine.
Obviously, no cars fit between these narrow pathways to the houses. It’s no wonder that the Italian people appeared slim and fit.  The parking area, as for us, is a bit of a hike from the house. Add the hills to the walk and it becomes quite a workout on a regular basis.
Some of our readers may ask, “Why do we keep posting these dreadful numbers?” We certainly don’t do so to terrify our readers. For us, these stats are vital in regard to our current situation in lockdown in a hotel room in Mumbai, India after over three months.

Secondly, many of our readers are travelers and for those considering future travel, these stats, although low from reality, can be used as a guide as to determine where and when they may consider traveling in the future.
More blooming flowers.  In a few days, the many lavender bushes in our garden begin to bloom. I’d wished we could have done online “scratch and sniff” for the sweet smells in Tuscany.
Of course, once international flights commence in India, we’ll be reviewing these stats for countries we may consider traveling to. What point would there be in leaving this hotel in lockdown for another hotel in lockdown in another city? 

We’d just as soon stay put here until it’s safe to leave and to commence a somewhat normal quality of life in another country, staying in a fully equipped holiday home and being able to be outdoors providing we observe social distancing, wear masks, and exercise proper hand washing, and crowd avoidance.
Ah, a flat stretch where I can catch my breath.
At this point, we realize cruising is out of the question for some time to come. We have no cruises booked until November 2021, 17 months from now. Also, for us, cruising was all about transportation from one part of the world to another, and for socialization which, going forward may be entirely different on cruises. 

We can’t imagine table sharing, and socializing in small groups will be possible on cruises. How will everyone stand in line to leave the ship at various ports of call? The group gatherings and activities, and shows will no longer be possible.
What will be the point of cruising? We’ll have to wait and see what transpires.
We’d have added a couple of chaise lounges to this veranda we spotted but then again, we didn’t see any Italians sunning.
When and if a vaccine is discovered, I imagine having been vaccinated may be a requirement for international travel. As much as many are opposed to a vaccine, it may be a reality us travelers will have to abide by. 

After all, before we traveled to Africa in 2013, it was required by several countries we visited, that we had proof of yellow fever vaccination in order to enter. The requirements for this have lightened up in many parts of the world over the past several years with fewer cases of that virus as indicated here:
This was the steepest hill in the area.
“Yellow fever is common in sub-Saharan Africa (where it is endemic), countries in South America and a few other parts of the world. Many countries that do not require yellow fever vaccination for entry, do require proof of the yellow fever vaccine if coming from an infected region.”

Most likely, this will be the case (but even more stringent) in years to come, possibly as soon as 2021, when most likely a vaccine for COVID-19 will become available. 
Maintaining sure footing on this walk was more important than the exercise factor.  The stone walkways were rugged and uneven inspiring me to keep my eyes down as much as possible.
If a vaccine is required for us to continue to travel, we will get it. We don’t want to allow this virus to prevent our future travels any more than it has already. Our goal is to continue on, with or without cruising, with or without the opportunity to visit public venues for sightseeing purposes, or with or without 14-day quarantine requirements.

We shall see.
_______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, June 25, 2019:

As in most areas of Ireland, there is a tremendous number of rocky areas, streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds. For more photos, please click here.

Our sorrow over family members and loved ones in hospitals, nursing homes and care homes during times of COVID-19…

This buffalo was not happy to see Tom when he went for a walk in the neighborhood. He used no zoom to capture this photo when suddenly this monstrous agitated animal started to approach him. Tom ran like a “bat out of hell” to get away, telling me the story while still breathless from running.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from June 24, 2016, while in Sumbersari, Bali, Indonesia. See the link here for more details.



We keep jumping around from year to year as we decide which photos to share on this particular month and day to ensure the photos are interesting. No doubt, over the years, when staying in certain locations for extended periods, we were scrambling for new photos. At times, they were simple, somewhat uninteresting photos of our immediate surroundings.

The buffalo snorted and stomped his feet ready to charge.

However, today’s shared photos from June 24, 2016, are of special significance when Tom had a scary incident with a large water buffalo in Bali that scared the wits out of him. See the story here. At the time, he was terrified, but there was a part of this that made us laugh then, and again now, as we review the photos.


So, enjoy these photos with us once again today, which are four years old, when nothing is more soothing during lockdown now than a good laugh. Perhaps a chuckle has significant meaning, especially today when I’ve had some bad news about my dear sister Susan, who’s in a care facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, unable to receive any visits from family during times of COVID-19.

This was a second buffalo who considered getting in on the action. The cow behind him seemed totally disinterested in what was transpiring.
A few months ago I posted about Susan’s failing health and the need for her to be moved from an assisted living facility to a nursing home with round-the-clock care due to her failing health. 



Susan, who is four years older than me, and has been lying in bed for about 14 years with a wide array of diseases, including congestive heart failure, fibromyalgia, severe thyroid disease, and now, requiring oxygen around the clock, COPD. Sadly, she takes about 25 medications a day.

Several workers were involved in a road paving project.

About three months ago, she was moved to a new facility, a small, 10-patient nursing home with comprehensive care. There is never a time a staff member isn’t available to assist her.


Over these past years of world travel, Susan and I have spoken on the phone regularly often laughing and sharing stories of our mutual world travel experiences. Once she was moved to the new facility, her health and memory began to fade rapidly when conversations became more and more difficult for her.

This is the grassy path Tom took in search of photos, never realizing what lay ahead.

Since she’d moved, I was calling her daily, usually in the mornings which was her early evening, knowing that nothing was more important to her (and to me) to stay in touch with her since no family members in the US could visit her due to the virus, which remains the case today.


Nevada is in about the middle of the 50 US states in regard to the number of cases and deaths with 14,000 cases and almost 500 deaths, although not as horrible as many other states. Nonetheless, no family members are allowed to visit. 


A sad part of her isolation has been the fact she hasn’t been able to see her beloved pet, Chase, adorable Yorkshire Terrier who sat on the bed with her day after day. This fact alone has surely contributed to her going downhill these past months.

Cows were contained in this roughshod enclosure.

Over the past three weeks, I have been calling her both in my morning and evening, which are the opposite times of day in Nevada, never having her pick up the phone which was always at her side. I left numerous messages to no avail. Surely, if something happened to her, the facility would let us know.


This morning, I called the facility directly, explaining she’s not picking up the phone, regardless of the time I called. As it turns out, they’ve taken her phone away from her. In her confused state of dementia, she’d been calling the fire department and police several times a day asking for help. (We don’t anticipate any type of abuse at the facility since family members know the owner and the facility is highly rated).


When I spoke to her evening caregiver Ray, he explained about the phone being taken away. They preferred not to take the phone away, but they had no choice when the police and fire department let them know she had to stop calling.

Cows often look to see who was passing but seldom showed signs of aggression. 

Now, all I can do is call to get updates on how she is doing and leave a message to tell her I’ve called and that I love her. This breaks my heart and the hearts of our family members who also cannot be in touch with her any longer.
But, we are not alone in these sad feelings when so many have loved ones with the virus and other conditions are in hospitals and care facilities, who are suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease unable to take calls.


A dear friend experienced this same thing these past few weeks when her mum was hospitalized with a broken back and other conditions. Due to COVID-19 and her aging mother’s health status, phone calls were difficult and confusing while getting reports from doctors was impossible. 


Then, the awful reality remains for the patients in hospitals and other facilities who are isolated and unable to spend time with and hug their loved ones. How frightening this must be. Our dear DIL has surgery again today and will be alone at the hospital. We pray for her health and well-being.

Finally, Tom returned to the entrance to the villas and the beginning point of the road under construction. He was relieved and grateful to have avoided injury.

Not knowing how a beloved family member is doing and their prognosis is frightening and frustrating. This scenario is rampant throughout the world now more than ever. I am sure many of you who are reading this now, can totally relate to this sad scenario.


We can only continue to do our part in the prevention of the spread of the virus by wearing face masks, social distancing, hand washing and avoiding crowds. We pray that in time there will be improved access to loved ones in hospitals and facilities.


This is hard for all of us, in one way or another. Love and prayers to all.

_______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, June 24, 2019:

We visited the tourist favorite Joyce’s Craft Shop and Art Gallery while on a drive in Connemara, Ireland. For more photos, please click here.

“Quarantime”…Weird perception of time during the lockdown…

As we began the drive to Benabbio while in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy in 2013.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from June 23, 2013, while in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. See the link here for more details.

A weird phenomenon has befallen us as we spend more and more days in quarantine, another word for our status in the lockdown in Mumbai India.
Now, some may say describing our situation as quarantine is faulty when in fact we are in a state of lockdown, not quarantine.

The café and entrance to the only restaurant within a 30-minute mountain drive from Boveglio, Il Cavallino Bianco, was quaint and charming.

“Quarantine” is described in part in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as follows: “as a state of enforced isolation.” That’s us. The common misconception of the word quarantine during times of COVID-19 is that one must actually be sick or potentially sick to be in quarantine. See further descriptions here.


However, today’s story is not in regard to the definition of the word quarantine. Instead, it’s about our perception of time itself, while we’re in quarantine and/or lockdown.

Houses we encountered as we walked through the town.

In no way do we diminish the difficulty of us being in lockdown as being more challenging than for others throughout the world. But, our situation with the lack of opportunity to be outdoors, let alone meander in larger spaces feels for us more like a quarantine of those infected with the disease than our intent, coupled with stringent lockdown rules, to remain virus-free.


From the basis of this scenario, we have observed a peculiar sense of time passing: the days are long, the weeks are fast. What’s the deal with this? After doing some research I discovered this peculiarity is not so unique after all.

Mustard painted house across from the restaurant.

It’s apparently prevalent enough to warrant a story in the popular publication, Psychology Today which we found here, written by Dr. Casper Addyman, Ph.D., a psychologist, and writer for the fine publication. Below is a snippet of his article oddly posted only a few days ago on June 20, 2020.


Based on his analysis, the word has been renamed in regard to the times of lockdown and quarantine during times of COVID-19 to “Quarantime” not “Quarantine,” as commonly used in today’s media.


Vivienne’s grocery store, across the street from the restaurant.



“Quarantime: Why the Days Drag and the Weeks Fly By 

Research on time and memory explains why the lockdown distorts our perceptions.

Posted Jun 20, 2020, by Dr. Casper Addyman
Everyone on lockdown in their own home is experiencing an unfamiliar kind of relativity. Every moment seems interminable but days and weeks are rushing by at dizzying pace. This was how Irman Khan, the head of public engagement at the Wellcome Trust, describes the feeling.
Strange lockdown time-dilation effect; days have become much longer, but weeks much shorter.
Any explanation for this?
@ImranKhan, 2:21 PM · May 14, 2020
As it happens, I have done a fair bit research of time perception so I have a few thoughts about this. First up, I think we should call it Quarantine. And then I am happy to report that there is a scientific explanation. Here’s what I tweeted back to Imran:
Quarantime!
My longer answer as a time perception researcher is that the passage of time as it happens (days) will be slower because of the monotony of your environment. But the memory of the time elapsed (weeks) will be shorter because time is made of events and there were fewer of those.

Time is memory

This is all to do with how your brain tells the time. Essentially, time is memory. Your brain tells the time by counting the events that pass — the more events that occur the more time has elapsed. So when you are stuck in the same environment with very little variety to your day there will be two complementary effects.
First, the lack of events will make it seem that time is passing really slowly. Because….. each…. external…. event…. that…. happens…. takes…. a…. long… time… to… arrive…. But your heart and physiology carry on at their normal pace. So it seems like experience has slowed down and, additionally, it is just more boring. Those events aren’t especially eventful.
But then, when you look back upon that interminable and unremarkable day, you will find you have very little to remember. Perhaps enough things to fill half a day. Retrospectively, therefore, it will feel like your day has whizzed past.
At first glance, this seems paradoxical, but that is because we have an incorrect notion of our own experience of time. For us, time really is relative. Which is weird because that’s not how clocks work (unless you accelerate them to close to the speed of light).

What tells the time?

There are no clocks in the human brain. Well, there are some quite clever timing circuits in the cerebellum that operate on a millisecond timescale. But there are no ticking clocks. At least none that work on the human experiential time scale of seconds and minutes. There are three big problems with the idea of clocks in the brain.
  1. Despite forty years of looking for them, no one has found them.
  2. A mathematical law called the Central Limit Theorem proves that human time perception is worse than any ticking clock would measure.
  3. If we did have clocks we’d probably have to start one for each event we ever wanted to keep track of.”
A sign in the town square describing the village’s history.

The balance of this story may be found here. There are two above-mentioned aspects of our lives right now that attribute to this peculiar sense we possess day after day:
1. A lack of memorable events transpiring throughout the day making the days drag on
2. When we look back over a passing week, when we had so few memorable days, they all seem to blend into one fleeting passage of time, whether in weeks or months

The interior of the church was austere and dark. 

Thus, the daily sensation of the slow passing of time, a week later, a month later, is all becoming somewhat inconsequential in our memory banks as a significant part of our lives.


As we review our time in Marloth Park when each day was action-pack, days and weeks seemed to pass in a cohesive and consistent basis. As we review past posts, we can remember each day distinctly.

The organ was above this doorway on a balcony.

But, I assure you the many months we’re spending in lockdown now will remain in our minds as one single experience with little to recall. Oh, we’ll remember the day the cyclone passed through; the walking in the corridors; the repeated room-service meals; and the endless hours we spent streaming shows to occupy our minds. 


The rest, which may prove to be six-months long, will be a blur of one long and challenging period in our lives, in our travels, caught in a scenario we never could have anticipated.

The confessional.

May all of us, during these trying times of COVID-19, experience memorable days, weeks, and months that we’ll carry with us well into the future.

_______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, June 23, 2019:

At the Station House Museum in Clifden, Ireland two-wheel buggy used over 100 years ago. For more photos, please click here.