Voyager au temps du Covid

Armed with official negative Covid test results, our vaccination certificates, three-page UK Personal Locator Forms, proof of pre-purchase of two additional Covid tests to be administered in Scotland and proof of a ten-day quarantine accommodation, we flew from France into Scotland by way of Amsterdam. 

The layover in Amsterdam was just long enough to allow us to catch our connection despite an extra stop for a mandatory “document review” (I love looking at the Dutch, who remind me so much of their ancestors as seen in the painted masterpieces of the 17-18th centuries). In Edinburgh, we took a taxi with a chatty driver all the way to Melrose, an hour away but only seven minutes from our daughter’s place (I love observing the Scots, who look and sound like they came out of an episode of “Outlander”). We were not permitted to take public transport or have a family member pick us up, vaccinated or not.

Our captivity will take place in a wee cottage, off the main road of this village in the Scottish Borders.

I’ve just had a call with the local butcher who will deliver Shepherd’s Pies and stovies, and there’s a great fish and chips joint that delivers too. Our daughter stocked the fridge with vegetables and other necessities. We won’t starve. 

Our Scottish cottage

We have a small pile of books, so we won’t lack for literary distractions either. And then there is British TV and all that streaming allows.

Still, here we are, barely through Day Two, and I’m itching to walk to the hill I can see from our back window. Brown cows dot the green slope, under fast moving dark clouds and I want to feel the bracing wind in my (short) hair. UK-Gov has been in touch by text, warning of spot checks to make sure we don’t leave the property and the 10k pound fine if we do, so I’m dissuaded from venturing out. 

At least we are out of the heat and humidity of Nice. We turned on the radiator today. My kind of summer! By Monday the weather will turn to warm and sunny, and soon — now in nine days — we’ll be out and about. We won’t go far, as the highly transmissible and possibly vaccine resistant Delta variant is rampant but we’ll have long walks with “the kids” and Lily the poodle along the Tweed or Ettrick rivers and across sheep pastures. Family time. That’s what we are here for.

About kmazz

I spend as much time as possible pursuing my interests in global culture, photography, arts and politics.
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7 Responses to Voyager au temps du Covid

  1. Ruth Miller says:


    That’s a lot of precautions. I think for most EU countries the visitation is less involved.

    It will be so great for you to visit with family. Have fun! 😀

  2. You are SUCH a wonderful storyteller, Kathleen! I feel like I’m there in Scotland with you and David. I’m confident you know of Paul Strand’s wonderful portraits of the Scots many years ago. If not, here’s a link:

    I have long yearned to follow in his footsteps. I hope you’ll share sone of your amazing portraits of the Scots with us; I’m SURE to be motivated!!!!

    Hugs to you and David,

  3. Ian says:

    What fun! Melrose is quite near Peebles where my ancestors lived until the 1840s when they decided to move to Upper Canada (Ontario). Have a great visit with Francesca and Paul!

  4. Lynn Blasberg says:

    Some ordeal, but it will be well worth it when you reunite!

    Having a heat wave in Vancouver 27 to 34° over the next few days. The idea of a radiator sounds amazing

    xoxo Lynn

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