Paul Heast Reports From The Antipodes

I thought I would take this opportunity to briefly let you, and some of the others, know of our travels in the Antipodes.

For the first 10 days of February Jan and I toured in Cambodia (Pnom Penh and Siem Reap) and had excellent tour guides for our exploration of the local highlights including Angkor Wat. The country is beautiful, but the poverty hits you hard. We were insulated from this to a large extent but you cannot ignore it. The C Virus was our friend here because the Chinese tourists were non existent and it was very easy to tour around and take photos.

We travelled onto Australia, via Singapore.( lots of bio security measures here aimed at the Oriental tourists, but these did not affect us) We had a rental booked in Drysdale, south of Geelong Victoria, for a month and coincidentally were on hand to help her family when our daughter Penny went into hospital for two 3 day long chemo sessions, this following on from 3 serious operations since last July. Sadly we had to leave Australia for NZ on 10th March leaving her facing one more chemo session last week. We speak to her daily from NZ and she has handled everything with a smile, a very positive attitude and she looks amazing. Her Doctors have been brilliant and will continue to monitor her for some time but they are expecting her to resume normal life shortly.

(This will be tempered by the progress in the defeat of the C Virus as her immune system is at a low as a result of the chemo).

Janina and I are in day 10 of a 28 day self isolation at my daughter Mel's home in Auckland. This could be extended if the C Virus numbers don't recede. The NZ Govt have been very quick off the mark and lock down here is enforced with police and security services stopping people and asking them what they are doing. There are only a possible 4 answers or else you are in 'a spot of bother' as they say. There is plenty of space for us and the house is in what can only be described as a leafy suburb. A 200m exercise walk (allowed) up the road takes us to a spectacular view over the Hauraki Bay with Auckland in the background so not so bad. And the weather so far has been hot and sunny every day.

Janina has returned to teaching the 2 older grandchildren- plenty coming through from the schools and other sources via the internet. We both spend a lot of time communicating, I don't think I have ever written so many emails. I am in regular contact with the Band and, at present as Treasurer, I am preparing the end of year accounts. Its amazing what you can do from a far off shore. With largely all but supermarkets closed we have had to shop for essentials online. Often difficult to get a delivery space/or 'click and collect time' we have succeeded thus far. There are a few other outlets-Dairies etc to which our designated collector (son in law)can go but social spacing is rigidly governed.

How or when we get home is in the 'lap of the gods' Air New Zealand have confirmed to our Didcot agent that our flight out on 10th May is still on??? despite the fact they laid 3500 of their staff off this week. Even if we do leave the flight is to Australia, who are letting in New Zealanders under special rules, but no other nationality. Our flight from Australia on 10th June well who knows.

We are not desperate to rush home so no real problem - we have to take it as it comes.

By the way I had a couple of very good ''Google Hangouts'' meetings with Grumpy friends and this system works very well- audio and video as good as necessary. Zoom is an option, if a virtual AGM is needed but this would cost the Club. But it might be worth it to keep to the annual schedule.

Well if any of you have lasted this long, I wish you all the best of health, keep isolated, keep well and hope for the best.

Best wishes,

Paul (and Janina)