A day filled with food and family.
- Pre-dinner chat with Rob, Jenna and Alfie, just back from a sweltering Greece, to a somewhat less sweltering London. Alfie looking stern – I’m hoping the frown is a signal he was trying to figure out why Ouma is suddenly in Mum’s cellphone instead of on the couch!
- From one call to the next – dinnertime call with the Gilbert family, with a very exuberant (if tired Isabel) celebrating a whole week at school, just 4 weeks on from major spinal surgery! Also celebrating Howard’s new teeth, and three flavours of ice cream for dessert (at their end).
- At our end, the food, the food… I knew it was a mistake to order both lunch and dinner when I did the menu choices, but not being able to choose between fish & chips for lunch, and steak & veggies for dinner, I ticked both. Plus the cheeseboard for dessert! Good choices, but definitely more food than we needed… cheese will do nicely for cocktail hour tomorrow! I fear I might have made the same “mistake” for next Friday!
- And perhaps the biggest highlight – a call from our Defence Force minders to make arrangements for our exit! Do we need flights booked, where are we going, do we have a plan to get there? So yes, it is booked – 1pm on Saturday! Beyond excited! (of course, contingent on health checks, and a negative Day 12 test still to come).
- Well, yes… The Ramp, this time in the rain. Need I say more…
Well perhaps just one more comment – made even worse by the officious private security guard who insisted that the barrier at the bottom of the ramp could not be extended down into the flat area and needed to be at the actual foot of the incline! On each lap, Peter and I nudged it a little further into the flat area – a small protest, but one which was unreasonably satisfying!
- Watching the growing disaster that is the Australian covid situation – a consequence, at least in part, of a delayed vaccine rollout, because they didn’t have Covid so decided to “be kind” and give other countries priority. Sound familiar, NZ?
Observations for future inmates
The frustration of the small things can overwhelm you. Judging other people’s ability to manage a piss up in a brewery (or not) is unproductive when you don’t have any influence or power to change things.
A wee example – exercise booking slots, as you will have gathered, are apparently in high demand here at Rydges in Auckland (where there is actually no good option for outdoor exercise). Anyway, what is, is. But the system for getting your booking is absurd – every day, you need to phone security to get tomorrow’s booking. There are rules…
- they will take your call at any time, but you can’t actually make a booking until after 8am in the morning – today I called at 7.55am and was told to call back after 8am
- after 8am, the line is constantly engaged – of course, everyone trying to get a booking.
Initially, the call was diverted to reception, who would take your room number and get them to call you back, but as of today, there’s a message saying don’t leave a message, just call back again when the line is free.
- you are only allowed on the rooftop terrace every second day – obviously this is to give everyone a fair go, which I don’t have a problem with…. but every day they say “where would you like to book?” and then have to explain that you can’t have the roof again!
Given all these rules, surely it would make more sense to just pre-book slots for everyone when they arrive, and then have the ability to take requests for changes to timeslots by exception? After all, apart from the occasional Zoom meeting, it’s not like any of us have a full diary of appointments that we need to work around!
With that off my chest, I’ll park that issue for the feedback form, and get back to my busy diary!