The Silver Travel Advisor team in lockdown and coping with isolation

The team are busy and also making time for new interests

We bring you notes from the Silver Travel Advisor team on how they’re handling social distancing and self-isolation. The Silver Towers team are hard at our laptops keeping abreast of our partners’ advice and activities during this tricky time. However, in a moment of unexpected exercise-awareness, I ordered a skipping rope, which duly arrived – sadly, it’s a child’s one, fine for my short legs, not quite so useful for the rest of my household who are all over 5’ 8’’!  So, it’s skipping for one at this house.

John Carter

Patron

On my walk to the paper shop yesterday morning, a female neighbour called out – from the other side of the road – “How are you?” “Fine”, I replied. “Yes,” she said, “you are looking well. This virus must be suiting you.”

John Carter

This morning, with the sun shining from a cloudless blue sky, I walked up a fairly steep hill through the park from Shortlands to Bromley. There was hardly any traffic on the roads and barely a half-dozen people jogging and exercising their dogs in the park. One man, with two little boys in tow, was flying a kite for them. Bromley itself was virtually deserted, with around twenty people in the pedestrianised area at the top end of the High Street.

A dozen shoppers, careful to keep the proper distance from each other, waited at the entrance to Marks and Spencer’s food hall. Within seconds of my arrival, a genial chap waved us inside.  They were admitting people in small groups and waiting until previous shoppers had left before letting another group in. The aisles were virtually empty. The shelves were packed.

I got everything I needed and had to wait at checkout only a few moments until the lady in front of me – well in front of me – had paid and gone on her way. Everybody was smiling. Everybody was polite. Some passers-by had smiled and called out “Stay safe”.

Not a hint of fear or concern. Just people making the best of the situation – and a very acceptable “best” it was, too.

Alan Fairfax

Cruise Advisor and Forum Moderator

Alan Fairfax

Many of our 115,000 members like me are amongst the 1.5 million who have been identified as most at risk. Wings clipped for at least 12 weeks, what can I do. The first day of spring was announced the other day so with the sun shining and temperature rising the garden is an obvious choice. Time to sweep, cut and clean. Yesterday, the grand opening of the summer house, celebrated with a large glass of chilled rosé. The birds were singing their songs, the sky an azure blue, what a beautiful world.

Stay safe everyone, follow the advice and we will get through this together.

Andrew Morris

Literary Editor

Andrew Morris

Books. No surprise that your Literary Editor is taking the opportunity to read more books than usual, and also working on some book lists for Silver Travel Book Club sponsor and partner HF Holidays to send to their housebound members and clients.

Baking. Conjuring up some healthy home-baked bread at home rather than venturing to the shops for the preservative-filled versions.

Biking. Cycling in the fresh country air, alive with birdsong and noticeably free of the usual traffic volumes. So much more rewarding than the spin studio.

Steve Aldridge

Forum Moderator

Steve Aldridge

I’m a believer in ‘use it or lose it’. Use your mind and body or your abilities will slowly diminish. With the Gym closed we have created our own in the conservatory, for regular, ‘socially isolated’ workouts. Linda has a pilates mat and I have found some old weights that I have nearly thrown away so many times (thank goodness I didn’t). Our club have some workout videos on-line but there are so many others for all types of abilities. For your mental health I resisted being photographed in a leotard (not that I have one) and that’s a stretching band, not a blue toilet roll (don’t get excited). Keep safe, stay well.

Gill Haynes

Partnerships Director

Gill Haynes

It has certainly been a time like no other, but these days of lock-down seem to have found a rhythm surprisingly quickly. A mix of working from home, plus the opportunity to address The List Of Things That Need Doing with fewer distractions. So I have finally got around to taking three feet off our front hedge (I left the back one as robins are nesting there). But I’ve been taking time to have a cup of tea – accompanied by our Abyssinian cat Kubwa (it’s swahilli for ‘big’ as he was such a tiny kitten) – and enjoy watching the tulips and daffodils nose their way into the sunshine, petal by petal, each day. And finally, I’m enjoying time in Richmond Park in the quiet of the early evening. Only walkers and joggers are allowed in at the moment, making it a magical time to savour the sunset. Everyone is observing the social distancing rules except for the red and fallow deer which gather and roam freely here. But I’m in no hurry to get within two metres of them!

Chrissy Nason

Silver Travel Advisor Writer

Chrissy NasonWith lockdown there’s no place to hide – no legitimate reason not to pick up the manuscript – I hesitate to say novel – I started some years ago. With 30,000 words written it’s been gathering dust for over two years. But, with no visiting grandchildren, family or friends, no bookings to manage in our Scottish holiday home, foreseeable travel postponed and unable to continue my volunteer work with youth offenders, it seems I have run out of excuses!

So, I WILL write every day. Let’s see if there’s a novel at the end, even if it’s just for my own satisfaction.

Sally Dowling

Silver Travel Advisor Writer

Sally Dowling

This is only the start of ‘lockdown’, and I am finding I am doing things far too quickly. I need to slow down! I have already defrosted my freezer, and in the process discovered some useful meals languishing at the bottom.

In order to carry on writing, I am keeping a diary of these troubled times for my grandchildren’s children, and I am also aiming to phone a friend every day. Keeping in contact, especially with friends who live alone, is a vital link with normality.

Finally, for the moment we can walk Sable, our failed Guide Dog, once a day along our beautiful beaches, or up on the South Downs.

PS. I am saving cleaning the oven until next week!

Cathy Bartrop

Video Advisor

Cathy Bartrop

Cathy is dancing like no-one is watching (they weren’t until Silver Travel Advisor asked for photo evidence!).

There’s nothing like a boogie to lift the spirits. It’s easy enough to turn up the radio and dance around the kitchen but, if you need a bit more direction, the best online ‘class’ I’ve found is bodygroove.com. Hosted by Misty Tripoli, she combines dance and fitness but in a very low key, easy style. No routines to learn, just easy moves to some funky music that literally anyone can do. Once you’ve signed up (first 30 days free and then £7.69 a month, cancel at any point) you get access to over 150 different videos on demand including the one I’m doing, the 30 day challenge. Half an hour a day to get my moves sorted for the big party I’ll be throwing once this nightmare is over.

Gillian Thornton

Silver Travel Advisor Writer

Gillian Thornton

I really appreciate my daily walk or run, especially with signs of spring everywhere.  Faced with an empty diary, I’m using the time to work on a family history project that I started a few years ago with the help of ancestry.com. I’m scanning in old photos and writing up a narrative, starting in the mid-18th century, so I can make photo books online for my children and granddaughter. I miss seeing them but we keep in touch on video links. I’ve got a great new jigsaw to do, based on a family photo, and another 800 wonderful pages of Hilary Mantel to enjoy. Could be worse!

Glynis Sullivan

Silver Travel Advisor Writer

Glynis Sullivan

The song goes “I’m busy doing nothing”. Oh dear, I have started the painting, I have started the cleaning, pottered in the garden, and the housework, well, I thought by now I would be on top of it all as we are self-isolating but!! – the days seem long, but where does the time go?

Being retired or being self-isolating does teach you to take your time and now we have lots of time. Time to Skype, What’s App, Zoom! But do I want to know what all my friends are doing every day? I love them dearly, but we don’t communicate every day. But wait, the garden is looking better, the painting is getting done and the house does look cleaner. So, I must be busy doing something.

Petra Shepherd

Silver Travel Advisor Writer

Remember when you religiously printed out photos, captioned them and stuck them in photo albums? Photo albums do they even still exist! Nowadays people have literally thousands of photos stored on computers and phones and what better way to spend the time now spent at home by immortalising these memories in a coffee table style digital photo book. Petra ShepherdThis is how I’ve been whiling away the hours. Over the years I’ve already created several books from my Apple Mac laptop, many with photos from unforgettable trips to Uganda and Nicaragua, Canada and Morocco, all for Silver Travel Advisor. However, like many things in life, creating a new book has been put on the back burner, I think I’m up to 2017 so am relishing the time now to go through my photos, relive past trips and friendships, select the photos and design the pages. I’m the first to admit that I’m a ‘digital dinosaur’ but I have had no difficulty in mastering the photo app and hopefully when we are all back to normal again, I look forward to seeing the printed results.

Jeannine Williamson

Silver Travel Advisor Writer

Jeannine Williamson

As a cruise writer I am grounded in more ways than one. But I’m having fun reacquainting myself with board games, and none more appropriate than the limited edition MSC Cruises’ Monopoly which I’ve never had the chance to open or play – until now. Familiar London locations have been replaced with worldwide ports and there’s a fun MSC Bellissima ship token along with the others I remember from childhood. I’d forgotten how long the game lasts, but that’s fine as I’ve got plenty of time to spare at the moment. And at least I’m back on a ‘virtual’ reality ocean wave!

273 people found this helpful
19571

Share Article:

Jennie.Carr

Silver Travel Advisor Creative and Communication Director, member of BGTW

2 Responses

Leave a comment

*

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest travel tips on top destinations.

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Most Recent Articles

A weekend catching up with my son and his dog, who are touring Europe in a van, led to me discovering an unspoilt area
Travelling solo doesn’t limit the opportunity for activity & adventure, as Kerry Gallagher found whilst touring the Rocky Mountains with solo specialist Just You….