12 March 2020


Night accompanied us around the world, leaving us behind in a pink dawn just as we reach London at 6:20. Exit from Heathrow absolutely painless, no special checks. Thai Airlines do have a special video on what they are doing to minimise risks, and we are invited to report to a doctor at Heathrow if we feel ill.
Which we don't, so after a strengthening coffee we find our way to the Central Bus Station and on to the 205 bus to Poole. A dreary circumnavigation of Heathrow making more stops, a struggle through traffic and roadworks on the M25, then a fast run down the M23. Signs of recent heavy rain, waterlogged and flooded fields, rivers running high and fast. Cold, windy, patches of rain and sunshine, but Spring is in the air. Patches of daffodils, bright gorse in flower, and the bare trees are smudged with the green of lichen and new leaf buds.
We explore Poole thoroughly on foot after checking in to Quay House, energy holds up until mid-afternoon, when we feel we need a rest.
Risk management conundrum: do you risk falling down stairs by not hanging on to the potentially virus-contaminated handrails?
Travel trap: don't hang on to unused currency for the next trip. Peter brought £75 with us but when he tries to use a fiver to pay our fares on a local bus in Poole to get us from the bus station to our accommodation, he is told it is no longer legal tender, replaced by new notes in the last twelve months. We try a bank, who send us to the Post Office, but no one will change the notes unless we have.UK bank account. Or you can post them to the Bank of England and wait three weeks (really?). When I see an HSBC bank in the High Street, I wonder if an HSBC credit card will do, and to our surprise it does, and we swap the lot for nice new plastic ones.
Quay House, where we stayed

Thames Street, where Quay House is located

The Old Customs House, where we wait for the cab to take us to the ship.

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