}

Friday, December 08, 2017

Secret and unexpected trip


Yesterday night, we got back from an eight-day trip to Australia. It wasn’t supposed to be an eight-day trip, but, as the crew and passengers of the S.S. Minnow found out, sometimes trips take unexpected twists.

We went to Australia to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday, and, as the Instagram caption above says, it was a major surprise. She knew that one sister and their mother was coming, but she was oblivious that the rest of us were, too (there were actually 16 of us on that flight, not 17). So, all her brothers and sisters were there, along with their partners.

We’d actually arrived in Brisbane on Tuesday, November 28, spent a couple days in there, then flew up to Gladstone, further north in Queensland, on Friday for the party the next day. We were due to fly home the following Tuesday, December 5. Things didn’t work out that way.

Sunday night, some family members became sick with what we worked out was norovirus, a highly contagious virus that’s the leading cause of gastroenteritis—basically a very nasty bug. More fell ill on Monday, with the final family member becoming sick on Monday night. Nigel became sick on Monday, and was quite sick at the height of it. By the time he saw a doctor on Tuesday, he was starting to improve, and that continued when he started drinking the electrolyte solution the doctor recommended. In fact, he recovered faster than other family members who didn’t use the solution.

I didn’t become sick, nor did Nigel’s Mum or several other people. The most likely reason for that is that it was the same strain of the virus that I was infected with at Christmas 2015. Generally speaking, one is protected from reinfection by the same strain for around 4 to 8 years, though that doesn’t provide full protection from infection of different strains of the virus, though it is possible.

In any case, this meant we couldn’t fly home on Tuesday, and are now in the midst of making a claim on our travel insurance—the first time we’ve ever had to do that. Someone with norovirus isn’t supposed to fly for 48 hours after the end of symptoms, and for Nigel that was on Tuesday, meaning we were good to go by yesterday. Meanwhile, although I seemed to have escaped the plague, I had to wait, too, to make sure I was symptom free (as well as look after Nigel, of course), so I couldn’t fly home on my own.

We arrived home last night and drove to pick up the dogs from Nigel’s cousin, who’d been looking after them, first at our house, then at hers after our return was delayed. We could have waited until today to get them, sure, but after 8 days away from them we didn’t want to. And they were very happy we didn’t.

So, what was supposed to be a six-day holiday and a family party ended up being an eight-day trip, at least some of which was very, very unpleasant. Fortunately, there was more than enough good and fun stuff to make up for the bad part, and I’ll be publishing separate posts about the trip so I can talk about it without creating one massive post.

All of this is also why I haven’t been blogging the past few days. I’d set up posts to automatically publish from Tuesday right through Friday—and I felt very Roger Green-like doing that. They were all set to publish at different times so that my sister-in-law wouldn’t be suspicious, because I know she reads my blog sometimes and I was worried that either a sudden silence or publishing at set times might tip her off).

I also planned to share the posts to the AmeriNZ Facebook Page, as I normally do, and for the same reason. That worked well—apart from one day I accidentally shared a post to my personal page. That mattered because I’d forgotten to switch off automatic location stamping for Facebook posts, and I was terrified it would come up as being posted from Brisbane (where we were at the time). I quickly deleted it, turned off automatic location stamping, then shared it correctly. She never noticed—whew.

However, creating new posts was very difficult, and I ended up only posting the one on Saturday. Oh, well. I shared a lot to Instagram, and many of those will end up here, too, in the days ahead so that I can comment on them.

However, none of this—nor even posts for this year’s Ask Arthur series—will help me reach my annual goal of 365 blog posts, something I’ve pretty much given up on. It’s not the lack of content, it’s that there just isn’t enough time left in the year. And, as if that wasn’t enough, I’m also in the midst of my final work project of the year, and the “extra holiday” cost me two full days, so I’ll be “a bit busy” until Monday. Still, I plan to post at least a little in the next few days; I may be behind schedule, but I still need a break now and then.

And that’s what I did on my holiday in Australia.

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