Well, we did manage to celebrate P's 70th birthday with our planned staycation last night but it was touch and go for a while.
One couple had already cancelled the day before as news of the rising number of new virus cases started to filter through.
We arrived in Ramsey around midday and had a walk, visiting two shops on the way to buy birthday gifts for other people. There seem to be lots of January birthdays amongst our friends and family.
We met one of the couples joining us for the staycation and had lunch at the golf club. The clubhouse bar is open to non members and has lovely views across the greens and the hills behind. We had bowls of hot soup, crusty bread and whiled away a very pleasant hour and a half.
It was a brisk walk back to the hotel in time for a 3 p.m. check in. The cold wind had got up by then and it was like being whipped with needles of ice. I felt as if my face had been scrubbed with a Brillo pad.
We were just unpacking in our room, with the kettle on for tea, when one of the other couples knocked on our door to tell us the latest news. There had been another reported surge in local cases and a government briefing was to be held at 5 p.m. Our friend's husband is 80 and was feeling very nervous about staying, however, when we spoke to the receptionist she told us that the six of us were the only guests for that evening so, feeling reassured, he decided to stay.
Sure enough, the 5 p.m. briefing announced that we would be in full lockdown again for at least 21 days from midnight on Wednesday 6th January (today).
We still had a great evening together, talking and laughing until midnight. The hotel staff were fantastic, taking great care with distancing and mask wearing. The food and wine were excellent, and the rooms comfortable and warm with lovely views across the park and the lake.
After a sinfully large breakfast we drove straight home to start our lockdown. P did pop out to the shop as we were low on bread and milk but he said people were already panic buying. Several shelves in the supermarket were empty and trollies were piled high. What is wrong with these people?
He is certainly going to remember this birthday.