Andy & Bev Fraser's Travel World

34 years of our "UnTour" Adventures
Our journeys are as close as we can come to a good old fashioned no rushing, relaxed time with good companions. This is our 35th year of doing it our way. Hope you can join us. Andy & Bev
One of the plague cottages in Eyam



Isn’t this a strange kettle of fish for all of us? All in the same boat; shut ins, no malls to visit, no restaurants, no pubs, not much of anything. Our two little malls are closed down for the duration along with dentists, many doctors, restaurants, theatres.

Shopping is a great exploration for one only and usually requires two or three shops to get a few simple things; and trying to find toilet paper is akin to searching for a new chapter of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Which does bring up this weird world wide hoarding. We can come up with a few good reasons why some are feeling the need for the toilet paper – but best we don’t discuss it here.

You name it and somewhere people are hoarding it. Even my special meal supplement which I need for my feeding tube. Why anyone in their right mind would want to hoard that stuff unless they try to sell it back to me. But there you go.

Our grocery stores have security guards to make sure you line up with about six feet between each other – and they also serve in a couple of cases to break up fist fights. It is far from funny and most depressing.

What what we are having to do is necessary. Not nice, not fun, but necessary.

Let’s hear it for the Italians...

Thank heavens for the Italians – not for getting so deeply into this mess - but for their typical flamboyant way of dealing with the isolation bit and their singing. We can all take a lesson here. And you can see the spin offs from that just about everywhere. In Quebec they’re singing Leonard Cohen songs from their balconies, in French of course, all of which least shows us a bit of our better side. Something like the WWII spirt that sprang up.

True Sacrifice...

Listening to authorities of all stripes speaking of the need for self isolation, which far too many people don’t seem to be able to comprehend, we were reminded of a place we visit on some of our England tours, the village of Eyam which was self-isolating during the time of the Bubonic plaque in 1665-66,with not a happy ending but a most courageous one.

The residents of this little village voted to remain at home when the great plague of 1665/66 hit their tiny community. From surrounding villages, and up and down the country people were running, hoping to get away from this guarantor of death. To run meant nothing less than spreading the disease wherever they went. To help the people of Eyam, grocers from surrounding towns would bring food and leave it outside of town and the townspeople would leave the money to pay for this in large hollowed out stones filled with vinegar.

To voluntarily remain in the town meant the disease could not reach its terrifying tentacles any further afield - but it would would do its thing with the residents. Theirs was a voluntary act of bravery far exceeding what we are asked to do. Theirs was an almost guarantee of death, ours is to prevent that from happening.

And today...

Walk through this bright, pleasant village today and on the origional stone cottages are small plaques listing the names of those who lived in these places at the time of the plague and the dates they died. Often a whole family would die one after the other within the space of a week. A total of 260 from a population of 350 died but the village lived and grew and thrives today.

What they did does make our being unable to visit, to shop as much, to go to concerts or sporting events, or parties, or sun ourselves on a beach, seem quite tame. Mind you, it is a terrible time for the whole world and it is something that will have long lasting repercussions.

And what about Turkey?...

Travel is, of course, going to suffer for a long time. What about us and Turkey? We simply don’t know. We wait and see and as we said before, we’ll make a call in May.

In the meantime, we do what everyone else is doing. However, it is a time to reconnect with some great old books, to go through those boxes of old photos we never seemed to have time to sort out before, to call or track down old friend , go fror drives and rediscover what’s out there beyond the malls and shops, and maybe take some time to rediscover ourselves.

Hang tough everyone, keep safe and enjoy what you do have and plan ahead. We are.

Talk to you soon.

Andy & Bev