Our Vanda orchid in our garden

English 22

Fotoboek Up

Dear Friends,

Just like for so many of us, our plans for 2021 were again thwarted by Corona: Minke's mother Paula was unable to make her usual visit, Laura was not allowed to leave Australia and we were not allowed in, and other visitors were of course also absent. We did have the whole of Thailand to ourselves again, like here on the right on Ko Muk Island.

We have tried to jump through all the covid hoops in a careful way with PCR testing, QR codes, vaccinations, quarantine, all kinds of restrictions etc. and as much as possible we still managed to continue our normal routine. We spent a longer time with Minke's mother in Warmenhuizen and we did manage to see friends and family once again. Only Laura we couldn't see for almost two years due to the strict covid policy of the Australian Government. Interestingly from the moment Laura became a permanent resident, her situation changed completely. At first she was afraid that she would have to leave the country, and after she received her permanent residency she was suddenly not allowed to leave.

We went to the MEC museum in Lelystad with Minke's family where the old disinfection oven of Minke's grandfather is located, which was later also used by Minke's father against woodworm in antique furniture. It was nice to see that the oven has been preserved despite budget cuts and the relocation of the museum.

This year we went to Spain with the E-type, after Kees had completely overhauled the engine in the weeks before. We took many beautiful little roads through France and we are becoming more and more convinced that France is the optimal country for a ride with a classic car. On the way back from Spain we visited Anton and Noortje in Chamonix, and Lucy in Geneva. We took some beautiful walks and once again had a magnificent view of the Mont Blanc.

In Thailand, it really looks like our housekeeper is retiring this year. It will be disappointing that for the first time in 20 years, we will have to squeeze our oranges ourselves in the morning and that we cannot just leave the house to travel without having to close the door behind us. Samak plans to return to her village where she has built a house in recent years and where she will spend her retirement years with her dogs and cats.

The covid measures in Thailand are generally followed with much discipline. Face masks are worn outside, temperature checks in stores, and free covid boosters were given in the National Indoor Stadium near us where both Thai and foreigners could sign up and take a jolly selfie after the injection.

We managed to apply for a special permit to enter Australia and spend the Christmas holidays with Laura. There was a lot to celebrate with a gin and tonic: Laura's permanent residence visa, her new job as a researcher at the health ministry, her thirtieth birthday, and the purchase of an apartment. Unfortunately, all three of us did have to stay in quarantine for a few days over Christmas because the results of our COVID test did not come through. Near Laura's flat we found a good spot on prime location to enjoy the magnificent Sydney fireworks.

We wish you a healthy 2022 from Sydney, and hope for some more freedom in the new year.


last update January 1, 2022