Travels and Trachles by Wendy H. Jones


 Earlier this month, in a post for the Author's Electric Blog, I talked about my excitement that I could travel again. You can read it here.

Today, I am talking about the realities of undertaking a research trip abroad in the midst of COVID pandemonium. Seriously, you would not believe how many hours I have spent sorting out all the different regulations and keeping them all in my head. Here's how it has gone

1. England has got rid of all COVID restrictions. Scotland still has them.

2. Scotland then decides they are changing everything and there will be no mask wearing from 21st March.

3. Yet, I've a 6.5 hour train journey where masks still have to be worn.

4. I've got to have a PCR Test before going but, after scouring the Antigua and Barbuda regulations it has to be on a specific day. See image below. If you're interested I fly on a Saturday.


5. Book PCR test for the Tuesday. 

6. Not as easy as that as Antigua and Barbuda only accept recognised tests and providers.

7. Ring the Dundee PCR test centre for the name of the test they use. 

8. Discover it's not on the approved list.

9. Do some more digging. It is on the approved list - it has a different name.

10. Buy a load of FFP2 Masks for the plane journey.

11. Discover Airport and BA want you to change masks every 4 hours. 

12, Buy another bunch of masks.

13. Discover Antigua and Barbuda still require masks everywhere and you can be punished by a fine and 6 months in prison if you don't.

14. Buy more masks.

15. Wonder if I will be able to get anything else in my suitcase and hand luggage other than masks. 

16. Decide the first thing I will do when I get to Antigua is have a rum punch. 

17. Then I will crack open my laptop and do a spot of writing on my hotel verandah, gloriously mask free (that's allowed. I did check), while I look at the view below.



Is it worth it, I hear you ask. Heck, yes. I've already been in touch with the archives in St John's and various historical organisations and I can't wait. It's going to be amazing and I am grateful to the Society of Authors who gave me a grant to go and the trachles are well worth it. In case you are wondering what trachle means, it's Scottish for inconvenient or bothersome. A great word I feel, for the current climate. I'm trusting God will get the there safe and well and, given the current situation in Ukraine it puts all these minor inconveniences into perspective. 

So, are you ready to travel again? It would be great to know. 

About the Author
Wendy H Jones is the Amazon #1 international best-selling author of the award winning DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. Her Young Adult Mystery, The Dagger’s Curse was a finalist in the Woman Alive Readers' Choice Award. She is also The President of the Scottish Association of Writers, an international public speaker, and runs conferences and workshops on writing, motivation and marketing. Wendy is the founder of Crime at the Castle, Scotland’s newest Crime Festival. She is the editor of a Lent Book, published by the Association of Christian Writers and also the editor of the Christmas Anthology from the same publisher. Her first children's book, Bertie the Buffalo, was released in December 2018. Motivation Matters: Revolutionise Your Writing One Creative Step at a Time, was released in May 2019. The Power of Why: Why 23 Women Took the Leap to Start Their Own Business was released on 29th June, 2020. Marketing Matters: Sell More Books was released on 31st July 2020. Bertie Goes to the Worldwide Games will be released on 5th May, 202,  and the third book in the Fergus and Flora Mysteries will be published in 2021. Her new author membership Authorpreneur Accelerator Academy launched in January 2021. Creativity Matters: Find Your Passion for Writing the third book in her Writing Matters Series was published in September 2021. Wendy's latest release is Killer's Curse, the seventh book in the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries

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