Since it may be the last day in the office for a while, we decided that lunch will be a pie and a pint. However, it took us until 3.00pm to be able to sit down and eat.

The day started with a call from one of my colleagues. His children are at home, and his wife not well… so he will attend our client pitch on Zoom.

Most of the morning was spent changing meetings to calls, making sure admin is dealt with, and preparing to pitch to our antimicrobial client to provide marketing and sales strategy advice and execution. The client arrived, and my colleague joined us on Zoom. That worked surprisingly well, although moving my MacBook around so that the camera fed him the right view was mildly amusing. He’s more used to being the one in control, and we had a laugh about it afterwards!

The meeting went well. We have agreed terms in detail, and now just need to get the paperwork done and nail down some specifics. It’s so great to have a focused and decisive client. He is totally realistic about what his team can and cannot do, where we can help and what they can do for themselves. There will be some sensitivity over roles for a couple of their people, but I we have experience handling that – and generally find that people just want to be treated courteously and fairly, and supported in their role.

With a bit of follow up and responding to calls and messages, it was fast approaching 3.00pm, and lunch beckoned. By this stage, it was not worth coming back to the office (we all had somewhere else to be late afternoon), so we packed up and left… to Smith’s, for a pie and a pint. It’s the nearest you will find to a British chippy in Singapore, and a delight to visit.

It felt like the last working day before Christmas, or a slack Friday…I suppose because it was the last formal day in the office, and here we were at 3.00pm on a working day, eating a late lunch and drinking beer, and not going back to the office. It was a very strange feeling.

So – off home, to pick up my younger daughter for a routine medical appointment. My son has been off school with gastric flu, so I spoke to him as he left to go to the GP. By the time that was all done and we got home, I was exhausted. There was still the shelving to assemble. Plenty of time to change into shorts and a polo shirt, and have a 5-minute rest…the next thing I knew, there was hammering on my bedroom door to let me know dinner is ready! Oops.

After dinner, time to go to the airport (the shelving will have to wait). Changi airport is almost empty, apart from bored staff and near-empty eateries. I suppose it’s what I expected, but it’s still a little spooky. My daughter’s flight arrives. It’s clearly half-empty, given how few people are waiting. Everyone is a little tense. The passengers start to come through.

The Melbourne flight usually has a real mix of passengers: students, business travellers, tourists…but not this time. Clearly, it’s about three quarters students (almost all female…not sure why), and the rest are quite elderly people (most are in wheelchairs).

It’s good to see my older daughter again, and she is visibly relieved to be home. Quickly off to the car, and a smooth ride home. On the way back, she makes a few phone calls to let people know she’s back, so not much chance to talk yet, but I can tell that she is relaxing by the minute.

There’s a bit of a dance once we get home, with everyone wanting to greet her, but trying to keep a reasonable distance…all done in good humour, and with lots of smiles and laughter. We have equipped her room (fortunately ensuite) with drinks, snacks etc, so she will mostly stay in her room – at least for the first five days, which is supposedly the time it takes for symptoms to appear, should she have been infected en route.

So, the day ends with my family unexpectedly all under one roof again, and I breathe once more.

Stay safe – and let someone know you are thinking of them.

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