Air-Lift In The Nick Of Time
Goulds Home – With A Tale To Tell
Bobby Gould has revealed how he and his wife Marge almost became lockdown cases on the other side of the world.
As we suggested in an article in October, they spent three winter months in New Zealand but their stay was nearly extended by around the same again by coronavirus.
They are now safely back in their house on the banks of the Severn Estuary and resigned to staying put until at least the English summer.
“We managed to catch the last flight out of Auckland to Los Angeles and then the last one from LA to London,” Bobby told us.
“There was nothing to spare – the airlines stopped flying those routes straight afterwards. For once, we turned left instead of right when we boarded and were in first class.
“It was still a very long journey, without stopovers, and we were pleased to see our son Richard when he met us at the airport at this end.”
Anyone who might be expecting to be informed that the Coventry-born couple would have been sent into a hopeless panic by having to remain Down Under for another few months, though, is in for something of a surprise.
“If we hadn’t managed to get on that last plane, we would have remained over there quite happily,” he added.
“We have been to this same region many times and have plenty of good friends there now. Before the virus became a big worry over there, we had a few dinners with neighbours, either in the property where we were staying or in their homes.
“So we knew we were in a safe and familiar place. Also, the New Zealand Government dealt with the problem very quickly and seem to be on top of it.
“There hadn’t been any deaths there from the virus until this week and I think there has still been only one.
“We were living in the Hawke’s Bay area on the North Island at the place our other son Jonathan still has over there and which we know he will return to live in some time.
“His daughter Louise is still out there with her boyfriend and was largely brought up in New Zealand.
“I didn’t go to any cricket this time but she works with horses and I went to see her playing polo as part of my sporting ‘fix’.”
Bobby’s life is normally so packed as to offer various other lines for us but the current isolation rules mean he had nothing else for sharing other than the fact he has been in telephone contact in the last few days with David Pleat and his former Bristol City team-mate, Keith Fear.