Days in Lockdown: 47 to 49

Day #47 Another Day Closer until Lockdown Ends.

There’s an exciting buzz on Facebook Expat groups today as more news drip feeds in throughout the day regarding Spain’s de-escalation process. Essentially there will be four phases, starting with, quite logically, Phase 0. Different Provinces may start the phases at different times. We are currently in Phase 0. Each Phase is to be reviewed after a two-week period to see if we can continue on to the next one. This will be dependent on the infection rates remaining positive and the capacity of the health system in the region.

Things so far look positive for us, as encouragingly Murcia reported zero coronavirus deaths today, and with 1.5 million inhabitants, Murcia remains the least infected by population in Spain.

Phase 1 is scheduled to ‪start 11th May.‬ During this phase we can hope to look forward to a relaxation of movement restrictions within our province, small stores opening under certain conditions, and outside terrace restaurants opening, but with a greatly reduced occupation of 30% of normal capacity. There may also be the chance of ‘social contact between people’. Oo er missus...

Hairdressers are allowed to reopen. I’ll be honest, this isn’t something that has particularly spiked my interest, although Archie certainly needs a haircut, and this no doubt will come as a huge relief to him, since we’ve been threatening him with ‘The Bowl’ for several weeks now. Something I am sure that will trigger unpleasant flashbacks for anyone reading this who’s over a certain age and from a certain background.

But it’s important to not let yourself go in these times. I’ve noticed how beards have become increasingly fashionable amongst quite a few of my male friends since the lockdown began. Actually, also with one or two of my female friends but I won’t name names.

A bushy beard isn’t something I’ve ever really had much luck with growing. Likewise, with the locks on my head. But nasal hair? Now that’s something that I can really boss. So, I was rather pleased when a new set of nose trimmers arrived this morning to replace the ones that broke just after lockdown begun.

Note to self: Remember you are actually posting this stuff publicly.

Day #48

“We are the positive onions in the vegetable rack of life, not the potatoes of doom”.

Received just the best news today, along with that quirky quote from an equally quirky cousin of mine. Whilst I’ve been battling with boredom and overeating, she has been battling, and now it seems beaten, cancer.

I can’t even begin to imagine the strength and character needed to face such an ordeal, but to then do it at a time when hospitals and health care centres have become a much scarier place to be, and still remain smiling and positive is just inspiring. Truly a Positive Onion. And the onion is probably the reason why I write this with a tear in my eye.

We also learnt today that another family member is expecting their first baby in September. More fantastic news!

I, like the rest of the world, quite understandably, have become more than just a tad Coronavirus obsessed. We didn’t even give Brexit this much attention and that’s saying something. And it can be really easy to forget that there’s still some really, really important other stuff happening on the other side of our four quarantined walls.

Of course very little is unaffected by Coronavirus. But I’m thinking that maybe it’s time to let it simply be part of my life, rather than the only thing in my life.

And we can all choose to be either Positive Onions or Potatoes of Doom. And today I choose Positive Onion. And sometimes Couch Potato.

That’s enough now with the vegetable metaphors. Don’t blame me, blame my cousin. I told you she was quirky.

Day #49 Another Day Done.

I definitely have that Friday feeling today!

Today is a public holiday here in Spain. Because most of my work is for clients based in the UK, up to now I’ve observed UK public holiday to keep in line with their work patterns. The problem with that is I’m then not off work when Archie is not at school. So, I’ve very recently decided to compromise and now observe both UK and Spanish public holidays. This decision is in no way related to the recent, forced pay cut I had to take. Honest.

Today we enjoyed a beautiful hot, sunny day with more of the same forecast for the weekend and week ahead. It finally feels like our weather is back on track. Even the duvets on the bed have been removed and replaced with sheets. A sure sign summer is on its way.

Pool, paella and pink wine were the order of the day today.

Tomorrow is a big-ish landmark day. Adults are allowed out by themselves to exercise for the first time. We have been given allocated time slots based primarily on age. Although undoubtedly good news, it’s not quite the treat that those of us with children had hoped for. The rules do not allow us to go outside together as a family. Although adults from the same household can exercise together, the allocated time slots conflict with the time children can go out. So, one of us will accompany Archie during the Parent-With-Child time slot (which stupidly spans the time when he’s at ‘school’), and then the other will have to exercise by themselves during the Adults-And-Children-Over-14-Exercise time slot. But it’s still another positive step in the right direction, particularly for those without children under 14 who have endured a further week indoors taking their total to 7 weeks of indoor isolation.

The adult time slots are ‪between 6 and 10 am‬. For the avoidance of any confusion, I doubled checked and apparently this time really does exist. And then again ‪between 20:00 and 23:00‬. I’m really not so sure that Staggering Under the Influence is officially classed as exercise. But I’ll let you know.

After a shaky start, it’s been a pretty damn good week.

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