Days in Lockdown: 50 to 52

Day #50

Day 50! How did we get here? I can remember day 10 and feeling then like I’d been imprisoned for life. Now I reflect back and wonder where all that time has gone and what I’ve done with it. Much of it has been spent sleeping, drinking, eating and watching Netflix. The rest, I am embarrassed to say, has been pretty much wasted.

Or has it? I may not have learnt any new skills, improved my Spanish or got fit and lost a few pounds (the exact opposite in fact), but what I have done, along with my family, is stayed safe, happy and sane.

And I can’t think of any better ways of spending my time, at any time.

After 50 days of confinement, Jo and I were finally free to go out for a walk together, although unfortunately, we are not yet allowed to go out as a complete family. We get to exercise outside once a day, up to a maximum of 1km from our home. We cannot drive anywhere to exercise. We have two timeslots that we can choose from – early morning or late evening. We took the late evening slot and enjoyed a very, very pleasurable stroll around the golf course.

The thing that struck me the most, was I’d forgotten what it felt like to hold Jo’s hand. We often hold hands when out walking together. Partly, of course, due to our undeviating love for one another. And partly because Jo has a habit of not looking where she is walking and tripping on uneven pavements and falling flat on her face. But we are not so romantic as to hold hands whilst wandering around the house and garden and these areas are relatively fall-risk free, so this was the first time in quite a while. It felt a little strange. Strange but reassuringly familiar and nice.

And we saw people. For the last 50 days the only people we have had any outside contact with are those in the shop, most of whom have been hidden behind the safety of mask. This evening we could see their faces. And everyone was smiling.

It was a lovely end to a hot, sunny day and we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset.

Tomorrow, maybe we’ll try and enjoy an early morning amble and catch a sunrise.

Day #51

Got out of bed late. Enjoyed what I thought was a Full English Breakfast until I noticed the time and realised that actually it was more akin to a Full English Afternoon Tea. We missed our early morning exercise slot by about half a day or so.

This is only the second day of our little taste of freedom, and I certainly don’t want you to think I’m already complaining in any way, but… suddenly we have a schedule to keep to, and I’m not so sure I like that.

I’m now having to set reminder alarms for exercising times (for ‘exercising’, read ‘slow meandering’). And after 51 days of doing nothing much in particular, this all seems like way too much forward planning and organising than I’m anywhere near comfortable with these days.

I’ve kind of gotten used to our daily routine of not having a daily routine. There’s been nowhere to be at any given time and no appointments to keep. Clocks and watches have become almost unnecessary. It’s all been quite mentally relaxing. Even though I still work, working from home means my day is pretty much my own to structure as I please, and I haven’t even had to worry about fitting in school runs.

I am of course very excited about the de-escalation of the lockdown here, particularly as it has been so strict. But at the same time, I’ve unexpectedly started to enjoy it. Despite a worrying time, it’s been strangely care-free, despite the strict restrictions, we’ve done more things together as a family than we would of have normally and despite not being able to see our family and friends, we’ve found time to reconnect with them. OK, I sound like an advert for Vodafone now. But you get my drift.

As we head tentatively into what Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is calling ‘nueva normalidad’, or the ‘New Normal’, we just need to remember take a few reprioritised priorities along with us.

Day #52

Today was the official start of Phase Zero of the 4-phased de-escalation plan to lift lockdown, although most of the ‘allowances’ in Phase zero, were actually introduced over the last two weekends. Each Phase has no exact time limit but is to be reviewed every two weeks with hope that we can progress to the next one.

Except Phase Zero which officially started today and includes all the things introduced last week, which will be reviewed next week. Confused? Welcome to Spanish administration. Basically, Phase Zero started last week but no one thought to mention it.

In addition to children and now adults being allowed out for exercise, Phase Zero also allows small business premises to reopen such as hairdressers and hardware stores, but by appointment only. This also includes restaurants that offer takeaway food. This last one is good news. We’ve had very, very limited takeaway offerings until now because the food had to be delivered, which isn’t always cost effective. But now that we can collect the order, we are seeing a lot more restaurants opening up to offer takeaways, and many of these are usually eat in only places, so we are getting some quite interesting takeaway options; in addition to your more usual choice of Indian or pizza we can now have seafood, Mixed Grills and Sunday Roasts all delivered to our door.

But all eyes are firmly looking ahead to Phase 1. This phase, amongst other things, will allow bars and restaurants to reopen to serve from their outside terraces. This means beachside dining again! Also, there are plans to allow groups of up to ten people to meet up privately. With a BBQ invite already received and gratefully, in fact almost desperately, accepted, these are indeed very exciting times.

We’re getting there. Stay Safe everyone.

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