It’s been a funny old day today. We were up early in order to go running before the 10.00 am curfew, and that was GREAT; I went on the same route as the other day – along the main road past Aldi and then down the track to come back on the beach path – beautiful weather and an atmosphere in the air due to the news last night that we are finally going into Phase 1 – i.e. we are OUT (on Monday)!
Whilst running alongside the sea is, of course, fantastic, the road today had its own attractions as it was full of cyclists (which I was fine with, since I was on the pavement) and they were in celebratory mood. It seems, generally, that those on the road are pretty serious about cycling, and today I was passed by a professional team in time-trial mode (and blimey, they do go!) and then a group of young guys going the other way, waving a Spanish flag and singing ‘Viva Espana’, shortly followed by three, what looked like body builders (I only noticed as they had their shirts off, and honestly, it shouldn’t be allowed…), and then I headed off down to the beach, by which time I was in a very good mood!
Today (and, sorry for saying this, but it is a bit typically Spanish) just when we are about to go out of lockdown and all the rules will ease up a bit, the police were on the beach in force (after two weeks of complete chaos down there and not a sign of them!) stopping people from coming down in cars (the rule was that you had to run directly from home and couldn’t drive somewhere and then run, but cars have been streaming down every day until today!), or from walking along chatting rather than exercising properly…. what a pity they hadn’t done it before, but maybe now the rules are easing we are going to see a lot more police about…. but, anyway, how nice to be able to run without worrying about being knocked over by a bike or tripped up by a dog.
The thing about the rules, though, is that whilst each phase tries to clarify exactly what is and isn’t possible, they all get a bit muddled (so, yes, it’s good that they have at least tried, unlike some…..) but they have clearly been put together quite quickly, as they don’t always work. For example, from Monday I can play tennis (hoorah, I will be on court on Tuesday) and lots of other sports are permitted, along with gyms opening, etc, but since they say that the rules from Phase 0 still have to be observed, i.e that exercise has to be between 06.00 and 10.00 or between 20.00 and 23.00, is it OK that I am booked to play FROM 10.00 on Tuesday? And then small restaurants and cafes can open if they have outside space (but with the usual ‘social distancing’ measures in place and at 50% capacity) as well as some shops and other bits and pieces. But the Phase 0 rules were that only seniors are allowed out between 10.00 am and 12.00 and kids from 12.00 until 19.00 – so we are not really sure if we are allowed to go to those shops, cafes and restaurants after 10.00 am and before 20.00 – and if not, then which shops will actually want to open (unless they think that they will get an influx of old-aged pensioners and kids…..)?
No doubt we will figure it all out in due course, but in the meantime the Commissioner of Facebook spent most of the morning after our return from running, checking it all out on social and other media, and getting even more confused, due to the opinions of all the self-proclaimed experts on the Andalusia FB page, who along with being incandescent with rage that we are going into Phase 1 at all, each have a different opinion… !! Incidentally, whilst I am on this subject, and as mentioned before, Jan was at the dentist all day yesterday – the dentist that was only allowed to go back to work last week, whilst tobacconists have been open throughout the whole lock-down period, and hairdressesrs for the last month. It is all a bit bonkers.
So whilst Jan was doing the news and social media watch today, I was trying to deal with the other thing that happened last night, and that was the cancellation of yet another flight that we had booked for our return to Prague. I haven’t really mentioned this before, as it is all a bit boring, but maybe it explains why I am often asked why we haven’t try to return before; the thing is that flights with some airlines have been showing as available throughout the whole lockdown period and it has been possible to book them, although each has said very clearly that because of the Covid-19 situation, flights may get cancelled, in which case they can be re-booked for no fee, or refunded. At least… that is the theory!!!
One of our regular daily activities, therefore, has been receiving emails from one or other airline, telling us that x, y, z flight is not going, and trying to re-book or cancel it – to the point that we are nearly going MADDDD (particularly as, in addition to return flights from here, Jan has about 500 booked for later in the year and into 2021, so he has even more of these emails than I do…… he is a bit odd like that!!). I do understand why the airlines need to do keep showing flights and allowing people to book them, and also why they are reluctant to make refunds (even though they are legally obliged to) but, bloody hell, what a nightmare to even get involved in a conversation about it – telephones are never answered, there are no direct email addresses to write to, and the online systems don’t really work with the situation that is happening now. So today, I was chasing Iberia around on email, website, Facebook and Facebook Messenger for a flight that I had booked for last week (I know, I kept it quiet as something told me it might not go!) and that was cancelled some time ago, so far with no result, and calling and emailing Lufthansa regarding last night’s cancellation of our flight on 29th May. So many bookings, but so few planes flying!!
By the time I had done all of that (and failed miserably to get anywhere!) it was lunchtime and the sun was out, so we took a couple of hours’ break in the sun before it was my turn to do some news and social media watching, and Jan, bless him, headed off to Aldi to stock up for our Sunday paella tomorrow (our friends cooking again… lovely). Despite the battering he had yesterday (and now some lovely new teeth) and running this morning, he was still game-on to go food shopping, which meant that I felt a little bit honour-bound to do some ‘housework’ in return – actually I just read a comment on social media asking if ‘one’s private maid coming to clean one’s house a couple of days a week is now allowed’ – something that Jan has been asking about … but instead I have been doing it myself. Nothing like a bit of ironing and cleaning to cheer one up!
And here’s something else: