One of the many things we have learned over the past ten weeks is that it is possible to spend an awful lot of time doing not very much, and quite enjoying it! My friend Adam told me the other day that he has been filling some of his time learning to improve his breathing whilst playing the oboe, (using a technique that requires breathing out through the mouth, whilst breathing in through the nose, and the way that one learns to do that is to blow through a straw into a glass of water whilst breathing through the nose at the same time). I plan to try learning this technique when I am able to purchase a straw as I think it could be quite entertaining and possibly quite useful.
As you know, we ourselves have spent an inordinate amount of time watching water pouring out, and then back into, the swimming pool over the last ten weeks (and Jan, today, found a new hobby which is putting ice cubes (from his gin and tonic) into the pool and seeing how long they take to melt), whilst I, in addition to sending emails and making calls to airlines most afternoons, have been spending at least an hour or two a day either switching my iPhone on and off an innumerable amount of times whilst reading Apple support on my computer, and/or, more recently, doing the same with my Apple watch (which gave up in the middle of my tennis yesterday, possibly from exhaustion!), and which took up most of my early morning today. Actually it is really annoying as it still doesn’t work, so I am probably going to have to resort to good old Amazon (but not before I have taken a hammer and smashed the bloody thing into pieces) as I can’t be without a watch or, more importantly, a step and fitness tracker!!
This reminds me of when I was first in Prague – arriving from a company that had a huge manual of ‘support’ that ensured that you just did your job (everything from the T bag lady who came to stock you up whenever necessary, to the ‘brow-wiper (joking, but more or less) – it was quite a shock to find myself somewhere where you had to be able to turn your hand to everything – as mentioned before, we had just one phone line for both the telephone and fax, and one small computer that continually broke down (in fact, in the middle of printing some final documents for a big deal, it stopped working and I had to ask the ‘support’ desk in London to talk me through, step by step, while I fixed it!) – this was all good training for setting up on my own, but more recently I have become very spoilt by having ‘people’ to do these things for me – but not anymore!
Today was a day off exercise (Friday, as usual) so we didn’t have to wake up so early, but my watch had played on my mind through the night which meant that I needed to try to crack it before doing anything else (and failed). Then we had a whole new change of routine as we seem to be getting through loads of things that weigh a ton (water, juice, washing powder, etc (oh, and wine, of course), so now that I have my van, it is easier for me to go and stock up on those, than one of us lugging them up the hill when we do one of our walks. It’s funny how the combination of my playing tennis and having a van has ‘lulled us’ into thinking that everything is back to normal, and how quickly we have forgotten the grey days from a few weeks ago, when it kept on raining, we could only sit on the bike or run on the path, and the highlight of the day was the walk to the super – as I set off this morning I had completely forgotten that we are still, in fact, in lockdown, and it was only when I got to the supermarket car park and saw everyone in their masks that I remembered.
Masks have only just become obligatory here (although they have been for public transport) but actually the majority of people have been wearing them anyway. What was interesting today in the supermarket was the new arrival of the ‘miners’-type’ masks which are being more recommended than the usual ones we have been wearing, as they cover the whole face – and for me, with horrible hay-fever and/or coming off the tennis court in a state of near collapse, they are so much more comfortable, so I grabbed some of them for future use (very nice green stripes with a bit of yellow.. our sort of colours…!).
This afternoon, then, after a couple of hours of sunbathing by the pool, we had a ‘constructive’ day for a change – with some cleaning up of the house and a lot of cleaning up of ourselves – I managed to get to grips with cutting my own and Jan’s hair, as well as ‘tinting my roots’ – I am not sure if we will continue like this once we get home, but blimey, how much money we are saving living this life! And no, no photos at the moment….!
I am now catching up on my usual news and social media watching, and have just looked at Adam’s blog showing his nephew playing the piano magnificently, and mentioning that he has a birthday today (as does Novak Djokovic, incidentally… wonder what he is doing to celebrate, since he is only just around the corner from us…?) – it reminded me of watching a video the other day of a girl walking along with a friend and suddenly starting dancing in the middle of the street (see below), and thinking how marvellous it must be to be able to just get up and play a musical instrument, or sing or dance spectacularly – I know a lot of people who can do one of these things and wish that I could too… maybe time to do a bit more Bollywood…..