Still here – in Spain! Days 86 and 87

steps to the beach

The last two days have felt very ‘normal’ (although it is still all relative, of course).   Yesterday, Sunday, we had a bit of a ‘v neděli se nedělá’ (on Sunday do nothing!) but obviously we did do a few things; both of us went running first thing (celebrating the last day of restrictive hours for exercise!) and we also had an hour’s walk in the afternoon jw and jg on the beach(we can now walk whenever we want) plus I did a lot of catching up on social media and so on and a bit of work, as did Jan.   And now, Monday, we can say ‘we are going back to Prague next week!’ and suddenly we are thinking about all the things that we planned to do while we were cooped up for weeks and didn’t… !

This morning on the news we learned that the UK has gone ahead, as rumoured over the last few weeks, with imposing quarantine on all travellers into the country – on the TV there was a story of people boarding a flight for London in Amsterdam airport and only BAthen finding out that when they land they will have to go into quarantine for fourteen days!   Can you imagine…?! Thinking you are popping over for a day or so, and then finding on landing that you are actually going to have to stay put for fourteen days – where and how, I wonder (unless you are visiting family or have somewhere to stay)… and could you just say ‘no, I am staying on the plane and going straight back’?  What a nightmare!   It seems that British Airways (and, presumably, some others), also as rumoured, are now going to court to try to get this overruled. Unbelievable.

Still on the airline front, I have an update on my situation with Iberia (since I am still trying to get a refund for my very expensive cancelled flights a couple of months ago).  Having tried everything – all phone lines, email addresses, website, Facebook, etc, and received no answer, I had a little rant on Twitter, and within seconds got a message from a company called Compensair, who, for the princely sum of Euro 10, will go after an airline on your behalf… .so that is now moving (and remember it if you ever need them – they have been very impressive so far!).

Last night on the phone to my friend Adam, he asked me if I really meant what I had said in a previous blog, i.e. that I don’t particularly want to go back to Prague, and I responded that we both change our minds pretty much on a daily basis.  One minute we are happy to be here (and now that we are in Phase 3 and things have opened up even more, it is not exactly a hardship) but then we look forward to getting back to our other ‘normality’ and sorting out a few things – for example:

  • Will my car still be in the short-term car-park, what shape will it be in, and will it even start?!   Plus, will the airport honour what they said a million years ago, which was that they would only charge me for the period that I had planned to be there (that was easy to say at that time.. I doubt that they (like me!) realised quite how long that would be!) and it could be that the final amount they charge is more than the car is now worth…. we shall see!
  •  Will our flat be over-run with magpies (God, imagine!), will the drains be smelly, how much dust will have gathered….?   Did we leave any food in the fridge/dustbin (bearing in mind that we thought we were leaving for just six days…!)
  • Will our friends even recognise us anymore – lean and mean, very tanned, and me with my new short hair (plus Jan will go to the same place on Monday – who knows how he will come out!)
  •  We have just two weeks to pack up our office, since our lease terminates on 30th June – anyone that would like some nice office furniture and stuff, just let me know – we have no time to try to sell anything and no longer need it (like most people we know, we are realising that we really can work from home and don’t need expensive offices anymore!)
  • And, most importantly – how will it actually be, going on a plane again?!   We will soon find out!

So today, Monday, we started to plan the various things that we should have done months ago (although, to be fair, some of them wouldn’t have been doable during lockdown) but before doing anything constructive, and since it was our day off exercising, we decided to lie by the pool for a while this morning, rather than actually getting on with doing, rather than thinking about, any of them!   This afternoon, then, after a couple of hours of worky things, we decided to walk into Marbella Old Town – this had been out of bounds for us before, since it is a bit too far to walk on our evening outings, and there are no supermarkets to act as an excuse for us being there.

We have a friend in Prague who has been documenting the empty streets and the closed shops in the city, and we found ourselves doing the same today (not for any particular beach walkreason, other than that we have never seen, and may never see, these places so empty before, and, whilst we have always appreciated how beautiful the old town is, it is not quite the same when it is full of tourists (as is the case in Prague)).   We started on the beach (and stopped for lunch in an empty beach ‘chiringuito’ – no rush!) and then headed up to the Old Town {Orange) Square and thechiringuito streets around it, before walking home along the beach again, where we took a couple of photos of ourselves and one, rather amusingly, of the lifeguard overseeing a whole stretch of sand where there was only one person lying.  It does seem, sadly, that the people of Marbella are still not very keen on getting out (and certainly not to the restaurants).

Finally we had a bit of supermarket shopping (Aldi AND Iceland – marvellous) and then back home for another evening of not very much… but we are so used to it that it is really quite OK!  Hopefully I can report on a few more and constructive things in the final days to come!


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