So right now, we are back in Marbella. There are various reasons for this; first, our aim to single-handedly keep Ryanair financially afloat during these difficult times – honestly, I have said before that no-one would want to be a politician at the moment, but imagine running an airline…that must be about the most difficult job in the world just now – and Ryanair, bless them, have put on some additional flights between Prague and Malaga (presumably they think that these are less likely to have to be cancelled than others…. we wish!), so we need to make the most of them!
Secondly, having sorted ourselves out a bit back in Prague, we found that we didn’t really have a lot to do, since most of our friends have disappeared for holidays and so on, work is slow, and if it is going to be boiling hot in both places, then we decided it is better to be here by the beach than there in the city… although… it is really bloody hot here…. And thirdly, well, as also mentioned before, my leg has gone from bad to worse, so it seemed to make sense to get back in front of the very good sports doctor that I have down here whilst I can.
As everyone who reads this blog knows, irrespective of where you are just now, normal life is pretty complicated, and no sooner did we arrive back in Spain, than everyone we know went into a full-on panic attack due to the EuroWeekly newspaper putting as its front page headline a few days ago ‘Spain to go back into lockdown on September 18th’. This was a complete distortion of an interview that one of their journalists had held with the Spanish Health Minister, and they published an apology a few days later, but by then the story had gone ‘viral’ ‘on Facebook and the damage had been done (we ourselves thought it was pretty unlikely that they would announce something like this so far in advance since the Spanish government do not normally use the Boris Johnson tactic of giving everyone a huge amount of notice of something nasty happening (or not, as the case may be), but our Alicante lady friends were suicidal, and even now not everyone has seen the apology – only yesterday we bumped into a friend who tends to be of the ‘gloom and doom variety’, who told us that we should hurry back home as the country was going into lockdown any time now (but then we asked what he had heard and as soon as he mentioned ‘September 18th, we knew we didn’t need to take it too seriously). If nothing else, this whole pandemic has shown up just how bad, and how dangerous, an awful lot of the media nowadays can be (not like in my day!!).
Anyway, we watch and wait here in Spain, whilst also seeing that things are far from straightforward in Prague (honestly, down here we have yet to hear of anyone that we know having the virus or knowing someone with it, whilst in Prague (and London, of course), we hear of people on a more or less daily basis)….. so we continue to ponder, again, where we would prefer to be if it all goes pear-shaped. Right now, we are 50/50 (my vote is Spain, Jan’s is Prague!). This will, though, depend a bit on my leg.
So on Monday I went for an MRI on my knee. I have had loads of Xrays and ‘CT scans’ over the years (as a way of trying to get myself to sleep on Sunday evening I was counting the bones I have broken (courtesy of my horses, of course), which made a change from sheep), but I have never had an MRI and have never wanted one since, amongst all my other weirdnesses, I suffer horribly from claustrophobia (I once got stuck in the lift in our building in Prague and completely freaked out, to the point that they had to call the fire brigade to come and get me out as quickly as possible before I did too much damage (to the lift) – actually that was quite a marvellous experience in the end). However, I figured that if it was just my leg going into the ‘tube’ I would be OK – I just needed to get into the ‘out of body experience mode’ that I use at the dentists.
If anyone is about to go and have an MRI now, apologies, but bear in mind that I am a pathetic scared-y-cat and it probably wasn’t as horrible as I am now going to describe – part of the reason, for me, was that the Spanish are not always great at ‘customer care’ and having got myself ready, (which, thankfully, just meant taking off my jewellery and shoes) I was told to lie down on the sliding ‘shute’ type of thing, to shut up and don’t move, whilst my leg was encased in a kind of plastic tube (and yes, it’s possible for a leg to get claustrophobia). No calming music, headphones, earplugs (I have since read that these are all quite common elsewhere).. and then off we went. The shute slid into the huge circular bit (up to about my waist, thank GOD) and then the most almighty racket kicked off.
Actually, despite the fact that it sounds as if the ‘chainsaw massacre’ is about to start, I didn’t really feel anything (possibly a slight vibration now and again) but the whole thing goes on for so long – one minute (figuratively speaking) a noise like a bloody great saw, then bang, bang, bang, then wheezing and puffing…. I was trying to count seconds in my head to see if there was a pattern, but really it was just a range of ridiculous noises interspersed with silence (when I kept thinking that we had finished), and then off it went again… I ranged from mildly panicking that I had been in there for so long that they must have forgotten me, to thinking that I had cramp in my leg and would have to break out of the case, to thinking that the whole machine was about to blow up and/or take off.. and then suddenly it was over…. just when I was contemplating waving my arms around and shouting that someone had to come and get me out of there!
So now we sit and wait for the report, but I suspect it won’t be great…. no doubt I will write about it later. In the meantime, we are back into our ‘Marbella routine’ (without much exercise in my case). Generally, as mentioned, it is bloody hot and therefore difficult to do anything too constructive. Jan is still doing his morning runs (getting earlier now as the temperatures go up) whilst I go waddling around the roads for an hour’s walk (I just daren’t do nothing!) and catching up on calls whilst I walk (as mentioned before, if we are wearing trainers, the ‘mask feds’ decide that we are ‘exercising’ so don’t mind the fact that the mask is worn around the neck, whilst on the beach and in flipflops, we can incur a huge fine….) so calls are doable. Then we have been spending a couple of hours on the beach (cooler than by the pool) but by about 2.00 pm it is way too hot, so we have been forced inside to do a bit of work (Jan has a big court case coming up, whilst I am still managing a couple of projects) and then we are back out walking late pm – either into Puerto Banus, where the mask feds seem to have given up and the tourists are everywhere (so look out numbers) or the other way into Marbella Old Town, where the beaches are packed, but still socially distanced (we have read reports of people queuing to get on them and, in some cases, being turned away… it is just SO organised here).
Plus, of course, I have been spending time on social media, chasing wildlife around our house (can you even imagine what happened this morning – I went to draw the curtains in the bedroom, and touched something that I thought was a leaf and was, in fact, a cockroach, which I then hurled across the room whilst Jan ran for his flipflop and duly whacked it…. I may never recover), plus we have had quite a few gecko visitors (they are actually quite cute, but they have the misfortune of living side-by-side with cockroaches, which means that every time they move they run the risk of extermination) and, of course, a few mosquitos (but it is even too hot for them). Plus we seem to have an army of ants gradually moving in – and I know I have said in previous blogs that I am fascinated by ants…. but NOT in my kitchen.
I am sure there will be much more to write over the next few days … not least because, for GOD’S SAKE, we have just this minute seen a report that Spain has gone ‘orange’ in the Czech Republic (from the 24th……). Talk about throwing a spanner in the works…..