I have been trying to put together a blog for the last week or so; maybe it has been ‘bloggers’ cramp’ or maybe it’s because of the ongoing sameness of our days, but for some reason I have been finding it difficult to get it all down on paper. Today, though, I seem to have a bit more ooof, so here goes.
After all of my complaining during lockdown of having no sport (or anything else for that matter) to watch on TV, I am now getting almost bored of watching tennis (I know, contrary as usual). Our last week in Spain (we returned to Prague over a week ago) included an awful lot of it during what was, really, a ‘Ground Hog’ day pattern – up early each day to do a social and regular media watch, check on emails, and then Jan to run, me to sit on the old bike. Then we had a couple of hours on a fairly deserted beach, before spending the rest of the day working and/or watching tennis/the Tour on the TV followed by whatever wild excitement the evening held (which usually meant watching endless episodes of ‘A Place in the Sun’, which we are now addicted to (and which is made more interesting by proving to us, most days, how much nicer Marbella is than most other places), although we did have a couple of dinners out, and then repeat the next day. Actually our life in Spain (especially when compared to our 100 days in lockdown) has gone back to more or less normal – if it wasn’t for everyone wearing masks and keeping a big distance between each other, and the quietness everywhere, you wouldn’t know any different.
Now we are back in Prague again, having flown in on a very uneventful Ryanair flight as usual, had our regular test (not that there was anyone around to tell us to (and bless all the young Spaniards who flew in with us for being so law-abiding) and then home in time to go out and get some paella for lunch at our local (as a way of pretending that we are still in Spain!… we are weird). And then over the last few days… well more or less the same as Spain! Up early for media and TV watch, on the bike, etc, then instead of the beach a bit more work (or occasional venturing out) and then, guess what, watching tennis again, but this time Paris instead of Rome. Exciting huh? The only difference (apart from the beach, sadly, and, now, the weather!!) is that Jan has spent a few days in court (working!), and having to wear a mask the whole time (so his mood is not at its best), whilst I have been having the occasional meeting and then trying to get my knee sorted out.
When we were kids, I think we believed that (a) doctors go into medicine as it is a ‘vocation’, not for the money (certainly in my family, which had its fair share of them) and (b) that if you went to a doctor and said ‘I have x, y and z wrong with me’, they would say ‘OK, do this and take that’ and it would all be OK. Not so nowadays, it seems. I did some work a while back for a doctor in Spain, who told me that he wanted all of his marketing strategy to focus on patients that wanted surgery as ‘that was where the money was’…hmmm… – and now I am seeing some of this myself. So far, four different orthopaedic surgeons, two (private) telling me I need an operation and the other two, surprise, saying I don’t (but all four saying something slightly different as far as the ongoing management of my knee is concerned!). So, no operation for me for now, at least, and instead I am in and out of physio, doing lots of special exercises at home, and trying to do quite a lot of walking (outside) and biking (inside). Hopefully, who knows, I will be back on court soon… maybe in a bit of a reduced way, but at least hitting a ball (my coach, Vitek, said yesterday that I could even come over and sit on a chair on the court, and then hit some balls from there… !!).
So continuing with tennis: having watched Novak preparing to leave for Italy the other day, I wondered about supporting him from now on, but I just can’t (much to Jan’s annoyance) – it would seem wrong. We are almost (but only ‘almost’) getting used to watching tennis without the crowds, but it is just not the same without Roger or a few of the others (especially Del Potro in my case), although it was good to see Rafa again in Rome (and coming back to the conversation I had with Adam about Novak, and guys over a certain age (I think it was 18) not being seen in such skimpy running/swimming shorts… I couldn’t help thinking whilst watching him that Rafa could get away with it, and whilst it is admirable that Novak is able to go out for a run in such an outfit without any sort of security or fuss, I am not sure that Rafa could… !).
Anyway, now that the whole tennis circus has moved onto Paris, where it is freezing cold and raining (a bit like here!) it is hard to imagine anyone running about in anything near naked – in fact, Azarenka (for those that don’t know, a Belarussian), refused to play yesterday when she first got on court as it was ‘just too cold’… a bit rich, I thought (although she does now live in Florida)! I think I will use the same reason for not trying the sitting on a chair and hitting a ball method any time soon – with my balance, I can only see that ending up in one way.. the chair broken on the floor, me with it, possibly with other broken bones, and no balls in sight, so to speak.
So, onto the Covid situation – sorry. I just can’t help myself, since that is, really, what has been pre-occupying me and most people I know for God knows how long (actually Jan says that this is ALL I talk about at the moment and he maybe right.. some days I bore myself…) But, anyway, Spain – I have to say, it really does get my goat a bit (sorry, not literally) that we have to quarantine or take a test coming back from Malaga (where there are relatively few cases) and into Prague, where the virus seems to be spreading like a rash at the moment. What annoys me even more, though, is when I tell people (which happened a lot this last week) that I have just got back from Spain, and they kind of reel back in horror, since, as yet, I have yet to meet anyone in Spain that has had, or knows someone that has or had it, but since I got back to Prague I seem to hear about people I know pretty much every day.
In Spain, at least where we are, life, as I say, has gone more or less back to normal, everyone knows what the rules are, and nothing much changes. In Prague, let’s face it, the numbers are still relatively low, but there is a feeling that they are getting a bit too high for comfort, with the result that the rules are changing pretty much all the time. However, not everyone thinks that Prague (nor anywhere else) is such a disaster though, and I was interested to see a video from my old friend Dr Martin Stransky, who paints a pretty (to me) clear picture of it all – see the link here in case it is of interest:
And then there is the UK – well, there is no real point in talking about what the rules are or are not as they vary and change all the time, nor what the numbers look like since the mechanisms for tracking them cannot be trusted. So I am going to gloss over it for now and hope that next time I mention the UK in this blog, it is to say that BJ and his merry men have been ousted… But I doubt it…
So what else is new; not a lot really.. we have been lying low since arriving back in Prague (the weather, the tennis, not keen on being in close contact with too many people, and my having a slight cold (COLD, not covid)), but I have been spending quite a lot of time going over my first 100 blogs as a few people suggested to me that I try to get them published as a ‘book’…. so, quite honestly, with not a lot of other challenges on my hands just now, I thought why not! Watch this space!
PS: you may have noticed that the photos are out of sync here. That is because of the new and ‘improved’ WordPress layout which, right now, is driving me to want to smash my computer and everything installed on it. Which might, therefore, put an end to any book ideas or any other blogs for that matter… better get back to the tennis.