I know it might sound a bit mad, but we are now back in Marbella, having made a last-minute decision to fly here last Tuesday (as I have said before, we are, singlehandedly, trying to keep Ryanair afloat (or ‘in the sky’ if you don’t know what I mean by ‘afloat’ in this case (English being a funny old language). The main reason, really, is that with everything that is going on we cannot really be sure when we will get here again, so rather than planning anything too far ahead, we are just taking our chances when we can (and don’t worry, if there is any sign of us not being able to leave again we will get on the first flight out!).
Talking about flying, I get it why no-one wants to fly from the CR or Spain into the UK at the moment, since every arrival has to go straight into fourteen days’ quarantine, no test (and, frankly, just now, I doubt that anyone really wants to go there anyway…… although…. I can’t help but wonder just how many people actually do go into quarantine, since there seems very little chance that anyone is going to be checked up on)… but that’s the UK.
What I don’t really get is why no-one wants to travel to those countries that require a test (or quarantine) on arrival or return, since the tests are now available in most European airports – that seems to me to be the way forward (i.e. living with the virus) – we, ourselves, are even thinking about getting a season ticket for tests at Prague Airport (OK, joking… but all the while we can fly to and from Spain by taking a test each time we return to Prague, we will continue to go). I know, too, that we are not alone, since just now we have friends in Greece, Italy, Romania and Germany, some of whom will do the same. But for the poor old airlines to even survive, more people have to start realising that flying is pretty safe – an awful lot safer than going to a pub, party or similar… I know that some of you will be thinking ‘oh she would say that’, but in our own experience, the airports are so quiet that keeping a safe distance is easy, everyone wears masks, everywhere is super-clean, and the same, really, applies for the planes. I’m not sure that I would say the same about any other public transport I have been on, nor pubs/restaurants/etc in various jurisdictions. By the way, and still on airlines, I don’t love them all …. I’m still waiting for EUR 385 back from Iberia (ha ha) for my cancelled flight in March. No chance of that, judging by the ‘complaints against Iberia’ FB page that I am on….and they have the cheek to be doing a full-on advertising campaign at the moment!….).
So, anyway, here we are in Marbella again, back into various routines, although not, as usual, without a few dramas (well it wouldn’t be the same without!). The first was a flat tyre on the way from the airport into Marbella (although that is not as dramatic as it sounds – being of a certain age, I used to be able to put my car up on a jack and change its tyre, but that is a skill long-since forgotten as now, of course, there is no need) – so that was something new for us to learn – i.e. how to find a place that can fix a tyre and manage to negotiate it all in Spanish), then when we got to our house we found a flood that ran from our downstairs cloakroom, through our ‘officina’ and into the living room – this required a lot of mopping up (me) and a great deal of swearing (Jan) before we could even unpack, and then making the cloakroom out-of-bounds until we could get the pipe from the loo fixed (no idea how that could actually break while we were gone – unless an extra big cockroach had stood on it (which I don’t even want to think about) or someone had sneaked in and sabotaged us (ditto)).
Then a couple of days ago I managed to trip whilst getting changed out of my swimming gear and into shorts (I seem to do this a lot, but this time was a bad one) and since I wanted to avoid landing on my poor knee, I kind of twisted whilst falling and ended up on my bum instead, which is now even more painful than my knee…. uggggh.
What is very sad is that since we were last here (in August) pretty much everyone has left, and we are now walking around a ghost town – the beaches are completely empty (which is great on one hand, but…) the main town, restaurants and bars are deserted, and depression hangs in the air like a cloud. It is so frustrating, bearing in mind that Marbella and its surroundings have so few infections, and that everyone that is here is so well behaved (masks, social distancing, etc). We really do wonder, now, how some areas are going to survive, and it is no surprise that there are demonstrations in Madrid, more or less as I speak.
Why there aren’t more of those in the UK is beyond me – I can’t help but think that the new rule of only six people being allowed to be together at any one time (although lots of groups of six in restaurants, bars, etc are fine…!) has been brought in in order to make sure that no-one takes to the streets to try and get rid of BJ and his merry men… surely it can only be a matter of time.
Lastly, and on a much more cheerful note. Regular readers of my ramblings will remember that we are constantly on the lookout for Novak Djokovic whilst we are in Marbella (since, ‘they say’ he now lives here) and we even saw him on the beach one day in the summer. So, just a couple of days after watching him being evicted from the US Open (and that was all a bit disappointing and controversial – even I felt sorry for him and I am really not a fan), we were coming from the beach to our car, which we had parked outside the tennis club, and we heard a ball being thwacked and some familiar grunting…. and sure enough, there was Nole, his brother, and training partner, practising away on the main court in readiness for Rome. We watched him for about half an hour (within feet, and all on our own!) and then left, cursing that we didn’t have a camera. Jan, his biggest fan, may never recover!