In Spain – 10-10-2020!

Well, it’s hard to believe it’s already a week since we got here as the time since has just flown by. Despite the fact that the virus situation in Andalusia is pretty well under control, we seem to have gotten ourselves into a vague sort of routine again – a kind of ‘lockdown with a twist’ or, as some friends that we saw this week called it, ‘living our life how we want to live it, but with caution’.

Our standard day is to get up relatively early (in my case) to monitor social and regular media, although, and I hate to say it as everyone did warn me, I am getting pretty fed up with the constant ranting on Twitter (not me… yet… but most others) – which is mostly, of course, super-critical of what is happening in the UK (Covid and Brexit) and, of course, Trump – whilst, actually, there is some quite useful information on the Czech and Spanish Facebook pages that we follow – even the Alicante Ladies have calmed down a bit since down in Southern Spain life is almost normal (if you ignore the fact that everyone is in masks and socially distancing (almost without exception and almost too much) and so many shops, hotels and restaurants have closed down).

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Then, once Jan is up and about, we are back to exercising fiendishly – he is running, as usual, and I have been doing my Bollywood, followed by the 7 app and the old bike, but the big news for me is that on Thursday, after being given the green light by my physio, I was able to get back on the tennis court, after more than three months away! I can’t even begin to explain how fantastic that was.. I think I had sunk into a bit of depression, since there was a point when I thought that running (either on its own or after a ball) would never be possible again, but after a very cautious start and no pain, I was off – and yes, I could still hit the ball, and yes I could still remember how to run (but not too much as yet). And the best thing of all is that since then, my knee seems to be OK…. phew.

After exercise, then, (and sorry to say this) we have been heading to our deserted beach each day for a couple of hours – as mentioned before, usually there is hardly anyone there and the weather is lovely. Actually, though, the other day we had the added bonus of a very nicely put together young guy appearing, plonking himself down quite near to us (which, in itself, was a bit strange, with so few people on the beach) and keeping us both intrigued as he spent a good part of the time on the phone, speaking a language that we couldn’t distinguish. (The fact that he was a good-looking version of George Michael (alive, obviously), but with bigger muscles, dark glasses, near naked… (sorry… I’m not getting carried away… just saying that if you wear the kind of swimming trunks that only guys from Central Europe feel comfortable in (aka Djokovic) you might as well be…) was by-the-by, since it was the language that held our interest, honest). So Jan, being Jan, couldn’t help himself when we got up to leave, and had to go over to ask him what language he was speaking, and it turned out he is living and working down here, and is Albanian. I don’t think I have ever heard that spoken before. And the thing is, sadly (and apologies to any Albanians reading this as I know it is wrong) we spent a good part of our journey back home trying to decide (a) what he was doing here – bodyguard? Drug dealer? Gigolo? I erred towards gigolo, but I am a bit disappointed in myself for making such a generalisation… and (b) why he chose to sit right next to us when he could have gone anywhere on the beach (on reflection, though, and something that we often comment on (and it seems to be a Central/East European thing), is that you can sit down at the only table in a restaurant or similar and someone else will come in and sit more or less on top of you… so maybe not so strange), but, anyway, we wondered if he thought that we could be potential clients, or was just lonely. Next time we see him on the beach, Jan will, of course, be asking.

And then after the beach, we have been spending the rest of each day watching Roland Garros (needless to say Jan has been cheering on his new friend Djokovic, whilst I am still missing Roger), interspersed with bits of work, and then mostly eating at home and taking a late-night walk or, a couple of times, meeting friends for socially distanced elbow-shaking and drinking/dinner. I am conscious, though, that once Roland Garros is over I could, dare I say it, be a bit bored (especially if the sun stops shining), and since we may not head back to Prague quite yet (in view of the CR getting to be a bit of a mess), I have been putting together a few new projects which I will talk about again soon.

The situation in the Czech Republic seems to be pretty grim just now. Tne numbers are, of course, relatively low (in comparison to, say, the UK or Madrid) but the percentage of population is much higher than most, particularly in Prague. Barely a day goes by without us hearing of more friends and people we know with the virus (and just on that, Jan made an interesting observation that in March, when the virus first appeared in Europe, lots of actors and well-known personalities were quick to come out and announce that they have it (publicity?) but then it went quiet, since it all got very serious. But now we are seeing something similar in the CR, only it’s not actors and so on, but lots of people that we know on Facebook, where it seems to be almost a ‘badge of honour’ to announce that someone ‘has it’. I think we both find that a bit strange.. not sure that we would want to be quite so public about it, but maybe it is a way of letting others know if they have been in contact?). But, anyway, as I say, in view of all that, it looks like we will be staying put for a while!

Coming back to my new projects – one, as mentioned before, is to tidy my first 100 days of lockdown blogs into a shape that they could be published. That is nearly done, and having been through them quite a few times, now, I am reminded of some of our favourite activities, all of which are sure to form part of our life over the next couple of weeks, or however long we stay. First, wildlife. So far, no cockroaches (thank God for that) locusts or wild dogs, but one gecko (in the kitchen, nearly gave me a heart attack) and loads of mosquitos. No noisy boys in the apartments behind us, but an unnamed (as yet) neighbour who appears to be using our upstairs terrace as an ashtray (a window at the back of his/her house looks down on us, and it seems that he/she chucks their lit cigarettes out each time they are finished, whereby they land on our floor/table/chairs and make nice little burn marks)…. clearly they haven’t realised that a lunatic part-Serb lives here, but they will soon find out. Then all the other things; we are back to walking to the supermarkets, so I will report on that in due course, we have cleaned out the swimming pool (again, seemed rude not to) and are now getting ready to fill it again (same comment), and we have dug out our two metre stick in case we need it (and, of course, it may come in useful when we deliver the fag ends back to their owner later today.

And for sure there will be more bits and pieces to talk about soon.

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