Autumn in Marbella

I can’t believe that it is more than a week since my last blog. Doesn’t time fly and all that. But despite the fact that just about all of us are now in some sort of lockdown, a lot seems to have been happening, not least, of course, the big news from the US.

We watched quite a bit of the first night of voting; I went to bed when it started to feel like ‘deja vu’ and the unbelievable was about to happen: I refer, of course, to June 2016 when we arrived here in Marbella late at night and decided to stay up to watch the results of the Brexit vote coming in. I went to bed at about 3.00 am when it was looking dodgy, but sure that the next few hours would put it right, and then got up again at about 7.00 am only to hear that it was all over and the UK had voted out. I remember that we spent most of that day, and a lot of the weeks and months after in a state of complete shock. So last week, at just about the same point, it did look as if Trump was going to win – and whilst we could just about understand why he got in the first time, the idea that enough people would vote for him second-time around, having seen everything that he had been up to since then, was beyond shocking. Thankfully, as we all know, it didn’t happen. Hoorah for that (and let’s hope that he does, in the end, accept the result!).

The other big news, at least as far as the UK media is concerned, is the success of the Pfizer vaccine (so far), which now seems to be the light at the end of the tunnel – BJ took great pleasure in announcing it at his press conference a couple of days ago, positioning it in such a way that you could almost think that he and his merry men had had something to do with it (actually, they have been very lucky over the last few days to have two such huge pieces of news to talk as that has ensured that no-one has been taking too much notice of the disastrous numbers in the UK just now). Let’s just hope that the vaccine is as good as everyone hopes, and will arrive as expected (the UK apparently has ordered 40 million pieces and hopes to have them by December – blimey, a huge pink pig just flew past my window).

Incidentally, during my now regular morning social media watch (again), I read a very interesting article from the Economist that is all about this Pfizer vaccine. The link is here as it is really worth a read:

I also saw quite a lot of Twittering about a talk that (my) Sir John Major gave a few days ago on the situation in the UK. I say ‘my’ as a few years ago Sir John visited Prague and I was invited by the then lady Ambassador to attend a breakfast with him, along with just a handful of other business people. I wasn’t, initially, that enthusiastic, having never been a fan of Sir John when he was Prime Minister (I was a young and rebellious left-winger at that time!). If you are old enough to remember him, you will know that he was called the ‘grey man’ as he came across very unimpressively on the TV (and the media hated him). His reputation wasn’t helped by him having an affair with another politician, Edwina Curry, who was extremely unpopular (probably because she was a woman, it was that sort of time (looking forward to comments on that!), and no-one could quite understand why (on either side!). However, on meeting him, well. How different was he in person! So charismatic, charming and interesting, I could have listened to him all day (and when he had left and I was saying goodbye to the Ambassador, she said ‘what did you think of him’ to which I responded ‘I think I am in love’, and her answer was ‘Oh don’t worry, Jo, everyone falls in love with him sooner or later!’).

Anyway, if you are at all interested in the situation that the UK is in right now, you might like to watch the video below (it’s a bit long, but worth it).

So that’s the UK and the vaccine covered. Meantime, the Czech Republic seems to be improving very slightly, due, of course, to the much stricter lockdown that it has been under for the last couple of weeks, and which I understand has now been extended. And here in Marbella – after five weeks of thinking that we are the luckiest people in the world, living a completely ‘normal’ life, with everything so well organised – here we go again on a second lockdown, although, thank God, not as strict as last time; restaurants, cafes, etc, closing from 18.00 onwards, curfew for everyone from 10.00 pm until 07.00 am, and no moving between municipalities. It’s a bit surprising as the figures are so low down here (Andalusia has seen them rising, but mostly due to Granada and Seville), but there we are. Let’s hope it is not the start of something nasty.

So we are back to our former ‘lockdown’ traditions; getting up early, studying everything we can find on social and other media – Jan is delighted that all of his old favourites are back and busy (the Alicante ladies have been thrown into turmoil with this new ‘moving between municipality law as we didn’t really have that last time, and it appears that the divisions between some municipalities are not very clear; apparently there is a popular shopping mall that has its entrance in one and exit in another – imagine the hysteria that that has brought about!) – and then exercise, eating, drinking, walking and occasional ‘worky’ or ‘housey’ things, in no particular order. Jan remains reasonably busy with ‘proper work’ whilst mine is pretty much non-existent, but I am keeping my brain busy with lots of writing – my book of blogs, new and soon to be daily lockdown blogs, blogs about hotels, blogs about pretty much anything I can think of really – whilst the rest of me has been busy hurling itself around the tennis court again (I am up to twice a week now, and knee is coping) and/or walking to the supermarket (yup, we are back to that as, even though we have a car now, the more we can move the better). And if all else fails, there is always the cleaning out of the pool (which, it now being Autumn, is a pretty much daily task) and/or disco/bollywood dancing, although I have slightly lost my enthusiasm for that at the moment. It’s going to be a long autumn/winter I suspect…

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