Happy New Year?

I keep starting to write another blog and then I realise that each time I do, it turns into more of a ‘mad rant’ than anything else. But today I decided that the only way to get over it is to get everything off my chest (for any non-native English speakers reading this, that is not what it sounds like) and then move on – apologies in advance if it is all a bit much!

So, first, Brexit is done and all of us Brits, wherever we are, can revel in our new-found ‘sovereignty’ – something that, it seemed, was the only thing that really mattered to those that still supported it (clearly nothing else did, since no-one that I have read, spoken to or heard from has been able to name one other ‘good thing’ that has come out of Brexit). The terrible scenes of lorry drivers stuck in Dover during Christmas (God, how sad was that) are clearly going to be repeated as and when any European lorry driver can be persuaded to even attempt to drive there again, whilst each day (in between the horrific Covid news) we are hearing more and more examples of things that are not as they were in the UK (satellite UK TV failing in Spain, high levels of customs’ duty on Amazon products bought online and being exported from the UK, supermarkets running low on all products, nothing posted from the UK arriving at its destination, Tesco increasing the cost of everything in their UK stores by at least 10%, etc, etc, etc) – and it’s only January 7th!!! Unlike many on Twitter, I am not yet saying ‘Brexiteers, I hope you are happy with what you have done’ but I am finding it difficult. Sadly, and with no doubt, the next six months will be enough ‘punishment’.

Meantime, the situation in the UK with the virus (more than 50-60,000 new cases per day??? And 500-1,000+ deaths??) is terrifying and awful, and just when we think ‘it can’t get any worse’ it does. How much longer this government stays in power remains to be seen, but despite all of their chaos and corruption, it seems that there are still some people that think that BJ and ‘Hand-on-cock’ are doing ‘as good a job as is possible in the circumstances’. Can I just say here that that is complete and utter bollocks. The circumstances have been no different in other countries – here in Spain (and yes, I’m off again) which was so awful in the Spring, the situation is way different – everyone wears masks, everyone keeps their distance, the lockdowns are reasonable, and the figures, contrary to what the UK media would have us believe, are very low. We ourselves have been enjoying playing tennis and running on the beach, going to restaurants for lunch, shopping in the New Year sales, and generally living a relatively ‘normal life’, even though the virus is still out there, just as it is everywhere else. But it is all so well managed. If only the UK (and some other countries) looked around at how things were done elsewhere and followed them, perhaps things would be different…. but no, they obviously think they know best. Which leads me nicely to the Czech Republic.

Prague in winter time, view on snowy roofs with historical buildings.

It is hard to believe that in a population of just over 10 million, and that had so few cases earlier in the year, something like 8% have the virus, and the way it is going, the amount infected will probably hit a million fairly soon (and that’s just those that have been tested!). How??? Every time we call or email someone, we hear about another bad case (and, sadly, I now know five people that have died), and yet there have been several lockdowns, the one now, in particular, being pretty tough. I still wonder, a bit, about the weather (not so much whether the cold makes the virus worse, but more that here, where it has mostly been pretty warm this winter, everyone still lives a good part of their life outside, which is not so easy in the cold of the CR/UK), and also the pollution (the CR being known for its pretty bad pollution in the winter). But it sounds as if it is also the behaviour of so many people that still don’t believe that the virus is as bad as it clearly is – my old boss, C, told me about his neighbours inviting them for a Christmas drink and then asking if they will mind that the son is joining them and he is Covid positive…. my doctor told me about his son driving with a few friends to the mountains and the girl in the back seat ‘just mentioning’ that she has the virus, is that OK? – oh God… it’s enough to turn anyone to drink!

Except.. not me! Having eaten and drunk everything in sight during the lead-up to Christmas and the New Year (and I am not at all sure why, since we treated both those days pretty much the same as any other day), and managed to put on 3 kilos (no, life is not fair), I am now back to (a) a diet, (b) a full-on exercise regime and (c), most importantly, a dry January – six days done and dusted. Hah. And yes, it is extremely bloody boring and depressing, to the point that I am just accepting that every day is going to be grim, but it is not going to last forever. And generally behaving like a grumpy old bag.

I should just say, here, that I wrote all of the above last night, as I had originally planned to send it then, but just when I was thinking to wrap it up, boom… things got even more incredible with total madness kicking off in Washington.. and I am sure I don’t need to explain what that was! I don’t usually talk about the US as three countries to monitor is enough, plus I don’t know so much about the politics there… but for God’s sake… as someone wrote on FB this morning (yes, I’m still monitoring social media like a fiend), we all said on New Year’s Eve, ‘Thank God 2020 is over’, but now, having had a ‘free seven day trial’ of 2021, I think we would probably like to go back to it!

Here in our little sunny bubble, though, our Groundhog-day life continues in its own strange way. The virus remains relatively under control, although there has been a ‘big breakout’ of 17 cases of the ‘new variant’ in the town next to the border with Gibraltar (due, no doubt, to the many Brits that have been using the Gibraltar airport as a way to sneak into Spain without the relevant papers and tests. – the thing is, though, that here, where the cases are so low, a ‘big breakout’ is 17, and that causes the whole town to be locked down…. take note BJ).

We ourselves dressed up a bit on New Year’s Eve, and since then we have been doing all of our usual things (without the booze (me!), and not too much sun-bathing so far!), plus Jan has been busy with work and I have been doing quite a lot of ‘serious’ writing and looking at a few interesting projects. But, really, on the work front, it is pretty much one step forward, two steps back – but that’s how it is for most of us I guess. And, let’s face it, January is always pretty grim. Things for us now, though, might get a bit interesting, since to continue the crazy 2021 theme, we have just heard from a friend of mine that ‘severe snow storms’ are expected on the Costa del Sol. And since down here in Marbella, everything comes to a standstill if there is a bit of rain, I can’t imagine what will happen if the snow storms hit us – as if we needed any other sign that the whole world has gone completely bonkers…..

I will be back again soon… assuming we don’t get invaded by aliens, disappear under a massive snow drift, or disappear into a swimming pool full of nice red Rioja…. now there’s a thought…

1 thought on “Happy New Year?

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