Lock down hell – week 6

Days 37 – 43. Week 6

Monday 20 April 2020 – Day 37

Start of week 6 and a little round up. I do like stats!

So in Spain there are over 200,000 Coronavirus cases, more than 80,000 have been discharged from hospitals and there’s been over 20,850 deaths. At the moment Spain sees around 400 deaths daily on average. Worldwide there are 2.4 million cases, 165,000 deaths and 623,000 recovered.

Still amazes me how a flu bug can bring the world to its knees. In a modern world armed with technology, science, wealth and knowledge, the one thing that can still ground the human race is disease. The Bubonic plague killed over 75 million in the 14th century whilst the Spanish flu in 1918 killed a similar amount over a two year period. Over 35 million have died from AIDS since 1981 and then there’s Swine Flu which appeared in 2009 and killed around 284,000 whilst EBOLA flared up in West Africa and killed 11,300.

So although CV19 hasn’t yet made it to the top of the Deadly Disease chart we are really only a few months in and it is a nasty virulent little bugger having spread across 120 countries bringing most businesses to a standstill and crippling the struggling health sectors.

Back in the Carter household Monday heralded a return to routine of sorts as we cracked on with our respective work loads. For those lovely folks who suggested I make pesto from the Three Cornered Leek in my garden, I did indeed make some for a pasta lunch today and added it to mushrooms and spinach and garnished with the pretty flowers. Heston Blumenthal I am certainly not so won’t bore you with food photo, but it was surprisingly good.

Meanwhile after son hacked at his own hair last week just so he could see, decided it was time to get the clippers out, pin him down and give him a DIY Lionel Blair haircut.
Hubby took charge. I’m not trusted with any sharp implements around children at the moment.


Tuesday 21 April 2020 – Day 38

Thanks to facebook memories I am reminded that 10 years ago today was my first date with Mr C. It was the week when that Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull (yes I goggled it) erupted and spluttered an ash cloud over northern Europe which lasted a week or so.

Apparently it closed commercial airspace in 20 countries and affected 10 million travellers. Including me.

So having been forced to cancel my long weekend trip to the UK and as the kids were already away with their dad I ended up agreeing to go out on a first date with my then radio DJ stalker. We went for a Thai meal in Mijas. He mocked my shoes. And the rest, as they say, is history.

So in a true loop of events – 10 years on and grounded again – I feel like married life is now turning into some bizarre reality tv show. “I’m on Lockdown. GET ME OUT OF HERE!”

In line with this cycle, I thought I’d share a video of the kids from 10 years ago. Nothing much has changed. Daughter is still bossy. Son still laughs at her. They still argue. They still love each other. Much the same as Hubby and I.

Meanwhile I’ve finished the Terry Waite book which has appropriately given me food for thought all the way through. In particular this paragraph:

You know what Tezza. You are absolutely spot on.


Wednesday 22 April 2020 – Day 39

So after almost 6 weeks in a strict lock down, and only being allowed out for essentials, there has been a growing demand as the number of deaths drop, that kids at least will be allowed out to have an hours walk a day exercise for example. It’s not a big ask. Yesterday the Spanish government finally announced that:

  • Kids under 14 could go out from Sunday. Yay!
  • Accompanied by an adult. Fair enough.
  • To the supermarket, bank or pharmacy. WTF??!

What numpty came up with that gem of an idea? Clearly one without children. There was a huge backlash. Personally I try not to take my kids to the supermarket under normal circumstances let alone during a pandemic.

I had visions of the littler kids. who have escaped the confines of their apartments for the first time in weeks. Charging around Mercadona touching everything in sight whilst paranoid adults dive for cover. All sanitary procedures undone in one supermarket trolley dash.

After an onslaught of complaints the government relented. They actually listened! And later announced they are working on some regulations to permit under 14s out for some exercise as from Sunday. Let’s see what rules they come up with.

After son’s attempt at maths homework, he (and I) need to get out for a change of scenery. Despite Mrs Shepley’s attempt to challenge my non-mathematical brain at high school I was useless. But here I am. Wishing I’d paid more attention instead of reading my Oh Boy magazine under the table.

Photo stories were the best! How did the My Guy annual sat on my bookshelf predict lock down Saturday nights in our house back in 1981? Uncanny.


Thursday 23 April 2020 – Day 40

“40 days to wander, 40 days to die to self. 40 days to grow stronger as faith breaks open the gates of hell”

40 is such an important number. Biblical, mythical and numerical it holds quite a bit of significance. Lots of references in the bible whether it’s lent or the great flood. The word ‘quarantine’ is actually derived from the Italian ‘quaranta giorni’ meaning ’40 days’ – the time period passengers had to stay onboard ships during the Black Death in the 14th century.

So here we are! 40 days in lock down completed. I’ll be having a 40s theme night later with music and movies and then 40 winks. It’s a milestone. And I am acknowledging it. Kids should be lucky they are still alive after 40 hours confinement with me, let alone 40 day
I was trying to come up with a list of 40 positive things that happened today. But that’s bloody impossible. So here’s 3:

Firstly I went out shopping and not only was there no queue to get into Mercadona but it’s so great to be able to park right outside the fruteria these days.

Secondly the paint shop was open so I now have supplies to tackle a couple of jobs ready for the summer.

And thirdly the rules are out concerning letting kids outdoors as from Sunday for some fresh air and a little freedom. Children up to 14 years can go out once a day, one hour and maximum 1km from their home between 9am and 9pm. No park visits and each local community will decide rules on using community areas. Masks recommended but not obligatory. An adult or older sibling can accompany up to 3 children. I think bikes and scooters can be used. Those aged 14+ can go to the shops unaccompanied if they wish.

So this means I can send both my kids out together and have an hour respite.

BONUS!! Carter! Dim the lights and get the gin and the bunny suit out.

A little bit of distance between family members is definitely required some days and to be able to go further afield than the garden is a bonus – I bet those in apartments are jumping for joy and clapping their rubber gloved hands at this news.


Meanwhile I found this 40 year old article in the My Guy annual I mentioned yesterday about Prince Andrew. So, it says, here is everything you needed to know about “landing such a dish” – when all you really needed to know was Jeffrey Epstein. Apparently.


Friday 24 April 2020 – Day 41

The circle of life returns to remind me that 20 years ago we were a few months into the new millennium year. When we all thought our technology would crash!

It was a huge year of change for me. I’d broken up with the boyfriend I’d come to Spain with just as 1999 was about to be swallowed up by the year 2000. Great timing. Christmas was fun. I vowed that year that I wouldn’t make any major decisions or changes to my life, as they’d be far too biased with emotion. So I decided I would just “sit it out.” (photo evidence below).

I walked my dogs and I worked. Bit by bit my heart and head healed and I began to venture back out in the big wide world and from there I met new friends. Most of these friends are still friends now. One was to become the father of my children five years later.

Fast forward 20 years and so much has changed but it’s like I’m transported back into the year 2000. I work and I walk the dogs. Clearly not the same dogs. Or they’d be knackered.
Confined to barracks and trying to process the scenario we find ourselves in. Not trying to heal a broken heart this time, but waiting for the world to heal.

That particular period of time two decades ago was really difficult and one you never think you’ll recover from. But you do. Day by day. Step by step. And I could never have predicted at the time how the next 20 years would have panned out. In the year 2000 I was so not, ever, never getting married or having children.

That year, which began so depressingly for me ended up being one where I really began to discover myself. I’d spent years doing what someone else said we should do and that year I began to stand on my own two feet and find my own path.

So let’s remind ourselves – this phase will pass. We will look back in years to come and recall how we emerged on the other side having grown, changed or just survived in our own way. We will recover. It might not be what we are expecting or what we want, but the show really does go on…


Saturday 25 April 2020 – Day 42

Spain Coronavirus cases: 223,759. Deaths: 22,902. Recovered: 95,708

Quick round up of data: Figures are definitely dropping. Hoooray! Number of new cases daily around 3,000 compared to 8,000 at the peak and 360 deaths daily on average compared to 960 at the peak.

Apparently the local councils are now posting masks to homes in and around the towns and there are more now available from the pharmacies and with a fixed price of 96c alongside a fixed maximum price for sanitizer. Well done Sanchez. Very proactive and useful scheme. Beats injecting Dettol.

I am really looking forward to a walk out with Sol at some point in the next few days before I have to surgically remove him from his cobwebbed corner on the sofa. His dressing gown and slippers took themselves off to the washing machine yesterday for a steam clean to see if I can remove the boy stench emanating from his person, whilst I did a bedroom blitz earlier. Those 96c masks are handy for lots of things.

Also managed to plant a few more seedlings in between showers and re-painted a mirror for Luna’s bedroom. I have a little craft area set up in the roof. The view is … interesting.

My lovely neighbor Ana turned up yesterday. She usually lives between her apartment in Malaga and her campo house next door to me. She told me years ago she’s been single ever since she walked out on her violent husband when she was a young mum 40 odd years ago. The day she finally left him was the day he threw a Butano gas bottle at her. She walked out the door with nothing except her 3 kids and never returned. Anyway when she’s here she is always out working on her land which has a plantation of avocados on it. One year she asked me how much money I’d made from selling my avocados.

“About €500” I said proudly. “And you?”

“About €8,000.” she said.

No one likes a show off.


Sunday 26 April 2020 – Day 43

Up and at it this morning. Exciting day. Official break for freedom for kids starts today so son and I went on a mammoth dog walk along the river. One of my favourite things to do at a weekend usually anyway, so I’m happy it’s now permitted in the ‘rules’.

There’s talk that all adults too will be ‘let out’ from May 2nd for an hour exercise/fresh air so lots of little changes giving everyone something to look forward to. At long last.

This morning’s walk gave us a chance to blow away some cobwebs and have a good stomp through nature, checking out the fish and frog life, birds and even a snake. Walks with son usually involve lots of chatting about all sorts of stuff. Such as:

Son: “So you know Gabriel right?”
Mummy: “Errrr Who?”
Son: “You know. He’s an angel or something.”
Mummy: “Ahh ok Angel Gabriel. Not sure I really know him…”
Son: “Well this guy says when God created the ocean God said ‘just put water everywhere.’ Angel Gabriel said: ‘that’s really cool because when people are thirsty they can drink it.’ Then God said: ‘make it undrinkable’.

He was also telling me about some bloke he’s been watching on YouTube who has lots of animals including a pig, antelope, lions and wolves. No, not Joe Exotic. Thank god. A guy called Dean Schneider who:
“Isn’t English but speaks really well English.”
Unlike my child. Sigh.

Anyway back to base camp by midday just in time for pancake brunch and the emergence of child number 2 from her bed. Only teens can sleep 12 hours. And still be an arse.

Meanwhile here’s hubby’s super flexible pole dancer niece. And here’s me. Squint and the resemblance is quite uncanny.

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