Lock down hell – week 13

Days 86-92 – Week 13 – Phase 3

Monday 8 June 2020 – Day 86

Spain Coronavirus cases: 288,630 Deaths: 27,136

Start of week 13. And today 70 per cent of Spanish regions all move up to Phase 3 including Andalucia. So what does this mean:

  • No exercise time slots.
  • Gatherings permitted up to 20 people.
  • Movement permitted within the province (but not outside of province)Bars and cafes can open at 75% capacity outside and 50% inside.
  • Aquariums, museums, cinemas and zoos can open 50% capacity
  • Regional authorities take control of the de-escalation process and decide how long this last period should last. The central government retains control over mobility issues.

Figures still look good. Spain has around 240 new cases daily and one new death reported. Can’t be right. But that is what the chart says.

Meanwhile it’s a local bank holiday in Coin. Recovery day after what should have been the Romeria. I’m working. Daughter has gone off to her friend’s house and hubby is over at the townhouse teaching and painting. So all systems go here, well for the majority of us. Son needs a rocket up his backside but unfortunately I’m clean out of firearms this week.

Two more weeks of this schooling lark before summer holidays ‘officially’ begin. I say officially as both mine are currently on go-slow and motivation is at an all time low (Son is in minus figures). End of term lethargy, heightened by online learning, has well and truly commenced. I am clinging to the promise of school returning to normal in September. I’ve run out of Valium and the thought of carrying on with this quarantine palaver makes me want to weep.

On the subject of quarantine, I’ve started a new book. My third since lock down which is good going for me as it usually takes me 6 months to get through one book due to the time invested re-reading what I read a few nights earlier having nodded off part way through a chapter. This time I’m reading The Hot Zone. Calm down Carol dear, not that type of hot zone.

This is a true story by Richard Preston about the origins of infectious viruses such as Ebola. Keeping it topical. Mind you the first couple of chapters last night kept me awake for an hour later. Perhaps not suggested bedtime reading but riveting and yet macabre stuff.

Tuesday 9 June 2020 – Day 87

Queuing at the post office is a full time job these days. Give me strength. One lady in front of me had even taken a little fold up chair to sit on. Ingenious! That. A book. And some snacks, next time.

Some good news: the 57 passengers on the flight last week from Madrid to Lanzarote have tested negative for Covid-19, after a man on the plane had taken the journey despite knowing that he was infected with the Coronavirus.
The passenger was returning to Lanzarote after visiting Ciudad Real and had been in contact with a person with CV19. Two days before returning to his home in Lanzarote, he took a test and received a call once he had already boarded the flight to tell him the result was positive.

So question? Why aren’t passengers all tested before getting onto flights, even domestic ones?

Daughter and hubby both had sleepovers out last night so it was just Sol and I last night. After karate we began to watch ‘Into the Badlands’ series. My first impression – plenty of bad ass martial arts stuff, throat slitting and lots of limb snapping. Sol reckons lead guy Daniel Wu is just like Bruce Lee, but with swords. Which reminded me of a conversation the kids had during one of our many ‘in the car’ conversations a few years ago:

Sol: “How many times have I gromitted since I was a baby?”

Mummy: “Oh I don’t know, 3 or 4 times.”

Luna: “He’s done it more than that! Remember that time he was ill and I was poorly and you were tired?”

Mummy: “Ermmmm not really Luna. Can you be more specific?”

Sol: “See Luna. I have only gromitted 3 times. EVER!”

Mummy: “Well thereabouts. I don’t really count it up Sol.”

Luna: “See. I bet it’s more.”Sol: “YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT MY LIFE LUNA!!!”

Luna: “Yes I do!”

Sol: “So who’s my favourite character then Luna? Eh? Eh? Here’s a clue he likes fighting and football.”

Luna: “What?!! I don’t know!”

Sol: “Bruce Lee!”

Luna: “Bruce Lee doesn’t like football.”

Sol: “Yes he does. He likes watching it.”


Sol: “And who’s my second favourite character. He’s old, and he like fighting and football?”

Luna: “errrr…..???”

Sol: “Bruce Lee’s DAD. See you know nothing about my life.”

Wednesday 8 June 2020 – Day 88

Midweek and number 88. This is one of the master numbers (repetition of same number like 22 or 44) and is quite a powerful number and well balanced. Bit like the Two Fat Ladies in the bingo world – wobbly, like a Weeble. But they don’t fall down.

Did you know the Weebles Wobble toys were launched nearly 50 years ago. They are as old as me. Although push me and I will fall down. With a thud.

Apparently they made 116 different styles of Weebles over the years from 1971 to 1983 and then in 2010 Hasbro made a new line of bigger Weebles with a range of 42 in total. I remember having a set of original Weebles who lived in a tree house and drove around the living room floor in their little cars. How much simpler was life with such basic toys! Hours of innocent entertainment.

I remember the day we realised my sister would never add hairdresser to her future careers list. We had both suddenly decided to cut our Sindy dolls hair. Mine got a neat little trim keeping her bouncy blonde locks long. My left handed sister struggled with the bulky kitchen scissors and tried in vain to get a straight bob for her brunette Sindy which, by the time she had repeatedly evened out each side, ended up with a severe crew cut. Poor Sindy now resembled Action Man. It was a catastrophic day especially when my sister realised Sindy’s hair would never grow back and she tried desperately to stick it back on. The 70s. A time when the harsh realities of life hit home.

Tiny Tears was the other favourite doll at the time and the Carrie and Christopher twin mini dolls which were favourites for both my next door neighbour friend Janice (Janet?) and I. I think Clark’s shoe shop had a sale on that year too judging by our matching footwear.

Talking of toys. Son and I headed off down to Decathlon today for some sports equipment. I realised en route this was the first time I’ve driven out of Coin for three months, since the mid March lock down. It was reasonably quiet down in shopping land. Arrows directly your around Decathlon and hand sanitiser on the way in. Getting used to that now. My hands have never been so clean.

Friday 12 June 2020 – Day 90

Another week flown by. Our days seem to be like vinyl playing on 45 rpm as life is returning to some semblance of normality. I’m almost at full speed ahead again. Another day another dollar as they say.

Hubby went off for the day shopping for bits to DIY utopia – Bricomart. It’s his favourite place. But with queues of 45 minutes wait he left disappointed and went elsewhere. I caught up on some work early doors. Great getting up around 7. It’s cooler and quiet and easier to get stuff done whilst the kids are still in bed. However, problem is the kids are invariably still bouncing off the walls at 11pm whilst I am all ready for my Horlicks and bedtime story.

Anyway, lunch was made by daughter’s fair hands today. Bonus. Followed by the necessity to iron some bits. I ironed all the time as a teen it was a regular chore. But these days clothes are washed, hung out, folded and put away. And so the monotonous daily cycle continues. But there comes a time when that the washing wheel is livened up by the intervention of items which require special treatment. It’s like the second coming when I get the ironing board out. I remember daughter once crying because I hadn’t told her I was doing some ironing because she wanted to do it. It also reminds me of this conversation some years ago:

Finally mustered the will to iron the 5 items of clothing which require ironing that have been sat in a pile for last 2 months. Kids asked me what I was doing.

“They call it ironing.” I said

“Looks interesting” said Sol

“It isn’t. And should be avoided.”

“Like lettuce” said Sol.

Kids went off for a bike ride this afternoon and came back with an injured baby bird. Looks like some sort of Finch? Broken or damaged wing it appears. We cleared out my old ornamental bird cage for the time being to give it time to heal. Hoping bird seed we give to the sparrows will suffice? Son found a vacated bird’s nest in one of our orange trees so we’ve put that in there too. Cute little thing. Hope it survives and mends.

Saturday 13 June 2020 – Day 91

And it’s the weekend again. Travel is now permitted around Andalucia, so we can go outside of Malaga to Granada or Cadiz for example. This has been introduced so families can visit each other and also many of those inland regions are eager to head to the coast as the summer heat kicks in, to either holiday homes or the beaches.

Over at Casa Carter we did a few odds jobs this morning. Then Carter went off for a band rehearsal for the first time in 3 months. I, on the subject of beaches, decided it was time for a trip down to the coast and joined friends for our first visit to the beach since lock down was enforced.

I felt the need to check out beach protocol post quarantine and see what the rules and regulations are. Also for us all to let off some steam, soak up some vitamin D, breathe in some sea air and feel the sand beneath my feet. Grounding and invigorating. Beautiful day. Breezy and refreshing.

Not too busy either and not as regulated as I thought it would be. There are rules saying no footballs balls, bat and balls or inflatables and although I didn’t see many (there were a few), nothing seemed to be policed. Less intense than I imagined it would be. The boys had no need for any entertaining or toys. They literally spent 3 hours digging a hole with their hands, flip flops and a Pringle container (improvisation at its best). Then we buried them in it.

Meanwhile the little finch obviously just needed a bit of R&R and flew off late yesterday! This was after I’d spent 20 minutes hunting for worms in the garden. Luna had the brainwave of hunting through the compost heap for maggots and came back with a tub full. “We are feeding a baby bird Luna not a Bearded Vulture.”

Much gagging and arguing over the tub, much gagging over chopping up a maggot. Then more gagging followed by more arguing over who should put the maggot into the bird cage.
Poor finch. I think the final straw was a semi chopped wriggling maggot tossed into the cage. I reckon he decided it was better to take a chance in the wild with a dodgy wing than be ‘loved’ anymore by my children, so it must have squeezed through the cage bars and flown off (that or the maggot ate it). To be fair even I wanted to take off at that point.

Sunday 14 June 2020 – day 92

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”


The wisdom I have learnt today (by experience) is: Do not wear hair head band to beach. Unless you wish to resemble the Polish flag.

Talking of red faces I am reminded of the time we lost my sister in Tunisia. It was 1987 and I was 16 and she was 14 and this was our last family holiday together. One day we went to the local market and decided to be a little adventurous and go by bus. We wandered around the market and then headed back to the hotel on a very crowded hot bus full of locals.

After a 20 minutes or so into the journey my dad said to jump off at the next stop. My dutiful sister jumped off the bus as the doors opened. Around the same time my dad realised this wasn’t actually our stop at all and as he shouted at her to get back on the bus the doors closed. I can still remember my sister’s horrified face as she watched us drive off.

As we fought our way to the front of the bus through people, chickens and things in cages, my dad shouted at the bus driver to stop but he couldn’t or wouldn’t understand. As we arrived at the next bus top we all jumped off. Thankfully it was the hotel stop so my mum and I headed to the hotel to wait whilst my dad jogged in 40º heat back to the previous bus stop to find my sister.When he got there panting and sweating and over-heating she wasn’t there.

My mum was trying to sort with the hotel staff about how to report her missing when suddenly my sister appeared. She’d had the sense to walk down to the beach and follow the shoreline until she found our hotel.

So with my sister returned to safety we were now missing my dad. Eventually he reappeared on the verge of a heart attack having not found my sister and about to collapse from heat exhaustion.

A holiday to remember that one. Apparently it was my idea to go the market because I wanted to buy a rucksack. Which I never bought in the end. And being a stroppy teenager sulked all the way round anyway.

Today marks 3 months since the State of Alarm began. It feels longer. One more week to go. Apparently Sanchez is opening the borders to EU citizens (except Portugal) from next Saturday also, instead of July 1st. I’m guessing tourism is the key issue.

Anyway I was up early this morning and off to do some sorting at the townhouse. Left hubby with the kids for dog walking duties and then he toddled off this afternoon to do some music stuff down on the coast at his friend’s bar. I got home later. Thankfully son had cooked a chilli for lunch yesterday and there was plenty left for today which meant one chore less. Not a typical Sunday dinner. But am I bovver’ed?

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