Monday 1 June 2020 – Thursday 4 June 2020

The first week of Phase 2 in the Alicante region hasn’t really changed much for us. It’s been nice to be out and about, but we haven’t eaten inside a restaurant yet or taken advantage of an air conditioned coffee lounge. The biggest news of the week is that the death rate in Spain has fallen to astonishingly low levels. Indeed, there were two successive days when no Covid-related deaths were reported in the country. It seems a suspiciously dramatic change in the figures, and we can only hope that it is a true reflection of the situation. Meanwhile, in the UK…

It has mostly been a glorious week. Summer certainly came with a vengeance and it was suddenly too hot to be outside in the sun! Despite the good weather and the opening of the beaches, it has been surprisingly quiet along the prom. There was a reminder of the changeability that seems to be everywhere though, with torrential rain plenty of thunder and lightning on Thursday afternoon and evening.

It’s been a quiet week in the kitchen too. I finally got around to making some haggis empanadas which I had planned to do for some time. We really liked them, and our friends in quarantine were delighted to find some in their latest red cross parcel!

Football gets ever closer in Spain too. I still have mixed feelings about sport recommencing but if the country really does have this thing under some sort of control, real life does have to start again some time. The Real Betis fans in Elche are getting excited as the days count down to the Seville derby which will be the showcase to relaunch the season. We made another video with each member sending in a choreographed video before it was stitched together to produce this masterpiece.

So proud to be a member of the amazing Peña Betica "manque pierda" de Elche. Look forward to seeing everyone again when it's safe to do so. We made this great video during lockdown. Well done everyone.Estoy muy orgulloso de ser socio de la increíble Peña Bética "manque pierda" de Elche. Espero ver a todos de nuevo cuando sea seguro hacerlo. Hicimos este gran video durante la cuarentena. Bien hecho a todos.

Posted by Russ Pearce on Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Our travel opportunities continue to be limited to the Alicante province. Whilst this prevents people coming down to the coast from hotspots like Madrid, it also makes us feel a little hemmed in. Being able to travel within the Valencia comunidad would be a helpful first step but it looks increasingly likely that we will have to stay within our province until the end of lockdown. It’s starting to look like the state of alarm will end on 22 June as the government has said they don’t intend to ask for a further extension beyond that date. What happens then? Suddenly everyone is free to do whatever they want? There is still a lot of debate about the interpretation of the rules too. It seems that I could interpret things one way and go for a walk in the hills in the morning, but the policeman who stops me could interpret them another way and issue me with a €600 fine. We have decided not to risk it until it’s clear we can do some rural tourism by ourselves.

I know you are all itching to hear about what we have been watching on TV this week. This isn’t Gogglebox you know! There have been days when we have sat outside on the balcony until 10pm. When the TV has been on, it enable us to finish off Killing Eve which we thought was a poor imitation of its previous series. We also competed White Lines which we found very entertaining, if a bit grim at times. We have also started Coroner, another Canadian TV series, and after the first two episodes we are quite happy to carry on with it.

We also finally got around to watching The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind. This incredible story of a boy in Malawi who built his own turbine from scrap, enabling his village to survive severe drought conditions, was an emotional subtitled roller-coaster. We first became aware of it after our trip to Malawi which is quickly fading into the distant past. If you ever need inspiring, watch this film.

It’s not been all play and no work though. Classes have continued as normal. I built two classes around aviation health thanks to an incident at Humberside airport in 2013. If your pilot collapsed and died alongside you, could you take instructions from someone over the radio to land the plane?

On Thursday I finally got to have my MRI at Torrevieja Hospital. Unfortunately the doctor hadn’t managed to amend the request so that they could look at my right arm which has been problematic for the last three months. Instead they persisted with scanning my left arm which suffers from very slight discomfort but doesn’t really cause me any problems. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed that nobody was able to action this change in all of that time. It was my first MRI too, and I wasn’t too worried as I’ve seen it in TV many times. I wasn’t allowed to lie flat on my back. I had to lie at a most ridiculous angle with my arm stretched out full above my head. It was quite unpleasant and for 25 minutes I was very pleased with the supplied earplugs as the machine made deafening sounds around me. Is that normal? It was quite a shock!! Now we wait for the result and, no doubt, a repeat journey for a super expensive scan on the other arm.

We took advantage of being the other side of Torrevieja with a trip to Zenia Boulevard. We were surprised by how quiet it was, but disappointed to see about a third of people not bothering to wear masks in a public space like that. Some even carried them swinging in their hands! The main reason for our visit was to go to Alcampo, a giant supermarket from the French Auchan chain. We have other big supermarkets that are easier to get to, but we have to go here to get bulgur wheat and wholewheat couscous. 21st Century problems eh!! We also managed to pick up a few things for the house which have needed replacing for a couple of months now. Oh, and a cheap set of six huge wine glasses. Not sure when we are likely to use them!!!!

We’ve tried to keep up with our sense of humour too. There really are some crap jokes out there at the moment.

The weekend promises to be a scorcher so we hope to make the most of it. Our friends get out of quarantine too, so we’ll be going out for lunch on Sunday to celebrate!

Continue to stay safe everyone. Keep sanitising and protect your sanity where you can. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter, even if it’s only a bunch of tourists shining their torches in the darkness.

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