Monday 15 June 2020 – Thursday 18 June 2020

Well, what an exciting week it’s been. The car has had a good run out as we ventured into the neighbouring province of Valencia, but more of that further down. Confusing statistics abound in Spain whenever the government talks about Covid matters. There have been 52 deaths in the past week, although none have been added to the official total for over two weeks now due to problems with data verification. Infections are on the rise in Madrid and the Torrevieja health authority has reported there have been no new positive tests for 22 days as of today. Despite this, many will travel from Madrid to their summer homes on the coast the minute lockdown ends at midnight on Saturday. I wonder how soon we will see new cases here. The last two regions of Catalonia, namely Barcelona and Lleida, entered Phase 3 on Thursday morning. The Catalan parliament then immediately announced it would be leaving the state of alarm and moving to the new normality at midnight the same day. Political posturing? Gambling with lives? Only time will tell but it feels like an uncomfortable move. We’re not exactly sure what’s going on in the UK because, like so many others, we seem to have stopped reading about it. It was sad to see that new cases have now arrived in New Zealand after they declared themselves virus-free, and it was no surprise that two of the three cases were imported from the UK.

With Phase 3 came the freedom to move within provinces of the same comunidad. We’ve been keen to visit our friend Tom and his dogs Rex and Deco, but they live just a few kilometres into the Valencia region and we live in the Alicante region. So, on day 1 of our newfound freedom, we hit the road. It was a fabulous mini break and we enjoyed their company, and their pool of course! We did some walking in the area around Llutxent, and explored a few places a little further away, but the highlight for everyone was surely cooking fresh pizzas in a wood fired pizza oven. There was a bit of trial and error going on, to be fair, but it was great fun and the results were spectacularly delicious. It was so good to be out and about again.

Since getting back it’s been a blur of domestic tasks like washing and shopping. Hardly exciting! We have managed a workout in the gym on both days since our return. We had our hair cut again too. I know that will make our UK-based friends very jealous!

Being away means there’s been little TV watching, which is not a bad thing. We have been captivated by The Salisbury Poisonings on the BBC though. It’s been a fascinating look at a story we were already quite familiar with. There was also an interesting piece called Keeping Britain Fed which looked at how the supermarket industry has managed during the pandemic.

That’s it really. As we await the influx of visitors from Madrid at the weekend, a sense of humour is definitely still required. We are a bit apprehensive about the full opening up of the country, but hey, the EU have even forced Spain to open its international borders with effect from Monday too. Maybe we’re worried about nothing at all.

Keep safe everyone. Sanitising might be about to become even more important. Sanity? What’s that???!!!

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