Have you missed me? Well, that’s because I’ve been making the most of the relative freedom offered by the “new normal” here in Spain. We’ve had a good run but things are changing quickly once again and there are outbreaks of Covid in almost every region now.

For us, at least, we got a whole four weeks of it, but various places around the country have found themselves drawn back into different stages of lockdown. There are towns in the north that have reverted back to Stage 2. The Barcelona metropolitan area are now advising people to stay at home unless the journey is necessary. Here in the Valencia Community we have had a relatively good time of things, but today we joined the growing number of regions to make the wearing of face masks compulsory when out of the house. This will include when sitting in a cafe, bar or restaurant except for the actual moment when you raise your cup, glass or fork to your mouth.

In our area there have not been any major Covid-19 problems with just 32 cases and, sadly, 8 deaths reported during the entire pandemic. There are cases just down the road though so it’s sensible that precautions are taken. We still go out for a regular walk in the local countryside and we will be able to continue to do that without a mask, unless of course we meet other people. A walk to the beach for a coffee means masking up, but if it keeps us safe then I don’t see the problem. The beach itself has got busier but just a few miles away the beach has been divided into squares and that seems to ensure safer sunbathing. Sadly, there are some that can’t obey red flags though, and the number of deaths through drowning are probably about on a par with Covid-19 deaths.

We’ve both been keeping fit and healthy. Outdoor exercise has meant we have used the home gym less, but we have still been using it. I am still waiting for an MRI on my bad arm, although it has more good days than bad days at the moment. Fingers crossed it continues getting better but I’ll still have the scan when I’m given a date. Trish has stayed busy in the kitchen with some fabulous cakes to keep us motivated to exercise! The sunflower in the garden turned out to be a spectacular success and the cherry tomatoes didn’t do too badly. The upside down herb experiment had mixed success though, with the mint not making it and the basil still hanging on in there.

We have been travelling a bit too. A trip to the Sierra Espuña mountains was a welcome break almost as soon as we were allowed to travel to another province. The quad bike tour to the electric blue waters of the reservoir was particularly memorable. We also hot-footed it down to Granada to see the Alhambra before the crowds return.

I was never really sure why people were so keen to know what we were watching on TV! Over the last month we haven’t watched nearly as much, and I’m sure we’re not alone. The stand out film for me was Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga but it might be a bit too kitsch for some! We have started a couple of new series too and they are both going well. The Plot Against America and Condor will keep us going for a while yet.

That’s about it really. Not much changes except for the rules! Ryanair still owe us money but the signs are there that we might get some of it soon. It has been rather hot at times and we have taken to sleeping in our spare room as it’s so much cooler on that side of the house. We haven’t been working much, but that doesn’t mean we have been idle and there have been some classes to deliver but we can’t claim to have been busy. Sunsets have stayed intensely beautiful too!

Humour has, of course, kept us all going through some very dark times. That hasn’t stopped, but the real life comedy of political decisions around the world gets depressing after a while so I’ve preferred to look elsewhere for my laughs.

Hope you are all still sanitising, wearing masks and socially distancing wherever you have to. I’ll post again in about a month unless anything drastic happens in the mean time.

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