187 – Empty Benches in Empty Squares – Lockdown Day Nine

LOCKDOWN DAY TWO:

Monday is the first “normal” day of the lockdown.  I go to the surgery for routine blood tests.  Everyone is maintaining social distance.  Doctors and nurses are wearing masks and gloves.  The village is VERY quiet.  I use the opportunity to go to a couple of food shops.  In the first, they have put tape on the floor to keep people queuing at a good metre’s distance from each other, and that works well.  It feels a bit like a board game, when the person at the till leaves the shop we can all move one square forward.  In the bakery, a sign prohibits more than one customer at a time, and there is a tray to put the money on. Continue reading

181 – Has Anyone Got Any Knickers?

Church halls pretty much anywhere in the western world all look remarkably similar.  This one was just like the one in Yorkshire I went to in the 1960s as a Brownie, and the one in south London in the 1990s when I hosted fundraising jumble sales, and then in Somerset in the 2010s when I ran charity training courses.  This one, though, was in a small Axarquía town in inland Málaga province. Continue reading

167 – The Turn of Another Year

My fifth Christmas in Spain.  I thought that must be wrong, but it’s not.  Four and a half years since I bought my house, three and a half years since I retired and moved here full-time.  Such a short time, yet it feels like forever. Continue reading

166 – Catching Up

 

First of all it was remiss of me not to thank you all for the lovely thoughts and messages you sent following my heart attack.  I really did appreciate every one of them – “the kindness of strangers” means a lot.

Since then I’ve been doing a lot of catching up.  Trying to slow down, catching up with old friends, and catching up with long-delayed tasks. Continue reading

165 – Irredeemably Grumpy

Some people are easy to like.  Belén, for example.  Kind, generous, pretty, gorgeous eyes, and she works more than 40 hours a week as a volunteer, cooking and serving meals for homeless people at Los Ángeles Malagueños de la Noche.  One of life’s special people.  So when it was her turn to need something, dozens of strangers who had never met her were willing to help. Continue reading