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

180 – Settled?

There was a nurse on my flight home to Málaga.  A Spanish nurse, working in a GP surgery in Dorset.  British husband, dual-nationality totally bilingual daughter.  We’d been chatting in the queue about the newish Ryanair rules requiring us to jam our handbags INSIDE our cabin bags, just for passing through the gate before boarding.  ¡Qué pena!  What a pain.  She was flying to Spain for just a couple of days, to collect her daughter from the Spanish grandparents in Granada province to bring her back for the new school term. Continue reading

179 – Escaping the Heat

Forty degrees and higher.  Really, that is too much.  The rhythm of the day changes to suit the temperature.  At the hottest time, after a lazy late lunch, it’s time for a siesta.  Late at night, after midnight and into the small hours, it is finally cool enough outside to sit on a kitchen chair on the slope of our little street and share some comfortable time with the neighbours, catching up with the minutiae of life. Continue reading

177 – Forty Days

 

Forty-four days.

I go for my morning walk, my feet heading automatically to the Enchanted Place.  The almond blossom is just finishing, and the grass smells fresh.  The view is clear, across to the rocky outcrop that so dominates the village, across to our big mountain, with just a touch of snow on its peak, down to the neighbouring village, and back through the frame of the almond trees to the village that I call home.  I shake off the worries, the cloud that hangs over, and turn back, retracing my steps and round to the bakery where Gloria puts my bread roll in a bag as I enter, without waiting for me to ask. Continue reading

171 – Four Breakfasts and a Barbecue

Another month, another “escapada”.  This time to Cádiz, a city I had overlooked for far too long.  Three nights in probably the best-located Airbnb flat anywhere, with a terrace looking directly onto the tower of the impressive cathedral.  It was the flat of Francesca and Carlos – for me the real benefit of the Airbnb system is being able to stay with locals and get their tips about things to see and places to eat.    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