Thursday 9th April 2020
I stopped counting down for April 9th about a month ago. I still held out a glimmer of hope, but I knew. I knew it wasn’t happening and I knew it was time to start thinking about cancelling. I knew that road trip around the whole of Spain and Portugal was going to be nothing more than a plan on paper, a google maps route planner and a few hotel deposits and messages back and forth. I knew about March 12th that the likelihood of us going on this road trip was slim.
We still held out hope though. The first lockdown was going to end mid to late March, so was there a chance it would happen? When it was extended again, it was due to end just before Easter. Was this our luck? Maybe things were changing and we’d just be able to go on our trip by a hair. That’s when I cancelled. That’s when I gave up hope. Even if it did mean we could go, did I want to go straight the way? I’d already accepted that it probably wasn’t happening and wouldn’t be happening for at least a year or two now. I’ve been out of work, did we really want to go with next to zero money? It was time to cut my losses and cancel the rooms whilst they were allowing people to have a full refund.
I think about it for a while and then feel guilty. Cancelling a holiday and staying home is a small price to pay when there’s people out there suffering and dying. And I know that, I do. And I would never compare my pain of postponing a holiday, or a concert or whatever else I had planned with people who are suffering in the outside world, but just like every other minor inconvenience that happens to us in life while greater problems are going on, it makes me sad because selfishly it happened to me.
Today had no routine. Like zero. It’s funny that while Alex was working it at least gave me some routine too. Instead, I had no idea what time it was all day. I had no idea what to do next. Should we sit together all day? No probably not. I made sure to sit on the balcony room for a while, it is my reading corner after all. It felt quieter without the sounds of children shouting Alex’s name. I’d got used to some of their voices and who was who. I felt like I knew some of them from their voice and their personalities came through, yet I’d never seen one of these kids in my life. I knew their name. I knew who shouted out and who was sweet. I knew who asked how Alex was or who would be desperate to see the dog. I knew who’d be wanting to know how long until they’d finish and wait to see how long it would be until they’d ask the question. In a way, it’s quiet without them virtually here.
I’d started my yoga early, just after Alex took Rio for a walk. I wanted to get it out the way. Alex went off to carrefour and I carried on. He said he’d been stopped on the way back by the police. They’re guarding all the main access points now and blocked off the other routes. He showed the residencia which showed our address and the police checked that he had been shopping and said it was perfectly fine and carry on. I’m not sure why some people are scared of the police doing it. They’re only doing their job and keeping us safe. If you’re where you’re supposed to be, there’s no issues. I set a 20 minute timer to do my French and Italian (which also makes my Spanish better because I’m learning from Spanish and sometimes I have to google what the word means in English ha!).
I didn’t think I was hungry for breakfast, but it turns out I was. “What do you want?”, “I don’t know”, is usually how our meal times go. I’m not being awkward, I just normally really don’t. I still sometimes get worked up about having to think about food. I love eating food. I love snacking. But I sometimes still hate to think about food. Other days, I can’t wait to plan and talk about meals. Like, I can’t wait for food in Javea and Moraira after lockdown. I love pasta. I love Mexican food. I love sausage casserole, but if it’s something that’s not my favourite I hate thinking about it.
Breakfast is usually the worst for this. I go through stages with breakfasts. I love something for a while and will eat it every single day. And then I’ll start to resent it. I have no control to think okay I’ll have something else so I don’t get bored of it. Because my brain tells me, eat this or don’t eat anything. There’s no reasoning of let’s switch it up. Unless it’s between a Spanish bar and an English bar and then I know what I order at each. Alex put some fruit out and I said I didn’t want it. I wanted a cheese toastie. But when the cheese toastie came I didn’t want that. I’d ended up eating all the fruit whilst Alex was doing the toastie, and then had the toastie with a cup of tea. And then finished some of Alex’s fruit. (Who also had a cheese toastie), Honestly, sometimes I must be exhausting.
The rest of the day was spent lounging around the living room. I finished three things today. It was so satisfying to click “I’ve finished reading” on Good Reads. But to be able to click it on two books was like… amazing. We finished Tiger King first. It’s just mental. How it’s a true story just makes it even more mental. Where do you even start? It’s just… wild. Then we finished Joel’s audiobook, it had a really sweet ending and of course Alex guessed who was going to be number 40. I thought it couldn’t be possible. But alas it was. Is there no sanctity in friendship anymore?!
We had stuffing topped pork with mashed potato and carrots with gravy for dinner. We’ve not had that dinner for at least a year. Alex cooks it with lemon sprinkled on top and it’s just a really nice dinner that I think we’d both forgotten about. It made a nice change. I had some shloer with dinner which I’ve always liked.
We talked a bit at night, after I’d finished my third book during lockdown. We talked about how we’ve grown up since I was 19 and Alex was 22. About how Alex had turned up to my 20th dressy up garden party in shorts and flip flops and a T-shirt whilst everyone else was in dresses and he didn’t even care. Or understand why my face was nothing but confusion when he stepped out the car. Or how we’d stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning before Alex drove 40 minutes home and then was back again at 7:30 to pick me up for work yet here we are falling sleep on the sofa at 10:30pm every night now.
I was tagged to post a photo of the first photo we had together as a couple. The one in London when a random passer-by asked if we’d take a photo of us. Alex did. “Shall I take one of you two?” They asked on the bridge. “Uhm uh yeah okay”. We stood in place. When it comes to photos, I’m not that awkward. I’m pretty good in front of a camera so I’m obviously straight in there. “Awww that’s so nice, you’re such a cute couple”. Couple!?
This was our first date… I guess? “I don’t do holding hands.” I’d proclaimed loudly earlier that day. “Good. Because neither do I”, he’d replied. We walked away after the strangers on the bridge had declared us a couple and we held hands the whole way back to the tube. The next time a stranger would gift us with a “aww cute couple” would be in Amsterdam, December 2016 over two years later, at the Christmas tree, although I think she might’ve been high.
I thought about how I never got bored of him. I only loved him more and more each year, and I guess the same goes for him about me. Or I hope it does. I thought about how neither of us were relationship people before. I can’t even tell you the name of Alex’s exes because there aren’t any recent enough. I thought about how we’ve always been excited to share details or share experiences and we only grew closer through each of them, good and bad. It’s a funny thing, love. And there’s all different types of it. I thought about how every single person, and animal, that I love, I love differently. Every love is unique.
I don’t check the news today. I don’t check the data. I don’t even really check social media all that much. I don’t really check my phone until later on when I realise I’ve neglected my friends who are also at home. But I do get an alert that Boris Johnson is released from the ICU but remains in hospital. I decide not to check the data today because today is the first day of the holidays. The sun will still rise and the sun will still set and for one rotation of the earth’s own axis I decide to sleep blissfully unaware of the world around me and dream of every flower I’ve ever known, filling my apartment with the blossoms of a spring we were once promised.