Isolation Diary: Day 31 in Spain Lockdown

Monday 20th April 2020

Gorgeous pink sunset Benidorm lockdown

It’s scary how close it is to May. I seriously love May and June weather, it’s consistently sunny, consistently warm and it’s always the right temperature for sitting out at a beach bar with a mojito and sometimes, when we’re lucky, getting in the pool. I hope that we’ll have some freedom after this lockdown period is over.

As I sat and watched the sun rising higher in the sky, I noticed May is closer than I thought. While we’ve been at home for the last month, the weather has shifted. We’ve had our change of season storm, we even had an earth tremor. We’ve seen birds making nests in the trees and we’ve seen dolphins come closer to the shoreline. Everything has shifted and we’re closer to summer. The sky was a beautiful, inviting blue. I wanted to head out and just be in the sun.

Watching the sun rise Benidorm

It makes me think of all the times we’ve walked down the street and took it for granted. We took for granted the feeling of freedom. The opportunity to go where we wanted to go. The privilege to fly between countries. The privilege of being able to walk safely down a street. Now the streets are deserted and just a trip to the car park to walk the dog is a treat.

Taking Rio for a walk in Benidorm lockdown

I’ve spent a lot of time out on the balcony room now that we’ve altered the room around a few weeks ago. It still feels like a completely different room and I can’t believe I didn’t think about making it a corner sofa before. Alex and I have always wanted a corner sofa but have never lived somewhere big enough to hold one. Perhaps when we get a house, we’ll be able to get one. We looked around our flat and pointed out that when we do move into a house, we’ll have everything pretty much already. We’d just need a fridge, a bed, and some cupboards.

I lit my Maple and Whisky Candle Co candle for the majority of the day. They are scents inspired by Disney or the Disney Parks. We’ve got Main Street Bakery and it does smell just like the bakery we got our cake pops from in Florida. It has a really wide wick on it so when it’s lit it sounds like a crackling wood fireplace. I love my Diptyque candle but Alex says it smells too perfumey and prefers the Maple & Whisky or Yankee Candle. I went on the website to see if we could have some ordered but they’ve closed during the pandemic. It took us a few days to get hold of one in the first place. I had to keep setting alarms. The business is so popular that they only took 50 orders a day. Their shop would open at 6pm and by 6:15 they’d sold out again so I’d have to wait for the next day. There’s a Spaceship Earth candle with Epcot on it, Soarin’ ride inspired candles and a Mickey’s Waffles which are the ones I want next. I wish I could share smells on my blog, because the way the room filled with cinnamon and vanilla was delightful.

I did some reading out on the balcony. I ended up sitting out there late at night too. It’s such a comfortable place to sit. When the window is open, you can feel the light breeze blowing on your face and the sounds of the sea waves comes gently in with the wind. By the end of the day I’m about 70% of the way through my book so no doubt I’ll be finished that one soon and be starting on another.

Reading on the balcony Benidorm lockdown

Alex has been working on our Disney holiday photo book. It’s quite a monumental task getting 3000 photos together and organised into a book so lockdown has been a good time to do it. He’s up to the second day of the holiday and it’s taken him hours already. We also have a photo book from the highlights of each year, so he’ll be doing the 2019 book after. Meanwhile I took the dog for a walk.

On a walk in Benidorm lockdown

The first thing I noticed as I opened that front door was just how warm it was. We’re relatively high up so with the window open there’s always a cool breeze that comes through. But outside on the ground, there wasn’t a breeze. It was glorious. I could’ve walked up and down the road all day, but rules are rules and one 50m walk and we were heading back up. I’ve never had so many people smile at me and shout hola before. It seems everybody is desperate for some human interaction. People said hello from their gardens, people waved from their balconies or from their cars. It was all quite surreal really. I remember the Spanish always being chatty and saying hola when you walked past in the street, but then it started being just people you saw in your own building. People started to look down when they walked past people, not just to me, but to everybody. I think it’ll go back, at least for a while, to everybody saying hello to each other again.

Rio is such a happy dog. He doesn’t care that we barely take him out. he just wags his tail and wants to be near. If I go and sit with Alex or give him a hug, Rio has to be there. He clambers up so that he’s also on our knees. Or he’ll bounce and bounce on his back legs if we’re standing trying to reach us until Alex picks him up. He’s so cute and happy and he just makes lockdown so much easier.

Rio sitting on his ottoman with Benidorm behind

I did my 5 minute ab blaster followed by a yoga flow for upper body strength. It was every bit as painful as it sounds. It was just constant planks and constant push ups and I was knackered. Like, done. But, another day of exercise was done so that’s all that matters. I also did my French and Italian. I’m on 24 day streak which I’m pleased about. I have progressed to level 4 in Italian and level 2 in French so I think I’m making good progress.

Drinking wine watching Asa Elliott lockdown Tv

We watched an episode of Brooklyn 9-9 before Asa did his 7pm (UK time) lockdown TV. We have a right little karaoke session to his songs. My mum ordered his CD so Asa put her photo on to thank her.

To break routine, I actually didn’t have a cheese sandwich for lunch. Instead, I had some chicken soup. Alex had nachos. For dinner we had pasta bolognese. I don’t know why I don’t really like bolognese anymore, but I’ve just gone off it. I don’t know if it’s almost too bland and boring for me now.

It seems the lockdown has been working as for the first time the daily deaths dropped just below 400 over the past 24 hours. The government announced that this was the lowest day in over four weeks. Although it’s only a slight drop, it gives us hope that it’s going in the right direction. In the recent weeks, Spain has really upped its testing and is now testing around 40,000 a day. The number of people who have recovered has now risen to over 80,000 too. It was announced that our lockdown is extended by another fortnight, until May 9th but they’ll release more details about the children under 12 being able to go out with a parent after April 27th.

I spoke to Alex’s mum today. She’d said she was loving my daily blogs, which was lovely to hear. I’d been worrying they were getting monotonous. How do you keep going with a blog that you committed to doing when everything now seems so normal. We’re in a whole new normal now and it’s hard to keep updating. But she said “sharing the mundane isn’t a bad thing. You’re articulating what lots of people are going through which is a positive thing, especially for those feeling rather isolated”. I’m hoping she won’t mind that I’ve quoted her there! But it really got me thinking. The mundane isn’t to be feared. It’s normal and it’s life and not everything about life is fantastic and flowery. It’s why I don’t read many other people’s blogs. They never seem real life. Everything seems fabricated and robotic. All of these sponsored posts, and inspiring travel photos in saturated photos with huge dresses. It’s just not me. I like to be real. At the end of the day, we’re safe in lockdown, it’s keeping me busy and it’s my way of keeping in contact with you all. I like to know that you’re all doing okay and seeing what you’re up to too.

The children have been absolute troopers. They’ve been confined to their homes in what’s known as the tightest lockdown in Europe. They’ve not been allowed to go outside. Most people don’t have any outdoor gardens here and lots of us don’t have balconies. Just one wet break when I worked in a school would be enough to send them bouncing off the walls and going mad. But, here are these children, confined to their homes for over 40 days (we didn’t start in lockdown the same day as most people in Spain as we were in the U.K.) and they’re trudging on. It makes me quite proud of the kids that I teach.

Benidorm pink sky sunset lockdown

As the glow lit up the living room, we ran to the balcony room. It was a truly spectacular sunset. The whole sky lit up fire red before merging into a fantastic pink. Everything was pink. The sea. The sky. The reflections onto buildings. It was truly magnificent. I watched the sunset and appreciated what we had. Appreciated another day. Another day that we are safe. Another day that we have kept entertained. Another day that we have powered through at home. As they say in Spain: Todo irá bien 🌈

Sending you all love,

L x

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Hola! I'm Lauren ("Loh - run") — A twenty-something, engaged, English girl living on the Costa Blanca, obsessed with travel, love and elephants.

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