Isolation Diary: Day 34 in Spain Lockdown

Thursday 23rd April 2020

Standing on my balcony SMILE IN LOCKDON

Four things happened today which shaped the day and turned it from being a normal day in lockdown to an exciting day in lockdown. In fact, one of these things could be best idea I’ve ever had and could shape my career into something completely different. Regardless, today was the day the plan was made and no matter what happens moving forward, coming up with the idea and the plan is always the best part.

I’d woken up squealing in pain. It felt like needles digging into my left side. I couldn’t lean, I couldn’t stretch and I couldn’t tense. The pain didn’t shift for an hour or so, but I’m one of those people that won’t take paracetamol or painkillers unless I really have to. I’d much rather wait it out and see if I really need to take it. I find that when I do have to take painkillers they work much quicker than my body building a resistance to it. I don’t know if this is just me and placebo effects and probably has zero medical backing so don’t take this as any sort of reliable fact.

Reading in lockdown

Anyway, it subsided after an hour or so of reading. I finished The Man who didn’t Call and I enjoyed it. There were so many times the book caught me out and I thought something was or wasn’t going to happen and it did. It was one of those books that keeps you on your toes and has you wanting to know what happens next.

My beautiful Benidorm window views of the beach

The sun rose over the buildings as the birds started to sing. From a hazy white to a brilliant blue, the sky became one of those picture perfect skies. The promise of a beautiful day weather wise. The sea turned a deep turquoise at the shallowest part, it’s been a while since I’ve seen it like that.

Alex had done a yoga flow, and I’m finding it weird. He’s using the same videos that I do and it kinda feels like it’s my thing, which sounds ridiculous. There’s millions of people watching her videos online but never in our house unless it was me. For 3 months I’ve felt like she was my yoga teacher. And he’s using my yoga mat as opposed to his own workout mat. It’s a weird feeling. They build up this whole thing in yoga where your mat is yours and only yours and an extended part of you that you should trust and leave certain stresses and emotions on it. My mat was getting a little tired though from doing yoga everyday and was only a cheap one so I think I’ll order a new, better one for me. For context: I did just cry explaining this to Alex that it would be like I just start getting his boat out and going kayaking everyday.

I had eggs for breakfast and so did Rio after his dried food. He absolutely loves eggs. He demolishes the whole lot. He licks the yolk out first and then starts to eat all of the egg whites. It’s quite cute and funny to watch him eating them, everybody prefers the yolk, right?

A little bit later I had an email from Laurence who has been reading my blog everyday and it really was touching. It was an email sharing that he’d been reading my blog everyday and a few bits had resonated with him. He let me know he’s an NHS workers and what it’s like being strained under the current situation. He let me know that “on a rare day off, I’m using an hour of it to sit in the garden and send you a message, saying that, yes people out there do actually read what you are writing and they enjoy it and even take some of it in on a deeper level.” It blew me away to receive such a nice message highlighting points from my blog that had resonated with him and using his own rare, valuable time off to spread kindness to somebody else. He also shared that he has been avidly reading my blog since I started lockdown diaries, to hear how it’s different here compared to the U.K..

This part of the email also stood out to me: “it’s quite nice actually to have a blogger who isn’t eulogising their perfect lifestyle or continually mentioning sponsored links.” I’ve always wanted to only share my real life, not some fabricated my life is perfect version. Neither did I want to share a woe is me, life is so difficult for me because that’s not true either. Neither did I want to be somebody constantly sharing sponsored links. I only wanted to share experiences. I hope I’m doing that. Again, thank you and hi Laurence!

Flowers I saw on my walk

I think so many get caught in using the internet for the worst that we forget to share the positives. We forget to tell people that their book was wonderful, we forget to tell people that their customer service was outstanding. It’s so easy to only make complaints because we find time to share the negatives, that we forget to share the positives. I kinda think corporate is to blame for this. When I worked at a supermarket, you made a complaint and you’d get some vouchers. Sorry for your experience come back and spend more money. We’d have customers reporting staff for bad experiences that hadn’t even happened just for money off coupons. Of course, everybody got their reward card bonuses but they knew they were entitled to those as they’d earn them, but nobody got money off coupons for saying hey that girl on checkouts was super nice. Sure, there would be the small handful that would go and make an appraisal, but on the whole, people only made complaints, and they were rewarded for it. Why don’t we reenforce good behaviour?

We had lunch and played some brawl stars. I’d sat for most of the morning on the ottoman flicking between playing brawl stars and finishing my book. Alex was giving his online classes and being an outstanding teacher. He’s really got the whole teaching from home malarkey down to a T. His kids mainly stick around so they can talk to him and their friends while they’re doing their work which I think is cute.

A few of them are excited about the news about being able to go out and others were quite apprehensive, maybe even nervous? They’ve said that from Sunday one parent can take up to 3 children under 14 out for 1km walks between the hours of 9am and 9pm. It says the children can ride scooters, bikes, use toys and pushing a baby in a pushchair is included in your 3 children. They are not allowed to use parks and they’re not allowed to go near or play with other children. It’s going to be very strange for these kids. “What if we go out again and a whole new wave of the virus starts?” It must be scary being a child in 2020.

I messaged Oliver a bit later. I had thought about sending something over to my house for them and something else over to Alex’s sisters house for his side of the family. But, I realised I needed an accomplice in Oliver to be able to open the front door and get them. I thought I might need an English phone number too, but turns out the Spanish one was fine. I don’t want to go too much into it because I don’t want it to sound like it was some marketing ploy or like I’m working for online food deliveries ha. But, anyway, I sent them a dessert over, milkshakes for my family and a cheesecake for Alex’s, so that it would be delivered to their door from us as a little treat. Hopefully just that little gesture, just a little thing, to know that we’re all thinking of each other in confinement. Turns out you can order already paid by card food to whoever’s house you want as long as you have their address! Wish I’d had that idea sooner!

It was after lunch (ryvita with cheese, tomatoes and cucumber for anybody wondering!) that I had my idea. Turns out it’s not having no time stopping me from writing a best seller novel I wrote on Twitter. I tried to carry on reading but I just kept thinking about it. And thinking about it. And thinking about it some more. Well, if it wasn’t time, what was it? An idea? Had I ever sat and thought about an idea? I put my current book down, The Mix Tape and thought about it. Why haven’t I ever planned out a book? I write blogs all of the time, granted it’s nothing the same, but surely I’d be able to do it… eventually?

I’m starting to write a book

So, I went to the desk in the bedroom and sat and thought. And wrote. And scribbled on paper. And wrote plots on paper. And turned paper. Until I found an idea that I quite like. There’s no depth to it yet but the general idea is there. I sent a picture to my friend to see what she thought. “You should write it! I’d definitely read it. You always say you want to show the good things about Benidorm and this would help”. It would. A fictional story about Benidorm. Alex loved it too. “If you need to go anywhere for research, we can do that”. Always super supportive. I’ve written absolutely none of it yet so it will probably take me years to do. But I want to remember that if in two years down the line I’m celebrating a book launch, that this was the day the idea came to me. This was the day I started writing a book.

I haven’t shared anything about the book beyond Alex and Amy, and I don’t want to put anything deeper on here or social media in case somebody takes the idea and writes it themselves (you never know these days!). I have no idea about the world of publishing or how I even go about these things. Do I write it first? But it’s the first step. I’m hoping people will want to read it. Let me know if you will. I’ve heard that publishers are more open to publishing a book if there’s already interest so please please please drop a comment on either the blog or on my Facebook if you’d be interested in reading a book I write!

Eating fajitas in lockdown

We were having fajitas for dinner, and so was our friends so it almost felt like we were having dinner together. Just before, I headed out to the front balcony and got some fresh air. It’s so quiet and strange to see Benidorm at the moment. There’s the odd car and the odd person walking, nothing like a usual April. Rio had came out with me, he loves running up and down the stairs between the balcony and the front door. I’d realised he wasn’t satisfied with just being on the balcony and wanted a walk so I took him for a quick walk to the end of the road and back.

FaceTime with my brother in lockdown

We’d FaceTimed Alex’s family and I’d FaceTimed Oliver in the late afternoon and Alex started to watch some TV. Neither of us had done our workouts for the day yet and the sun had long set. I did my ab blaster first and then followed it with a nighttime yoga routine. It’s a great one to get you stretching and yawning ready for bed. Alex did his workout after me on the balcony. I wasn’t in the mood to read or watch TV so ended up scrolling social media and playing brawl stars in bed. I realised I hadn’t yet done my languages either so quickly switched to Duolingo to get some practice in.

Rio getting ready to sleep

It had been a happy sort of day. Lots of happiness spread around. Coincidentally, my photo challenge for the day was smile, so it worked nicely that I’d made as many people as possible smile on April 23rd. I thought about different parts of the book and character depth all day. Adding ideas. It’s bizarre. Am I actually going to do this? Am I actually going to write a book? Me? As the curtains were closing, I took one last look at the dark sky and the bright city lights. I looked at Rio tucked up in bed, watching me intently for when I fall to sleep too. One day closer. I thought as I drifted off into a deep sleep.

Keep safe,

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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