Isolation Diary: Day 40 in Benidorm Spain Lockdown

Wednesday 29th April 2020

Good morning Benidorm day 41 in lockdown

I don’t know how my body does it, and maybe it’s a tell-tale that I’m always relatively conscious when I’m sleeping but, if I say I need to be awake by a certain time, I almost always am.

I don’t mean I set my alarm clock and stumble out of bed and run for a coffee to bring me some sense of alertness, I mean my eyes open and I’m ready to go without an alarm. I don’t know if it’s more of a natural wake up and my body prepares for it or what, but all I know is that after one passing comment the night before, here I was at 6:45am ready to take Rio for a walk.

I don’t do many dog walks, if you’re the one who’s the designated person to go out, it’s recommended that you stick to being the one who goes out instead of alternating. Saying that, I try to take Rio once every few days at some point in the day, just to stretch my legs and get some air. We are very fortunate to have Rio which has meant we can go outside at times, not everybody has been like that.

There were three of us walking on our street, but it was silent. Just the sounds of the pitter patter of the dogs paws running on the floor. The world was still sleeping at this point, with curtains closed and the sun not yet risen. It was dark, and cool, but not cold. Another sure fire sign that summer is creeping up on us without us even realising. Before we know it, it will be too hot and we’ll be seeking shade however we can.

Rio running in the forest Benidorm lockdown

We walked and walked as Rio just wasn’t doing his business. Though, that wasn’t a bad thing. It meant we could walk some more. The sun starting to rise and what a treat it was to see it from somewhere other than our window. To feel that first sun ray on your face. To feel the warm sun touch your skin and take you from cool to almost hot. To see the sky radiate pinks and oranges. I always like the idea of a sunrise, a promise of another day. Another day we’ve been gifted with. Another chance to do what you’ve been meaning to do. It’s why I love sunsets too. A reminder that whatever happened today has happened. A reminder that the world will keep orbiting and if there’s one thing we can be almost sure of it’s that the sun will be back tomorrow to let you start again.

Sunrise over the sea benidorm

I think a lot of people will come out of lockdown with a new sense of appreciation. I think more will stop and watch the sunset or the sunrise instead of carrying on their busy lives and never slowing day to take a second to appreciate. I know for one I always took it as matter of fact that on the weekend we’d go on some sort of adventure and indulge on tapas and mocktails somewhere. I can’t wait to do that again. It’s going to be emotional that very first time. Bars and restaurants will only be allowed open for the terrace, which is fine, but at 30% and I can only assume our favourites will get busy quickly. We’ll have to aim to go for a non peak time!

There are a lot of bars here that won’t be affected by the outdoor rule. There’s a lot of bars that don’t really have a lot of indoor space and most of their bar is just the terrace, obviously the lower occupancy means less clients and sales, but in a general sense. Others it is going to affect loads, some have a really nice interior but a really small or no terrace. Others are a lovely bar but their view is pointless so unless you’re going for something specific to them, I think they might struggle. I’m looking forward to going out for breakfast at our usual place, we always sit on the terrace there but they also get really busy so we’ll see!

Smiles in the garden in my Calvin Klein jumper

I got back home shortly after 7 and started on my blog post. It doesn’t take me too long to write them anymore, maybe 15 or 20 minutes. I seem to be in a routine now and my brain just knows it’s writing time. Once I’ve done, I switch over to Duolingo and practise some of the languages. It’s been a few days since I’ve done Italian, but I’ve done French quite a lot recently. I kept getting confused between all of the pronouns so thought it was time to take a break from one of them for a while. I was a lot further ahead in Italian so thought I’d take a break to let French catch up to a similar level.

After a bacon sandwich breakfast, Alex went off to work and I read some of my book. I’m about 30% through with I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella and I’m enjoying it. It’s made me laugh out loud a couple of times and made me visibly crinkle my face at annoyance over her blindness to her almost boyfriend. I’ve also cringed for her a few times too. I think that’s when you know you’re into a book, when your facial expression go beyond your eyes skimming the words.

We all have weird days and today was Alex’s. He wasn’t in a mood or anything like that, but things just didn’t go right for him. I’m sure it was just a one day thing. I think we’ve all had these sort of funny days in lockdown.

Alex went off to the supermarket today and there was a heavier police force again in preparation for the May Day or the puente de Mayo as they call it here. They expect that a lot will try to cross provinces to get to their second residences here again so they’ve upped their presence and shut off a lot of entrances to Benidorm. Of course, he was going to the supermarket so he showed his documents and they let him through. Meanwhile, I was in the balcony room with the windows open and it was scorching. It was definitely the hottest it’s been yet. 26 degrees my phone said. Then I touched my iPad. iPad needs to cool down first. Well, it’s the first time I’ve had that for a while. It was so hot it could’ve burnt my hands. The smell of burn was slight so I hope I’ve not got any lasting damage to it! When Alex came back, he’d picked me up a few Starbucks drinks.

Starbucks Frappuccino drink from Alex

On his lunch break, we listened to a chapter of Bob Iger’s audiobook. At times, he certainly was in the right place at the right time and definitely a case of well, if your face fits. In no way am I playing down what an exceptional businessman he is, but at points there were definitely things that just slot into place because he was already privileged and knew the right people. I don’t think he’s afraid to check his own privilege in his book though and admit that he didn’t know it all. I think in another way it shows how skilled he is to be able to pick up so much on the job.

I think I’m a bit like that, pick up as I go along. When I started as a social media manager, I was just a case of knew the right person and we know you’ll learn on the job and put 110% into learning what you need to know. Which I did, I learnt what I needed and more. I made it my mission to know what KPI’s are, and how targeted ads worked. I read articles, played around and came to a place where suddenly it was all second nature and easy.

Another case of that might be coming soon, I have a meeting with a CEO of a company to discuss ways that I can offer consultancy for their website and potential be part of a nationwide relaunch where I take the reigns on the publicity. I thought it sounded huge and it is. I thought it was out of my depth, and maybe it is. But then I remember that I’ve worked on worldwide product launches for one of the biggest ballet wear companies in the world and worked on advertisement materials and all of the website product launches and newsletters, so maybe it’s not as out of my depth as I thought.

Cavalier King Charles spaniel cuddling his mum

Alex was in meetings so I used that time to read some more of my book and get some cleaning done. It’s easier to vacuum and mop when he’s in one room. With the sun beating down, it doesn’t take too long for it to dry neither. I probably spoke too soon though as not five minutes later, Alex took the dog for a walk and walked through it all. (He did mop back up where he’d been when he got back though).

Palm trees Benidorm lockdown diary

Alex had finished work and we’d played some brawl stars and I was scrolling social media. A bit later, my friend FaceTimed me. We chatted about anything and everything.

I found a couple of holidays that I’m tempted to book today. I found flights to Japan for next Easter for £400 return. There was also a 5* hotel at Tokyo Disney for £500 for two nights and the rest of the time we could spend in Tokyo. We’ve both always wanted to go there and they’ve been less affected by COVID19 than Spain have, and we’ve stuck around here. If things didn’t improve and things got cancelled, we’d get our money back anyway so it’s a case of nothing to lose everything to gain. I also thought about how we could go to some hotels in Benidorm that we’ve always wanted to in June. In June, the hotels should be open at 50% occupancy, with the pool and restaurant areas back open. But, there won’t be many flights operating still and cross between provinces might still be banned meaning there won’t be a lot of competition for the hotel rooms. I’m hoping it might mean we can finally get to stay at Thai Asia Gardens. We’re also desperate to go to Galicia, so if in August they’re still not letting international holidays only national, then we’ll spend a few weeks in the North.

Cavalier King Charles spaniel in Benidorm lockdown

At 7pm U.K. time, we put on lockdown TV. Everyone from my family tunes in and you start to see the same names cropping up in the comments. We then watched the Benidorm quiz after which just certified that Alex and I knew absolutely nothing about Benidorm. We got 2 out of 30. We didn’t need to write the answers down and count them at the end, we knew how many, it wasn’t hard to know that we’d only answered two questions. It’s ran by the creator of the Benidorm TV series on the Facebook page he’s set up for his new bar that’s opening in Benidorm soon, MateosBenidorm. I’ll have to go and check out Mateos bar once it’s opened. I know a lot of you have asked if I’ll be going.

It was only half 10, but I was already so tired. I slumped off to the bedroom and did a 5 minute half hearted ab blaster followed by a sleepy 10 minute yoga. Another day had come to a close in lockdown and we were one step closer to the day we’re allowed out to do exercise. Hairdressers and dentists have also been told they’re allowed to open from Saturday, by appointments only and gloves and masks must be worn. It’s going to be very strange on Sunday when we’re allowed to walk out together, the last time we did that was at the airport that worrying day back in March. We’d sat in opposite ends of the car and then I had to run down the street 2 metres in front of Alex. It will be weird to be able to go out together. To see people. I think I’ll video it.

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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