Isolation Diary: Day 41 in Benidorm Spain Lockdown

Thursday 30th April 2020

Morning sunrise Benidorm lockdown

I sat at the window and watched the sun rising with Rio and realised the whole of April has been and gone and that means we’re approaching one of my all time favourite months here. As the sun started to shine and the sky started to transform into the blue I thought about everything we’ve done in lockdown and everything I’ve accomplished so far. May feels like it’s going to be the start. The start of something new. We knew that we’re in for a little outdoor time, but we were waiting to hear the details.

I’ve read 11 books so far, and currently reading 2 more. I’ve spent hours studying languages. I’ve worked 6 days a week from home. I’ve written 40+ blog posts. I’ve cuddled Rio and taught him new tricks (he’s really good at hide the treat and seek now!). I’ve remained positive for 90% of the time and I’ve started making plans for post Lockdown. And most importantly, I’ve stayed home. With the exception of the few walks I’ve took Rio on.

I’ve been doing my bit, but there’s something about being offered something and having it taken away which feels much crueler than just never having it in the first place. Even if you were never really told the full details to begin with, you were let to get excited. Like when you’d see the game shows and they’d say “here’s what you could’ve won!”. I always felt that was so cruel.

I was once offered a pay rise, then it was taken away as the company realised they couldn’t afford it. I was once doing a school reception job part time alongside my LSA job and was told I’d get it and apply, and they brought somebody else in with no experience or qualifications (I hold a level 5 in personal assisting and administration).

It feels the same. Being offered walks out in the sun, to only have it pulled back. Apparently, only letting us out between 6am and 11am or between 8pm and 11pm means that there’s less crowding. Surely given that the sun doesn’t rise until 8 that most people will go out between 9 and 10 and as the sun sets at 9 that most people aren’t going to go out at night, because it’s dark.

We’re allowed out once, whether that’s for exercise or for a daily walk with one person we live with. It’s ruined a lot of spirits for a lot of people who had planned to go pit for a walk as a family or even a couple. The over 70’s or those with a carer can be out for an hour between 10-12 or 7-8pm and those younger than 14 can only be out with one parent still between 12-7pm. Meaning that families are still unable to walk about together. We have to stay within a 1km radius of our house, so with everybody in the same area and with everybody dedicated to the same time, I don’t see how this reduces crowding? There are huge nature walks not far from our house where we’ve never crossed anybody, but instead we have to stick to walking around our streets where we will end up crossing people. It makes no sense.

On a positive note though, it will be okay for us. We’re always up early and we can always use the evening time. We’ll be allowed to go out together and take Rio for a walk. It won’t be at the best times, but hopefully it’s just for 11 days before we move onto the next phase, where bars and restaurants terraces will be open. So I’m convinced that the outings rules would be laxed to allow for that.

I started the day so well, so productive. Diving straight in writing an article about lockdown from a dogs point of view. It made me a little sad to try to think about lockdown in Rio’s eyes. He loves that we’re home all the time, but I wonder if he thinks about all the people he doesn’t see anymore. All the walks he doesn’t get to go on. All the friends he sees on the street that cry at each other when their human crosses the road away from each other as people aren’t allowed to stop. It made me think about the time he cried and scratched to get to the car. He’s been spending a lot of time sitting and sighing out of the window too. Even when we’re in a different room. He climbs on the ottoman, sticks his head out the window to take in the smells for a bit and then lays down and sighs. Is this just as much as a challenge for him at times?

I sat at the window and cried for a while. I felt responsible for having to be there for everybody. Having to hear about a lot of stuff everyday that upsets me. I think each day, especially since lockdown, I’ve had about 15 messages with messages of trauma or upset for different people. I take them all on and carry the weight on my shoulders. People want somebody to talk to and I’m honoured that it’s me and that people feel they can trust and confide in me, but also these things play on my mind. I wonder how people are doing. I grieve their losses. I worry about their friend with coronavirus. I wonder if their relation will pull through. I wonder if they’re strong enough to leave the relationship.

I cheerlead people through and do my best to listen and offer advice, but sometimes it all explodes over. You are not responsible for somebody else’s happiness. You don’t have to carry everybody else’s problems on your own. They confide in you because they trust you, but it’s bound to upset you. These people take an interest in you, your blog. You can support people, but you aren’t responsible. You can’t fix everything. You have to take a step back sometimes.”

I love to be the one that people confide in, but I think it’s healthy for me to just let it be cried out for people sometimes. I can’t just bottle it all in and I’m not one of those people who doesn’t feel affected or care when I read some of these things. And it’s not all sad. Sometimes I get messages about new babies, or pregnancy announcements, or a friend being released from hospital and I share the happiness too. They’re my favourite messages. But getting the happy and the sad builds the relationship. I feel like I really go through it and share the ups and the downs with so many of you.

It was an upset hour, but for the rest of the day I was pretty happy. I looked at Thai Asia Gardens again and some possible dates. As they’ll only be open at 50% capacity to begin with and it will only be open for people in the valencian community I’m hoping it will end up being even more bliss. Less people around the pool and less people in the dining area. It might mean even better photos? I also looked at a few other holiday options too. I’m still keen on Japan, but California is also calling my name.

It was a strange sort of day, was April 30. It almost felt like a new start, in every sense of the world. Almost like starting once again and having a fresh go. Nothing much happened but then a lot happened. A lot happened behind the scenes and it felt like a change happened in me once I’d cried out what I’d been holding in.

I try not to offload onto Alex, or other people. Good or bad news. I tend to keep everything to myself and bottled up and I know exactly why that is. Having my blog is one of the first times I’ve ever opened up. Let people know how I’m feeling. Shared experiences. I was always quiet, and kept myself to myself. I still do now. But, it feels like my blog listens. Like you all listen and want to listen. I never want to bother people, but with my blog, it doesn’t bother. People don’t have to take an interest if they don’t want to, people don’t have to reply if they feel like they can’t or don’t know what to say. It really is my diary.

I’ve been nervous about a meeting I’m having tomorrow (now today). I’m meeting with a CEO of a company that provides services to care homes, alarms and WiFi and that kind of thing. They do a great service in terms of offering comforts in the care homes and making it easier for residents and staff. We’re meeting to discuss me providing some social media work to help them become the company voice, share their ethos and get that message out about what they do in the U.K.. It feels scary. I never know when I’m out of my depth, but I’ve been recommended and they came to me. It feels weird to know somebody has thought about you as the one person they could do with to boost their website and social media. It all just started out as a bit of fun.

I studied my languages and I’m doing well. Each week I get an update of how many words I’ve learnt which is keeping me motivated. I read lots of my book too. I’m about 70% through I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella and I’m really enjoying it. She’s got a whole other range of novels so I’m going to start them afterwards. We’re really enjoying the Bob Iger audiobook too, we’ve started putting on the Disney fireworks on mute on the TV whilst we’re listening so we have something to focus on. It’s so interesting to hear about his career progression and his inspirational messages.

Salmon and rice for dinner Lockdown spain

We watched cartoons whilst having dinner, salmon and rice with chilli flakes, peppers and spinach. We’ve ended up having a lot wider variety since Lockdown. Giving Alex more time to cook instead of whipping something up at 10pm and not after a long day of work. He’s still working but the days are obviously not the same being at home.

Malteser truffles in Benidorm

I used my new Body Shop stuff that I ordered and I’ve yet to find a body shop shampoo and conditioner that I don’t love. I’ve got the Fuji green tea collection now and it smells wonderful, the tea tree body wash is lovely too. It felt super relaxing and smelt like a spa. I ended up doing a Pixi cleanse and tone routine when I got out of the shower too, so I felt all refreshed and perked up. I’d FaceTimed my family during the day too. My photo challenge for lockdown today was delicious so I staged a photo for my Maltesers. It almost looks like it could be used for an advert for them!

I did my ab blaster which means I’ve officially finished having to do it. It was funny that for the first time ever I set myself a 30 day ab challenge for April. And April ended up being a month we were locked down and exercise indoors became an essential. I don’t think I’d have kept it up if I was working and already out. Being indoors has made it easier to stick to it. I think I’ll still end up doing it, or something similar as I have noticed a massive difference in my abs. I ended up doing some yoga stretches and breathing whilst reading my book in bed for 15 minutes before laying down and reading.

I lay down in bed and thought about everyone who’s going through something at the moment. Everybody has something going on and we never really know what. We are doing really well at the moment, but lockdown gets to everybody. I hope you’re keeping safe and those who you love are keeping safe too. Be kind and be mindful.

Be well,

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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