Isolation Diary: Day 42 in Benidorm Spain Lockdown

Friday 1st May 2020

Standing outside in morning sun

I opened the window and the blinds and felt that first blast of sun on me. Ahh May is here. My favourite month. This will be the month of better times. It will be the month where a new normality comes. It will be the month where things start to pick up. I’m positive that May will prove itself of why it’s one of my favourite months of the year. I hadn’t yet woken up properly, but the world had. The sun was still climbing, but the birds were singing and the dolphins were just out near the island. I know, dolphins! They’ve started to come closer to the shore now so we get to see them, it’s wonderful to see. How lucky am I to be able to look out of my window and see such a beautiful view every morning?

I almost feel like I’ve been cheated of all these holidays. Granted, we’re off work, but there’s three major faults with it for me. The first is that I’m still awaiting government money. I haven’t been paid since March, and our application was sent off and approved over a month ago. So it doesn’t really feel like a holiday when everyday I’m wondering I’ve been paid yet. The second is the obvious, what really can we do? We’d planned so many different trips and days out for all the bank holidays that happen in spring after the long autumn/winter stint where there are next to no holidays except Christmas. And the last one is far more personal rather than general, after Christmas, I took a pay deduction so that during some holidays and bank holidays I’d be paid in full. (I won’t get started on that I should anyway) and so I’ve taken less pay home for these holidays but haven’t seen the benefit of paid holidays.

Granted, nobody could have predicted that coronavirus was going to bring the busy modern world to a standstill.

I’m writing this at 6:30A.M. It’s still dark at the moment but there’s a glimmer of bright red light trying to fight its way through our blackout curtains. When Alex is up, we’ll be allowed to go for our walk. It’s a weird feeling, almost like a anxious but excited knot. We’ll be able to walk down by the beach for the first time in over 2 months.

The exercise is at massively inconvenient times for many, and I think that’s why they did it. Hoping that as they’re such awkward times people will choose not to go on it and reduce congestion. But it’s so annoying because they said they would make plans according to your area, I can understand limiting in the major cities, but here it’s super quiet.

Selfie with Rio in lockdown

Now that early in the morning we’ll be allowed out to do exercise, I might have to move the time I post my blog. I guess it all depends on what time I wake up that day. We’re allowed out with no time limit within the 1km zone so it might mean that I post later than 8:30am if I haven’t had time to write it before we go for our walk.

We spent the day relatively laid back and quietly. I finished my first Sophie Kinsella book, I Owe You One and I enjoyed it. There was enough drama and character depth, without being majorly dramatic or too many side character with full names that you meet once and never hear about again (like the mixtape!). Finishing I Owe You One meant I finished my GoodReads 12 books of the year for 2020. I’ve just started my next Sophie Kinsella Book – Twenties Girl which I’m three chapters in and already loving. The only thing that bothers me is the chapters are very long. So it’s not like you can read a bit and then nip off and do something else, you’re committing to a 20-30 minute stint minimum. I’ve been asked to write a list of what books I’ve already read in lockdown, so I’ll post that in tomorrow’s post and I’ll share how many stars and a little review for each, as I think I’ll have finished twenties girl by then.

It was a quiet day in terms of work, but I had a big meeting in the afternoon. It was a zoom meeting with the Founder of a company, the marketing manager, an IT consultant and an IT specialist. I felt so far out of my depth it’s untrue. I know social media and how to make it look good, I have different online classes that I’ve accumulated that feature online digital media and my degree (that I haven’t finished) has aspects of marketing language and advertising in it. But, I’ve never trained officially. What I know is what I know from playing about and having a go. I seem to bring in results and my clients are all happy, but knowing how to articulate that is always hard. It turned out the IT consultant was a good send and did most of the talking for me. Explaining how he can see where I’ve taken over from a company or where I’ve left and how the standard is something else. He talked about how I’ve always been flexible and timely with anything that I’ve been asked to do. So, there and then, the founder said he wanted me on board. For a month trial. I feel so far out of my depth it’s untrue, but the company has amazing values and is all about fitting reaching out and bringing the elderly community closer, more important than ever during Covid19.

Selfie of me in lockdown wearing Calvin Klein n

I read an awful lot yesterday. Between the zoom meeting, practising languages and reading not a lot happened. It was like waiting for something massive to come about. The idea of a little bit of freedom. Not just the walking part is exciting though, it’s the fact we might see people we know and be able to give them a little wave. Nobody is allowed to stop unnecessarily, with exceptions being at traffic lights and stuff, but I’m sure if we spot somebody we’ll shout hello from over the street. This feels like a little easing toe in the water, ready for the 11th May where we’ll be able to sit on bar terraces.

We listened to another chapter of Bob Iger’s book and played some mobile games and I basked up the sun that shone through brilliantly all day. It was hot. Hotter than we’d known. I think there’s something about April to May where a switch just flicks and the temperatures soar. Suddenly, the looming white haziness over the sky had vanished and burnt away. Suddenly, it’s 30 degrees and the smell of blooming flowers circled the air. Could I smell lavender? I was sure I could. I miss flowers, I’m hoping we can have some in the balcony room again soon. We also need some plants to go on our shelf in the bedroom. I’m hoping for some green, maybe even trailing ones.

Rio in my comfy corner

Rio had been to the vet the day before and had been prescribed a cream for some dry skin that’s been causing him discomfort. Alex had to get it from the pharmacy (something that confuses a lot of people is that dog medication is also got from the pharmacy here). It seemed he loved having it applied and fell sleep whilst Alex was doing it. Must’ve been soothing! He ended up laying out in the corner of the balcony, he loves it in my spots!

When 8pm Spain time came around, we watched Asa’s Lockdown TV. It cracks me up every time. I don’t know if any of you watch it on his Facebook but it’s a good laugh. We end up singing along all the time too. He sings a pretty good range of songs, some oldies, some from Grease and some newer bits.

The beautiful Benidorm night sky Benidorm lockdown 2020

I stepped out on to the front balcony and took in the night air. The last time we wouldn’t be able to be on the streets together. The last time we’d be looking out at a deserted street. From tomorrow, things will change. There’s something in me that knows this is the start of better days. Better times to come. We’d looked at holidays. Why shouldn’t we book a 7 week summer trip? I’m not contracted to work summers. It’s just expected of me last minute. Maybe now is the time we make use of our free time together and appreciate it more. America? Australia? Japan? There’s so many places far away that we still want to go and summer is the only time for that. There’s some crazy cheap deals going around for this summer, I mean a flight to LAX for £200 is crazy! It almost makes me want to book it and see if we get there. If they cancel the flights, we get a refund. Where’s the harm? Part of me is hugely tempted, but the other part of me thinks “let’s face it, summer 2020 will be a spain holiday if that”.

Once 10 o clock was around, I headed to bed and read some of my book. It was strange laying in bed knowing that in the morning, lockdown as we knew it was about to change. It was nerving. But I was pleased. I still had this tangled knot in my stomach worrying if I’m actually going to be good enough for this social media manager job for a company like this one, and if I’d be able to give them the launch that they deserve. It‘s a huge responsibility and I’m still not sure if I’m cut out for it.

I ended up dreaming that I was back at school, but this time I was an LSA again at the school. I always used to have a recurring dream on the first day of the school summer holidays every year when I was at school. The first night would be the same every year. I’d do a day at school and as I was queuing outside I’d say “wow didn’t those holidays go quickly”. Instead this time, I was seeing kids grown up that I’d LSA’ed with, seeing them change, I was in lessons with teachers I’d grown to become friends with. It was surreal. Was it my mind telling me that that was a simpler working time? Or was it my mind playing that it’s now like the first day of holidays now we can go out? Maybe it’s the thought of being out of my depth at work and remembering how I felt like that when I started in an Autistic Unit. I had no previous experience, how would I know what to do? Or when I stepped into a PA role having only bits of admin experience, or when I took on my previous clients knowing nothing about their line of work. Maybe it’s my mind reminding me that I did pretty good at all of those jobs. A happy client who stuck for 3 years. A client who has recommended me elsewhere and singing my praises after 2 months. A PA job that got me runner up Employee of the Year after 3 months service beating people who’d been there years. Or the fact that I smashed that LSA job and ended up helping my key child from crying and barricading himself up at school to being the lead in one of the productions. (Still one of my proudest moments in my career).

Maybe I can do this.

We’re off for our walk. We’ll update you all soon!

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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