Day 44 of Benidorm Lockdown: A New Normal

Sunday 3rd May 2020

Like the new name? Is it really an isolation diary now that I see people? I guess we are still isolated for the most part of the day, but it just doesn’t seem right to call it that anymore. It almost sounds negative. Isolation. No people. We don’t have that anymore, we see people. We have a new regimented freedom. It’s a temporary new normal.

I feel compelled to tell you that I’m writing this buzzing from coming back from our evening walk. That’s right, I’ve switched up the routine and here I am writing at 9:30pm on the same day. There’s a very good reason for that, and it’s all to do with our new normal.

I woke up relatively early, the light shines through our bedroom starting to spill into the room forcing my eyes open sometime after 8. We’d decided to go for an evening walk today, mix things up. Instead of seeing the sunrise, we’d see the sunset. Keep things a little fresh, it would also give us the chance to see which one is busier and which one we prefer. It is Sunday, and Mother’s Day in Spain so today might not be the most reliable in terms of results!

We were slow to get going today, laidback and slow, as all good Sundays usually are. I was in no rush to particularly hurry about, after all, we had nothing to do and nowhere to be. Our highlight of the day was at 8pm at night, and it was only 9am. We had so much time to play with, and nothing to do.

Every day seems to fly by so quickly. It’s unbelievable to think that this has been day 44. I can say in all honesty I haven’t felt bored during the entire lockdown. Can you believe that? Thinking back, the key has been keeping busy and keeping positive. As I sit here with only the glow of the TV and the lamp to brighten the room, I think back on how much has changed since lockdown began. Different attitudes, different outlooks on life.

Watching the sunset Benidorm Spain

As we walked as the sun was setting I thought of everything we took for granted around here. Things we just always assumed would be there. As we walked by locked up bars and restaurants I felt emotional, worn down even. Looking at all these places we once had memories in, closed up. It’s a strange world.

I’ve changed up my whole routine since the new lockdown measures (can I add easily adaptable to my cv?) and the first has been my morning drink. Now May is here , hot drinks aren’t doing it for me. Instead, I have a Starbucks Frappuccino before doing some Duolingo and playing brawl stars.

I’ve decided to start writing at night, which is going to take some getting used to. For 44 days I’ve had the inspiration to write in the morning. As soon as I wake up I’m ready to write. I don’t move for at least an hour and just type away. You can probably guess from the flow of this one, that those creative juices just don’t seem to work in the evening. Even sitting here I’m finding it hard to be comfortable to write. I’m going to have to work on this! I’ve decided to give writing a go in the evening so that it frees up our time in the morning to go for our exercise. We much preferred the morning slot to the evening one.

Sitting watching sunset over Poniente Spain

As much as I loved seeing the sunset, I didn’t feel at ease with the sheer number of people that were walking around. Even our beloved always empty street was filled with people. No matter where we went, people were already there. On the one hand, it was lovely to see so many people we knew. And people would stop to have a chat (keeping a 2 metre distance) but in the same way, it made me uncomfortable. We were constantly looking over our shoulder and weaving in and out of people. I’ve never seen so many people down on Poniente beach front, except for nights like San Juan.

The beautiful pink flowers and sky over Poniente beach

I wasn’t able to appreciate the evening walk like I could the morning walk. There was just so much going on and so many people that it was almost too overwhelming. This is what I had envisioned when the government said you could only all go out at the same time. That it would be overwhelmingly busy. And, it turns out that between 8pm-9pm, more or less everyone is on their walk.

BENIAID was live on Facebook today, lots of Benidorm acts had given their time to give a performance in the show to raise money for the Benidorm food bank. These artists performed for free to raise money to help people in the Benidorm area who are in real difficult times during COVID19. These artists, like me, won’t have received any government help yet either for 8 weeks and won’t have had any paid work, but were still out here doing their bit for others. It was a great show and I made sure to donate.

Alex using tyroler glider to clean windows

Alex cleaned the windows so my heart rate and anxiety was through the roof. (Please excuse Rio’s toys scattered around in the photo. Bonus point if you can see Rio in the image). He tried to sneak in so nonchalantly so I wouldn’t know he was doing it while I was watching BENIAID with the cleaning stuff on the opposite side and starting smoothly shutting the curtains. I knew he was doing it and it makes me feel ill just the thought of it. We’re so high up and it makes my legs feel like jelly to even think about leaning out to put the glider on the other side of the window. Especially when he stands on our chair to do the top. Now he’s done it, he won’t do it again now until next year. They do look much better now they’re done, but I just hate the thought of it. He uses the Tyroler Glider to clean the windows and it’s a god send for apartment living.

I read quite a bit more of my book, twenties girl. I’m enjoying the storyline and the characters are both relatable and believable, which is incredible considering one of the main characters is a ghost.

Vintage selfie after using Pixi skincare Polaroid image

I’ve taken to dancing around the house at any given opportunity. It’s even better when Spotify is on and I can dance around to Rio. Even if that does mean going to interrupt Alex while he’s finishing up his workout to dance around. I applied skincare and felt better for doing so. Just something so simple like applying some fresh cleanser and toner can lift your spirits immensely. I don’t know why I haven’t kept up my skincare regime as strictly as I normally would because it’s one small thing that truly does boost my mood instantly. I make a mental note not to skip the skincare regime again.

Family photo on daily exercise Spain

Feeling the sun hit my skin and the wind blow through my hair grounded me. We were here, walking the land after a major pandemic. We’d made it through and were making the first steps into resetting the world. Not everybody is as fortunate, I can’t help but think of all those who have suffered throughout this pandemic. Those who won’t get the chance to smell the flowers that have grown, or see the animals that are wandering around in the city that they’ve made their home. I wonder how things will start to progress. How this new normal will move when each phase is initiated.

Thai Asia Gardens slips into my thoughts again today. The mystery that is that hotel so close to us yet seems a million miles away. An oasis of Asia in Finestrat which I’ve dreamed about staying there for years. When lockdown is officially over and hotel stays can happen, we will finally stay there. We will unravel the mystery of Thai Asia Gardens and experience it for ourselves.

Weirdly, I thought about how I regret my blog name. I don’t know why because I wouldn’t know what to change it to and besides, I couldn’t change it. I’ve built a website from it, I’ve built a brand. It would make me lose my google rankings on some blog posts and people wouldn’t find my blog from typing random Spanglish bits and pieces.

After our walk, I can’t stop itching. The mosquitoes are quite clearly in full swing down by the beach and have had a delightful feast on my skin. The telling sign that summer is on its way is the sudden infuriating red bumps all over my skin thanks to those little bugs. If the 30 degrees day temperatures aren’t telling me summer is here, it’s the aggravation from my fresh mosquito bites.

As night drew in and my yawns got more frequent, I knew my bedtime was approaching. The simplest of days had passed, we’d watched TV, we’d gone for a long walk, we’d watched the sunset and had a quick dinner. The most simple, the most mundane but it happened. Nothing major was ticked off, but we made it through another day and we followed the rules.

With every passing day we get a little bit closer to better days. Right now, we’re lapping up the luxury of being able to just go for a walk, and when things do go back to normal, I hope we never forget the feeling of how exciting and overwhelming it was to just go for a walk. I hope we never forget that feeling of freedom the first time we were allowed to do exercise. Blogging about our entire lockdown experience is something that will help me remember that. On days when things are back to normal I know I’ll go back and read it to remind myself of the days when everything came to a standstill. The time when flowers and a wave across the street were the highlights of our day. The times when we can travel again, I’ll appreciate every aspect of it. Jet lag and all. Okay maybe not the jet lag.

Gorgeous pink spanish flowers

What I’m saying is, I’ve always loved little things. I’ve always tried to appreciate the little things in life and simple luxuries, but now, more so than ever I’ve learnt to appreciate the much bigger things in life. Freedom. Communication. Friendship. Technology. Love. Concepts much bigger than us and our daily life. Yet these things orbit us everyday. They make the little things and the luxuries happen.

The lowest cases of coronavirus deaths was reported today since the pandemic began. Hope is out there. Things are starting to improve and I’m optimistic that things will continue to get better. We will get there. Together.

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.

2 thoughts on “Day 44 of Benidorm Lockdown: A New Normal

  1. Good to see you are enjoying your walk. It must have been soooo hard to be stuck inside without walking at all for so long.

    We’ve been allowed to go out for exercise every day (and there are no restrictions about how far we can go/ how many times we can go out) so you are making me feel extra grateful for that. This self isolation time has really made me appreciate the small things too. I have loved the spring blossoms and I have got to know the back streets around where we live sooo much more.

    Anyway, good for you for staying positive. Sending all the hugs to your little family.

    Liked by 1 person

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