Day 48 in Benidorm Spain Lockdown: Our New Normal

Thursday 7th May 2020

On a walk with my cavalier in lockdown benidorm

I don’t know when I became such an early bird, but every morning without fail I’m up and ready before Alex’s 8 o’clock alarm chimes. A little before lockdown started I’d began waking up early and it’s stuck throughout.

Alex has a pretty full timetable so it’s a case of a quick walk to get in our daily exercise before he heads to the virtual classroom. We get ready and race out of the door to make use of our social distancing exercise, within our allocated time slot.

It’s a lot quieter and cooler than it’s been in recent mornings, and the mornings are usually pretty quiet but this was even quieter than usual. There was next to nobody out and the clouds hung lightly over the sky casting a comforting chill to the recently burning pre-summer sun.

Walking in Benidorm lockdown cavalier King Charles

We had a 30 minute walk along the Poniente beach front to stretch our legs and get our daily dose of exercise in. It’s also the time we say hello to so many people and start our day feeling blanketed by love and support. It’s been a few days of posting Facebook lives of our walks to different places within our radius and it’s so overwhelmingly beautiful to read so many people saying they love coming on the virtual walk with us and how it’s brightening their day by feeling like they’re here with us. Bringing back those memories to those who can’t be here right now, so we’re giving the virtual view as the next best thing.

So many people want to know when things are getting back to normal. But who really knows? Will we ever get back to normal? It’s like we all know a life pre COVID19 and we all need to know a life with COVID19. We can’t really get back to where we was. Instead we have to get on an entirely new path now, a new track. Everything is new and different and it will be different for days, months and years to come. But, somehow we’ll adapt and learn to live with our new normal.

Cavalier King Charles sunbathing

Everyone is just powering through and muddling through in their own way. Some days I want to scream out of the balcony window and shout “enough is enough”, other days I know this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. I think that’s the key moving forward though. We have to be more open to conversation. More open to saying “hey today was pretty tough you know”. Open to having those difficult conversations and pulling people up respectfully where things aren’t right. We are all responsible for the next generation and we are all responsible for making sure we do right by those less privileged.

Alex had a fair few classes today so I gave him his space. I had bits of work to do, but on the whole my agenda was pretty free. I’d aimed to do some reading but couldn’t really focus. If it wasn’t Alex teaching that was a distraction – it was his workout video that has the most annoying bleep sound that sounds like it wouldn’t be out of place in a hospital. Beep beep beep.

Who can concentrate on reading with that going on?

I decided to make a video for YouTube again today explaining the phase 0 and phase 1 of Spain lockdown rules. Something people comment most days is “what can you do in lockdown?” Or “what can’t you do in lockdown?” Or “are the bars and hotels open in Benidorm yet?” So I thought posting this video would explain and cover a lot of questions for people. I’ve posted it up on YouTube so click the link below to give it a watch.

What you can and can’t do in Benidorm lockdown

I had a message in my general folder today on Instagram. “Hey, I don’t know if you’re aware but this account is using your photos”. I wasn’t aware. I would never have been aware because the account in question had blocked me so I’d theoretically never find them. How lucky I am to have someone who did recognise me when this account came up as a recommended.

The account had been saving my photos and reuploading them pretending to be me. They’d screenshotted stories and posts and was creating a whole persona so they could make people fall trap into their bitcoin scheme. I guess they saw that using my face would encourage people to buy from them, by using a friendly face and insta worthy photos that appeased the bitcoin lifestyle. It’s a strange feeling to see all of your photos looking back at you with 70/80 likes per image and comments from people who believe they’re talking to you.

I messaged a few of my friends and posted on social media and within 10 minutes of me being told, the account had been shut down. My friends were on it with posting to ask people to report the account, or another one followed the account so they could track any comings or goings with it, and others were there giving support. I realised all of my friends had a different approach with what to do and they are all just incredible. I messaged the account from an Instagram I set up for Rio saying that they had 24 hours to remove the posts otherwise I’d be taking it further and bam the images were gone.

So many people believed they were commenting on a real girls Instagram but they weren’t. Please use this as a reminder to make sure you always know who you’re talking to online. There are so many people pretending and posing to be other people online that it’s crazy. People find and build personas from google photos, Facebook pages and all sorts. Catfishing is a major problem in society, whether it’s scamming, getting them to send images to then bribe you with or what have you. Make sure you always know who it is you’re speaking to.

Cavalier King Charles spaniel having a bath

Something Rio absolutely loathes is bath time. He’s never had any particularly traumatic experience with it, he just doesn’t like it. He doesn’t like the bath and he hates the hairdryer. So put together, it’s not his favourite day. I gave him lots of treats and cuddles though and I managed to get him to sit and wait whilst I dried his fur. He kept trying to cower away every so often, but on the whole he sat so nicely to have his hair dried. He smells so much nicer now, he’d started to get a bit of a pong to him that you’ll only recognise if you’ve got a male dog!

I FaceTimed my family a bit before we had pasta meatballs for dinner. After dinner, we watched the incredible becoming on Netflix. I recommended Becoming by Michelle Obama as a book to read last year and the Netflix show is a good indicator for whether you’ll love the book or not. The inspiring 90 minute show follows Michelle on her book tour and explores some of the topics she covers in her book. Just like with her book, each part I felt like I came away learning something. Feeling something.

I think that’s the best way to know when you’ve succeeded. I don’t want people to just read my blogs or watch my videos and think oh yeh that was alright. I want people to feel things. Whether that’s joy, inspiration, happiness or nostalgic. Just something. I think the best kind of art is the one that makes you feel and if it doesn’t make you feel something then is it really worth it? I do the same with music. Listen to songs that make me cry. Listen to songs that make me want to dance around. Songs that make me want to change the world. I want to use my platform to engage, to bring people to the present moment, to escape. I want you to feel something, just like Michelle Obama’s programme made me today.

Red full moon over Benidorm Spain

The clouds blanketed the moon but even with its eerie glow it was plain to see that this moon was desperate to be shown. It kept fighting its way back through the clouds to be visible but still the clouds would try and hide it once more. Neither clouds nor moon would give in. It hung low above the building in front of us. Extra large and extra powerful. The full moon with a reddish tint hanging over the horizon letting us know it has the power to impact the waves rolling in and out just below us.

I’d studied some of my languages on Duolingo and read some of my book today. I’ve still been keeping up my daily yoga, but I haven’t been doing my ab blaster now the 30 day challenge is up. I think I’m going to pick it back up though as I do like the abs I’ve built up and don’t want to lose them! It only takes 5 minutes or so of my day. As nighttime starts to draw in so does my tiredness. Rio heads off for his last walk of the day and it’s then when I start to realise I’ve accumulated some mosquito bites over the evening.

I head off to bed feeling inspired and loved from a strange day in lockdown.

Sending love,

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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