Friday 8th May 2020
First and foremost, I hope everybody had a lovely VE Day celebrating 75 years since victory in Europe. I saw so many photos of people having afternoon teas and garden parties with their direct families at home. I did see a few that had street parties, but weren’t socially distancing. Do people think COVID19 just pauses for these things?!
We kickstarted our day with our walk along the beach front. We headed to the pier that used to be the walkway to La Cala de Finestrat. It seems they’re doing some works along there so I wonder if they’re hoping to rejoin the path? It’s been ages since we’ve walked along to the very end of Poniente, even before lockdown it must’ve been a good few years since we’d been down there. It’s such a tranquil place and offers a stunning view of Benidorm.
We went on Facebook live on our walk and checked in with the good morning club, those that are awake at 7:30 in the morning. We get about 40 people dropping by and watching live, and by the end of the day they’re usually on about 6,000 viewers. I’ve had messages thanking me for the videos and even someone who said their elderly relative talks back to us as they think it’s a FaceTime call which is just heart-burstingly lovely. It’s all just a little bit of fun and I hope people enjoy them. We saw some workers laying out the wooden palettes to make the walkway on the beach which made us wonder if they’re preparing to open the beach soon.
I was actually rather surprised by how productive I was today. By 12:30, I’d finished everything I needed to do on my to do list. Marketing plan for end of the month written up, graphics made, blog editing for a brand done. These Starbucks cold coffees are really boosting me up, or maybe it’s the morning walk with all the lovely messages and fresh air in the morning instead of clambering out of bed.
Sometime in the afternoon after we’d munched our way through cheese, tomatoes and cucumber sandwiches, we had a good old sing song to some Disney songs. You can’t beat music to lift the spirits can you? On Disney+ they’ve released a Disney sing a long which different celebrities have filmed themselves at home singing Disney classics. The lyrics came up at the bottom, but I’m sure you’re all aware I didn’t need them. Ariana Grande sang a Hercules song and even the cast of high school musical sang we’re all in this together. There was a lovely rendition of a dream is a wish your heart makes too. Nobody sang my absolute favourite Disney song of all time though. Does anybody know what it is? Bonus points if you do!
Of course, as my favourite song hadn’t be sung, I had to open Spotify and sing a long to it myself. It’s an absolute belter and reminds me of the fireworks shows at Disney so much. It’s like the changing point, it brings hope, it’s such a good song. I get goosebumps every time when the crescendo kicks in! Music is so good for the soul and your emotions. It was a very musically focused day.
It wasn’t a bank holiday here, so Alex was at work for some of the day. His Fridays are pretty quiet now with him having some double lessons so he didn’t have many live classes to do. He was able to nip to the shops and stock up on our essentials for the week which was handy. The clouds from the morning continued to loom, but the rain never came.
In the afternoon, as I was typing away doing bits and pieces, I had a ping come through on my phone. I’d been sent the loveliest video message from one of my teenager students. He’d sent me a message asking how I was in lockdown and letting me know he really missed me and missed my class “because we always have so much fun”. He’d asked me to say hello to Alex too. It was such a thoughtful message to receive and it really touched me. If you can, send a video or a FaceTime video call or a phone call over a text message to loved ones during these times. They’re such a wonderful way of keeping in touch. They feel so much more personal and thoughtful.
Alex cooked a delicious dinner today. Peppered steak with salad and chips. He’d cooked the steak to absolute medium rare perfection and had added the pepper to create just the perfect blend. He was even impressed with it himself, which is saying something! Followed by an Extreme Chocolate I’ve cream which are the ultimate Spanish holiday cone ice creams! That took us to Asa Elliott doing his lockdown TV. If you haven’t seen it yet, he goes live on Facebook three times a week and shares videos, does some singing and shares photos. Give it a watch I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
When 9:30pm came around, I frantically kept refreshing my page. Was the good news going to come? I had a feeling that we would be approved for passing to phase one, but other cities in our province would be rejected. It seemed reasonable to let us pass, but keep the bigger cities in phase 0. Finally, the news came in. The good news we’d all been waiting for was here!
On Monday 11th May 2020, we will officially enter phase 1 of the deescalation process. What does being in phase 1 mean for us? Well, it means a lot is about to change.
I have translated from the Spanish news outlets to let you all know what’s happening as we know it, but as the royal decree hasn’t been officially released until tomorrow any of these are subject to change as the government sees fit. Following the original plans, here’s what will happen to Benidorm during phase 1 lockdown.
- We can meet with friends and family with up to 10 people either on terraces or at home. We must maintain a social distance of 2 metres. We cannot make visits to vulnerable groups.
- We can go to bars and restaurants but only to use the terraces which will be reduced to 50% capacity. Staff will be required to wear PPE as a minimum distance of 2 metres cannot be adhered to. There will be a minimum of 2 metres between tables and a maximum of 10 people per group. There will be no menus, serviettes, salt, vinegar or oil available. They may use disposable paper menus (like the ones you used to see in Spain years ago!) or digital menus. Contact less payments will be essential.
- Shops less than 400m2 will be allowed to open and must be disinfected twice daily. Large stores, like Leroy Merlin and El Corte Ingles will not open yet.
- We cannot move out of our province yet. The only exception for this is to go to work or to provide assistance to a family member who is in an emergency.
- Cinemas, museums and theatres may now start to phase open. Libraries will open. Cultural shows with less than 30 people indoors or a maximum of 200 people in open air can happen.
- Churches and religious sites will open but with reduced capacity.
- Non professional sports will resume, but maintaining social distance and no use of lockers.
There is still some grey area about what we can and can’t do during phase 1 of lockdown, but I’m sure it will be highlighted in the royal decree that will be released over the weekend. There’s been lots of cities and regions that haven’t been able to progress to phase 1, I hope for them it shan’t be too long before they are able to join us in passing through the stages, especially places like Estepona which aren’t allowed to progress even though their cases are really low. Unfortunately, I can see why Madrid and Barcelona were unable to progress through. They are still so far deep in the situation and need more time.
I for one am so excited to regain a little normality being able to go out for breakfast or have a mojito at a beach bar, but at the same time it makes me a little nervous. We won’t be able to enjoy it normally for a long time yet. I do hope that we continue progressing forward and people abide by the rules so that in two weeks time we’ll be able to progress forward again to the next phase.
I had a late evening shower before heading to bed to do some yoga, write my blog post and read some of my book. The crashes of the waves were loud tonight, shouting to be heard from the bedroom fighting with the sounds of action from the Captain America movie that Alex was watching. It’s our last weekend in a real true lockdown and it’s strange. I feel torn. One part is so excited for the future, but the other part is apprehensive. How will we move forward safely? When will travel happen again? Will we ever live the lives we knew before? Only time will tell and I can’t control that. What I can control is that I follow the rules and I keep positive and smiling. I hope you’re doing the same.