Total closure of hospitality in the Valencian Community. All bars and restaurants in Benidorm to close

All bars, restaurants and hotels to close in Benidorm

Puig and the government have announced the new restrictions to try and contain the pandemic which has now saturated the ICU in all of the hospitals in the community.

The Valencian government is going to put in the decree that there is to be a closure of all bars and restaurants establishments in the region to combat the pandemic. This has been agreed across the board.

The total closure is something that Puig, the president, wanted to avoid and delay as much as possible, hence why the sector was on a limited timetable for a while. He didn’t want to cause further harm to the sector, but due to the overwhelming cases in the region, it has been inevitable that closures have been announced.

This closure announcement comes 24 hours after the announcement that the valencian government is allocating 340 million euros for the sectors which have been affected harshest by the pandemic, among which, hospitality is one of the most affected.

The restrictions come into place on Thursday 21st January and will be in force for at least 14 calendar days.

Non essential shops must also close at 18:00, and there has been a request to start the nighttime curfew from 8pm as opposed to the current 10pm curfew. All sports facilities also must close, except for professionals.

I will be posting all the information on my Facebook page, so I would urge you to follow my Facebook for up to date information.

Benidorm Update

“We’re both loving going live in the morning and chatting away to everybody and showing people different areas around here. The most popular video is on 25k views and the most viewers at one time has been 380 which is just mind-blowing!”

Benidorm balcon de mediterraneo  viewpoint

It’s been a crazy week in Benidorm this week, with announcements coming left right and centre about lockdown changes. I’m fact, I think this has been the busiest week we’ve had since pre-lockdown times. It’s been a week of hope, a week of things getting better and a week of change. In both my personal life, and the life here in Spain.

The rest of the Comunidad Valenciana joined us in phase 1 and it made a major difference to our lives. The opportunity to travel further afield and see some of the beautiful places that we’ve been missing desperately since Lockdown was implemented. It had been so long that we’d stepped foot in Altea, Javea, Moraira. Bars and restaurants that we’d become regulars at had become a thing of the past. But this week, we were back and it felt wonderful.

Lauren wearing topshop long dress in Benidorm

On Tuesday, we headed off to Javea to sit out and have dinner at Acqua, part of the Javea company bars. I’ve been desperate to get there and watch the sunset over the Montgo mountain for so long, the Javea company make a mojito sin alcohol which is my absolute favourite drink to sit by the sea and just exist with. It’s the perfect spot to people watch and see the waves crash into the Arenal. The Javea company bars are just stunning little spots and do divine food at good value. We ended up ordering the BBQ tray, which is around 22€ for two. You get loads of meat and some friends and it’s just delicious! We took Rio with us who loved sitting there.

Dressed up for the first time in make up in Javea Acqua during lockdown
Couple selfie in Javea lockdown

It was strange being in Javea, but we felt so safe in the Javea company bars. Upon arrival, you’re offered sanitiser to clean your hands. The tables are spaced with a very generous distance apart so the social distancing is more than adhered to. There are no menus available anymore, but they do have a QR code to scan which opens their menu on your device.

BBQ tray and mojito at Acqua javea

We’ve been on plenty of walks, which is keeping us active and we’ve still been keeping up our exercise regime at home. I’ve started studying much more Spanish again noticing that it’s been forever since I spoke so it would be a good idea to brush up before being in the big wide world again! I’ve been loving going to Portus Massai for my iced coffees too, they have the most gorgeous backdrop of flowers and a wonderful view of poniente.

Sitting outside portus Massai Benidorm

Wednesday was the first day where masks are compulsory everywhere in Spain where you can’t maintain a 2 metre distance. It’s made some people complacent with rules, but now I know I can put it down when we’re in safe distances of people, meaning that most of the time it is around the neck, I feel okay about it. I’ve ended up ordering some super cute reusable masks, they’ve already announced that masks will be compulsory on planes for quite some time yet so it made sense for me to invest. I can’t wait to show people my mask, you’ll know it’s totally me when you see it!

Lauren Spanglish blogger in Benidorm

We’ve been on many walks this week and covered some Kilometres. We’re allowed to walk wherever we like as long as we’re heading to a bar, or a friends house, and there’s no set times to do this so we’ve been able to walk to some lovely places. We’ve also been filming live on Facebook each morning, which people seem to be loving. We’re both loving going live in the morning and chatting away to everybody and showing people different areas around here. The most popular video is on 25k views and the most viewers at one time has been 380 of you which is just mind-blowing! It makes it more interesting when more people are commenting as there’s more to chat about, so it’s awesome when people are sharing and tagging their friends, so a massive thank you if you’ve been somebody who is sharing! We don’t always know exactly where we’re going (I’m not going to live tiki beach down am I?) but that’s all part of the fun, right?!

We’ve also been receiving requests about places people want us to video, and we definitely do take request! Any ideas, or places you want to see, are more than welcomed. They do get lost in a sea of comments though, so it may be worth dropping it on a comment on the Facebook post that this blog post will link to, or sending me an email so I don’t forget!

Screenshot of Facebook live on our walks daily virtual in Benidorm wearing mask

We’ve headed up the La Cala mountain, we’ve wandered around Javea, we’ve seen Altea deserted and we’ve walked around a very sleepy Levante, amongst many poniente walks. It feels awfully strange walking around these places that were once rammed so empty. It was massively surreal being in Altea and not seeing more than a handful of people. It was even stranger walking around the Benidorm strip and it being silent. It’s such a weird situation.

Walking through Altea with my cavalier King Charles spaniel during lockdown

We’ve been getting on with things at home, with lockdown easing up it can be difficult to remember sometimes that we are still in a form of a lockdown, just one so different to the one we knew before. We are still limited to what time we can do exercise, and we still can’t go out unless it’s for an approved trip, like going to a bar, or a friends house, or an appointment etc. We still can’t go out for walks past our exercise slot. The police presence has really gone down though. There aren’t so many patrols going around anymore.

Sunrise over the montgo
Having a cocktail in Javea acquab

On Friday, we headed off to Acqua again. Alex finished work relatively early, so we drove up to have a drink by the beach. Of course I ordered a mojito! It was so lovely to be able to soak up some sun at 4 in the afternoon. It’s the first time in so long I’ve actually been able to sit and sunbathe. We had booked a table at Mex y Go for 6:30, which is our favourite Mexican restaurant on the Costa Blanca.

Drinking wine at mex y go

We arrived a little early to our reservation but they were more than accommodating to let us sit down and order. The tables again are all space out generously on their terrace. The staff were wearing masks and gloves at Mex y Go. The menu is a print out at the moment, due to restaurants not being allowed to hand out menus, but the menu was still impressive considering the situation. A lot of restaurants wouldn’t go through the hassle of writing such an extensive menu with good quality paper and stuff, so it was a surprise that they were so apologetic for the menu having to be paper at the moment. We have baby nachos to start and then always follow with chicken double fajitas for 2, which like always, were served super quickly and at a super high quality. It’s yummy there so if you do fancy a Mexican dish and can get to Moraira, I’d definitely recommend it!

Yummy fajitas at mex y go

After we’d been for our morning walk and had spent some time watching TV and listening to Bob Iger’s audiobook, we saw the news that Pedro Sánchez, the president, has announced that tourists will be able to visit Spain again from July without quarantine. It brings hope that soon we’ll be able to have our own summer holidays and see people again. I’m quite looking forward to the day we can book holidays again. I’m desperate to get a weekend away at Thai Asia Gardens and Vivood in Guadalest, but I’m also keen to do an epic road trip across some European countries, so I’m keeping my eyes peeled on the news for more updates. Our numbers have been pretty good in Spain, if you can call it that, as the numbers have just continued to decline day by day.

My gorgeous cavalier king Charles spaniel

The comunidad valenciana announced they were holding us back from progressing to phase 2 through caution, in hopes that we’d all move together next week. It makes sense as it would seem backwards to take away some freedom of movement again keeping different health zones doing different bits. It requires a lot of police work too, so I guess they see it a simpler solution to just wait out another week. I’m looking forward to seeing how Benidorm and the Costa Blanca moves forward and how tourism will look during phase 2 and beyond.

I hope you’re all keeping safe and well and are too starting to see that things will get better. We have a new appreciation for going out for morning walks, the importance of keeping in touch with people, appreciating flowers and sunrises and sunsets and a need to stay connected and together during what’s been a crazy few months. It’s only May, we can still have a fantastic year, we still have plenty of time for summer, we just have to keep optimistic and keep going.

L x

Day 2 in Phase 1 Benidorm

“I’m so proud of how Benidorm as a community have pulled together during this.”

Tuesday 12th May 2020

My beautiful cavalier King Charles spaniel giving support

I’ve been considering bringing this daily blog to a close. I don’t know how everybody else feels about that, but I think it’s coming to a natural close and we’re broaching into a new routine with fairly regular patterns. We’re now out and about much more meaning that I have less time to spend on the blog.

Maybe it’s more interesting now we’re out and about? Or maybe I just can’t commit to writing nicely now I cannot be at the iPad posting each morning. I’ve been lax with posting times too which makes me feel bad. I hope you don’t mind. I’m spending a lot of time sorting out stuff behind the scenes here, especially in my own life and even more so sorting out working from home. Work has really picked up in the last week or so, so it’s getting difficult to find the motivation to do things I’d been doing in full lockdown.

I’d always knew that the day would come and suddenly I wouldn’t have the time to do the things I’d been enjoyed doing in full lockdown. We now don’t find time to do just dance, I barely squeeze in reading time in the day and studying languages has taken a backseat. I still go on to do my daily 10 minutes, but I’m spending the minimum time as possible. It seems everybody loves the videos and being able to see the Costa Blanca, and even just walking our local area is an hour of the day which we didn’t spend before. With all the commotion going on and new activities, I’ve got less time sitting at home with nothing to do.

Or maybe I need to plan my time better in the day. I don’t know. Do you still want daily updates or do you fancy just weekly updates now? It’s hard to know what people want without posing the question.

I’d woken up relatively early but jolted awake. I’d dreamt that I woke up and had slept in until 14:00. It was an absolute nightmare. In my head, I’d missed meetings, I’d missed deadline. I’d missed the morning walk and the livestream. I’d missed an important phone call. I was in a frenzy rushing to my phone to check the time. 7:30. Phew.

We headed off on our daily walk and stopped off at Portus Massai for a coffee. I opted for a coffee solo with ice. It’s basically a shot of coffee made into an iced coffee. Similar to the Starbucks cold coffee bottles you can buy at all supermarkets. I much prefer an iced coffee during the summer months than a hot coffee. It felt weird being out and sitting on a terrace. Surreal. But nice.

As we sat and watched the sea rise and fall over poniente sand, it felt like I was living somebody else’s life. Watching through a screen. For the first time in months, we were sitting on a terrace, watching the world pass us by. Everything went by in slow motion. Thoughts whirring around. The staff wore masks and were sanitising and disinfecting between each visit. Tables and chairs were sanitised, menus aren’t available neither are shared condiments and bits like that. I’m so proud of how Benidorm as a community have pulled together during this.

Cuddling Rio in Lockdown cavalier  King Charles spaniel

So many bars have adapted so well in terms of spacing tables out, keeping cleaning at an absolute maximum and handling the situation by following all protocols. Around the poniente area, I haven’t seen one bar breaking the rules or even one client breaking the rules. Of course, I haven’t been out all the time so if it has happened I wouldn’t have known, but I saw a few things on the news about other places and people had posted photos online so I think I would’ve heard. In the world today, everybody has eyes everywhere thanks to (or with the blame of) social media.

We got home and Alex was off to work. We actually had to run home so he’d make it in time for class. Is this the working from home equivalent of traffic? Luckily, we sprinted the whole way and with 7 minutes to spare he was there and ready. He always plans his classes in advance so he was prepared. He just needed to be there to give the class. Which he was haha!

We stayed home for the rest of the day. I had some work to do and Alex had a full timetable of live classes so it was a case of both knuckling down and getting on with it. I’ve really got used to this working from home malarkey. I don’t know why it wasn’t a thing before. People would ask me to do their social media or marketing for them, but when they found out I couldn’t travel into their office they didn’t want to know. Why? What difference does it make if I sit in an office or I sit in my house doing the same work? A lot of people have had to move with the times and use conference calls via technology and I think we’ll see a big shift in the future. Twitter have already announced that their staff will all have the option to continue working from home. For some people, the home-work life balance is completely out of shift being at home, but for me it works perfectly. I know Alex is keen to get back to work though, schools are completely different in that sense!

I read some of my book but it’s honestly just not moving on. I counted that there were TEN characters names on one page. I’m 30% through and still can’t work out which one is the main character at times and who all these people are. I know, I know, I should just give in and not read it, but I’m not a quitter!

Raining and sunny in Benidorm

Rio loves going out for his walks now he’s allowed to venture a little further. He has a great time and makes so many people smile on his walk. The woman in the bar was pointing him out and telling him how beautiful he is and Rio just soaks up all the attention. He loves meeting and dogs when he’s out. I watched them on their walk from the balcony. The rain started to pour but the sun fought and shone through. It was beautiful to see. Drizzly rain and shining sun. The promise that a rainbow would be happening somewhere and that the light will always come. Rio came to join me when he got back from his walk and we sat there for a while, him just giving me love and cuddles.

Cavalier King Charles spaniel  giving cuddles

Alex made salmon topped with pomegranate and rice with peppers and chilli flakes and spinach for dinner which I had with some shloer. I still can’t finish a full dinner, but I ate much more than I have been doing for the past couple of days. Sometime in the evening, the time had passed me by and it was already dark. I don’t know what I’d been doing. I hadn’t been watching TV or anything. I guess I was on the phone for longer than I thought. It seems the day just passed us by in a blur, the same for Alex. Neither of us managed to do our exercise, but I did sneak in a 8 minute yoga practise at midnight so it counts! I think we all have these what happens now days don’t we. We’re just whirl-winding into this new normal and it just feels so surreal. I feel like I’m in a movie. One that I’m watching myself in.

The Spanish government announced that as flights may be operating shortly, they’re going to be implementing a 14 day quarantine for those who have travelled from abroad. It means they will have to stay in their residence (no going to bars or daily exercise and stuff like we can!) but they will be allowed to go to supermarkets and pharmacies but must wear a mask. I think the U.K. government have said more or less the same which means anybody wanting to travel when it happens will be looking at 30 days worth of quarantine.

I hope everybody is keeping safe and well.

L x

Day 1 of Phase 1 in Benidorm

“It felt bizarre and strange to be in the car for the first time since that nerve wracking drive from the airport. The drive where I had to sit in the backseat.”

Monday 11th May 2020

Wearing red driving around Benidorm lockdown

Yesterday has been the 52nd day of Benidorm lockdown that we’ve experienced. We are 6 days or so behind everybody who has been here since the start, but Monday was the first day of phase one life in Benidorm.

I thought that the second lockdown was released, I’d be wanting to go to a bar and have a drink and a dinner. But I didn’t. This virus hasn’t gone away, it’s still around. It’s just there’s room for us in hospital. It turns out, it’s been so long since I went for a drink out or dinner out that I don’t even fancy it anymore.

We went on our morning walk around poniente which is still limited to the time slots allocated. Bars and restaurants were either opening, cleaning in preparation for opening or shut. At 9 about 1 in 3 bars were open in Benidorm.

It was relatively quiet walking along for the morning walk, we saw a few people but considering what a beautiful morning it was, there wasn’t hardly anybody about. We tried to see which bars and cafes were open, but the ones we love were all shut. We get lots of people tuning in to our Facebook lives which is absolutely amazing. By the end of the 20 minute clip, we had had 1,000 people tuned in. When I checked just now, 16,000 people had tuned in. I’m so glad it’s able to bring people some comfort to see one of their favourite places again, even if it is virtually.

Facebook lives of Benidorm during lockdown

My workload is starting to pile up on me recently. I’ve got a backlog of content to sort out for clients, I’ve had marketing meetings today and still need to schedule some content and sort it out. I am trying to keep on top of everything as it’s a good distraction to what’s going on.

Alex didn’t have any live classes today, so for the very first time since before lockdown began, this one felt like the most normal of pre COVID19 days. The longer the day went on, the more we saw people walking the streets, walking together in groups, grouped together in bars and restaurants sunbathing with drinks. It just felt odd. People were reporting on Facebook that some bars were ordered to close for customers not following guidelines regarding social distancing but I don’t know if that’s true or not. I’ll wait to see what the news says.

The bars opened today but would have to follow strict cleaning and disinfecting. A lot of bars haven’t been able to get in properly since lockdown began, which is why a lot used Monday, the first day their staff could join them in the bar, as the first day to just get in and clean up in preparation. Staff will have to disinfect toilets at least six times a day, disinfect tables after each use, not allow the use of menus, oils, vinegars etc and wear PPE. There were reports on Facebook about how well some of these businesses had done. One person commented that they’d been to Granier in Villajoyosa and they’d been fantastic and even put screens between tables.

As we were driving around, there was a lot of police. Although it’s allowed to be in the car now, it still felt so wrong and nerve wracking. I felt like the police were going to stop us and tell us off or fine us. They didn’t, most didn’t even bat an eyelid, and the ones that did just smiled or waved at us and carried on. There was loads of people walking about, and loads of cars on the road.

Cavalier King Charles spaniel driving around Benidorm lockdown

As we drove by Benidorm hotels, we saw police tape was still over the front of them all. I didn’t see one hotel that was open. Although hotels are allowed to open for those in the Marina Baixa or people who are travelling home to stop off at, it looks that none have opened and took up the offer. If the hotels did decide to open, there’d be no common areas open. No use of the pool, no use of restaurants. It definitely wouldn’t be a normal hotel experience. We drove by Thai Asia Gardens too and I longed to be inside. I cried a bit as we drove around, cried for the world we’re all living in and cried for the bubble that I’m living in.

It felt bizarre and strange to be in the car for the first time since that nerve wracking drive from the airport. The drive where I had to sit in the backseat. Now, here I am sitting in the front seat, with Rio in the back. It was strange. Was it fun? I don’t know. Did I love seeing everything? Yes. The sun beamed down and as we drove by the strip and along the tribute bars, I thought about how this area has never looked so clean and tidy. And that if people would just be cleaner and not trash it, even the strip could be a lovely place.

We drove around La Cala de Finestrat too, there were loads of bars open around the bay and small businesses. It almost looked back how it was when I first used to go there back in 2012. Albeit a few more bars. I remember being taken there by a friend and wondering where on earth we’d gone. I was staying at the Hotel Bali at the time and for the first time, I couldn’t see the Hotel Bali in Benidorm. I thought I was miles and miles away. You can watch the drive by clicking the link below:

https://youtu.be/Fz-olIElxVw

We had mascarpone, tomato and chicken pasta for dinner but I’m still not up to eating a full dinner yet. I want to eat a full dinner, I just can’t. I’m just not that hungry. I try and try to eat but it’s hard. I ate about three quarters of it, and had some fruit this afternoon which is more than I have been having. I need to eat well so I don’t lose my abs!

We watched some of Asa’s show, but ending up missing some of it. He’s a good friend of mine and is keeping people entertained in lockdown with singing, photos, chatting and videos. He did a quick shoutout to my mum too which she loved. I think all of us in the family tune in to watch Asa’s show at 7pm U.K. time, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

We’d watched some Brooklyn 9 9 today. I don’t tend to watch it religiously as I didn’t get to watch it from the start when Alex put it on. So I just dib in and out. I read a bit of my book too but I’m finding it hard to read and concentrate. They keep talking about all these different characters and I have no idea who they are. As it’s all in third person, you never find out what’s going on in the characters head which I think is one of the major ways to get to know and relate to a character. I did some Duolingo too. I’m trying to keep up my yoga but I’m distracted most of the time so end up just doing a quick yoga stretch in bed. At least I still haven’t missed a day yet. I also wrote an article for Pet Money Saver about how Rio, our dog, might be feeling in lockdown if anybody is interested in reading what I think a dogs thoughts of it all might be.

Every day more is another day less.

Keep smiling,

L x

Day 51 in Benidorm Lockdown

“The world is a strange place to be at the moment and it’s even worse when there’s things going on elsewhere and you can’t do anything to help.”

Sunset over Benidorm poniente

It’s hard to document what’s going on when you’re trying your best to be positive and supportive when deep down you feel sad and scared. The world is a strange place to be at the moment and it’s even worse when there’s things going on elsewhere and you can’t do anything to help.

There’s just so many things in this currently cruel world that I wish I could just take away and fix, but I can’t and it breaks my heart to know that I can’t fix everything. There’s so many people going through such difficult times and I just wish I could fix it all.

All I can do is be a pillar of support. All I can do is provide some comfort by being at the other end of the phone giving support to friends and family, or make people smile by taking you on a virtual walk around Benidorm or provide some comfort in a blog knowing that whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone and there’s always support here and available.

I read all of the messages that people kindly left me on yesterday’s blog post but I just couldn’t reply. But, I want you to know that I did read them and I did get comfort in them. Now more than ever, the world needs us to be kind to one another, to be accepting of one another and to provide the support that we all so desperately need from each other. It’s times likes these when community is key. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. We can be physically isolated, but that doesn’t have to mean we cut off communication and sticking together.

We walked in the rain, life isn’t about waiting for the rain to stop. After all, with an umbrella and a jacket, what’s so bad about the rain anyway? With rain comes flower blossoms and green grass. With rain comes life. Even though it feels dull and grey right now, it’s the only way nature can thrive. It took a while for the storm to arrive, but by midday, the thunder and lightning were crashing over the sea making benidorm island an invisible feature of the horizon.

Cavalier King Charles spaniel provides comfort and support

I can’t say anything interesting happened beyond the normal and beyond a few tears. Dogs are the best at giving comfort, they always know when something isn’t right. Rio doesn’t tend to sit on me during the summer months as it’s too hot, but he’s been chambering on my knee and cuddling up to me for as long as he can stand, licking my face and trying to provide any comfort the can. Where would we be without our pets?

We listened to a chapter of Bob Iger’s audiobook whilst watching a silent walking video around Walt Disney World YouTube video. It’s nice to be able to relive the memories and see the places that bring so much happiness. Walt Disney world truly is my happy place. I love travelling and seeing new places, but nowhere brings me so much happiness like Disney world does. I can’t even explain it.

I tried to read some of The Note but I just can’t concentrate at all, I can’t get into the book either. I ended up watching some Family Guy and some Brooklyn 9-9. Just easy watching to try and take my mind off of thinking for a while. Anything to pass the time that seems to have come to a standstill recently. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, there’s just a constant numbing feeling in my stomach where I feel nothing and everything all at the same time.

Trying to read my book with Starbucks coffee

As I sit in the balcony room looking out at the sea and the sunset I hope for better days to come. We’re on a long road to a new normality but in time we’ll get there. And with every wave that comes in, I hope it brings positivity and love and light.

Keep strong,

L x

Day 50 in Benidorm Lockdown

“I very nearly didn’t publish this blog post. I very nearly didn’t go live on Facebook.”

Saturday 9th May 2020

I will find my way, if I can be strong.” – Go The Distance

I very nearly didn’t publish this blog post. I very nearly didn’t go live on Facebook. It’s taken so much in me to pull myself together and share what’s gone on today, because I really don’t want to, so I won’t. But, you need to know that’s it been a hugely difficult day for us.

I don’t want to worry anybody, so I also want you to know that we are all safe. It’s been a day that’s been a long time coming, but has been emotionally draining. So draining and hollowing that your eyes start to be sore from crying. It has nothing to do with lockdown and no matter what the situation out in the real world it would’ve caused the same upset. Today hurt.

I didn’t eat much today. A few Malteaser truffles and a few bites out of the chicken and bacon and a nibble or two of the stuffed pepper. You’d have thought I’d have been hungry from not eating anything, but I just couldn’t stomach anything.

I didn’t take any photos today, but we did go on an evening walk along Benidorm. There are so many more people about and it just feels so close. I don’t enjoy the evening walk like I do the morning walk, it doesn’t feel right. We have so little cases of COVID19 in this province of Spain, but still it makes me anxious. I’m so glad I pulled myself together to do the Facebook live, it meant we were able to check in with everybody and say good evening. Rio met some dog friends on his walk, he met this little chihuahua which was hilarious running along the street with him.

We played some brawl stars, it’s the championship weekend, and we nearly finally got all 15 stages completed (you only get four lives!) . We got 12 out of 15 and I swear one month we will do it. I also did my languages and FaceTimed my friend.

I decided to host a little competition for a bit of fun on my Facebook page. Jenny was the winner commenting that “go the distance” is my absolute favourite Disney song. When we’re allowed to do movement in phase 1, we’ll send her a little gift as a thank you for following my blog, and knowing my favourite song.

I’m sorry this blog probably wasn’t as interesting as you’d have hoped. Or maybe it brings you some comfort knowing that if you are sad, or lonely or feeling helpless – you’re not alone. Now more than ever, we all need to come together and be kind. You never know what’s going on. Although this blog wasn’t what I had imagined the big day 50 being like (I dunno why I imagined doing something really cool and quirky to commemorate 50 days) instead it will be one I want to forget. Thank you for having patience with me and for brightening up my day, everyday, even on days like this one.

All my love,

L x

Day 48 in Benidorm Spain Lockdown: Our New Normal

“I want to use my platform to engage, to bring people to the present moment, to escape. I want you to feel something”

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

Day 47 in Benidorm Lockdown: Our New Normal

“There’s something so enchanting about looking up at the sky and the moon and envisioning everything that’s beyond our little world.”

Wednesday 6th May 2020

Poniente walk with cavalier King Charles spaniel

As the WordPress iPad app crashes time and time again I realise I have no other option but to write this on my phone. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to tell the difference but I’m hoping it will pretty much flow as normal. The good thing for me is, I’m typing it so quickly as I’m always typing away on my phone so this will be a 15 minute write up and jobs a good’un!

Has anybody been watching my morning walks around Benidorm on Facebook live? They’re getting between 5,000-10,000 people watching them which is absolute madness. It blows my mind how many people are tuning in. Lots of people are sharing how it’s helping to bring back some happy memories of being in Benidorm, which makes it all the worthwhile. I’ve had loads of requests for different places to walk and video which I promise to do once lockdown permits. At the moment, we’re confined to a radius so I’m not able to video in so many places right now.

I woke up feeling so much more positive. In the past, not even so long ago, if I had a bad day it would carry on for days upon days. I couldn’t shake it. Something would play on my mind and I’d carry the weight of the world on my shoulders over thinking and picking at it with a fine comb until suddenly it was a week down the line and I was so deep into it that I couldn’t even remember the original reason anymore. But these days, I have a much better state of mind. Alex thinks it’s the yoga, which I’d agree that it probably is. My dogs are the other.

They have given me infinite love and they make me smile in the toughest of times. Rio sympathises and empathises and gives us so much love everyday. He has this adorable head tilt when he’s listening in, or the way he sticks his tongue out and runs around wagging his tail when he’s excited. His love is neverending for us and the way he follows me around in the apartment just melts my heart.

Talking of melting, it’s like somebody came along and turned the heating dial all the way up here. We’ve gone from hey it’s kinda getting warmer to is this hell in a couple of days. Once May came around, it was like the heat just exploded and now here we are as puddles of sweat everyday. We’re experiencing nighttime temperatures now of 21 degrees so sleeping is one of the greatest challenges of the days at the minute.

We have a brand new routine now and we’ve pretty much settled into it. The funny thing is people say it must’ve been terrible being at home constantly not being allowed to do exercise, but it wasn’t at all. It was one of the toughest lockdowns, but it didn’t particularly feel that difficult. It felt natural. We got used to that routine yet suddenly we’ve got used to a new one. The way humans adapt and change is a marvellous, mind-blowing concept.

We can use this for good. I know we can. We reached a point where society wasn’t healthy. We can’t all look back on the way things were before lockdown and think it was sustainable, surely? It was a routine and a way of life not built to last. It didn’t seem like that at the time, but now looking back, we had major problems. We’ve learnt so much about a new healthy routine that I think it would be silly to go back to where we were before.

It’s incredible just how much remote working has taken off. Time and time again working from home and working remotely were seen as less valuable. Why should everyone have to sit in an office under the watchful eye and travelling into work to clock in and clock out again…just to make sure that the hours were put in? Why did meetings used to have to happen as they did? What’s wrong with a zoom meeting where members of staff can be in the comfort of their home or anywhere in the world? Why can’t a member of staff in an office job stay at home and do their job from the sofa on a day their child isn’t well or a day they don’t feel up to heading into the office, or to allow for staff to travel whilst working? We’ve learnt so much about flexibility and remote working that it would be such a step backwards to revert to how we were.

It’s been great for me in that sense. I’ve been able to work on new projects, learn new skills and just spend more time with Alex. We see each other so much more than before. I know Alex is quite enjoying working from home, but I think just like the majority of the children, he can’t wait to get back in the classroom. It’s difficult for a school. Social distancing can’t happen. Although these kids are doing fantastic studying from home, it’s so unfair for them. They’re being absolutely incredible though, all the kids and teachers are who are having to study at home.

Alex, just as much as me, is enjoying our new normal. Morning walks, having lunch together in the afternoon, more time together in general and less commuting. Although all of these won’t be able to happen after lockdown ends, hopefully we can try and keep some of them.

We’d walked around and live streamed our stroll around Poniente. My phone cut off abruptly 20 minutes in, but I don’t think people minded so much. There is still a police presence about but in recent days there have been much less people about. Perhaps for some the novelty has worn off.

Outside portus massai café Benidorm

The walk is without a doubt the highlight of our days at the moment. Not just for being out, but seeing everybody come together in the comments and all of the love we get sent from people from all over. All of the good morning messages just starts our day feeling so loved and thought of. I hope in the same way our walking videos bring a little bit of happiness to others with a morning sunshine walk around Benidorm to bring back happy memories and hope for future holidays.

I can’t say anything more happened that was interesting in the day unless you think sitting for hours on end at the computer screen writing marketing plans (for a company not myself!) and social media plans of attack (again, not for me!) are interesting. And trust me, they’re not. They’re far from it. They are by far the worst part about managing social media. Unless you count the negative comments you sometimes read from people. The amount of abuse social media managers get is crazy. I think so many people forget that the person doing the socials for a company is nothing to do with CEO or the founder. They’re just a normal person who has a creative flair and has no say in company policies, like opening times.

I sat at the computer for a good 7 hours. I had a meeting. I wrote plans. I scheduled content. I made some graphic. I wrote emails. It’s the first time that I’ve actually sat at the computer and had to put a full days work in and honestly, I’m shattered. But, it felt good. It felt productive. For the first time in a long time, I felt challenged. Like I had to learn something.

I’ve been feeling quite numb recently. Like work was just a state of mind. I could do it with my eyes closed. Nothing was challenging me and there was no progression. It was stagnant. But today wasn’t. There was talks of progression. I had to learn new stuff. I broached new horizons. For the first time in forever, I felt satisfied that I had worked hard and produced something that was pretty good without coming easy. But that’s not to say the excel spreadsheet was fun because it so wasn’t!

By the time both of us had logged off it was about 6pm. It’s so funny, you should see us. Alex in the balcony room and me in the bedroom with the door closed and the curtain shut. Rio tends to stay in the bedroom with me. On the balcony we have maths and geography classes and in the bedroom, we’ve got marketing going on. It’s scary to think I now have experience in marketing. It’s a job I never thought I’d get to do. I never thought I’d get the opportunity. Yet here I am.

Dinner was ready just in time for Lockdown TV to start. We haven’t missed an episode. We watch Asa’s show and have started to recognise some of the names in the comments. They’re a good laugh. Nice little community he’s built there. After that, we watched High School Musical, the musical the series.

Benidorm full moon May 6 2020

The moon shone bright and low illuminating the living with a gorgeous soft yellow glow. Laying on Alex’s shoulders I gazed at the moon for a little while. The moon never fails to dazzle with its bright and bold glow, but today more than ever it was shouting for attention. I had a quick google and it says that May 6 and May 7 2020 are super moons. There’s something so enchanting about looking up at the sky and the moon and envisioning everything that’s beyond our little world. We are all connected in some way and the sky brings us closer. I think of the moon shining brightly above Benidorm beach and wonder who else is looking out at the moon right now?

The world is entering a shift and so is our routine. We’re learning how to adapt everyday. The relief I felt to know that Pedro Sanchez’s request had been granted to extend the state of alarm was strong. He has a plan, and it makes sense. We have a deescalating routine with phases. I couldn’t bear to think of that all being thrown aside and everybody being able to be released with no structure. Benidorm would be mayhem. Right now, we’re taking baby steps into rehabilitating into our new normal and for now, that’s the pace we need to go. One toe at a time.

Day by day nothing has changed but since lockdown everything has changed. We have a new routine, a new normal and a new outlook. We’ve had a new way of life and we’ve adapted to it. How about you?

I’m going to bed content, happy and fulfilled tonight. Long may this feeling last. Have the best start to your day and keep smiling.

L x

Day 46 of Benidorm Lockdown: Our New Normal

“The sun still rises and falls over the Benidorm beaches, but there’s a certain chill that looms with the summer days. The feeling of loneliness. The feeling that something is missing. The tourists. The happy faces of those on holiday. Benidorm is lost without our tourism. It’s you that makes Benidorm what it is. And we all miss you.”

Tuesday 5th May 2020

Standing outside portus Massai benidorm lockdown

If I thought the 4th of May was bad, it was just a warm up for the fifth of May. I think one of the major things about moving forward and acknowledging the good times, is recognising and admitting the bad times. So this here is what I’m doing. Recognising the bad and moving forward to the good.

Things are getting better here in Spain, but this just hasn’t been a good week so far for me personally. In some ways it’s been a fantastic week, in other ways it’s been terrible. Upsetting, lonely, strange.

The thing about going out for exercise is that it makes it all so real what’s going on outside. Whilst we were cooped up in our apartment unbeknownst to the outdoor world it was almost like a safe haven. We were hidden away like Rapunzel in her tower. (sorry to all my new followers, you’ll have to learn that I love Disney and might reference it wherever I can, you’ll get used to me, everyone else does!). The world outside was scary, unnerving, but it was behind our four walls and we didn’t see it. It was just figures wasn’t it?

But it stopped being figures. It stopped being just numbers when it started to be names and faces. Going out and doing exercise is one of my favourite times of the day, no doubt about it, but in another sense it’s one of the strangest. We walk the streets recognising what’s going on. Seeing the locked doors. Seeing the “for sale” signs. The amount of businesses that have suffered and will continue to suffer. Will we make it through this?

A deserted Benidorm beach

I’ve never known Benidorm so quiet. May is one of the busiest months of the year, the streets are filled with couples on holidays or stag and hen dos. Bars and restaurants are usually bustling and businesses boom. It’s the time of year that businesses rely on. May-September is the best times for businesses to make their profits to keep them ticking over during the winter season. Many close for winter, or work on a reduced timetable. The lack of tourism is going to be catastrophic for so many. And that morning walk is just the daily reminder that Benidorm like many other places, is and continues to suffer in the hands of COVID19 and the global pandemic.

I look out towards levante and wonder what is in store for Benidorm and its future. When will tourism restart in Benidorm after COVID19? Nobody knows at the moment but it’s a question on a lot of people’s lips. The sun still rises and falls over the Benidorm beaches, but there’s a certain chill that looms with the summer days. The feeling of loneliness. The feeling that something is missing. The tourists. The happy faces of those on holiday. Benidorm is lost without our tourism. It’s you that makes Benidorm what it is. And we all miss you.

Crying in Benidorm lockdown

I try not to cry but for most of the day I do. I cry for confinement. I cry for those who are currently ill across the world, I cry for those who are less fortunate than us and I cry for the businesses that are suffering. I cry for myself too. I don’t know why I feel sorry for myself but I do. I end up in a spiral of just downward thoughts. Am I even good at my job? Do I let people down? I didn’t sleep well, and my emotions are pretty heightened at the moment with hormones and the confinement is not helping. I’ve had the worst headache all day too, which didn’t help paired with abdomen pain. I thought May 4th wasn’t my day, I’m just going to say so far it’s not my week.

Everybody makes mistakes. I made errors in Spanish today. Nothing small, but the small stuff adds up until it overflows. I set the blog post to publish at 8:30pm instead of AM so that was my first error of the day that was the result of yesterday not being great. I then misinterpreted some stuff which caused conflict. I made a spelling error on a clients graphic that I published. It was just a series of errors.

I don’t want to come across as negative here, and I hate to maybe sound like I’m moaning and droning on. Of course, these things are nowhere near the extent of what’s going on in the world, but it all adds up and just made me feel down. I want to try and be positive and see the good and upsides as much as possible, but for the past couple of days I just haven’t been able to see them.

I try to keep upbeat but I’m losing interest in things quickly. I’m distracted reading today, I don’t feel inspired to do my languages. In fact, I have an hour video call and I just find that I feel so stupid because I can’t get my words out and express myself like I want to. I know what I want to say in English and it causes me to want to cry when I just can’t get out the words that I’m thinking. I start to think that people must think I’m stupid that I suddenly can barely say anything in Spanish yet before I was having full conversations. It’s been 10 weeks, at least, since I spoke Spanish and although my writing is still pretty decent, my speaking and listening has deteriorated. You stop using a language and you lose it. I’m just so behind frustrated that tears just flow. How can I express myself if this words won’t come out? This is how toddlers and babies feel, isn’t it?

My cheeky cavalier King Charles spaniel

Something else happened today which made me feel sick to the stomach. I don’t know if your dog has ever gone missing for a while, but it’s one of the most gut wrenching feelings. Sheer horror. Panic. Every alarm state sets in and you just go into a robot mode of trying to find him. I was in a meeting and Alex was watching TV. I thought Rio was with Alex in the apartment, and he thought he was with me outside. Turns out, he wasn’t. I charged around the apartment block screaming his name, trying to stay as calm as possible so I didn’t scare him. I knew if he heard me calling he’d come, but he didn’t. The main thing is, I found him. The daft dog was sitting by the lift waiting for somebody to let him in. He’d made his way down the emergency stairs and had found himself in reception, waiting for the lift to take him home.

His little face lit up when he heard my voice and came running to me on the stairs. Every feeling of fear just escapes your body. Just that one second of lack of communication caused so much grief and anguish. Communication is clearly key, and it just goes to show it only takes one second of taking your eye off the ball for something to happen. Rio is home and safe. He had been gone for a couple of minutes but it felt petrifying. I don’t know how people cope when their pet goes missing for days or months.

At least a little later when we listen to Bob Iger’s book I start to feel more inspired. It was talking about how Michael Eisner started to suffer with pessimism and how it was affecting the whole company. How working how he was created problems across the board. He shared how many problems Disney was having back in the early 2000’s and the massive effects that 9/11 had on Disney, both economically and on staff morale. Hearing how they dealt with the whole situation, both Eisner in a downward spiral and the company at hammerheads with Pixar was actually quite uplifting to hear about. In a way, it validated feelings. Let me know that even those we think are untouchable, like the company giants, still have things they have to go through behind closed doors.

I hope that’s what this blog today will show you. Not everyday is perfect in lockdown. Some days, we’ve had wonderfully quiet and chilled out days and everything has been roses. Other days, have been like the past two days where everything just doesn’t seem to go right. And that’s okay. We all have these days, we all have sufferings. We all have stuff going on which causes our spirits to drop.

I’m always so upbeat on my morning walks. I’ve started doing Facebook lives of the walk letting people see the streets and what’s going on in Benidorm here and it seems they’re quite popular. (My most recent one has reached 10,000 people which is mad!). I really enjoy showing people around and saying morning to everybody. So, tomorrow on my walk, I’m going to focus on the good. The flowers that have grown. The beauty that we can do exercise. The sun rising.

There’s one other thing that’s laying heavy on my heart. The thought of the government vote tomorrow. Sometime after you read this blog, the government will announce whether they agree or disagree with Pedro Sanchez’s request to extend the state of alarm past May 9th. VOX and the Catalan party want to vote against the state of alarm extensions ignoring health secretary and doctors advice that it needs extending. We’re doing well here in Spain seeing a massive reduction in deaths and cases, but we’re not out of the woods. Rejecting the state of alarm means all of Sanchez’s plans would be thrown out. Staying in would not be enforced by law. It’s so dangerous it’s scary. There would be no easing off of lockdown, it would just become recommendations to stay at home. What would that mean for businesses? Would they be able to open as normal? It would be great for some businesses I’m sure, but money can’t be made if the population are suffering and not able to reintegrate safely to lower the chances of a second wave.

A day in lockdown can feel like a few minutes, or it can feel like it just won’t ever end. As the candle burns, I appreciate that this one is coming to a close. We have these days to remind us to appreciate the good days. How could we love the good if we didn’t know the bad? Could we ever truly realise how blessed we are to have good days if we didn’t know the bad days? Would good days feel so good if we didn’t know what a bad day felt like? I’m thankful for today, no matter how exhausting it’s been. I’m healthy and tomorrow I get the chance to start again tomorrow. As the sunset, I knew that it was closing the chapter of today. Tomorrow, we restart and reset.

“Los caminos difíciles a menudo conducen a hermosos destinos”

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Some of the worst Spanish roads lead to the best places. And at the end of this up and down rollercoaster, we’ll have reached a new normality. One with more awareness and appreciation for life. New beautiful destinations.

Keep safe,

L x

Day 45 of Benidorm Lockdown: Our New Normal

“We live in our own little bubble, and for now, I’m happy staying in our safe place.”

Monday 4th May 2020

Walking towards Benidorm lockdown

I didn’t know what day it was all day. Why I thought it was Tuesday all day, I have no idea. It probably didn’t help that Alex didn’t have much work to do today so everything just blurred into one. He was hardly at the computer all day, so to even know it was a weekday was quite an achievement. The whole day I’ve been out of sorts, but it just seemed the world was out to pull me down. I remained pretty positive considering it seemed the universe was doing all it could to drag me down.

I should have known it was Monday though, shouldn’t I? After all, for me, it was the most Monday of Monday’s that there ever was. It was Monday alright and it was here to dampen my spirits as best it could. It turns out, even when you’re locked down and not working, Monday’s can still suck. But like every other time something knocks us down, we get back up, brush it off and start again. Tomorrow is a new day and I for one, cannot wait.

We went on our morning walk just after sunrise. Enough time had passed that sunrise was finished so by then the streets are empty. I just don’t think I’m ready to deal with 8pm mass exodus down to the beach. Somebody asked why it was so busy at the nighttime if nothing is open. The morning is much quieter as lots of people have returned to work, or people are still sleeping when it’s the morning slot. The promenade is relatively empty in the morning and there’s not a soul around the back streets. Much nicer than the evening slot. I don’t know if we’ll continue to go for long walks everyday, or start to reduce them a bit now the novelty is wearing off. Now I know we can, I don’t feel like we have to.

Selfie with bougainvillea flowers

After all, we spent so long not going out at all that I’ve quite got used to it. It‘s surprisingly been relatively easy to just stay indoors all the time. After spending so long not going out, my legs and feet are starting to ache quickly from the massive influx in exercise and movement. I think it’s weird now that I don’t really have much of a desire to go outside. I’ve got used to my nestled, safe life indoors. We live in our own little bubble, and for now, I’m happy staying in our safe place.

Vintage image bougainvillea  flowers

It’s been uncomfortably hot in the apartment all day though and with the window having to be open to let some air in it’s been like an open invitation to every member of the insect species to come in and make themselves at home and enjoy a feast on me. Without sounding too bitter here, I’d love to know what makes the insects have such a field day on me yet barely ever touch Alex. It’s so not fair.

A meeting and some design work was on the working agenda today. I was a little nervous but it all went well. I sometimes don’t have the confidence in what I do know. What I’ve recently learnt in Bob Iger’s book is to have confidence in what I know though, but also have the confidence to admit he open about what I don’t know too. Knowing when to say hey you know I don’t know much about that so maybe that’s a role for somebody else or okay I’ve not got much experience in that part but I’ll give it a go! I’ve always been quick to pick things up, but I’ve not always had the confidence to admit that I didn’t know how to do it before I frantically crammed a crash course in it before walking in on my first day.

I had a message today that upset me a lot. One that made me feel like I was in the wrong, for not wanting to work for free. It’s one thing helping somebody out or sending a little catch up, but to have somebody work for free doing a full time job is preposterous. To then be made to feel bad about having to politely explain why it’s wrong just made me feel even worse. I’m still upset about it now as I’m sitting in a darkened room writing about it with sweat dripping from my forehead. Yes, it’s 11pm and it’s boiling. May has really turned the temperature up.

Vintage retro Benidorm image

I’ve finished my most recent read so as per request, here’s what I’ve read in lockdown so far:

  • Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella. Loved this one. Had real tears by the end. No doubt about it, it was a 5 star from me.
  • I owe you one by Sophie Kinsella. Loved this one too. It was this book that made me go onto ibooks and buy all of Sophie’s books.
  • The Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson. I just didn’t connect with this book and just didn’t love it. Even though I really wanted to.
  • The man who didn’t call by Rosie Walsh. Quite enjoyed this book. Was curious to know what happened to him and was caught out a lot by twists and turns.
  • The unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. This was just the right amount of cheese and drama. I appreciated the regular Spanglish too.
  • The Switch by Beth O’Leary. Really enjoyed this book after my friend recommended her books to me. This is Beth’s new book and it’s a storyline that had me gripped and wanting to know more.
  • The woman who went to bed for a year by Sue Townsend. I really really really wanted to love this book. But I hated it. Why didn’t she just get out of bed? I love the Adrian mole collection so hoped I’d love this too. I didn’t.
  • The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary. This book was 7 books ago!? I remember this storyline fondly and loved it from the get go. Really enjoyed the writing and the characters even though it took me a while to get used to the male diary entries and how they didn’t have pronouns. The Switch is much nicer written I think.
  • Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman. Absolutely fantastic book. Truly loved it. Would recommend it to everybody I know (and have done!). A wonderful and shocking storyline too.
  • Never Greener by Ruth Jones. I bought this because I really enjoy Ruth Jones’ work, I mean hello Gavin and Stacey. This book did not disappoint. Could definitely see it as a TV series. Really did feel for all the characters at some point, which most books don’t seem to accomplish. Great character progression throughout.
  • Everything I know about love by Dolly Alderton. I could take or leave this book. It was okay. I didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. It just passed some time. If you’re at a loose end then why not. She does seem to think she’s the only person in the world though that’s been to uni and had some wild nights.
  • It’s not me it’s them by Joel Dommett. We couldn’t stop laughing at this audiobook. It’s made all the sweeter by Joel himself reading it. If you need a laugh, Joel’s audiobook will not disappoint.
  • Girl Online by Zoe Sugg. I wouldn’t rush to tell anybody to read this, I was halfway through it about 3 years ago so just picked up where I left off. Cute enough story but was shocked to find out that it was ghost written!
Rio eating my ben and Jerry’s

I FaceTimed my family for a few hours in the afternoon before we had a chicken, tomato and mascarpone pasta dinner. As 8pm rolled around, we connected up the laptop and watched Asa’s Lockdown TV. I was obviously embarrassed when my face cropped up in my Vlog.

I posted another Vlog today on YouTube if anybody fancies checking it out. It’s taking you all on our walk with us around Poniente Benidorm during the lockdown. If you click the bold writing it will take you directly to the video. This one is showing you around Benidorm during the evening walk, and why although it was gorgeous to see sunset and be a part of the atmosphere and hear all the sounds, I just didn’t love it like the morning walks.

Benidorm lockdown evening walk Vlog

All in all, it’s not been the most wonderful of days. It’s just kinda passed by, but I think that’s perfectly okay. We all have these days that we just allow to slip by without having much love for them. But, I’m grateful for everyday that we are safe and eternally thankful for technology for keeping us all connected in these times.

Lots of bars have opened up here now but only operating as a takeaway service. You have to call or email ahead to get a pick up time for your takeaway. We probably won’t make use of any of the takeaway places as there’s not anywhere that we’re desperate for. When they do allow terraces to open though, I can’t wait to go to Javea and sit at those cocktail bars. They’re saying terraces for bars should be open next week, May 11th. That is also when they’ll start to let families go out in their cars again. I’m excited to go out in the car, I know Rio will be ecstatic to be in the car too. I’m just so ready to be able to sit in the car, drive to somewhere else in our province, have the music playing as we drive and then sit at a beach bar with a mojito. Bliss.

Hairdressers also opened today, but under very strict regulations. One member of staff and one client. Deep cleaning has to happen twice daily too and only with previous appointments. I wonder how people found it who went to hairdressers today. I bet it was a strange feeling.

We’re slowly dipping our toes into the new normal and what’s to be expected of what’s to come. I’m remaining positive that better days are coming very soon. Even if that does mean we have a few hurdles on the way and a few more obstacles to get by. But we will get by. We always do, don’t we?

Keep safe,

L x

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