Isolation Diary: Day Eighteen in Spain Lockdown

Tuesday April 7 2020

Sunrise in Benidorm lockdown

I can’t believe how quickly time is going. It’s crazy to think that it’s already been two and a half weeks since we came back from Leicester and did that nerve wracking journey from the airport with the unnerving thought that we might not be able to collect Rio. 18 days on and we’re here, we’re okay and we’ve found a new routine and a new norm.

Cuddling my cavalier King Charles spaniel

I start the day the same way everyday in lockdown. 7am wake up. 7:15 head to the kitchen and clear up last nights dinner, load the dishwasher and put a load of washing in, the tumble dryer goes on too if it needs to. Then, I come out on to the balcony room and open the curtains to watch the sunrise. I get out my blanket and lay out under it on the ottoman writing my blog post. Rio comes and cuddles up next to me and lets me stroke him whilst I’m writing. He doesn’t leave to have his breakfast until I’ve finished writing. Alex comes through about 8:15 and asks what hot drink I’d like. And then the day begins.

It’s Alex’s last proper day of teaching today before the Easter holidays. Although there will still be class on Wednesday, it’s supposed to be more fun orientated. I can’t imagine how hard it is for these kids. Some of these skills they’ve had to pick up and master so quickly are some that adults haven’t yet learnt. I feel for the teachers too. Especially the ones who aren’t as computer literate. It’s such a drastic change and so quick that nobody had the time to anticipate or prepare for it. Alex has been great. Setting up documents for people to follow to learn how to use software, taking phone calls and meetings to answer queries from staff and kids, adapting to teaching from a small corner in our balcony room. Teaching just comes so naturally to him.

I FaceTimed my mum relatively early yesterday for a good hour and a bit. Nobody really has much to say because nobody is doing anything. Everybody is just getting by day by day, learning to adapt to their new routine. Just after 11am I get a phone call from the BBC to let me know that they’ve had to postpone the show that I’m on. I’d been nervous all morning, so it was almost a relief that it was being pushed back a week, even if that did mean it wasn’t a get it over and done with thing. I make a point to put an update everywhere and it was so so lovely to hear how many people had tuned in or set a reminder to tune in. I swear my eyes filled up knowing how many people messaged to say that it was a shame but they’ll definitely tune in next time. The BBC had told me all along that if any breaking news came along they’d have to postpone it and when the PM was admitted to the ICU I had expected the call to postpone might come.

I finished my book today, Never Greener by Ruth Jones. I was hooked on it. The storyline ever evolving and ever gripping. I think I felt sorry for every single character at some point. I was happy with the ending. It didn’t feel rushed. It felt right. I felt they all got the ending that they deserved. I think it was definitely open for a second book if she wanted to. I do feel like it would make a great TV series adaptation so I’d love to see that in the works. I’m looking forward to her next book being released now. Now I’ve finished that, I’ve moved on to Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton. It’s a little entitled and a little annoying to begin with but it does have some comedic value and I love the 00’s teen references which makes it feel a little like home.

Rio and Alex cuddling on sofa cavalier King Charles spaniel

After Alex had gave a few classes, we headed to the living room (sounds like an adventure if I use headed right?) to watch some TV. We’re halfway through the second series of YOU so throughout the day we watch four episodes of that. It is truly messed up. But, it’s so well written, it gives such an insight into psychology and the way the mind of how he who suffered as a child and has a serious mental illness thinks. You have yourself questioning if what you saw is real or if it’s a figment of his imagination. We have two episodes left before the next season is released next year so I’m sure we’ll finish that tomorrow.

I caught up with my friend for a while, filling her in on some plans I’d been making. I send her a whole host of photos of ideas and she loved them, which makes me love them even more. Every time I’ve sent somebody our plan, they love it. I’m hoping it’s something we can make happen. We spent some time looking at some houses online too. Alex is very set on moving into a house with a little garden where Rio can play and a corner sofa. Nothing extravagant just a simple house that we could call our own. We’ll have to see what happens. It makes me wonder if house prices will drop after coronavirus has passed.

Alex doing a lockdown photography challenge with cavalier King Charles dog taking photo of dog in lock

A little later on, I study my languages and do my yoga flow. I forgot to do my 6 minute ab blaster yesterday, so I made up for it by doing double. A 12 minute ab blaster. My abs hurt. It felt like time lasted forever. 6 minutes focused on a muscle is tough, but 12 minutes felt like a lifetime. I finished with a 20 minute yoga for cramps which was a nice relief from the ab tension. They complemented each other well. We’re both still doing the photo challenge, but I’m one day ahead.

Alex is cooking chicken tomato and mascarpone pasta tonight so he puts the sound bar on to play music whilst he’s cooking. It’s fine by me as I’m busy reading anyway. I’m determined to read at least 4 books before lockdown ends and I’m well on track having already finished 2 in the past 5 days.

After dinner, we sit talking for a bit in the living room. It’s weird that you can spend all day everyday locked down with somebody but still have things to talk about. I feel lucky to have so many people to be in contact with during lockdown, friends and family, and it makes me a little sad to think about people who might not be so lucky.

I’m glad I’ve still got some work to do at home too, I’ve never not worked since I was 15 so it would be hard to not work. I’ve always been a workaholic. I started at Tesco. Then started working in the school kitchens and then started cleaning a school. Then I started working in a pub and did all 4 alongside college. I didn’t stick the pub long, maybe 3 weeks at a push. When I started working in the school as a 1:1 learning support assistant in an autism hub, I still carried on the cleaning. Even when I moved here, I got the teaching job within a week of moving and had started blogging and doing social media managing after 6 months. I just love working. Mainly because I love the pay that I can then go out and enjoy.

There was a slight increase in data today in terms of deaths and cases. Apparently there was a mistake in the weekend statistics so it had to be smoothened out. These fluctuations are to be expected I suppose. There are talks of soon being able to lift complete lockdown and look at next stages of safely opening back up. I hope it’s done as safely and quickly as possible, but I will miss all the extra time we’ve had working from home. I know there’s lots of kids just wanting to go back to school now, which is great. I think there’ll be a new style of kids for a while. Those that cherish school and realise what their teacher does for them. Sure, I think it’ll wear off quickly and they’ll forget and they’ll be dreading going, but I think for a while it will be loved.

Though, I think we’ll all be a little different for a while, some for the better some not so much. I saw on Facebook a lot of ex-colleagues of mine sending awful messages to other ex-colleagues. The pettiness and nastiness that came with it. All because somebody had shared something that had got twisted and manipulated and commented by somebody else. This led to a group on one side and a group on the other. One side, from the original poster, had carefully thought out views and laid them out without abuse and the other side were completely different, just spouting hatred. I think we’ll see a lot more of it in lockdown. Frustrations and tensions rising. Some will come out and appreciate seeing everybody and be kinder to the world, others will come out more entitled and selfish as ever before.

I hope I’m in the first category.

Benidorm full moon lockdown

I take a look at the full moon before heading off to bed. I’ve always been fascinated by the moon and the stars and space. I used to read and read and read different space books trying to learn all the constellations. I always dreamt of having a telescope that connected to a laptop so I could type in the coordinates and it would position the telescope for me and I could take a look. I must’ve been about 7 when I first started thinking of one, back then they were astronomical (excuse the pun) and I’ve never really thought about one since.

Another day has passed and how quickly they fly. It’s silent as I look out the window, the cool night wind blowing my hair. It’s cool and clear tonight, tomorrow is going to be a beautiful day, I know it. It’s all a little strange isn’t it? This whole situation. Something none of us have ever experienced before and we’re all just muddling through doing the best we can. And our best is all we can do.

Stay safe,

L x


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