The week starts off with a blue sky but rain is forecast later today for a couple of days. Hopefully, the rain will miss us.
Alan Morris diary 2021, week 16.
Friday, April 16th. Late this morning I am sat at the chiringuito outside my apartment having a coffee with Andrew, whose bar it is, along with my neighbour Russ. At lunchtime, I went for a walk along the promenade to what used to be Mementos bar but is now called Casa Julian. I sat there for an hour or so reading my kindle & enjoying the sun & the quiet. After I finished my small beer I walked through the shops in Los Alcazares behind La Encarnacion to buy a new face mask. I bought one that supports the Mar Menor.
After buying my new mask I walked along to La Playa bar where I had a bottle of Coors Light which is what I used to drink when I lived in America. I sit there for a while reading my kindle before moving on to El Callejón de las Brujas. I like this little Spanish bar, where I can sit outside in the sun & enjoy some lovely tapas. I sat talking to my friends George, Yvonne & Jim for a while before heading off to the Dr's surgery to have my ear syringed at 3:30. Unfortunately for me, the surgery is closed between 2 & 4 so I don't know what time my appointment should have been. I walk next door to the small café & sports betting shop where I have an Asiatico & read my kindle until the Dr's surgery opens.
At 4 pm when the surgery opens I go in & the receptionist just makes me an appointment to have my ear syringed straight away. It is great when it has been cleaned out & I can hear again. I walk home & see my neighbour is still at the chiringuito I left him at 5 hours ago. I have a beer & some potato tapas & then we both walk towards Rio Nalon for a beer. On the way there he darts off to the loo at Play bar & I buy us both a drink. After sitting there for quite a while & finishing my beer, he still hasn't returned & I can't find him. I ring him 3 times before he answers to tell me he is now at Rocco's bar, how he missed me & his beer I have no idea. I carry on to Rocco's bar where I enjoy an evening with lots of different friends & even manage a game of pool before walking home.
Saturday, April 17th. It is overcast, dull & grey this morning but I hope that the rain will stay clear. I take the Sharky mobile out to get some cheese & eggs at the local supermarket & on the way back, stop for a tostada & coffee at the Chiringuito El Lobo, outside my apartment.
The sun came out this afternoon & I joined my neighbours Russ & John at the Chiringuito for a couple of beers. As the afternoon turned into evening the three of us walked along the beach to La Playa bar to sample a few more beers. We ended up staying here until closing time when we walked home just before the local curfew time.
Sunday, April 18th. Today was a very lazy day spent watching films & popping out for an hour or so to the Chiringuito El Lobo between films for a swift pint & watching the Arsenal v Fulham game on the television. Once again Arsenal were very disappointing only managing a 1 - 1 draw. I must say this game was ruined by VAR decisions with Arsenal having two goals ruled out before Fulham scored. Fulham's goal was also a hotly-disputed penalty which all of the commentators & myself believe the VAR got wrong.
Some of the offside decisions in this game were terrible. Arsenals goals were both given offside after many minutes of video analysis's in which it appeared the toenail of a player had been in an offside position. Fulham's penalty was given by the VAR when it looked like the Arsenal player pulled out of the tackle & the Fulham player then recreated a dive from Swan Lake to win the penalty. Leading up to the penalty decision Fulham were awarded, they were adjudged to be onside by VAR, again by a margin of no more than a toenail.
Fulham's goalkeeper went down with a mystery shin injury near the end of the game, taking off his boots & receiving treatment for whatever was crippling him. His attempts to waste time at the end of the game backfired when the referee played eight extra minutes of injury time. Arsenal scored in the 8th minute of injury time, with the last kick of the game to get a 1 - 1 draw. The use of VAR in this game proves to me that VAR works but that the rules of the game have to be amended. If it takes a video referee so long to decide a player is offside, by such small amounts, then it should not be given as offside, the rule, in my opinion, should be amended to rule offside only if there is clear space between the last defender & the attacker.
News is beginning to break that Arsenal is to join a European Super League tonight but no detail is filtering through yet.
Monday, April 19th. This morning I took the Sharky mobile out for a ride & went along to a bike shop in Los Narejos, where I finally placed my order for an electric bike. I want to get more exercise but because my knee quite often pops out, which makes walking difficult, or because I sometimes have problems with my breathing when I am walking, I have made the decision to purchase an electric bike.
The idea is that I can go for a ride using pedal power, but if either my knee prevents me from pedalling home, or my breathing makes pedalling difficult, I can switch to electric assistance or electric mode to get me home. The bikes are not cheap, it did in fact cost almost 6 times more than my first car cost me, way back in 1985. I use some of the money I received from the sale of my home in Tampa, Florida last year, to fund the purchase. Every time I use the bike it will remind me of the homes I have owned in Florida over the years & of the many good times I had whilst either living there or holidaying there.
This evening my neighbour Russ forcibly drags me along to Rocco's bar & The Celt bar to talk crap & celebrate the purchase of my new bike.
Tuesday, April 20th. This morning I do very little other than have coffee at the beach bar & do some reading. At lunchtime, I have an appointment to see my friend Jo who is helping me with a form I have had from the Town Hall. Many people have told me what it is, all of them different, so I take it to Jo in her new office at the CISSMU building in Los Alcazares.
It turns out it is just to renew my Padron, which I am able to do in the building straight away. It just proves that you should ignore most well-meaning advice when it comes to Spanish Law & seek proper advice. I also make another appointment to see Jo on Thursday to help me with another letter that I have received from the Traffico (the Spanish version of the DVT) about a car that I sold about 14 years ago.
This afternoon I sit in the sun at Chiringuito El Lobo talking to Andrew, whose bar it is & reading my kindle. My neighbour Russ has not been seen today after a few days of indulging, we all hope he is okay.
News breaks today that Arsenal & five other English teams are withdrawing from the European Super League after a huge backlash from fans groups around the world. More details have been released but without seeing what was really going to happen it is impossible to have an educated opinion on the subject. Arsenals owners, the Kroenke family, have issued apologies but it does seem to any outsider that the League was being set up by the rich clubs for the benefit of the rich clubs, I doubt we will ever know what was really going to happen.
Wednesday, April 21st. This morning I do two lots of washing & put the clothes in the tumble dryer before going to the Chiringuito for a coffee & to read my kindle. As no one has seen Russ again this morning, I send him a WhatsApp message & also leave a message on his normal phone. If he doesn't make contact soon, Andrew & I will try to gain access to his apartment, we know he has been waiting for the insulin for his diabetes & are worried he may have run out & not be able to take his medicine. Russ replies to me a short while later & I can tell Andrew we can call off the air-sea rescue search parties.
This afternoon I check that I have all the paperwork I need to take with me tomorrow, to my appointment about the car I haven't owned for 14 years.
Thursday, April 21st. Probably because I know I have an appointment with Jo this morning that I don't want to miss, I am awake at around 5 am & can not get back to sleep. I get up, check my email & messages, update my website & get a pot of camomile tea. I am hoping that today's forecast thunderstorm doesn't materialise as I want to use the Sharky Mobile to get to my meeting & then pop to the shops on it, I can't do that if there is a storm & will have to walk in the rain.
The storm has not materialised but I walk to my meeting with Jo at 10 am in case it does. The website she is trying to access to help me is not working. By one of those weird twists of fate, her daughter Olivia, is actually going to the office I am trying to contact today. Jo rings Olivia & gets the details of the website that she used to make an appointment, this time we get through & can make an appointment. Once again Jo is able to contact Olivia to ask her to take me to the new appointment next week to translate for me.
After leaving Jo I walk round to La Zona bar for a coffee & I see my friend Steve. We have a chat then I walk home & arrive a short time before the storm begins to sweep into the area. The thunder & heavy rain show me how lucky I was to get out for this mornings long walk to my appointment in the dry.
As I don't want to get soaked doing anything this afternoon I sit down to watch a TV series I haven't seen before called 'Keeping Faith'. The first series is so good & the woman playing the lead role, so beautiful, that I am mesmerised & watch the entire first series in one long session before going to bed tonight.