This week starts late as I have a lie-in until after 10:30 am
Alan Morris diary 2021, week 17.
Friday, April 23rd. After yesterdays long day, waking at around 5:30 am & not going to bed until the early hours of this morning, I catch up on missed sleep today & don't wake until after 10:30 am. In the afternoon I take the Sharky Mobile & go to the new Mercadona store to get some shopping. After getting home I have something to eat & finish just before my neighbour Russ knocks on the door to take me for a pint.
We walk to La Playa bar where I play dominoes with my friends Shellie & Ady. I had a great afternoon talking rubbish & laughing a lot. I also got a WhatsApp message telling me that the new electric bike I ordered is ready to be picked up. I message the store back to tell them I will collect it next week, hopefully, Monday when I hope the weather is better.
I watch Arsenal lose at home to Everton because of the very poor goalkeeping of Bernd Leno. He scores an own goal to give Everton a 0 - 1 win. Once again the game was ruined by VAR as Arsenal were denied a penalty by another ludicrous offside decision.
My neighbour Russ, has somehow lost his apartment keys, money & everything else he had on him so I pay his bar bill & let him sleep on my sofa until tomorrow.
Saturday, April 24th. Once again the sky is overcast & much of the day is cloudy & Los Alcazares is threatened with rain.
I wake to find my neighbour has gone, my kitchen a mess & all the lights on. I am not impressed by the way he has left the place & send him a message to tell him, how I feel. After cleaning up the mess he made & steam cleaning the floors with detergent I decide to stay in the warm & watch the second series of 'Keeping Faith' on television.
My neighbour came round with the money he owed me for his bar bill but he can not remember even leaving the pub yesterday, let alone being in my apartment & the mess he made. He said he woke up in his own apartment & can't remember leaving the pub, that he had his money & must have had his keys as he got into his apartment. He woke up thinking he hadn't spent much money & wondered how he got home.
Lesson learnt, don't allow drunk neighbours to sleep on the sofa, make them sleep on the beach.
Sunday, April 25th. Once again the day starts off overcast, I can't remember a time before this, in the nearly 6 years I have now been living here, that the weather has been so grey & overcast for so long. Today was again spent mainly indoors reading or watching sport or streaming different television series to watch in a television binge day. Tomorrow I plan to walk to collect my new pushbike if the weather permits it, so I rest my legs as much as possible today.
Monday, April 26th. This morning looks overcast and grey but the localised weather forecast gives only a slim chance of rain. At about 10:30 am I began walking to the bike shop in Los Narejos to collect my new bike. The walk takes me around 35 minutes & I am quite out of breathe by the time I reach the bike shop. As I arrive at the shop a lady I know, Norma, says hello & I stop for a chat. We are outside the shop next to the bike shop & I take the opportunity to rest & catch my breath for 5 minutes before going into the shop & collecting my bike.
The bike shop owner has my bike, a lock & a crash helmet ready for me. He gives me instructions on how to turn on the bike, how the electrical part can be used to help power the bike at different levels & how to remove the battery if I have to for charging. I quickly take the bike outside for my first ride on a bike in more than a dozen years. I am strangely nervous as I ride my bike around the quiet street that the bike shop is on. I go once around the block before crossing the road & riding the short distance to the coffee shop where I will see my friend Mike.
I am pleased to arrive at the coffee shop without falling off & crashing into anything, I sit & chat with my friends Mike, Theresa & Steve. I keep an eye on the weather as the sky has turned black & I fear the worse for a heavy downpour of rain. After we have been sitting & chatting for a while, I notice that the sky begins to clear after only a very light sprinkling of rain before I cycle to La Zona bar, where I intend to have breakfast. Unfortunately for me, La Zona can not do me a cooked breakfast this morning, I don't know if this is every Monday or just today. I have a coffee, cycle home & then go for a pint at the beach bar. I sit & talk to my friend Andrew before Russ & John turn up for a drink. I sit & talk for a while with them in the strong sunshine. It amazes me how quickly the day has changed when I woke it was overcast, whilst I was out it became black & threatened a downpour & this afternoon I sit at the beach bar & have to be careful not to get sunburnt. Hopefully, this is the start of the summer season & I can now start my new get fit campaign, riding my new bike & swimming in the sea again.
Tuesday, April 27th. This morning I wake early at around 5 am & can not get back to sleep. I work on my website for a bit, update my diary, have a pot of tea & wait for the sun to come out.
As soon as it was light enough I set off on my bike ride. I cycled towards San Javier, turned past where the local Sunday market is held on Sundays, then headed back along the main road through Los Alcazares before winding through Los Alcazares to come out past the military base, onto the main road & then turned back into Los Alcazares & home. My backside was really sore & my legs felt like jelly but I felt good after managing my 14.5km ride. It took me just under 50 minutes but I think it will take me longer than that to recover.
As soon as the beach bar opens I walk downstairs for a coffee & tostada. I take my kindle to read whilst I wait for my friend Jaqueline, who is dropping something off for me on her way somewhere else. Jacqueline arrived & gave me a TV box that she no longer uses & stopped for a cup of tea & a chat. Just as she left my neighbours Russ & John arrived for a chat. After half hour I left & went back to my apartment. When I was at home my friends Frouk & Reindeer messaged me to say they were having a BBQ to celebrate Koningsdag (Kings Day in Holland) & invited me to their house for a BBQ in the afternoon.
Just before 2 pm, I went to the BBQ on the Sharky Mobile. I spent a few hours in the sun with my friends eating, talking & laughing. I met two other people from Holland, Saskia & John, & one from Belgium, Chris at the BBQ. I feel that after talking to my friend John earlier, who is Norwegian, that I have been involved in some sort of Northern European summit meeting today. When I left the BBQ I went along the beach on my way home, the wind had become very strong & the only people on the beach were fishermen hoping to cast against the wind & catch their supper.
Wednesday, April 28th. I have an appointment at the office in Cartagena that deals with car registrations later today. Olivia will pick me up to take me there & translate for me in the hope that I can finally get my name taken off of the registration documents of a car that I sold about 14 years ago. This morning I have toast & a pot of tea, put on my dishwasher & then head to the chiringuito outside for a coffee. I sit there reading my kindle & chat with the owner, Andrew, for a while whilst I wait for Olivia.
Olivia took me to the Traffic office in Cartagena but they will not take my name of the car registration without proof of a sale. Olivia tried her best to get it removed but it is just the archaic Spanish traffic system, they will not remove my name without a sheet of paper saying I sold it. On the way home, we stopped at my old home to see if the parents of the person I sold the car to were at home as they lived next to my old home. To my amazement, the wife of the man I sold the car to now lives there after returning from the UK to Spain. She remembered me & is going to look for some paperwork for the car or the business that he used to own & bought the car for. I hope she can help me. I find it incredible that the local authorities will not take the car out of my name. I have denounced a dead man (who bought the car) to the police, the police can not trace the car & neither can the traffic department but the local council can still charge me a tax for it 14 years after I sold it.
Thursday, April 29th. This morning I went for a bike ride. I stuck to the main roads today rather than risk a puncture on some of the smaller roads. I managed about 13km which I did in about 40 minutes before my backside ached so much I stopped for the day. After my bike ride, I sat at the chiringuito by my apartment for an hour or so reading my kindle & drinking water only.
Whilst sitting at the beach I had a call from my friend Jo, whose daughter had taken me to the traffic office yesterday, to try & get the car I used to own, taken out of my name. They have apparently found me a way to do it that can be done online. It would seem that the jobsworth person we saw in Cartagena did not want to help as much as he made out.
I had a breakfast of poached egg on toast & then took the Sharky mobile to go shopping. On the way to Mercadona, I stopped at my friend Gerry's house & he oiled some squeaky joints, on my mobility scooter not mine & I continued to the shop. The store has a ramp to allow people with prams or people on disability scooters to gain access without using the ramp. When I got to the top of the winding ramp, some complete arsehole had parked their car right across the top of it. This meant that I had to reverse back down the winding ramp to go in via the car only access. Why is it that some able people think that parking somewhere which blocks access for others, even for a few minutes, is okay? If you are reading this & you ever leave your car parked on a pavement, block a ramp to allow disability or wheelchair access, park across an exit or entrance, stop in a bus lane (for however short a time), park on a roundabout so you don't have to walk more than 5 paces to an ATM, park where children need access, or in a disability bay when you don't need to, then believe me when I say there is a real possibility that you are an ignorant person & that I have no time for you.
For lunch today I had curried salmon with rice. This is something that I discovered in Mercadona which is very tasty, fairly cheap & good for your health so I will be eating more of it in the future.
This evening I watch Arsenal play Villa Real in the Europa League. Once again Arsenal were very slow starters & within 4 minutes were 1 - 0 down. By half time Arsenal were 2-0 down & looked lucky to only be losing by that margin. Shortly after halftime, they were also a man down when they had a player sent off. Strangely this seemed to make them dig deep & they played a lot better, they scored a very important away goal & will go into the next game in this competition with a good chance of progressing to the final.