This week starts quietly, I have chocolate pancakes for breakfast before reading my kindle at the beach.
Alan Morris diary 2021, week 19.
Friday, May 7th. I bought some premade chocolate pancakes at the shop yesterday & try them out for the first time this morning. They pop in the microwave for 2 minutes, from frozen, & they are lovely. Today was a lazy day, I spent the whole day within a few metres of my apartment. In the morning I went swimming & met my friend, Mike, at the chiringuito outside my apartment, for coffee. He had popped round to pick up a couple of mobile phones that I had & no longer wanted.
I also arranged to do a bit more printing for my friend Theresa & said I would meet her at the chiringuito. I sat all day waiting for her, occasionally going swimming but always making sure people at the chiringuito were looking out for her. She never turned up & it turned out Mike had told her I had gone out on my bike. In the afternoon I was joined by my friends Matt, Mark, Keith, Jo, & Michael at different stages & ended up getting sunburnt. Lots of after sun was put on before going to bed tonight.
Saturday, May 8th. This morning I was up early & at 9 am I walked to the Tipsy Thistle bar for a full English breakfast. I was joined by my neighbour Russ & after breakfast we moved on to Café Parking where I had an Asiatico coffee. Whilst sitting at the café I picked my sunglasses up & the arm fell of them. As I was sitting opposite Optica Optima I walked across to them & they fixed them in about 2 seconds. Thank you very much for your help Optica Optima.
After walking back home I rested for a while & around lunchtime my friend George called me asking for some help on his computer. I was just leaving to go to A Time 4 A Change to a wine tasting event they were having so I said I would pop in after visiting the shop. I tried 3 wines which were all fairly nice, although I don't really know anything about wines at all so can't really give a wine connoisseurs view.
I then walked round to George & Yvonne's apartment where George just needed some advice on using a website he was ordering a shirt on. After assisting George with his order, we walked to El Callejón de las Brujas for a few beers & tapas. This is a lovely little bar & the service is always brilliant, I can highly recommend it. I left George, Yvonne & Jim at the bar & walk home via the chiringuito outside my home. I have one beer but my leg is aching from all the walking today & I don't stop long before going home to watch this evenings football on the television.
Sunday, May 9th. Today would have been my mum's 82nd birthday, I still find myself talking to her occasionally & I wonder if everyone finds themselves doing this to people they have lost, be it parents, wives, family or just good friends. If you do, you are all in my thoughts today.
I am awake around 5 am & decide that I will go for a bike ride this morning when it is light & if it is not too windy, At about 8 am I head towards El Carmoli on my bike. When I get to El Carmoli my legs are beginning to ache so I turn round & head home, as I get back to Los Alcazares my bum aches, my leg aches & there are a few rain clouds gathering overhead, it was the correct decision to come back when I did. When I finally get home I have travelled just under 15 km in just under 50 minutes, my legs feel like jelly & I sit down to rest for a while before having poached egg on toast for my breakfast.
Whilst I am sitting down my phone rings & it is Avatel customer service calling me to help me access their website so I can view my bills & usage. Within minutes I have access back again to their website. I am really impressed as I only sent them an email when I got in from my ride, they had called me back & helped with my problem within 30 minutes & it's a Sunday, I wasn't expecting a reply till Monday at the earliest.
My legs ache more than I thought they were going to so I decide to be a football slob for the rest of the day. I watch Portsmouth v Accrington Stanley, Accrington win 1 - 0, then I watch Aston Villa v Manchester United, United win 1 - 3, then West Ham v Everton, Everton win 1 - 0 & finally I watch Arsenal win 3 - 1 against West Brom, a result which doesn't do much for Arsenal but relegates West Brom.
Monday, May 10th. I wake up with a sore back this morning, something I suffer from a quite bit. There has also been a lorry working on cleaning the drains since early in the morning & the noise is very grating on my nerves. I have to get a little bit of shopping so I will go out & get away from the noise for a while. I go to Café Prensa for a coffee & a chat with my friend Steve. After coffee I pop round to check on my friend Mike then go to La Sombre for a beer with my friend Martin, we sit there for a few hours chatting & we are joined by his family. His daughter Aria wants to go for a ride on my mobility scooter & she quickly works out which dial controls the speed & is telling me to go faster.
On my way to my friend Frouk's home, I come across another friend who is looking a bit worse for wear & asks me for my help getting into her home. I unlock her house & attempt to help her in but as I am trying her husband arrives & is able to help her in. With all the excitement I completely forget to go to my friend's house until it is too late, sorry Frouk.
Tuesday, May 11th. I go out this morning & get my tablets at the local pharmacy then go to Lidl for a couple of rolls. On my way home I stop off at a Chino shop for some key rings. I have so many keys all on one ring & want to separate them so I don't have to carry them all around, all of the time. When I get in I make myself a bacon, mushroom & egg roll & also make one for my neighbour Russ who I see as I get home.
Whilst I am sitting in my apartment, the doorbell goes, it is the postman with a delivery from my friend Jim in the UK. He knows I have started cycling & has sent me two pairs of padded cycling shorts which should make it more comfortable for me when I go out on my bike.
The rest of the day was spent reading my kindle & watching films.
Wednesday, May 12th. I wake up this morning & have a pain in my right leg that my Dr in the UK used to tell me was shin splints. It is very painful & I hope that it soon wears off as it makes walking very difficult. The day looks like it is going to be a beautiful one & the blue sky always brings a smile to my face.
I make my way to Café Prensa on my mobility scooter, for a coffee & to check on my friend Mike. He isn't there unusually so I go to check on him. Luckily he is OK, as usual, he is a marvellous host, talking to me through his gate. I leave him & head home.
On my way home I go past my friend Bernard's home, he waves asks how I am & invites me in for a cup of 'Liverpool' tea. It was a nice cup of tea & it was very pleasant catching up with Bernard, we both like our different types of tea & whilst the ladies are at their coffee mornings we could start our own tea morning.
After leaving Bernard I stop at the Chino shop local to me. I buy a new flower pot to transfer my Schlumbergera (Christmas Cactus) into. Once home I transfer it from its old small pot into the new larger one on my balcony. I also cut back & transfer my Sansevieria Trifasciata (Mother In Laws's tongue) into a larger pot. My Poinsettia which looks like it has died off I cut back to just leave one small stem, repot it & hope that it will come back to life with a bit of tender loving care. After pottering about on my balcony I am worn out & rest my feet for a while. My balcony will look very nice as my plants fill out & provide me with a sunny refuge to read my kindle in.
This evening I watch Chelsea v Arsenal & remarkably Arsenal play very well & thanks to a mistake by the Chelsea defence Arsenal nick a goal & get a 0 - 1 win.
Thursday, May 13th. This morning I go outside & walk into the sea to feed the fish bread. It is great feeding them & watching them swim all around my feet in the crystal clear water of the Mar Menor, but the wind is a bit cooler & it is not quite warm enough for me to go swimming today. After feeding the fish I order a tostada & coffee at the Chiringuito where I am joined by Bernard & Sheila. We sit talking for a while & when they leave I sit in the sun, reading my kindle for a few hours. After getting a bit burnt already this year I have covered up in a factor 50 sun cream but after a few hours, I go back indoors so I don't get too much sun.
For lunch I have a protein shake, tonight I am meeting friends at the Massala Cottage Indian restaurant, for a meal, this is my favourite restaurant in Los Alcazares & I love the food.
At 18:30 I walk to Chiringuito El Lobo outside my apartment for a quick pint. I have a pint & chat with friends there before walking up to the main road where I am picked up by my friend Pat to go to Massala Cottage. We are meeting our other friends, James & Bernard at Trebol sports bar next to the restaurant for a beer. We sit outside the sports bar & have a few beers before moving next door for our curry.
As always the food was excellent, the service was brilliant & the company was great. I had a Prawn Puri starter that was gorgeous, it was followed by a Lamb Palak curry with coconut rice. We all shared some papadoms, nan bread & a few other side dishes. A few beers helped wash it all down & it was followed by some homemade, Indian ice cream & baileys. I really enjoyed my evening, it was the first time I have been out for a nice meal (other than breakfast) since before COVID started last year.
I hope that days like today will become more frequent as we all adjust to life after the COVID lockdown & that people will still be sensible until we have completely recovered from this pandemic.