Alan Morris in Murcia City, Spain.

This week starts slowly but as I am feeling better it does mean a return to work to catch up with a pile of work that has built up in my absence.

Alan Morris, 2022, week 20. 

Monday, 16th May. I woke up around 7 am today & have my customary coffee whilst I check my messages on my computer. I am going to see if I can see my friend Mike this morning so at around 10:30 I set off on the Sharky mobile to catch up with him at his local cafe.

When I arrive at the cafe where Mike has coffee every morning, I get myself a coffee & a Tostado. I sit chatting to some of the ladies that also go there every morning, Christine & Theresa. Mike doesn't arrive & they are a bit worried about him so one of the other locals calls around to his house to see if he is alright. He is in but has work to do & won't be going for a coffee this morning, just my luck the day I go to see him, he doesn't turn up.

Whilst there I switch the sim card in my phone to another sim position, it has started to play up again & before I go back to Avatel again I want to see if this fixes the problem.

After finishing our coffees, the ladies head off to their homes & I go to the office to catch up on some paperwork. My boss Martin is pleased to see me & to have some help with the amount of work that was piling up. We are soon working our way through a mountain of paperwork, aided by Martin's dad, David, who also turns up to help out.

We all leave the office at around 2 pm when Martin collects his daughter from the school bus. I head home but stop for a bit more paperwork at La Zona Terraza. As it happened Martin had to go shopping in the Mercadonna supermarket next door & is able to pop in just to finish off some paperwork he hadn't signed before he heads home again. On my way home I stop at the local Spanish takeaway food shop, D´Pollos. I get myself some pork in pepper sauce. I eat it as soon as I get home & it was fantastic, I will definitely be using this place a lot more regularly this year.

This evening I watch the Newcastle v Arsenal football match on the television which Arsenal have to win to get into the Champions League next year. Newcastle easily wins 2-0 against a very poor Arsenal side, I haven't seen them play this badly all season, it now looks that Arsenal's arch-rivals, Tottenham, will qualify for the tournament instead of Arsenal.

Before I go to bed I cover myself in aftersun cream as the top of my arms have got burnt in the strong sun today.


Tuesday, 17th May. Because the top of my arms got sunburnt yesterday I spend an uncomfortable night in bed. I have to get up several times during the night to reapply aftersun cream. By 4 am I give up trying to get back to sleep, I get up apply more cream to my arms & then start working on my computer.

After having a coffee I put the finishing touches to a menu I have been working on for my friend Shellie. At around 10 am I drop it off at her at home before I continue on to Euronics to collect a parcel. I have to collect a new polo shirt that has been dropped off there by Amazon. After collecting my shirt I go back to the office for a second day running. I noticed the paperwork had really piled up in my absence yesterday so I go back in to help Martin get back on track.

Just after 2 pm, the paperwork in the office has gone down to a more manageable level & both I & my boss Martin are happy to leave the office & go home. On my way home I stop off at the local Spanish food shop again to get something to eat. This time I have a lamb shoulder in sauce with chips & a slice of cake. As soon as I get home I eat my food, the lamb shoulder is very nice & the slice of cake is beautiful if I could live on cake alone this would be the one I choose to live on. It was a three-layered chocolate cake, diet what diet.

This afternoon I fall asleep on the sofa after my meal. Getting up at 4 am this morning finally catches up with me. I drift in & out of sleep watching various home improvement shows on the television before going to bed at about 11 pm.


Wednesday, 18th May. I woke at a more reasonable time today at around 7 am. I did have to reapply aftersun cream a couple of times during the night but did manage to get some sleep. I have a coffee, work on my computer then take a shower.

Just after 9 am, I head out to pick up another important package, some hot cross buns. My friend Stuart has made some & left them for me to pick up this morning. I take the Sharky mobile to his house, narrowly beating my friend Linda there. I´m glad I got there first or she would have eaten mine as well. I sit & have a chat with Linda & Stuarts´ wife Fi for a short time, I cant wait to get my hot cross buns home & eat one with a cup of tea. Thanks, Stuart they are great.

On my way home I go past my cousin Jills' house to see her husband Peter. I want a number for his internet provider but when I call there is no answer. I continue up to the top of the road & hear Peter call my name. He is sitting in his car at the top of the road waiting for someone else. I stop to ask for the number, he is just off to meet someone but offers to take me to Dos Mares later where there is a kiosk for the company that provides him with his Internet service. He continues to his meeting & I head home.

As soon as I get in I settle down with my last hot cross bun & eat that whilst working on my computer. Most of the day is spent adjusting the code on my website & sorting through images for it.

This evening I meet my friend Pat on the main road, he is picking me up & we are meeting other friends for a curry. We are soon at the Trebol sports bar, next door to the Massala Cottage where we will be eating later. Paul is there when we arrive & we are soon joined by James, Michael, Gary & Bernard. After a few beers the laughter is rolling & we are ready for a curry. 

We walk next door & get our usual round table, this is great because we can all talk to each other & take part in the evening's merriment. If it was good enough for King Arthur it´s good enough for us. I have a Prawn Puri for my starter & for my main, I have a Dahi Wali lamb curry, it's described as being a thick gravy made with yoghurt, spices & herbs. I thought it was very nice. Pat & I share some Keema rice & Peshwari nan bread, the others all do the same thing, the rice is always too much for one person. We finish the evening shortly before 11 pm & Pat drops me off at home. It was a great night & as usual, we had a lot of laughs & I enjoyed everyone's company.

As I am going on a day trip in the morning, I go straight to bed when I get in.


Thursday, 19th May. I woke at around 7:15 this morning. I take a shower, get a coffee & get ready to cycle to meet my friend Martin. He is going to keep my bike safe at his house whilst I go on my coach trip. This will mean I can collect it from him & cycle home after my day out. The pickup & drop off point for any coach trips is about 3 km from my house but very close to his. I met him for a coffee at around 8:45 & afterwards he takes my bicycle & I walk around the corner to catch my coach.

Location of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.:

At 9:30 the coach arrives, I take my seat & we are on our way. The first stop is in Murcia where I get off & have a look around the City for around 2 hours. I look around the area the Cathedral is in before picking up a tourist map in the tourist office. I then walk down to the riverbank & walk along taking some photos of the river & the area around it. At 12:15 I reboard the coach to continue, glad to be back in an air-conditioned coach, it is getting very hot in Murcia & is already in the mid 30° centigrade.

The coach continues on to Calasparra where we will be visiting the Sanctuary of the Virgen of Hope. When we arrive the coach drops us in a beautiful pine wooded area, the smell is beautiful, I do love the smell of pine. We are the only people here at the moment & all you can hear is the birds singing & the water in the river below us. I walk to look around the museum here first as it closes at 2 pm. It is very small but has lots of things that people have sent in to be blessed, among them, wedding dresses & matadors bullfighting costumes.

After viewing the museum I look around the small Chapel. It looks very beautiful & I light two candles in memory of my mum & dad, making a donation to the upkeep of the Chapel. There are around 6 of us all looking for the statue of the Virgen of Hope, none of us can see it. A guide enters the Chapel & when we ask where it is he informs us that it is currently out on tour, touring the country, visiting other Cities, Churches & Chapels. This might have been nice to have been told before we paid to travel there to visit her. 

After visiting the Chapel I went outside to take photos of the area before continuing to the restaurant for lunch. Lunch was very good, a large salad was followed by chicken noodle soup, chicken & chips, creme caramel & a coffee to finish. When I finish my meal I go back outside to sit in peace, breathe in the smell of the pines & enjoy the tranquil noise of the rushing water below. I would like to spend a day here so that I could walk down to the river & just enjoy the quiet solitude of the surroundings.

The coach is soon heading back towards Murcia where stops are made to pick people up at IKEA & the City Centre. I am dropped off in Los Alcazares & whilst I wait for my friends to return so I can pick up my bicycle I stop off for a drink at La Sombra Pizzeria. The service today is terrible, the two girls inside seem to be allergic to the sun as they shelter inside away from the customers. When they do head out carrying food, they avoid all eye contact with anyone else outside, quickly scurrying back inside, ignoring any calls for service. After waiting for 30 minutes for a drink I give up waiting & walk across to collect my bike. Kate is soon home & gives me my bike so I can cycle home.

When I get home my legs are like concrete pillars again & when I check I have walked nearly 10 km, & cycled around 6 km. I watch a bit of the evening's football on the television before going to bed for some well-earned sleep.


Friday, 20th May. I woke up around 7 am today & immediately got myself a coffee before sitting down at my computer for a while. I had a good night's sleep & my legs feel a bit better this morning.

At around 8:30 I go for an hour's swim in the Mar Menor. The water feels cold when I first get in but my body soon gets used to the water temperature & I swim out to the rocks before turning round & swimming back in. When I get back in there are around 40 - 60 very young screaming kids on the beach being egged on by the teenagers that are supposedly there to look after them. I really don't think it is necessary to make screaming children even louder. By all means, bring them to the beach for a school lesson but don't encourage them to scream & shout by screaming & shouting at them through a megaphone, especially when you are standing right next to them. The monitors only look about 12-13 years old themselves, do Spanish schools not have to have any adults present when they take children away for the day?

I go to the local picture framing shop around 10 am & collect my large Tiger Woods print. I pick it up & try to hang it on the wall. Unfortunately, the frame is still as warped as ever & it will not hang correctly on the wall. I take it back to the shop & show them, they apologise & tell me to come back tomorrow for it. I tell them I can wait till next week if they are busy, hopefully, this will give them time to do it properly. All they did last time was un staple the picture on the frame & then restretch it over the warped frame when it needed a new frame.

I take the Sharky mobile home & walk to the charity clothes bin, dropping off some shorts that no longer fit around my fat legs. I then walk on to Rio Nalon, check on the opening time for Pearls Plaice & then go to Rocco's bar for a pint & to read my kindle. After my pint, I go back to the chippy & get some cod roe & chips for lunch, something I haven't had since I was a kid.

I eat lunch and then walk back to my apartment, I can tell I have maybe done too much again this week as fairly soon my legs are aching & my walking is getting slower & more difficult. When I get home I settle down with my feet up but my aching legs soon start to cramp & I have to jump up & force my feet to flatten out on the cold marble floors of my apartment. The cramps soon pass & I watch a film on the television. This evening I have a small supermarket curry for my dinner, they are a great thing to have in the freezer for when you don't feel like cooking. 

I have an early night tonight, hoping that some rest will help my legs recover, but before I go to bed I put the Sharky mobile on charge. 


Saturday, 21st May. I woke around 6:30 this morning & make myself a pot of tea instead of coffee. I have decided to try to lose weight again & am trying an easier intermittent diet regime to get me started before switching to a more difficult one when I am used to it. I will be fasting 12 hours on 12 hours off, for two weeks, before switching to 14 hours on 10 hours off regime afterwards. This means no condensed milk in my morning coffee till after my allotted fasting time is over, so green tea with mango it is when I first wake up.

At about 9:30 I get on the Sharky mobile & head to the tourist office in Los Alcazares, I am going to go on a street art guided tour. When the guide meets us he explains that this weekend there are some new pieces of street art being produced & that he will be taking us to see the new art being painted & a few of the old pieces. We set off just after 10 am, a line of about 10 bicycles with me in the middle of them, on the Sharky mobile.

The tour was very good, it was interesting to see the many pieces of art actually being painted & hearing from some of the street artists. Our guides' knowledge about each piece of art he showed us, was very good & it was obvious that he had a passion for street art. The last picture he showed us was an older piece which was alongside other pieces in Los Alcazares, it was one of the first pieces that were done in the area in 2015. He explained in great detail what the artist had been trying to produce. This turned, what was for me, a quite ordinary piece of art, into a very interesting piece & one that I now look at completely differently. He then informed us that he was actually the artist for this piece of street art. The tour lasted around three hours & was brilliant, it was another free tour arranged by the local town hall.

See photos of my tour here.

On my way home I stopped off at D´Pollo for a takeaway dinner, I had a chicken in mushroom sauce with potatoes, it cost only €4.80 & tasted fantastic, they have definitely got me as a long time customer. I spent the rest of the day inside with all the doors & windows shut, the noise of the Spanish music in the square today was terrible. A lot of the music seems to consist of groups of males, with no singing talent, shouting lyrics to a heavy base boom of drums. It goes on from around 4 pm till midnight but at midnight it does fall completely silent & it feels like I have gone deaf. I don't mind loud music but when you have to constantly turn up the radio or television in your house just to hear it, I do mind. I actually found myself wishing for the noise of the screaming kids, at least they wore themselves out after a while, the bands just switched over & continued their attack on my senses & the foundations of all of the buildings around them. For the entire concert, the walls of the building vibrated to the vociferous boom & crash of the bass of the different bands.

After the silence had returned I was able to go to my bed & surprisingly I fell asleep very quickly.


Sunday, 22nd May. I wake around 7 am this morning & get myself a pot of tea. The ringing in my ears from my tinnitus is terrible this morning, no doubt made worse by yesterday's concert in the plaza outside my apartment. After checking my computer for messages I strip the bed linen from my bed & put it in the washer. 

I spend the day working on my website until this afternoon's football matches come on the television. There is little or no chance of Arsenal overtaking Tottenham to gain the 4th spot & get into the Champions League next season but overall I am pleased with the season they have had after such a poor start.

Arsenal beat Everton 5 - 1 & play well, if they had played like this in just one of the two previous games they would have been in the Champions League, as it is Tottenham won that right by beating Norwich 0-5. Manchester City wins the Premier League & Liverpool finished runners up.

My legs feel slightly better this evening, keeping off of them as much as possible today has helped, I have done too much walking this week.