Alan Morris in a kayak on the Mar Menor.

This week I went out on my kayak on the Mar Menor for the first time since last summer. I went on a coach tour to a Bodega & did some wine tasting. Oh yes, the England Lionesses won the European Championship.

Alan Morris, 2022, week 30.

Monday, 25th July. I woke at just after 7 am today. I updated & published last week's diary blog but I didn't go for my swim in the Mar Menor this morning. My back is still a little sore from last week's jellyfish sting & I have a few jobs to do before I go to see my friend Martin at the office today.

My delivery arrives at about 12:30 pm so I am late for the office. When I go to the Sharky mobile the battery is flat, no problem I will go to work on the Sharky bike. Unfortunately, the bike has two flat tyres, no problem I have a good pump I can pump them up. The front tyre goes up quickly but for some reason, I just can not get the pump on the rear tyre valve, it may well be my poor eyesight. I hope it´s not a different size valve on the two tyres.

I put my scooter on charge but have to message Martin to tell him what has happened. He will have to do the work for the two of us today. Worried that I may try to shirk off work again tomorrow he offers to pop round in the morning to see if he can attach the pump correctly. 

I go back to my apartment, close all the windows up & stick the air conditioning on. There have been weather warnings issued today advising people to stay out of the heat in the afternoon. It must have passed 1 pm as I go inside because just as I sit down, Peggy, my robot cleaner begins to vacuum the floor, bless her, she is a wonderful cleaner.

The afternoon was spent researching my family tree.


Tuesday, 26th July. I slept well last night & woke around 7 am today. When I got up there was a bit of a wind blowing, the waves on the Mar Menor were quite strong this morning which would make seeing jellyfish in the water difficult. I decided to forgo my swim again this morning & instead worked on my website for a few hours.

At around 11:30 I took a parcel to be sent back to Amazon, to the local Euronics shop in Los Alcazares. It is very easy to do this & saves me from having to print anything, pay for any postage or even repack the parcel. I dropped off the parcel & the refund for it was back in my account almost immediately.

I then travelled along the main road to Los Narejos to the office to do some paperwork with Martin. We sat chatting for a couple of hours before we both head off home. On my way home I passed Helena's cafe & saw my friend Rab sitting there, so being a social person I stopped off for a chat with him. Several hours later & a few bottles of beer later I continued home to my apartment. It wasn't till I got home & looked in the mirror that I realised the sleeveless T-shirt may have been a mistake. My arms were a deeper shade of red than they have been for a while. I have to remember how strong the sun is here, it feels cooler because of the breeze but that doesn't prevent you from getting sunburnt, always cover yourself in suncream if out in the sun for a few hours people, Doctor Sharky has spoken.

This evening I watched the England ladies play the Swedish ladies in the semi-finals of the 2022 European Championship. Sweden was the better team for much of the first half until Beth Mead scored a cracking goal for England. The England ladies then stepped it up a gear & were a much better team for the rest of the game, deservedly winning 4-0. They will now play in the final on Sunday. 


Wednesday, 27th July. I woke around 5:45 this morning, I was up before the sun. I worked on my website updating image locations for the photos I took in Denver when on a holiday there in 2011, I can now add maps to show where each photo was taken. Whilst I did this I used my electronic circulation machine to pass a current through my legs while I sat working, hopefully it will help the pain in my legs. I have only had the machine for a short while but it does seem to be helping with the pain in my legs.

After working for around 3 ½ hours I decided to take a break from the computer. I went down to the garage & dragged my kayak down to the Mar Menor. I went out on it for about ½ hour, I went out towards the marker buoys then headed towards Antonios restaurant. When I got level with the restaurant I turned around & headed back to my starting point. I beached the kayak & then sat in the cool water for a few minutes to cool off whilst I watched the fish swimming around me. It is harder getting the kayak out of the garage & back to the garage than it is using it in the water. The wheels that came with it to help transport it are useless.

After my kayak & short dip in the Mar Menor, I returned to my apartment, had a massage in my massage chair, & then got a coffee before going back to work on my website again.

I went to bed early tonight as I have to get up early tomorrow for my planned trip to see a Bodega tomorrow. It was a good plan, at 10 pm I went to bed, at about 10:05 pm a saxophonist started playing in the square outside my apartment. A live show has been organised for tonight & the square soon fills up with people watching the show. Once again I have seen no advertising for this event. I am tired after getting up so early & I do manage to fall asleep but I am woken at around 1:45 am by people outside my apartment arguing, luckily for me they keep walking whilst they argue & I drop off to sleep quickly again.


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Thursday, 28th July. I am woken up at 6 am by my alarm, this is the first time I can remember for a long long time that I have been woken by my alarm. I am normally awake before any alarm goes off. I get up have a coffee, take a shower & have a shave. I find my camera, grab my walking stick & meet my neighbour John outside the apartment block. He has kindly got up early to give me a lift to the Arches in Los Narejos where I am being picked up by a coach for my day trip to see a Bodega today.

After a long day out today, I am exhausted when I get back in. I turn the air conditioning on to cool the apartment down & watch television for an hour before going to bed.

View photos from my trip out.

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Friday, 29th July. I woke around 7:45 am today. I let myself wake up slowly, check for messages on my computer & use the circulation machine on my legs for half an hour before I put on my swim shorts & go for a swim in the Mar Menor. I take my swim mask with me today so that I can see any jellyfish before I swim into them.

My swim was quite difficult today, the water wasn't as clear as normal, it was very warm & not as refreshing as normal. I swam out to the rocks to look at the fish but as it was not as clear as normal I cut my swim short & went back to the beach. After my swim, I went back to my apartment, had a shower, got a coffee & began to work on my website. My legs ache after yesterday's adventure & I will take it easy today.

At around lunchtime, I go to the Chino shop at Euro Roda to get some sellotape. Big mistake, there were around 14 people queuing & only one person at the till. I carried on to Lidl to get a few groceries & stopped off at the Chino shop on the way home. There was an even bigger queue & the lady I was behind in the original queue was still 3 or 4 people from the till. Instead of going in, I carried on to the Chino shop near where I live, there was no one there at all, I found the sellotape & was soon back home with the air conditioning on.

I fell asleep sometime in the afternoon, waking early evening, I guess yesterday's long trip took more out of me than I thought. When I woke up I had a message from my friend Pat asking if I wanted to go out for a meal next Friday. I told him it was the first day of the football season & that Arsenal would be playing live on television, & that I wouldn't be able to go. He immediately guilt-tripped me about going & twisted my arm behind my back until I screamed & I said I would go. Only joking Pat, if it was a choice between going for a curry with a famous joke machine or watching Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 3-0, the joke machine would win every time. Remember I forecast a 3-0 win for the Gunners though.

Still tired, I went to bed early.

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Saturday, 30th July. I woke around 8 am today. Saturday or Sunday is normally my washing day so I get up & put some washing in the washing machine & set it going. I get my coffee & start to clean the kitchen which I couldn't be bothered to clean up last night. After my first coffee, I have the inevitable second coffee before settling down at my computer whilst the washing is being done.

Whilst having my second coffee & listening to Radio 2 via the computer, Dermot O´Leary plays ´You should be dancing´ by the Bee Gees. This immediately wakes me up, & gets me swaying in my chair & remembering when I was younger, slimmer & could really dance. Can anyone remember me dancing as I used to in this video?

Most of the day was spent working on my website, typing up & posting my memories from Thursday's day out, & adding my photos to a photo album for the trip. I did take a break around 2 pm to watch the Arsenal v Sevilla football match. I had missed the first fifteen minutes of the game & by the time I turned it on Arsenal were in complete control & were winning 3-0. A fourth goal soon followed after 20 minutes & two more rounded the score off for a very respectable 6-0 win for Arsenal. I hope they continue their pre-season form & carry it into the season that starts next week.

I finished doing my clothes washing & clearing the kitchen up then went back to work on my website. This evening I watched the traditional opening match of the new football season. This year it was contested by Manchester City who won the Premier League last season & by Liverpool who won the FA Cup last season. The game finished Liverpool 3 Manchester City 0 & I wonder now if Manchester City regrets selling 3 of their best players this summer.


Sunday, 31st July. I woke around 7:45 am today, I stripped the linen from my bed & put it in the washing machine before going for a swim in the Mar Menor about an hour later.

It was quite windy again this morning & the tide was harder to swim against. I swam out to the rocks & looked at all the fish, I saw two very large Bass this morning, they would have been enough for a couple of meals. I continued to swim a complete circuit around the rocks before swimming back to the beach.

After my swim, I went home, took a shower, made a coffee & got myself bacon, sausage & scrambled eggs for breakfast. I pottered about indoors for a while then took my rubbish to the bin. Short of food I then went to the Mercadona supermarket for some groceries. I got most of the shopping I need but as it was so busy I didn't hunt around for things I didn't really need & headed for home.

On my way home, I was going down the road on my disability scooter, luckily quite slowly, when a woman who was talking to a friend & not looking where she was going stepped out in front of me. If I had been going full hare speed & not simply moving at snail speed she would have been splattered like a bug on my shopping basket, fortunately, I stopped a flees dick away from her. She did apologise profusely for not looking before she stepped into the road. If I'd been in a car or on a motorbike or bicycle, moving faster, she would currently be on the way to the hospital. As it is I think she may have to put a clean pair of knickers on when she gets home. I left her & her companion pondering the meaning of life & continued home.

This afternoon was spent with my feet up keeping out of the heat waiting for the England v Germany European Championship Final. The game was a real cracker, hard-fought & a night to remember for the Lionesses. England took a 1-0 lead in the second half with an amazing goal from Ella Toone. Germany stepped their game up & got an equalizer with another well-taken goal from Lina Magull. The game went into extra time & in the second half, Chloe Kelly poked home a winner for England. She then ran along the side of her pitch after taking off her shirt, with her sports bra barely containing her, I don't think it will be long before she is contacted by a sports bra company with an offer for a lucrative advertising campaign.

This was the first time in my lifetime that an England team has won a big International Football tournament. The men came close but the ladies went one better & won it. The competition should be remembered for the quality of the football & the fact that there was no play-acting or rolling around on the floor when a player thought they could get a free kick. There was no diving trying to win a penalty or free kick & the general sportsmanship was great to see. The way the team celebrated after was great to see & I hope they can celebrate this way again at the World Cup. 

I would like to point out to my friends who were laughing at me for watching the Arsenal ladies' football matches throughout the year, telling me that ladies can't play football, that the nearly 90,000 fans at Wembley last night, all disagree with you. England were Captained by Arsenal´s Leah Williamson & that the winner of the Golden boot & player of the tournament was Arsenal´s, Beth Mead. Well done ladies you did yourself, the country & Arsenal proud.

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