Alan Morris on a train to Albacete.

This week begins slowly in Los Alcazares, I do some work on my balcony garden & at the end of the week, I take a trip to Albacete to see the group Texas.

Alan Morris, 2022, week 35.

Monday, 29th August. I woke up this morning got a coffee & started working on indexing more of the pages of my website on Google. As I do this & other general maintenance jobs on the site, I lose track of time & before I know it, it is time to go to the office.

I actually arrive at the office at about 12:10 but Martin does not reprimand me for my tardiness, luckily he is in a good mood. We do quite a bit of work this morning, this also includes learning some new crisp eating techniques, which are shown to us both by his daughter Aria. Martin's wife Kate agrees to take me to the garden centre tomorrow, I have seen some plants that I like & want for my Balcony Garden.

After a few hours of hard work, I head off to get some rolls & a Murciano Pie at the Economy Cash supermarket. I buy the rolls & stop off at Rocco's bar as I pass, just to try out a beer. After testing one pint & finding it satisfactory I head home & have the pie for a late lunch. After my meal, I take a siesta before surfing the Internet & looking at cruise websites, looking for information on the places I will be going to in October.

I go to bed at about 11 pm.

Tuesday, 30th August. I had a terrible night's sleep last night. Somehow when I was fidgeting, trying to get comfortable I managed to get my left leg caught up in the bed sheet & seem to have twisted my knee. It is in quite a bit of pain this morning. I work on my website for a few hours until Kate messages me to say she will soon be on her way to take me to the garden centre.

I want to get out of the house, so I go & wait for Kate on the main road, I sit on the wall of a home that has always been empty. Whilst I am waiting for Kate, the owner of the house, whose wall I am sitting on, comes out to complain about me sitting on the wall. She must have either decided not to make a fuss because I am a big fat lump, or she saw my walking stick & realised I was having trouble walking. She turned round & went back inside without saying a word. Thank you nice Spanish neighbour I did leave it tidy & in good condition.

Kate took me to the garden centre but the succulents I wanted to buy had all been sold. She then took me to another garden centre in San Javier but they didn't have the plant I was looking for either. I did buy one more leafy succulent that I will put in a larger pot & which will help my Balcony Garden look better. I had also been looking at the electric-powered waterfalls, I love the relaxing sound they make but don't want to buy one that needs to be charged by a plug point. They had some I liked the design of but none that were solar powered.

We leave the garden centre & Kate drops me off at the office where Martin has been holding down the fort without me. Unfortunately, the small amount of walking I have done this morning has aggravated my knee. I actually feel a bit light-headed & sick, I get myself a bottle of water & take some painkillers. I sit chatting with Martin, Kate, Dave & Viv, but my knee is still throbbing. At the end of business hours, Kate takes me home. I take my new plant out to the balcony & then go back indoors & put the air conditioning on. I take another pain killer & spend the rest of the day & evening resting in front of the television.

I flick between tonight's football matches but can't get interested enough to watch any game in particular. Whilst sitting there I also surf the internet looking for solar-powered waterfalls. I find one that I like & order it. It wasn't one that looked brilliant in the photo but someone who had bought one reviewed it & put a video of it running online. The video sold it to me, the water flow was good & the noise was very relaxing. In the evening as the sun goes down the solar power runs some LED lights on it & lights up the water flow as well. I can see myself falling asleep on my balcony whilst reading & listening to the soft sound of the water cascading down the waterfall.

Tonight, I end up watching a film about a relationship between a wealthy man with quadriplegia & an unemployed man with a criminal record who's hired to help him. It is a comedic drama but has some very serious & sad moments in it. If you haven't seen ´The Upside´ I can highly recommend it.

Wednesday, 31st August. I woke at about 7 am today & felt much better after a good night's sleep. When I woke there was light rain falling outside & the air felt a lot cooler & fresher. I got a coffee & sat down at my computer to make some important changes to the server configuration of my website. Before doing anything I made a backup of the site, luckily as it turned out. I logged onto the server & updated the version of Joomla my website is running on to the latest version. This appeared to all work out correctly & I made another backup of the server before then updating the version of PHP that it runs on.

That is when the proverbial shit hit the fan. The site crashed, the front end, the bit that users see, like the page you are reading now, was just showing lots of code that meant nothing & I could not log in to the administration side either. I contacted the company's support team, who were able to get me access to the administration side of the site & they then talked me through restoring the backups I had made earlier. They then talked me through updating Joomla again but advised me to leave the PHP update to them. It will be done sometime soon, the error message that I see when I log in to the administration is just a general warning that it needs to be done & that they will do it before the end of November.

After getting the site back up & running I Index more of the site pages on Google before going to the local Chinese store to buy a few more plants & a new flower pot for my Balcony Garden. When I get back from the store I repot one of the plants I have, discard a couple of others that I don't like & plant the three new plants I bought into one of my hanging baskets. I move some of the furniture around & generally tidy the balcony up, ready for when the solar water fountain I ordered arrives next week.

Tonight I watch the Arsenal v Aston Villa game. The game is played at an incredible pace & I can't believe Arsenal are only winning 1-0 at halftime. In the second half, Aston Villa are much better, midway through the half their substitute scores direct from a corner & it is 1-1. Within 3 minutes, Arsenal scored again & the game ended with Arsenal beating Aston Villa 2-1. Last season Arsenal lost their first three games, this season they have won their first five, what a difference a year makes.

After the game, I go onto my balcony & hose it down & water all of my plant pots, it is beginning to look really nice out there now, I will enjoy sitting out there reading my kindle now the weather is cooling down slightly.

Thursday, 1st September. I wake up at around 7 am & feel like going for a swim. I have a coffee & work on my website until the sun comes up enough for me to be able to swim & walk down to the Mar Menor with some bread.

I sit in the sea for a while holding a piece of French stick in my hands. The fish go into a feeding frenzy & are eating it directly out of my hand. It must be strange to look at, the water around me looks like it is boiling because of all the fish feeding & they jump out of the water every now & then to get away from a bigger fish chasing them. When the bread has all gone I swim out to the rocks & back three times before going back to my apartment for a shower & another coffee.

After having a shower I go back to working on my website until about 1 pm when I decide to go to D´Pollo to get some lunch. I get two meals, one for now & one for tonight so that I don't have to go shopping for food.

When I get home I eat one of my meals. Almost the second I finish my meal, my friend Bob arrives to cut my hair. He gives me a number one all over & I feel so much better once it has been cut, I have got so used to having very short hair that it feels uncomfortable when it hasn't been cut for a few weeks. After Bob leaves, I sweep up my golden locks from the floor & get Peggy to go around the living room once just to make sure I didn't miss any hair on the floor.

This afternoon & evening is spent mostly watching the ´Transfer Show´on television, to see if Arsenal buy any more players. They do make several offers on Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa but they are all rejected. I guess they will have to make do with the squad they have until at least January when the new transfer window opens. They do at least get rid of two more players that they no longer want.


Friday, 2nd September. I wake just before the sun is up at around 7 am, I get a coffee, check my email & then head down to the Mar Menor for a swim. I swim to the rocks & back 3 times & it begins to rain, it is only light rain but I go back to my apartment, I wouldn't want to get wet, would I. I have a shower & check with my neighbour if I can still get a lift to the train station tomorrow, & then I have a bacon, egg & mushroom sandwich for breakfast.

After breakfast I take some rubbish to the bin & then go to the pharmacy for some tablets, I don't want to run short whilst I am away in case I can't get any in Albacete. After getting my tablets I treat myself to some ice cream & head home. I work on my website for a while before relaxing in front of a film. I also figure out how to use my selfie stick on my mobile phone. After playing around with it for half hour & not getting it to work, I suddenly remembered to turn on Bluetooth on my phone & boom, it worked straight away. I charged my normal camera ready for tomorrow's trip & got my backpack ready to pack in the morning.

Not wanting to cook, this evening I go to a new restaurant in Los Alcazares, called Shine Tandori. I got a takeaway of cheese pakora, mango chicken & vegetable rice. The cheese pakora was nothing special & I won't get it again but the mango chicken & vegetable rice was gorgeous & I will definitely go to the restaurant again. If they want to stay busy they will need to put some covers over the outside area as inside there is only room for a few people.

I watch television till about 11 pm before setting my alarm for tomorrow & going to bed.


Saturday, 3rd & Sunday 4th September. I went to Albacete this weekend. I went to see the band Texas on Sunday night & thought I may as well go for a couple of days so I can have a look around while I was there.