Alan Morris in La Playa Bar in Los Alcazares, week 42 of 2022.

This week was a strange week, it included several visits to the Doctor, my disability scooter running out of power whilst I was out on it, confirmation of my cabin number for next week's cruise, me singing at karaoke in a bar & watching my friend sing at a bar on another night.

Alan Morris, 2022, week 42.

Monday, 17th October. I woke around 7:30 am got a coffee & then checked my email. I then went to the Doctors surgery to make an appointment for my regular blood test. Unfortunately, there was a different girl in the reception & she wouldn't give me an appointment to have my blood test without first seeing the Doctor. I didn't bother arguing & made an appointment for Wednesday.

After making the appointment for my blood test, I briefly stopped at home before heading off to see my health insurance people. I had noticed a sign in the Doctors surgery that said they were doing COVID booster jabs for over 60´s & I asked the lady in the insurance company office if she could help me make an appointment as my Spanish isn't good enough if I have a problem. She said she would call for me & let me know what happens. She also invited me back on Wednesday morning when they are having an open day with free food.

I leave the insurance company & go to work at the office with Martin. The local TV service provider, Dave, visited & I was able to pay for this year's subscription whilst I was there. Martins's wife Kate popped over to the office & kindly agreed to take me to Cartagena tomorrow to look for some sunglasses. We worked hard for a few hours before heading home. As I passed Rocco´s bar I saw my friend Andy who called me in for a pint, I stopped for a quick beer before heading home.

When I got home I watered the plants in my Balcony Garden before settling down in front of the television to watch a favourite film, Hacksaw Ridge. This is a true story & if you have never seen it you should watch it.


Tuesday, 18th October. After getting up & checking my email, I find an appointment has been made for me to have a COVID & flu jab on Friday, I went down to the chiringuito outside my apartment for a tostada & coffee. It was beautiful sitting there, the water was very calm & the sun was just breaking through the clouds. I was joined by my friends Martin & Tony for a coffee & we chatted for a while before Martin left & reminded me that his wife would be picking me up in a short time. I showed Tony my apartment before he left & I was ready when Kate arrived to take me to Hawkers in Cartagena.

I like the Hawkers store in Cartagena because the glasses are always good quality, they are a good fit & are generally a lot cheaper than anywhere else because they always seem to have a two-for-one sale on them. I managed to get two nice pairs for a total of €40. When we left this store we went the short distance to Media Markt so that I could look at Tablets. I want to buy a cheap tablet to use on my travels, my laptop is too heavy to keep carrying around & has a few small faults that make it awkward to use. I look at the different tablets to see what they all do & what their cost is. I then look at all the televisions, washing machines, tumble dryers, & most of the electronic gadgets in case I win the lottery this week.

Unfortunately for me, my knees are playing up this morning & my left kneecap has popped out twice whilst we are walking around the store. Luckily for me, Kate has a painkiller with her that she lets me have. We leave the store & go to a small cafe in La Aparecida to have a coca cola on the way back to the office. I have to at least check in to see if there is any work to do.

When we get back to Los Alcazares we stop at the office just to check up on work before Kate drops me home. I put my feet up to rest my legs & take another painkiller for my knee. I switch the TV on but there is a problem with the signal so I turn on Amazon prime & binge-watch some more episodes of the TV program called ´this is us´. Before I go to bed I log onto Amazon & check for any offers they have on Tablets, there is a nice model that I like that is on sale & I also get another €10 off by using an online coupon for the purchase. It will be delivered tomorrow, which will give me time to work out how to use it before I go on my cruise next week.


Wednesday, 19th October. I get up at about 7:30 am. I have a shower before heading off to the Doctor for my regular blood test. Once again there is some confusion about whether I need to see a Doctor or not. I am soon sitting with the Doctor who asks what I need, I tell him I don't need to see him & he calls the nurse through to give me a blood test. She is a nurse I have not seen before & for the first time I can remember, it brings tears to my eyes as she hunts around with the needle looking for a vein. She eventually draws the blood & I escape quickly.

I stop at the chiringuito for a coffee & a tostada before going back to my apartment to wait for my new Tablet to be delivered. I don´t have to wait long as it arrives at about 11:30. I don't unpack it immediately as I want to be at the ASSSA office fairly soon. I head out on the Sharky Mobile in the insurance company's direction.

When I get to the ASSSA office I am greeted warmly by Sofia who confirms my appointment for my flu & COVID jabs at my Doctor's on Friday. She then gets me a bottle of beer & tells me to help myself to food. I have some food & drink my beer before heading towards the Mercadona supermarket. Just before I get to the supermarket I realise that my disability scooter is going to run out of power. I pull into La Zona bar where I call my friend Kate to see if she can run me home. Whilst sat there Joanne, who owns the bar, tells me I can charge the scooter there. When Kate arrives she runs me home to pick up my charger & then drops me back off at La Zona bar. I put the scooter on a charge & then sit chatting with Kate & Jo for a while until Kate heads home & Jo has to start running the music quiz that is held every Wednesday at the bar. As the quiz starts I head over to Mercadonna to get some coffee & a few groceries.

After getting my shopping I get a beer & sit & listen to the quiz in La Zona. I am not normally interested in music quizzes, my poor memory for names seems to extend to the names of bands & singers & I am normally very bad at them. I do however really like the format of this music quiz which seems a lot more rounded than other music quizzes I have been to. When I get back from my cruise in a few weeks I will start to come & do the music quiz at La Zona it was good fun. After my scooter has charged for a couple of hours, I hope that it will now be able to get me home & head back to my apartment. I am very pleased when I do get home without running out of power. When I get back from my cruise around the Mediterranean, I will have to get a new battery for my disability scooter.

This evening I get a call from the people who have organised my cruise next week to confirm my pick-up time, & pick-up spot at The Arches, by the coach taking me to Valencia for my cruise. It will be a very early start but I can't wait to go. Because I am worried about getting to the pick-up point in time next week, I contact my friend Bernard to see if he can drop me off there. It is not too far to go but I don't want to be struggling through Los Alcazares pulling a case at 5:30 in the morning. He messages me back telling me he can give me a lift & for this, I am very grateful.


Thursday, 20th October. I woke around 8 am today & got myself a coffee before sitting down at my computer. I put my electronic circulation machine on & sit working on my website & having a foot massage for an hour.

I was supposed to have two training courses today, one on website security & one on using Welsh Nonconformity whilst tracing my family tree. Unfortunately, I missed both as I was unable to log in to one & the other clashed with the Arsenal v PSV Eindhoven game tonight. I hope I may be able to see them if they are shown again on YouTube or something similar.

I go to the pharmacy this morning & stock up with enough Sintrom & Omeprazole tablets to last until I come back from my cruise. The omega-3 tablets I take are very expensive in the pharmacy but I do manage to find a reputable supplier for it online which is cheaper, & I order some multivitamins at the same time. They will both arrive tomorrow & I will be stocked with them for the next year.

I watch the Arsenal v PSV Eindhoven football match this evening. Arsenal were in complete control of the game & won 1-0. PSV Eindhoven never looked like scoring & were very disappointing going forwards but they did defend very well & their goalkeeper made several very good saves keeping them in the game until the end. The result means Arsenal have qualified for the next round but if they can get one more point in their next two games they will get a bye & will rejoin the competition in the round of sixteen. After watching the game I watched bits of the Premier League football matches being played tonight then went to bed.


Friday, 21st October. I woke around 6:30 this morning & was ready to start the day bright & early. I got myself a coffee & checked my website. Yesterday I had a problem with a Joomla extension that was causing my website to crash & had to uninstall it. The website looks okay this morning but the extension crashes the site again as soon as it runs & has to be disabled & then uninstalled again. I notify the author of the extension & start to do other work on my website.

At 11:15 am I walk to my Doctors surgery for my appointment for my flu jab & COVID booster jab. When I get there I am seen by the nurse very quickly & have my COVID booster jab in my right arm & the flu jab in my left arm. It was very simple & painless. I walk straight home after the two jabs hoping that I haven't missed the deliveries I am expecting today.

I have only been in long enough to get a coffee when one delivery arrives. This one contains adhesive hooks to hang some of my kitchenware on the wall. My arm doesn't have any effect from the jab but strangely my left eye, the only one I can see out of, has swollen up & is a bit sore. I decide to relax on the sofa & wait for my next delivery, I switch on the television to watch but as I sit there I get the details of my cabin for my cruise sent to me in a message. I look up the ship's plans & find the room I am in is on deck 9 front & centre of the Costa Toscana.

My cabin at the pointy end of the Costa Toscana.I am even more excited now that I know where I am on board the ship, especially as I can get some great videos as we sail into ports in Marseille, Savona, Civitavecchia, Naples, Palma & Valencia. I download the ships cruise app onto my mobile phone & my new Tablet so that I can look over the ships' plans & look at any excursions it may run.

I booked a short bus tour around Marseille on day 2, a short bus tour around Genoa with a tapas tasting event on day 3 & a full days excursion to see Rome on day 4.

Because of the hectic schedule, I will be having & my poor legs, I cancel the full-day trip I had planned to see Pompeii & Herculaneum & book a half-day trip to see just Pompeii on day 5. Day 6 is at sea but on day 7 I book a half-day walking tour of Palma which includes tapas & sangria at a bar after the tour.

I think when I return from this holiday I am going to have to rest my legs for a couple of weeks after all the walking I expect to be doing. This will be difficult because I will probably need to start walking a lot more to lose some of the weight I will be putting on eating in the different restaurants on board the ship.

At around 6 pm my second delivery arrived, two of the items were fine but the glasses straps I had bought were made from a very cheap & nasty plastic, not the leather they were advertised as & will be returned to whence they came.

This evening my arms aren't feeling very sore, & the swelling in my eye has gone down, it is still a little sore but I decide I can go to La Playa bar to see my friend Alan Bond singing at his karaoke night. When I get to the pub I sit with my friends Jon & Gary who are already propping up the bar, we chat & listen to some of the singers. Towards the end of the evening, Becky & her daughter, both of whom I met last week, come into the bar. I am not quite sure how they did it but they do get me up singing in a duet with Becky, we sing ´Islands in the Stream´ by Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers. We can't have been all bad as one couple in the bar actually got up to dance to us singing. Normally when I sing people get up to leave so I thank them both for their kindness.

Towards the end of the evening, a Spanish woman asked me to buy her a drink whilst she rubbed herself up against me in a most inappropriate manner. I thanked her for her kind offer but declined to buy her a drink. I believe that she may have worked locally in one of the Brass houses.

After my singing, standing at the bar all night & my occasional foray into dance mode my legs were very sore but when the bar closed, Shellie very kindly gave me a lift home. As we went home I noticed the Spanish lady I had met in the bar earlier & her friend standing on a corner of a street & wondered if they had been waiting for me, perhaps to see if they could persuade me to buy them a drink somewhere else.

After Shellie dropped me at home I got myself a drink & stretched out on the sofa to watch TV for a while. I woke up a few hours later & got up & went to bed.


Saturday, 22nd October.  I woke up later than normal today & stayed in bed till gone 9 am. When I got up I made myself a sausage sandwich for my breakfast, got a coffee & sat at my computer looking at the world's news. I spend the morning reading stories on aliens invading, giant cabbages that are actually real children & have been eaten by their parents, & governments that take longer to install a new Primeminister than the time that the Primeminister will serve. I know it's all unbelievable & probably all rubbish but surely there must be a true story in there somewhere.

This afternoon & early evening I watch some of today's football matches. Even when Arsenal aren't playing I enjoy watching some of the games live as I get an interest in them due to the fantasy football competition I enter every year. As normal I don't do very well but at least the last two games' results helped me climb into the top half of the league I am in for the first time.

At 7:25 pm I walk to the main road where I am picked up by my friend. She is singing at Campbell's bar in Roda tonight & I am going along to listen to her sing. When we arrive DeeAna & her husband set up for her show & I go to the bar for a drink. With my drink, I go back outside & manage to get a seat next to where DeeAna will be singing. I ask one of the waitresses for a menu & after reading it I order one of today's specials, a steak pie, chips & garden peas. The food was fantastic & very good value for money, the special included a pint & was only €10.50. If I lived within walking distance I would eat at Campbell's a lot more often. I really enjoyed the evening's entertainment & had a great night, the music was brilliant & the food matched it. After I had been dropped off at home I watched MOTD on TV before going to bed.

This video is of my friend DeeAna Lind Monzon singing live at Campbell's bar in Roda.


Sunday, 23rd October. I woke around 8 am, I got myself a coffee & worked on my website before getting myself some cereal for my breakfast. My leg is aching from a severe cramp I got during the night so I won't be going very far today.

I watch the Arsenal v Southampton football game on the television in the afternoon. Arsenal started very well & looked like they were going to win comfortably. They were winning 1-0 at half-time but should have been winning by more. When Southampton came out in the second half they were playing much better & eventually scored a goal to equalise. Arsenal seemed to have run out of steam & I wonder if playing every Thursday & Sunday in such competitive games is beginning to wear them out mentally & physically. They start games well but need to score more of the chances they are making. They remain top of the Premier League by two points & as if just to cheer me up, Tottenham lose 1-2 to Newcastle.

I go to bed at about 10:30 pm, I am going to try to get my body clock used to go to bed earlier before going on my cruise next week.