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12 April 2024
Alan Morris swimming in the Mar Menor on boxing day.

Week 52 of 2022 started with me swimming in the Mar Menor with many other people in a Boxing Day swimming event.

Week 52 of 2022.

Monday, 26th December.

I slept well last night, and although I didn’t feel brilliant when I woke at about 8 a.m., I thought I would still try to do the Boxing Day Swim I had signed up for a while ago. I pottered around on my computer until around 11:30 a.m., then set off on my disability scooter to go to Playa Carrion for my swim. You can read about   my swim here.

After my Boxing Day swim had finished I realised that it was still only 1:20 p.m., and I thought if I put my foot down on the disability scooter I could probably still get a bit of work done at the office so I headed off to Los Narejos to meet Martin. When I got to the office Martin had left for the day, I popped around to his home, wished him a happy Christmas and checked on tomorrow’s working hours before heading home.

I arrived home, had a shower and changed into my pyjamas. By 4 p.m., I was wrapped under a blanket on my sofa ready for the football. The Arsenal game was the late game tonight but I flicked between different channels watching different matches. Finally the Arsenal vs. West Ham game came on at 9 p.m. It was a terrific game, and although West Ham went 0 - 1 up from the penalty spot, Arsenal never looked in trouble and ended up winning 3 - 1. With a bit more luck the score could have been a lot more. It turned into an Arsene Wenger appreciation day as he made his first appearance at The Emirates Stadium since he left, I think he would have appreciated some of the football on show today.

After the game finished I went straight to bed.

Tuesday, 27th December.

I woke up around 4:30 a.m. today. My stomach was aching again, and I had a thumping headache. As I couldn’t get back to sleep I got up and used my friend Google to see if I could work out what was causing me to feel ill lately. After a brief search for my symptoms and my current state of health and tablets, I think I have found what the problem could be.

It is as simple as the GORD that I suffer from. It appears that in some cases it can cause headaches and that it can be worse at night because when you lay down the acid rises. I will change my diet as much as possible and try to raise my head while I sleep. Strangely I had noticed the symptoms were better when I slept on the sofa where I have my head raised more. Because the acid had been giving me stomach ache, I have not been eating properly, so I will have to try to eat more. I think I will make some vegetable soup in the next few days.

I head off to Los Narejos to meet my friends, Christine, Theresa and Mike, who have a coffee at a bar there every morning. I switch to green tea instead of coffee, hopefully, this will help my stomach get back to normal quicker. Coffee and tomato are the probable biggest causes of my GORD worsening recently. I talk to my friends for a while, and at about noon, I go around to La Sombre Pizzeria to meet Martin. Still mindful of the way that alcohol is also a cause for GORD I order a bottle of water whilst I sit chatting with Martin. 

I head home after seeing Martin and cook a turkey breast for lunch. I have it very plain with some cheese in a sandwich before getting a couple of pillows to prop my head up on the sofa. After being awake since 4:30 a.m., I have no trouble falling asleep, and the pillows keep my head raised to help the acid reflux.

This evening I see a few videos that are appearing on Facebook of the Boxing Day swim yesterday. Some of the videos are great and I enjoyed watching them back and seeing some of the things I missed on the day. I had an early night tonight, it was Manchester United on the television, and they always make me sleepy.

Wednesday, 28th December.

I woke up at about 6:30 a.m. today. I slept much better last night and felt a bit better. When I got up, I gave my regular coffee a miss and had a pot of green jasmine and peach tea with a teaspoon of honey in it. I then sat at my computer while working on my website before getting some breakfast.

After breakfast, I started looking for taxi prices to go to Alicante, which is just over 100 km away from where I live. I wanted to get my transport sorted out to get me to my cruise in February. I am shocked to find that the cheapest fare I can get by taxi is €240 for the round trip. This evening I start looking at hotel prices in Alicante and found a nice one close to the beachfront and port at Alicante for €68. I book the hotel for the night before my cruise and then look for a coach company to take me there. I find a coach company that does the return trip for €19, and I booked my seat going and returning from my cruise. Going a day early on the coach and staying overnight in a hotel will save over €150 compared to using a taxi service. The money I will save will pay for more than two of the full-day excursions that I have booked whilst away on my holiday. It pays to shop around and consider an overnight stay rather than an expensive taxi fare.

I watched bits of the Leeds vs. Manchester City football match this evening, in which Manchester City won 1-3. This brought them closer to Arsenal but they were still 5 points behind Arsenal, who sit at the top of the Premier League. After seeing the result I go to bed.

Thursday, 29th December.

I slept well again last night but woke around 6:30 a.m. I got up and got myself a pot of tea, I will keep off the coffee for a few days more yet. I worked on my website till around 10:30 a.m. and then got myself poached egg on toast for breakfast.

When I had finished my breakfast I continued to work on my website until around 2 p.m. I stopped working for a while and got a sandwich before making a big batch of butternut squash and carrot soup. I had one portion and then left the rest to cool down before I poured it into containers to freeze.

After lunch, I continued working on my website until around 4 p.m. when I decided to take a break from work and retired to my sofa. At about 8 p.m., I decided the television was boring and returned to work on my website until I got tired enough to go to bed. It was whilst working on my computer that I saw that the Brazilian football Legend, Pele, had died. He was a genius with a football, and I would love to have seen him play live. I did see Brazil at Wembley back in 1981 but by then he had been retired for about 4 years so the only football of his I ever saw were clips from old news reels. RIP Pele.

Friday, 30th December.

I woke around 8 a.m. and got a pot of tea before sitting at the computer. I worked on my website until around 10 a.m. and got myself a bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast.

Whilst I ate my breakfast I saw an advert saying that Rod Stewart was going to be performing in Murcia next year. I went on to the website selling tickets and got a ticket right at the front of the stage in the VIP area. It cost me €125 but I saved more than this on Wednesday morning by not getting a taxi to Alicante for my cruise next year. I also booked a hotel overnight so that I don’t have to worry about getting to Murcia and back for the concert. That way I go on the bus, see the concert, stay overnight and get a bus back the following day.

Around 11:30 a.m. I go for a walk. I haven’t managed to walk far recently and want to start building up the distance I can manage to walk. I managed to walk about 1 km, it takes me quite a while, and I am puffed out when I get back but I need to keep trying or I will be stuck using my disability scooter all the time which I don’t want.

After returning from my walk I sat at my computer and looked for a new beard and hair trimmer online. The beard trimmer I have was only a cheap one and is rubbish. It is battery powered and I spend more on batteries than the trimmer cost. The hair clippers I have are from the UK and are so old they need replacing, the new one, which can do everything I need, will replace the three different old items and I can now recycle them. Amazon will make my delivery tomorrow so I can have a trim and look smarter to go into the new year.

The afternoon and evening were spent working on my website in between watching football on the television. I went to bed around 11 p.m.

Saturday, 31st January.

I woke around 4:45 a.m. with a blocked nose and felt a bit wheezy. As I was wide awake and couldn’t get back to sleep, I got up and got myself a lemsip to help with the blocked nose and then I sat down at my computer to work on my website.

I took a break at about 10 a.m. to have some breakfast and when I finished, I put on my first lot of washing. At around 11 a.m., the Amazon driver arrives with my new beard trimmer. I get myself a cup of tea and put the new trimmer on to charge. When it is fully charged I give my wispy little beard a trim. I am very pleased with the razor it cuts a lot better than the old one I brought over from England eight years ago and the different lengths it allows me to cut at are brilliant. It will probably take me time to get used to it so if you see me with tufts out of my beard or hair you know I haven’t quite got the hang of it yet.

I took a shower at around 12 p.m. and got myself a couple of crumpets with pate on for lunch. As I ate my crumpets, the computer made a ringing noise, and I took a Skype call from my Uncle Paul in Basildon. We talked for a while catching up on each other’s news before wishing each other a happy new year. 

I went to the local takeaway shop, D’Pollo for my lunch and spent the afternoon watching football including watching the Brighton vs. Arsenal game. Arsenal played very well in the first half, they scored the first goal after only 66 seconds and were winning 0 - 2 at halftime. They quickly scored a third goal just after the break, but Brighton were the better team in the second half. The game finished 2 - 4, and Arsenal finished the year 7 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

I tried to stay awake to see in the new year, but by 10:30 p.m., I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and went to bed.

Sunday, 1st January.

I woke at around 7 a.m. but went back to sleep, finally getting up around 8:15 a.m. I felt very refreshed and I got myself a coffee, put my bed linen in the washing machine and then sat down at my computer to read messages wishing me a happy new year from all over the world. I saw this message on a post on Facebook last night and thought it was a great message for the new year so I  share it here.

The old year is worn and tired. It's time now to kiss it goodbye. Take with you its wisdom, the authority and the power of all you have learned. Remember the past year with love, but let go of its despair. Live the year that lies ahead with fresh energy and hope. Be strong, and have courage, it's time now for something new.

I decided to have breakfast at The Tipsy Thistle this morning so I got on my disability scooter at about 10:00 a.m. and went there for a full English breakfast with a pot of green tea, as usual, it was lovely. Whilst eating breakfast, I saw a post on Facebook that Campbell’s bar was open today and knowing that my friend June normally goes there for Sunday lunch I messaged her to see if she could pick me up to go for lunch. She could, and it means I will go into the New Year fully fed without having to cook anything myself.

Lunch at Campbell’s bar was very good, I had roast lamb with all the trimmings and after our meal June dropped me off at home. I showed June around my apartment as she had never seen it before and she seemed to like it. We continued chatting until around 3:30 p.m. when she headed home. I watched bits of the football games that were on this afternoon and was pleased to see Tottenham lose 0 - 2 to Aston Villa and was happy to see Nottingham Forest manage to get a 1 - 1 draw with Chelsea. Neither game really impacted Arsenal but as they are playing Tottenham soon it was good to see Tottenham’s run of bad form continue. It also gave me extra bragging rights over my cousins in England who are Tottenham fans.

Tonight I watched the first film in the Lord of The Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the ring. I must have seen all of the films around 30 times but the new television I bought last year, really shows off the fantastic landscapes and details in the film, and the sound bar adds a deep sound to it that previously I had to go to a cinema to enjoy. After the film, I went to bed at about 10:30 p.m., hopefully for a good night’s sleep.