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24 April 2024
Alan Morris on his apartment balcony in Los Alcazares.

This week I swam quite a bit, met a few friends throughout the week & booked myself onto another cruise, this time going from Barcelona, Spain to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the end of the week, I had a severe bout of Acid Reflux which caused some pain.

Week 27 of 2023.

Monday, 3rd July.

I guess I must have needed the sleep but I didn't wake until about 8:45 am today. After waking up I got a coffee & took this morning's tablets before sorting this week's tablets, into my tablet dispenser. Because I now have to take a variety of pills at different times of the day I have written them down so that I continue taking the correct ones, at the correct time, in the right amount.

At about 10:30 I decide to go & see my friend Mike where he has coffee in the mornings. I go on my mobility scooter to see him & by about 10:45 I have arrived & am sitting with him & the group of people he has coffee with. He looks very frail these days but I am pleased to hear that he has finally got himself a disability scooter. For some reason, known only to him, he still drives the short distance to the cafe & walks from his van to the cafe. It probably takes him longer to walk the short distance from the car to the cafe than it would to go from his house directly to the cafe on his disability scooter.

He asks me about a cover for his disability scooter & I tell him I will look for one on  Amazon for him. I sit talking with him until he leaves to go shopping. If he had used his disability scooter he wouldn't have had to stumble around the shop, I will have to try to persuade him to use it more now he has it. Once he does he will get used to it & find he has the freedom to go out more. I sit talking to the others there when he leaves before going to La Sombre Pizzeria to meet Martin.

I sit with Martin & Aria, his daughter chatting & when I leave I stop at the Mercadona store to get my shopping. I do a large shop, getting lots of fruit for my breakfasts. I go home & put my disability scooter in the garage but when I go to use the lift to get to my flat the lift is out of order. I walk up the first flight of stairs carrying my heavy bags of shopping before I realise I won't make it in one go. I have already started puffing & am out of breath. I stop at my neighbour´s apartment on the first floor, & ask her to watch one of the shopping bags before I struggle up the stairs with the other two. I drop them off & go back downstairs to get the third & heaviest bag, when I get there I am very short of breath but struggle back upstairs with the bag. I put it on the floor in the kitchen with the other two bags & get a glass of water & sit down to get my breath back.

Two hours later I wake up in front of the television, I must have sat down & gone to sleep straight away. I feel a bit better but am still a bit puffed. I look at a message on my phone & see that my friend Gail has sent me a cruise schedule to look at. I will look at the details tomorrow when I am more awake & on my computer so I can see it easier.

I have some chicken wings for my supper but spend the rest of the day watching television on the sofa.

Tuesday, 4th July.

I woke up at about 7:45 am today. I still felt a bit drowsy & got myself a coffee & sat at my computer to check my messages. I took my tablets & when I had woken up properly I walked down to the Mar Menor to go for a swim. After my swim, I saw my friends John & Diane at the chiringuito & sat & had a short chat with them. Whilst sitting there, another friend Andrew, who used to run the chiringuito arrived. It has been so long since he has seen me that he didn't recognise me with my beard. We had a brief chat before I left & went back to my apartment.

After a shower, I got myself some cereal before going to the Economy Cash supermarket. I got my shopping, including some ant spray & went back to my apartment. This year is the first year I have had ants in my apartment & I sprayed around the areas I have seen them & hope that this will kill them off quickly. I noticed that my Uncle Paul had logged onto his computer in the UK & I called him using Skype, to see how he was after his heart attack last week. I was very pleased to hear that he is feeling a little better & that he is settling into his home again. His friend & cleaner, Hyacinth,  was there with him when I rang & told me she would make sure he did what the Doctor told him to do.

This afternoon I started looking at some new cruise holidays that I am interested in going on. My friend Gail had messaged me about one she liked the look of & wanted to know if I wanted to go on it. I had seen one that for a little extra money, sailed across the Atlantic to Brazil, ending in Rio de Janeiro, another place on my bucket list. I had checked flight prices & hotels in Rio & had to decide between the two trips, one in September going to the Greek Islands via Venice & one in November, going to Rio de Janeiro.

This afternoon the heat got too much for me, it got over 40ºc on my balcony & was around 30ºc in my apartment. Because of the cost of running the air conditioning in my apartment, I hadn't turned it on yet this year but in the afternoon I capitulated & finally turned it on. My apartment soon cooled down & I felt much better, I think the heat has been making me lethargic over the last few weeks so now it is on it will probably remain on now, at least in the heat of the day & at night, so I can sleep better. 

swimming icon800 m

Wednesday, 5th July.

I woke up a little after 7 am today. I got myself a coffee & took my tablets before walking down to the Mar Menor for my swim. The wind is pushing dark clouds across the region & the waves & tides in the sea are stronger than normal as I sit in the water to feed the fish. I see no fish swimming around, so I throw the bread, hoping the fish find it. The swim takes me a bit longer than normal because of the wind & tide & I only see a few jellyfish today, I guess the tide has taken them away to the South of the Mar Menor this morning.

After my swim, I return to my apartment for some breakfast. After eating breakfast I decide that because my beard is very uncomfortable in the heat I shave it & my head, bald is beautiful & more comfortable in this heat. I then go to Correos to drop off my parcel to be returned to Amazon.

I spend some time this afternoon deciding which of the two cruises that I looked at yesterday, that I like best. After a lot of consideration, I decide that the Brazil trip is the one I will be doing next & I go online to book it. I book it online but am unsure if it was booked correctly & leave a message for them to call me back. I sit at home waiting for the call & watching the sports news on television.

At about 4 pm I get a phone call from Costa Cruises & they are able to confirm that my booking has gone through. I then go online to look for a hotel at Copacabana Beach in Brazil. I figured that after travelling all that way I may as well make the most of it & spend some more time looking around Rio de Janeiro whilst I am there. I book a hotel for 5 nights right on the famous beach & then go back online to look for a flight back.

There are lots of flights for less money but I end up booking one with Iberia Airlines, which flies direct from Rio de Janeiro to Madrid. The cost is more but the time to get back to Spain is less than a third of some of the cheap indirect flights & it includes all my luggage, food, entertainment & choice of seat. Feeling very excited about my next trip all I have left to do is work out how to get to Barcelona for the first leg of my trip & how to get back from Madrid after it has finished. I think I will be using Renfe to book the necessary trains in the next week or two. 

swimming icon800 m

Thursday, 6th July.

I woke at 7 am today & immediately got myself a coffee & once I had finished it I went for my swim in the Mar Menor. The sea was a lot calmer than yesterday but there were literally thousands of jellyfish in the Mar Menor. I often post on Facebook that I am going for a swim & ask if people want to join me, this morning the jellyfish joined me & I didn't even know that they used Facebook.

I cut my swim short & only swam to the rocks & back once as I have my friend Jacquie popping around today so that I can fix a problem she has on her Facebook account. Once I got back to my apartment I had another coffee & some cereal & got ready for Jacquie to arrive. I managed to delete the thousands of emails that Jackie didn't want from her account & removed all of the unwanted groups from her Facebook account & also arranged to go for a meal with her & Alan next week.

In the afternoon I did a bit of family tree research before having two trout fillets for my dinner. I did them in my air fryer & have to say it tasted fantastic. I will definitely be doing more fish in the air fryer. I was just about to sit down & watch some television when my friend Alan Bond messaged me & asked if I would meet him for a drink at La Playa bar. I messaged him back to tell him I would meet him there & then walked along the promenade.

We sat chatting all night & eventually left just after 12 am when Alans´wife Diane came to pick him up. I walked back along the Promenade to my apartment. I got home, got myself a cold drink & went straight to bed.

swimming icon400 m

Friday, 7th July.

I woke around 8 am today & got myself a coffee. I was going to go for a swim but the wind was blowing waves across the Mar Menor & I decided against swimming as it was a bit rough. I sat at my computer & tidied up my own email account, deleting thousands of emails that I no longer need & labelling others to make it easier to find & sort them in the future.

When I had finished the administration work on my email account I went onto the Movelia website & booked a bus to go to Murcia in a few weeks time to see Rod Stewart. I will be staying overnight & coming home the following day so I booked my return bus trip home at the same time. I think booking a coach or bus in Spain is very easy & the cost is very good. Later in the month, I will have to book a bus to take me to Murcia again when I go to see Simply Red there. 

Just before midday, my friend June came to pick me up to take me on a magical mystery tour in her car. We ended up going to a small pizza restaurant on the seafront at Torrevieja called Pizzeria D'ban. It was quite pleasant & we sat chatting & had a coffee before heading back in the direction of Los Alcazares. On the way we stopped at The Lucky Lion bar in Cabo Roig, I had a Radler beer & enjoyed the beer but didn't think much of the bar. I just don't understand why, when there are such lovely places to sit & enjoy the day, people choose to go to sit in a car park next to a roundabout & busy road.

When we finished our drinks we drove back towards the Unica Garden Centre in San Javier but we arrived an hour before it reopened, so June dropped me off at my apartment. When I got home I got a cold drink, put the air conditioning on in my apartment & sat down on my sofa to watch television. At about 7:30 pm I got myself something to eat, I had a chicken thigh with salad & followed it up with a fruit salad that I made with 1 apple, 2 bananas, blueberries, greek yoghurt & honey all mixed up & allowed to chill in the fridge for an hour before eating. Both the chicken salad & the fruit salad were wonderful & I had enough fruit salad left for seconds & to save some for tomorrow.

Saturday 8th July.

I woke at 7 am & got myself a coffee before sitting down at my computer to check my messages. After I finished my coffee I put some washing in my washing machine before I went for an early morning swim in the Mar Menor. I took some small bread rolls with me & fed these to the fish before swimming out to the rocks. Once again there were thousands of Jellyfish in the water, some swimming along on their own others floating in large groups. They look beautiful as I swim through them admiring the way they move through the water. I have started to swim using my full face mask with snorkel, it allows me to see the fish & jellyfish easier & means I can keep my head under the water to see them better. I brush aside a few jellyfish to make my way through the larger groups to get to the rocks that I sit on.

I notice as I swim backwards & forwards that the amount of jellyfish seems to reduce & I wonder if the fall in jellyfish numbers in the water is linked to the increasing number of Spanish ladies sitting in the water talking loudly to each other. The ladies are a lot more problematic to get around, they seem to move to position themselves in my path all the time whereas the jellyfish just float along with the currents. I also notice that the jellyfish are also a lot prettier & make no noise at all.

I finish my swim & go back to my apartment to take a shower. My first lot of washing is still going in the washing machine & I stack the dishwasher ready to put on this evening after I have cooked & eaten my evening meal. I get some cereal & eat that before working on my family tree for a while. I go down to La Playa bar at lunchtime to drop off a Save The Mar Menor flag to my friend Clara, she is going to stitch some strong eye holes into it for me so that I can hang it from my balcony.

This afternoon I message my friend Pat to see if he wants to meet me to watch England vs Spain U21´s in the European Championship final later. He arranged to pick me up at 5:30 pm & we will then go to Rio Nalon to watch the game in one of the bars. At 5:25 pm I walk to where Pat will pick me up. I can't believe how hot it feels, it is uncomfortably hot & I am glad Pat offered to pick me up because walking in this heat would have been very difficult for me.

When we get to Rio Nalon, we stop off at Perlitas Bar & Shannon puts the game on the television for us. We sit outside & I am pleased to feel a strong breeze blowing up the Road to keep us cool. As we watch the game we are joined by Paul, Wayne & Andy. The game finished with a penalty save from the England goalkeeper in the sixth minute of extra time. England won the game 1-0 & are European Champions. Pat leaves us & goes home & a short time later Paul left us as well. Andy, Wayne & myself sat chatting for a while before Wayne left leaving just me & Andy sat outside the bar chatting. We eventually left & walked to Rocco's bar where we continued chatting until early in the morning when we both left to go home. 

swimming icon1200 m

Sunday, 9th July.

I didn't wake up until around 10 am today, very late for me. I sat at my computer this morning, working on my family tree & my website. At 12:45 pm I went downstairs where my friend June picked me up to go to dinner at Campbells' bar in Roda. We sat down chatting but about halfway through my meal my acid reflux came back very strongly & I couldn't finish my meal. I was feeling a bit of pain in my chest as well as the rising acid causing me to hiccup continuously. I asked Lauren, our waitress, to box up what was left of my dinner & asked June to take me home because of the chest pain.

As we were about to get in the car I thought I was going to bring up acid so I went to some nearby wasteland to throw it up. After hiccuping a lot the acid reflux calmed down without me having to be sick to stop it. I got back in the car & June drove me back towards my apartment. Unfortunately, before we got halfway home I could feel the acid building up again & June had to pull over to allow me to throw up. As soon as the acid had left my stomach I felt better & June was able to take me the rest of the way home.  

This afternoon I stuck the air conditioning on & went to sleep on the sofa. When I woke back up I got myself some cereal, I had read that muesli can help acid reflux. Because the acid reflux was still causing me discomfort I hoped the muesli would settle the acid in my stomach. It did help & I was a lot more comfortable after eating it. Later in the evening, I had the last bit of fruit salad that I had made yesterday. It filled me up & also seemed to help the acid reflux settle down.

People have often asked me what brings on Acid Reflux. It is many different things & unfortunately for me, it seems to be everything I like to eat. This link will help you learn more about Acid Reflux & what can bring it on

At night I watched a couple of films, The Second Best Marigold Hotel, one of my favourite films & another film called Papillon. I liked both films but I think in this case the book, Papillon is better than the film.