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16 July 2024
Alan Morris on the beach in Los Alcazares on Caldero day.

This week started off slowly but finished in a flurry. I met lots of friends on Caldero day, spent a few hours with friends whilst out shopping, had dinner at a Chinese restaurant with another friend, met another friend for coffee & finished the week at another friend's house having dinner.

Week 41 of 2023.

Monday, 9th October.

I woke up at around 7:30 am, I got myself a coffee & immediately started working on the photos for my website. By 11:15 am I had enough & stopped working on my computer & set off to meet Martin at the office. I walked along the main road today as it is slightly shorter & I was there by 11:50 am. Just as I got there Dave arrived & we were shortly joined by Martin.

I hadn't had a beer here for a while & decided to have a couple today to celebrate Arsenal's big win over the weekend. We all sat chatting until around 2:15 pm when Arias's bus arrived. Martin took Aria home & as Dave had left a little earlier than normal I decided to try to walk home as well. I set off but by the time I got to Rio Nalon & the bars there, my legs felt like jelly. I stopped at La Petit Bistro & found a seat next to my friend Sandy & a couple of Irish men whom I hadn't met before. We were soon chatting away like old friends & the Irish men started forcing beer on me.

At around 4 pm I decided to leave & the two Irish men physically dragged me to the next bar down the street, Perlitas. They tied me to the chair so I couldn't leave & then continued to force me to drink more beer. I can't remember what time I managed to escape but I think it was about 7 pm before I set off. I don't remember stumbling home or going to bed but I did manage it all on my own.

Tuesday, 10th October.

I didn't wake up until around 9 am this morning. This isn't surprising after yesterday's drinking session, I am not used to drinking anymore & drinking all day & not eating took its effect. When I did get up I got myself a coffee, showered & sat at my computer to check my messages.

At 10:30 am my friend June arrived to take me to a garden centre in Torre Pacheco. I didn't particularly want anything but I do like to look around a good garden centre & the Jardimar was one I'd never been to before. I loved all the plants & many of the pieces of stoneware they had there. I liked it more than I thought & ended up spending nearly €50 on a bottlebrush tree, two small plants & a stone gecko lizard, which all got put on my balcony, in my blossoming garden.

After we left the garden centre June dropped me at home so I could take the things I had bought to my balcony. She waited whilst I took everything in & then dropped me off at the office to meet Martin. When I arrived Martin was already there & my friend Jim who had flown in from Scotland yesterday had come to join us. We all sat chatting until around 3 pm & Jim then dropped me back at my apartment. I was glad for the lift as my legs were aching from all the walking yesterday.

This evening I sat & watched some films on television & went to bed at around 11 pm. I had trouble sleeping & didn't drop off till around midnight.

Wednesday, 11th October.

I had a very fitful sleep last night & woke up a few times during the night. I eventually got up at around 6:15 am & got myself a coffee before starting to work on my website. At around 9:30 am, I took a shower & got ready to meet my neighbour Liz for a coffee. When I finished my shower I noticed a note that had been slipped under my door. It was from Liz saying she couldn't go for coffee as something else had come up. I cooked myself a full English breakfast at home & sat down with it at around 10:30 am. As I was eating my breakfast my phone rang & I immediately knew, for some reason, that something was wrong.

Paul Clark & Alan Morris, we were always laughing together.When I looked at the number & saw that it was my sister's phone number, I didn't think for a minute that there was anything wrong with her, Brett, or Holly. I knew before I even answered the phone that she was calling to tell me my Uncle Paul had passed away. I only spoke to him a couple of days ago but knew without a doubt that was why she was calling. Sure enough, when I answered the phone she told me the sad news that he had passed away during the night. He had been fine when I spoke to him, it is just another reminder to me that I should enjoy my life whilst I still can.

When Paul was 60, for his birthday present I paid for him to come to Florida with me for a week. We had some great times at my house in Orlando & at Cocoa Beach. I think we even got to see a rocket go up while he was there. These were good memories & at the end of our time, they will be the only things worth having. Be kind to each other & enjoy the time you have with your loved ones.

At around 11 am I took a bag of recyclable paper rubbish to the bin. I then carried onto the Mercadona supermarket to get some shopping. I got enough for a few days as some of the shops may be shut for a couple of days from tomorrow. Tomorrow is a Spanish bank holiday & is also an important day in Los Alcazares as it is the 40th anniversary of its municipal autonomy.

In the afternoon & evening, I continued to work on my photos & my website. Because my new phone is taking well over 24 hours to charge I ordered a new phone charger from Amazon & was surprised when they said it would be delivered tomorrow. This evening I finally got through to someone at Costa Cruises & was able to pay for my cruise next month. I am now officially getting excited about it.

Thursday, 12th October.

This morning I woke around 8 am & got myself a coffee & sat down at my computer to work. At around 10 am I met my neighbour Liz & we walked along the beachfront to the Buena Vista Restaurant for some breakfast. I saw my cousin Jill's husband, Peter, on the beach as I walked past. There were already lots of people on the beach for the day's Caldero celebrations.

We sat down at the restaurant & I ordered a medium-sized breakfast & the waitress asked if I wanted it with my normal. I said yes & laughed as she went to get me a coffee with milk. Liz & I sat chatting as we ate breakfast watching people set up their areas for the day. At around 11 am we walked back to the apartment block & I went home to wait for my delivery. My delivery arrived at about 2:30 pm & I put my phone on to charge straight away.

At about 4 pm I checked & my phone was charged completely. It was worth buying the new charger for the phone. I took some cold beer from my fridge & walked around to see Peter to give him a beer. I had a quick chat with him before moving down the beach where I saw my friend Paul & gave him a beer as well as handing one to my other friend, Stuart, before then walking further down the beach to see my friends Dave & Viv who had a pitch set up on the beach. I joined them & sat chatting with them & a couple of their friends for a few hours. They kindly gave me something to eat & a couple of beers. I stayed with them until around 6 pm & then walked along to La Playa bar to see some friends there.

I went into the bar & saw my friends Sean & Michelle & I sat with them. Another friend, Paul, who had been working in the bar, finished his shift & joined us. We all had a beer & a couple of shots of some pink liqueur before we left to walk back along the beach to where Peter was. I popped into my apartment on the way past to pick up another beer & then went to the beach where I chatted with Peter until around 7:30 pm. I went back to my apartment & had something to eat, a piece of potato & onion tortilla. I then worked on my computer for a while until around 9:15 pm. I was getting fed up working so much & decided to walk back to La Playa bar.

When I went into the bar it had already run out of draught beer so I went to the bar opposite for a beer. I went to sit on the wall by the beach & saw my friends Gina & Willy sitting outside the bar so I joined them. We sat chatting for a while & Gina bought me a drink, a bottled beer as they had no draft. As we sat there, my friend Ady arrived & he gave me a bottle of beer. The tables & chairs outside the bar were being cleared up so at around 10:30 pm we moved inside the bar. We sat with my friend Alan & I bought him & me the last bottles of beer that the bar had left. Gina tried to order a Gin & Tonic but they had run out of that as well so she had a glass of wine. We were joined by our friends Connie & Bob & we all sat talking until the bar shut at midnight. Gina walked home with Bob & Connie, whilst Willy & I walked home along the beach. After I got home I sent some messages to people on my computer & eventually went to bed at around 3 am.

Friday, 13th October.

I woke around 9 am & got myself a coffee. I had told Peter I would buy him breakfast this morning when he came to collect his car but he never called, I guess he forgot me.

I spent all day at my computer today. I downloaded some photos from a backup that I have online & then set some software running on my computer to look for duplicates in the thousands of photos I now have. The problem with backing up, moving & editing photos in bulk is that you quite often get duplicates that you don't need & they need to be sorted out before I can complete my online photo albums.

Before I went to bed I looked at some of the settings on my new phone. Now I have the ability to charge it quickly I can turn back on some of the apps that I had turned off. I set an alarm to wake me up in the morning & looked at the extra settings. Not having used it before I set the Google Assistant to read my day's tasks out to me, tell me about any appointments for the day ahead, & then tell me what the local weather forecast was before reading the new headlines out to me. 

When I thought I had set it all up I put the phone down & put it on charge before going to bed about 11 pm.

Saturday, 14th October.

I woke up at 6:45 am, fifteen minutes before my alarm was due to wake me up. When my phone alarm did go off & after I turned it off, a voice told me about the tasks I had planned for the day. The lady's voice then told me that I had no appointments before telling me the weather forecast for Los Alcazares. When the weather forecast had been read out she then started telling me about the world's news headlines. All though I didn't really listen to the news this morning I think when I set it up to read the news from a news station I prefer it will be great.

After I got up, I stripped the bed linen & put it in the washing machine & turned it on. I also turned on my dishwasher before getting myself a coffee & sitting down at my computer. I was soon using Google to work out how to change more settings on my phone. Whilst working my friend Lottie messaged to ask me to dinner tomorrow, I have not been to Lottie´s house before so it will be a nice change to go somewhere new. At around 10:30 I realised I was hungry & I walked to the local spice shop to buy some bread. When I got back I made myself a tostada with tomato & then carried on sorting through & deleting duplicated photos on my computer.

At midday my friend Jim called, he was just going to get some shopping & asked if I wanted to go. After sitting at my computer for so much this week it would be nice to go out & I said I would go. Jim picked me up about 15 minutes later & we drove to Pinatar Park so that Jim could pick up a few things before we went to Dos Mares to go to Carrefour.

Alan Morris, Donna Walsh, Jimmy Chin Chorro.I didn't really need anything but got myself some more coffee capsules for my Nespresso machine as they were on sale. I went & joined the end of a long line of people waiting to go to a till but as I got there, one of the ladies on the tills got up, walked towards me & undid the queue rope & waved me straight through so I didn't have to queue. What a good result that was. As Jim & I walked towards the exit we saw our friend Donna with her mum & we stopped for a quick chat. When we left Donna we went upstairs to get a drink & got a coffee & sat down. Just after we sat down, Donna & her mum arrived, got a drink & sat down with us. It was great to see them again as I don't think I've seen Donna or her mum for over a year. When we finished our drinks we all left the shopping centre & Jim dropped me back at my apartment.

When I got in I took my bed linen out of the washing machine & put it on my bed before placing a second lot of washing in the machine & setting the machine off to wash my clothes. I then laid down on the sofa to watch the Wales vs. Argentina rugby game. Before the match came on my friend Pat messaged me & asked if I wanted to go out for something to eat at a Chinese restaurant. It was great timing as I was wondering what to have for dinner tonight but didn't really feel like cooking.

The rugby started great with Wales going into a 10-0 lead but Argentina came back & went into a 10-12 lead. Wales fought back again to lead briefly at 13-12 before Argentina pulled it back to 13-15. With Wales pushing to get the winning points with a few minutes to go, they played a loose pass which the Argentina team pounced on & raced through for a try & conversion to win the game. It wasn't the result I had hoped for but it was a good hard-fought game. 

Just before 7:30 pm Pat picked me up & we drove to the El Jardin Chinese restaurant in Los Narejos. It is an all-you-can restaurant but not a buffet. You order the dishes you want & they bring them to you. We ate as if neither of us had eaten for months, we must have eaten around 16 or more dishes between us. We tried 5 or 6 different chicken dishes, a beef dish, a duck dish, dumplings, spare ribs, spring rolls & about 4 dishes of garlic prawns. It was all washed down with a couple of beers & we sat chatting until around 11 pm. When we left Pat dropped me off at home & I got myself some water before retiring to bed around midnight.

Sunday, 15th October.

I woke up around 6:45 am. I got up & made myself a coffee before sitting down at my computer to carry on working on my photo collections. I hoped that today I would be able to get a lot more of them sorted & then edited to put on my website. As I sat at my computer I received a message from my friend Jacquie asking to meet for breakfast. 

At 10 am I walked along the beach to the Buena Vista restaurant & sat & waited for Jacquie. I didn't have to wait long & we sat & had a coffee whilst we chatted for nearly two hours. At 12 pm I walked back to my apartment to discover I had a message from my friend John who is currently in Majorca but hopes to get to Los Alcazares at the end of next week. I replied to his message & then sat down to work on my website.

At 1:45 pm Jim picked me up & we drove to Lottie's house in Roda. After finding the finca,  Alison came to the gate to let us in. We drove through the gates & parked on the driveway. Alison led us up to Lottie's garden where we met Lottie. We were soon sitting in her garden having a drink & eating some tapas of cheese & ham. We chatted for a while before moving to another table in the garden where we ate dinner.

Dinner started with a lovely salad that I really enjoyed. It was followed up by the best paella I have ever eaten. It was a mixed paella which had lots of meat & seafood in it. I ate far too much but I did have enough room to squeeze in some mixed fruit with ice cream. It was all fantastic & was washed down with lots of beer. We all sat chatting in the sun & I thought it was about 5 pm when we went to leave but it had gone 7 pm. Im sorry if we overstayed our welcome Lottie, the food & company were fantastic & the time flew by.

We all said our goodbyes & Jim dropped me off back at my apartment. I had intended to watch a film but the good food, beer, fresh air & good conversation had worn me out & I went to bed at about 9:30 pm.