Day 35 of Lockdown… 18/4


Well, time is flying by and it is probably pretty much time to start painting the forth bridge again! The rain is dirty and the wind is bringing lots of Moroccan dust with it so I think we are set for another round of deep cleaning next week when it looks like the weather may perk up a little!  It’s not that bad really, the rest of Spain has been suffering with torrential rain and flooding which on top of the restrictions must be really hard – we have just had a few slightly wetter days and should look on the positive side as it should mean that the reservoirs in Spain are filling up again… surprisingly they are still quite low despite the winter we have had!

The pollution levels are down and the wildlife are on line to take over the world again ….. its got to be a good thing, I can only hope that it will last when we finally get through this and things start going back to normal.  Many cities have announced schemes to implement more cycle routes to encourage people to cycle to work rather than use their car and hopefully now that a far larger number of organisations have seen how their workforce can work remotely effectively, they will let them do so which will also reduce the traffic on the roads going forwards.

As it has been difficult to get hold of certain foods and people haven’t been able to get out to restaurants or order quite as many takeaways – perhaps people will have started to cook a little more and be creative with the ingredients they can get, producing less wastage… despite the disgusting initial huge quantity in the first couple of weeks of lockdown in the UK. The question is whether as a nation we will be eating healthier after this or whether we will have surrounded ourselves with an extra ‘layer of comfort’ around the waist…

No surprises to most, we have been cooking even more than normal if that is at all possible – looking for new recipes to try.  It is fair to say that some have been more successful than others, but that is what its all about!

These last couple of weeks have seen a mixture of foods including the following new recipes


We also decided to help Pilar – the lady who runs the site we are on – celebrate her 60th birthday.  Normally we would have gone out to celebrate but as we are in full lock down we thought it would be nice to give her something to take home and eat…she’s not a big cook but loves her food!

In good traditional British style we made her a big fish pie that she could heat in the oven and some baby Bakewell Tarts to go with a lovely bottle of Ribera del Duero wine…. I think it was a nice surprise! The bonus was that we got the big Bakewell that was ‘ahem’ a bi- product of the babies!!

Although the State of Alarm was extended for an additional 3 weeks and the ten days of ‘no non-essential work’ coming to an end following my last blog – nothing much else has changed here, the exercise routine is still the same and we are clocking up the miles by walking forwards and backwards next to the motorhome.  We won’t actually know how to walk in a straight line for more than about 5 meters once this is all over, although we will be experts at walking backwards!

The police were out in force over Easter along with Army support – I even got stopped in the supermarket car park and asked where I was coming from – I was so taken aback by the question I said I was going back home.   When they repeated the question and asked to see my proof of purchase – despite having a large, heavy rucksack on my back – I was a little surprised.  Thankfully they didn’t ask me to empty the rucksack out as they would have probably argued that 4 bottles of wine weren’t actually essential foods…. the rest of the fruit and veg obviously would have been!

The police and army presence over Easter weekend was in place to stop the Madrilanean community coming to the coast to visit their ‘holiday’ homes.  Despite the helicopters and roadblocks some still got through, although many were apparently given a large fine (something in the region of 1500 euro) and sent back to Madrid again.

So, although we are 35 days down we are hoping that there are only seven more days in the current state.  We are being optimistic and although we fully expect the government to extend the state of alarm past the 26th April, we are hoping that they will announce a slight change to the restrictions, possibly allowing people to go out on their own for a little bit of exercise.  We will however just have to wait and see and stick with our current routine for now!

For those of you haven’t seen, I have started a lockdown photo challenge for anyone who wants to join in – top of the page was the initial ‘Welcome’ photo, the above left is ‘Something beautiful from the Bathroom’ and above right, ‘Hardware’.  Each day I post a challenge on facebook and I have been enjoying seeing everyone’s photos…. as well as having to think up something from around our ‘home’ too to fit in.  If you want to join in, please feel free to do so – if we aren’t connected on facebook just drop me a note and I will add you.

I have also taken up my mothers challenge and started to do some writing again…. watch this space and I will see if I can pull together our travels through food into something that is worth publishing!  Just a message for my mother….. you possibly should have kept quiet as you are going to be first on the list for proof reading!

For the first time in a few weeks we lost another Dutch van today, and tomorrow our close friends Tedo and Yvonne (also Dutch) are heading home too…. although completely unconnected – so we will be just eleven sitting it out…. tick tock, tick tock…..

Stay safe and stay home…. we will get through this!

Settling in for the longhaul… Day 18 of lockdown – 1/4/2020

Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun?? not quite what would spring to mind at the moment but all the same the days do seem to be going really quickly – perhaps we are just getting old and slowing down, therefore each task we do takes eight times longer than normal….

So, the good news (I think) is that we are still here.  We are now 13 motorhomes (5 Dutch, 4 Brits, 1 French, 1 Spanish, 1 Italian and 1 Danish) as the last German left on Sunday morning at the crack of dawn (especially as the clocks went forward an hour).  Currently – or at least until the government changes it mind – we are all safe to stay for as long as we need, although we did have to sign a disclaimer to say that we took on all risk and costs associated with us staying here should we become ill…. lets just hope it doesn’t happen!

Spain has passed the 100,000 contracted cases and 9000 deaths – not good at all.  The majority of cases are still in Madrid, Cataluna and the Basque region but innevitably there are cases everywhere and it is obvious that many more than those recorded actually have the virus, so it is all about restricting movement and trying not to come into contact with others as much as possible.  Spain implemented its next level of lockdown from Sunday night at mid-night, restricting commuting to any un-essential work place.  It has named the specific roles that are allowed to continue and they are focussed around emergency services, food and pharmaceuticals – anything else has been put on hold until 9th April and the government has dictated that the employees will continue to get paid BUT, the employees MUST make up the lost hours within this calender year…. harsh!

You’ll be pleased to know that the supermarkets are pretty much back to normal now and you can find flour, tinned tomatoes, beans and pasta pretty much everywhere… and you rarely need to queue to go in either.  Everyone is just taking this in their stride and getting on as much as they can within the restrictions.

We are all continuing to applaud the amazing people who are keeping the counrty going and putting their lives at risk on a daily basis at 8pm – it is an amazing athmosphere even where we are which isn’t built up – people are out on their balconies clapping and whistling, emergency vehicles sound their sirens… a proper community feel.

The official song of the Covid-19 over here is ‘I will survive’ which is changed to  ‘Resistere’ (I will resist) in the Spanish version.  We have been enjoying the original version until today when they have obviously brought out a ‘charity’ update as a collaboration… not quite the same unfortunately….I guess the least of our problems!

Spain has been experiencing the strangest weather over the last few weeks, the 31st March was apparently the coldest day recorded for nearly 100 years and last week they said was one of three times in 100 years that Alicante has said 7 consecutive days of rain.  To be fair, it didn’t rain all day every day but we have now had another week on top of this with very similar weather and it is snowing in Madrid and up North… certainly wouldn’t want to be travelling back at the moment through the mountains.


Just for those of you who are concerned about out sanity, we are keeping busy, Keith has started to do a bit of weeding and we have offered to paint the wall next to us if they can find the paint and tools – no sign yet but it has been raining alot!

We are keeping up with our exercise in the morning and a couple of 30 minute walks on the spot a day, and have now finished cleaning out the rest of the cupboards – both internal and external.  The only other casuality that we found was a can of tonic that had a hole and leaked.  Thankfully it was inside a plastic box with other cans of tonic… it just means that the rest of the cans are now rusty and I need to drink more gin to get through them – life is hard but it helps when focussing on playing the board games which have also started to come out the cupboard again.

Lots of cooking but only one new recipe this week which was a daring move – Short Crust Pastry.  Apparently the pastry that contributed to the UK’s best pie in 2017 (the pie in question was beef and stilton).  I was intrigued as the pastry didn’t contain egg so thought i’d give it a go on top of our Squash, Goats Cheese and Spinach pie and was pleasantly surprised…we will definately do it again although next time I will try it with the herbs.

This morning we were honoured to wake to it being dry which was unexpected so got out for a bit of a static run, joined by our local fan base of goats and sheep for breakfast – what more can you ask for?