A New Strife in the Sun – COVID-19… A BRIEF INTERLUDE – Day.. Night… Who Knows?

Isolation Lessons Learned

1. Don’t try and pretend that the man behind you in the supermarket isn’t your husband. The security guard has watched you argue all the way up the street and is well aware that you are daring to shop together. Yelling ‘my backs gone and I can’t carry the Cruzcampo alone’ won’t stop him from throwing you and your old lady trolly out into the street while your spouse continues to hunt for the elusive vintage cheddar while oblivious on aisle three.

2. Don’t try to move apartment whilst on lock down. Hurling your belongings commando style into a white transit at the crack of dawn isn’t fun. Yelling ‘go go go’ every time the road is clear of ambling oldies makes you feel like you are stealing your own possessions. Trying to get permission from the police to relocate is akin to juggling snakes in a vat of jelly.

3. Eating 11 Easter eggs because ‘they were on offer in iceland’ isn’t the best way to approach your bikini body. Summer will arrive at some point even though lock down appears to have obliterated the sun’s rays along with your common sense and easy going attitude.

4. Don’t try and be ‘strong’ all the time. It’s ok to yell ‘When this is over I’m leaving you ALL and moving to Tobago/Wigan/Minnesota on my own!!’ They know you don’t really mean it as,let’s be honest, you’ll have f*ck all left in the bank when that time comes so you’ll just have to exist in simmering silence until either covid 19 bumps you off or you get type 2 diabetes from all the shit you’ve eaten in the past 3 months.

5. Don’t try and rent your dog out for walks. You know who you are.

6. When the take aways finally reopen for collection, kebab isn’t ok to eat every other day just because it comes with a salad. Nor is fine to let your husband order a curry online then spend the next 5 days shaking your head at him because he ordered incorrectly and your still eating the 30 onion bhajis costing the same price as your first car ‘by mistake’.

7. Realising that 3 months has passed and you still haven’t written the best selling book people keep saying you should write. You finally discover it’s not that you don’t have the time, it’s because you just can’t be arsed.

8. Deciding to have an 8pm walk along the seafront and bumping into an old friend doesn’t allow you to sit down on separate benches for a quick catch up because you will suddenly be surrounded by 5 police men on motorbikes who ask you to stand up against the wall while they yell ‘Are you sitting or walking?? Sitting or walking??’ Whilst taking your ID and making you feel like a drug dealer as opposed to a normal human being who just wanted to say hello to a friend you hadn’t seen in months.

9. Staring at the communal pool won’t make it open any quicker; nor will it enable you to swim like Sharon Davis when you finally get into it.

10. When life finally transcends into the new normal it’s ok to do bugger all some days. It’s fine to binge watch Killing Eve and plan your new career as a middle aged assassin just as long as you don’t have to get up too early. You won’t get arrested if the washing up isn’t done at night or if you decide to wear your nightdress to walk the dog. It’s ok to be human and to fail and to be weak and to shout and miss your family. It’s ok to be you.

To be continued…


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A New Strife in the Sun – COVID-19… A BRIEF INTERLUDE – DAY… Who The F#ck Knows?

Pi$$ed-off Packing Mama

I’m staring vacantly at the contents of the wardrobe. Who owns all these clothes? They can’t be mine, I can’t fit my right thigh through most of them.

My size 10 wedding dress, clad in polythene, stands upright commanding centre stage and seemingly awaiting a marital ovation. I sigh in resignation and clip a feathered fascinator to my greasy locks and start to remove several forlorn dresses from the plastic hangers and dump them into an open bin bag.

“Don’t go throwing everything away because you can’t be arsed packing,” yells my husband from the lounge.

A vivid image of a bubble wrapped torso being hurled from the balcony suddenly springs to mind but I shake the thought away. We haven’t got enough of the popping packaging to even finish the glassware never mind a 6ft struggling spouse.
I sigh again. I hate moving. No that’s a lie, I love moving I just hate packing.
My son walks in and stares blankly at the bin bags, then honours me with speech.

“Next time we move can we pay someone to pack for us? This looks like the leftovers from a crappy car-boot sale, what’s to eat?” I stare at my gangly offspring; aged 14 and still completely unaware that we are due to move apartments in just 5 days.

The phone suddenly rings. It’s the estate agent.
“Hi Carmen, any news?”
“Hello Paola, can you send me a video of your flat when it’s empty, including the locks”
“Why do you need a video of the locks? We’re not going to come back and start squatting!!!” I roll my eyes and wait for a reply. When none is forthcoming I ask the same question I’ve asked a hundred times this week.
“So, have you been able to contact the police and ask them if we are actually ALLOWED to move this weekend because I’m going to be a bit pissed off if I’m thrown in jail en route to the notary.” Silence echoes down the phone. Our conversation is seemingly complete.

“Marcus! They’ve hung up on me again,” I yell into the lounge and my voice echoes around the empty room.

Our Spanish estate agent is apparently more than happy to take the 6% commission on the sale of our property but appears unwilling to take any responsibility regarding our transition from A-B, albeit being less than a mile between destinations.

The lack of control sits uneasily astride my nomadic feet. Visions of S.W.A.T teams descending on us as we load Tupperware into the removal van suddenly fills my overactive and under stimulated brain. Lockdown has disabled us all from the most simple of tasks and I feel tears prick at the back of my eyes. Self pity isn’t a welcome companion when airports are being used as morgues around the globe and I remind myself of this as I hurl our future into an assortment of cardboard boxes.

A comforting hand touches my shoulder, disrupting the unwelcome thoughts cascading around my frazzled brain.

“‘The Noodle bar downstairs has just opened, I heard the shutter go up. You fancy something hot and spicy? I’m sure they will deliver, even if we do only live 4 metres away.”

To be continued… Day… Night… Who Knows?


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A New Strife in the Sun – COVID-19… A BRIEF INTERLUDE – DAY 21 (504 hours…30,240 minutes… 1,814,400 seconds).

I can’t physically see my feet anymore.  Where have they gone?  Has someone kidnapped them along with my sense of humour?  I’m sure they were there 3 weeks ago.  I try and suck the mottled beach ball in that has taken up residence just above my hips but it just reveals a couple of chipped orange toenails.

Squinting into the mirror I don’t recognize the puffed up face staring back at me.  I look like the Pillsbury dough boys granny.  My hair hasn’t moved position from the scrunchie I wrapped it up in 3 days ago.  I tilt my head and it remains static, a monument to apathy.
My dressing gown has become this seasons essential item; worn throughout the day, only to be removed when Brian needs to perform his ablutions and only then is it peeled off my reluctant torso to be replaced with an ‘I love disco’ onesie which is now my dog walking ‘no more than 50 yards or you’ll get fined’ activity ensemble.

A prolonged fart omits from the kitchen area.  A tall middle aged figure is stood filling up the kettle staring blankly at the tiles.  He’s rarely seen before noon; an apprentice Nescafé vampire in 80’s underwear. The only reason he rises at all is to fulfill his yearning for caffeine which is usually enough of an energy boost to propel him into another room.  Once the relocation of choice has been decided upon, seldom does he rise again until the battery on his phone dies or he runs out of digestives.

My son, infrequently seen out of his bedroom at the best of times, can be heard yelling into his headset throughout the day until the time comes when he is dragged out to the terrace to reluctantly run his enforced 100 laps and then returns to his den of inactivity to resume the position, promising to shower at some later date, probably sometime in June if we still have enough gas in the canister.

My long days are filled with a series of stimulating observations and conversations

“That women at number 23 has been out twice today, she didn’t even have a shopping bag with her the second time”

“Do you want cheese AND ham in your sandwich? I’m not risking Iceland again, I’ll probably get taken out on the bridge by a sniper if he sees me foraging for cheddar again”

“Can you flip me over if I haven’t moved in the next 12 hours, the bedsores are starting to antagonize my cellulite”

“Shut the F*ck up, I want a divorce… not that we’ll have any money left at the end of this”

And so it goes on… our enforced isolation.  The world is holding its terrified breath awaiting a time when we are allowed to walk freely along our chosen foreign shores and dip our toes back into normality again.

But today is not that day and nor is tomorrow, or next week for that matter.

I sigh and rearrange my face into one that isn’t terrified for my child’s future.

‘Right, who fancies a game of Trivial Pursuit? Winner gets to take the bins out!!’

To be continued… Day… Who the F#ck Knows?


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Click HERE to read all about our relocation to Spain