Friday night. It’s quiet. Too bloody quiet. All I can hear are the waves softly crashing outside the apartment. I’m sat on the sofa with both child and wife already in bed. I could be watching Rocky 4 but no, I chose to attack the blog. It’s been too long my friends, too blooming long. A lot to catch-up on too, so let’s go…
The routine in Spain had been getting comfortable as I look back just 2 weeks ago but a sense of change was in the air, the second wave was looming and another dreaded lockdown. We had recently found opportunity for our daughter to go to nursery and alongside opportunities for my wife for work. All these things needed documents. Important documents only available at home in the UK. Postal services couldn’t be trusted. A trip back to blighty was necessary, but when? A brief conversation with my wife on a Thursday evening around the changes in the air and how it may scupper our plans to stay into the new year led to a drastic decision. A trip could be done Friday (it was Thursday night) travel back Sunday, easy.
It was a solo mission and one my wife leapt at. The child stayed with me. Just needed to survive Friday home working, then Daddy day care fun until the Sunday… (it tires me out just writing that sentence) my eyes get heavy as the memories hit home, but telling the truth, it was great fun.
Earlier in the week I was galvanised by a new sense of belonging, I’d been invited to a sports group by a local group of rag tag ex pats in the area to play basketball, football and paddel (a sport I have yet to play but very popular in Spain – a cross between tennis, squash and table tennis). I’d scouted a local Basketball court nearby and we set about our first meet up, I’d not played for 20 years, a scary stat when your recall you are not exaggerating. Luckily, it was all for the crack, so standard didn’t matter, and we met for a few cervezas after. Was cracking, really helped recharge the social batteries.
This helped, my newly topped up Zen state simply brushed off the contemplation of a weekend at home with our 2-year-old with no back and state confidently, let’s just get it done. We might not be able to travel this time next week. So, before I knew it the drop off process was happening and amazingly home before the workday started. I contemplated the diary ahead and when could I realistically depend on nap time to get stuff done. Luckily, it was a Friday but the diary on the day suddenly seemed stacked with meetings that didn’t catch my attention the evening before. I found myself utilising the flexibility of remote working to the extreme, taking calls utilising the power of the air pods whilst gracefully scootering round the courtyard with an extremely energetic 2-year-old.
Just need to make it to lunch…
There was a play area up the road literally opened a couple of weeks prior, that was the target come lunchtime. With the car at my disposal, we arrived there in just a few minutes. It’s in a gated community with gated security but as I’ve found they all allow you in as long you give the operator an appropriate wave, smile and nod. It might be automated and the whole pleasantry isn’t necessary, but it always feels absolutely required. One day I may dare test this theory. No today my friends. Not today.
The playpark was just what the doctor ordered after a chaotic morning, I noted it was next to the local golf club and with that amenities. What’s this. Café Golf? Artezan Pizza? This was too good. I immediately acquired a coffee for the road (café con leche para lleva! *thanks duolingo*), sitting on the bench whilst my daughter terrorized the play park. Noting the pizza place for the evening meal. Ideal.
Before I knew it, the workday was done and weekend free. Plans were already made for looking round a few places earmarked for our next move only 2 weeks away. A play date for the daughter for Halloween. This was sold as a 2-hour afternoon where you could drop the child whilst you the parent sit eating tapas and enjoying a cerveza watching the world go by. I arrive to drop off and immediately my little pumpkin refused to leave my side. I was there to participate for the full 2 hours… it was fun though. Kids dressed as spiderman attacking me with imaginary web spray, participation in dances I’d never have done at that age. A true liberation of embarrassment has been acquired. A gift to any Dad. A necessary gift.
The rest of the weekend went reasonably smoothly, utilising scootering wherever possible when energy levels got too high. I even managed a stint at the local Belgium bar with child still awake. I still don’t recall how I got away with it.
Anyway, cheers for now. Normal service to resume here on in.