HOW were things for you in the first weeks of the ‘new normal’?
As I mentioned before, I was lucky enough during lockdown to have permission to travel to the radio station to broadcast – my status as an ‘essential worker’ probably being the first time that I’ve been an ‘essential’ anything.
As a single man living in splendid isolation by the lake – apart from the house guest in the guest cottage (three years now and still no sign of leaving) – my routine before, during and after the lockdown has tended to be home-studio-home, so the quarantine didn’t have too dramatic an impact on my life.
Although the shutting down of restaurants did mean that freebie meals as a freelance food critic were curtailed.
I can hear you lamenting my predicament from here.
Once the shackles of confinement were lifted, however, there was no stopping the public from heading towards the beaches en masse.
On the first weekend after the lockdown one of my friends – unsurprisingly a grua driver (the Landcruiser is still off the road) – reported that there were queues of an hour to get onto the beach at Cabopino.
Elsewhere my social media feeds were jammed with so many images of Tarifa, Bolonia and Zahara that I reasoned that 80% of Marbella had taken the advice of The Village People and gone west.
It also led me to conjure up a new verb; disoluzenment. To drive to the Costa de la Luz with the aim of lounging on the golden sands, only to find that new social media regulations mean the Guardia Civil have blocked the roads.
Talking of roads, another sign that life was returning to normal was the fact that I found myself in a traffic jam coming onto a roundabout for the first time in three months.
For a split second I almost enjoyed the novel experience. And of course, the cyclists are back on the Istan road with a vengeance.
Maybe it’s because they were run out of town by an angry population, (a situation I am more than familiar with, trust me), when they crossed over the Istan/Marbella border (Istan has since put up some signs to mark its boundaries).
Or maybe it’s because the Lycra brigade has been cooped up inside for months. Whatever the cause, my drive home is somewhat akin to making my way through the peloton of the Tour du France at the moment.
But as the socially aware citizen that I have become over these months of lockdown, I have found a new way of helping keep the risk of cyclist-carried coronavirus a bay.
I’ve affixed a large water cannon to the roof of the Focus, taken out the rear seats, rigged up an industrial tank of hand sanitizer and now blast the bicycles as I breeze past.
They seem to appreciate my impromptu act of civic duty, and I often glimpse them waving their Lycra clad limbs at me in my rear view mirror!