WHILE the boffins in the economic think tanks point to various trends, graphs and assorted factors that life in Spain is returning to normal, the clearest indication that the worst days of the pandemic were behind us was when I got the call from Olive Press HQ that they needed my services to once again help deliver the newspaper.
Always one to rise to a challenge, I girded my loins – and after over a year they needed some girding, I can tell you – and trundled off in my (relatively trusty) Landcruiser to the distribution point.
A few things struck on my day delivering. The first one was that you can forget CrossFit. Stacking, walking around various locations with bundles of newsprint and then leaping back up into the 4×4 is excellent cardio. Especially when you are doing it in a mask.
Another was seeing some old and familiar faces, either serving coffees behind the bar, doing up the premises or, in the case of one, old school Spanish hotel receptionist, seemingly not to have moved at all from his seat behind the desk since the pandemic began.
Although a few of the businesses have changed hands, I finished my day with the distinct impression that most of them were still standing and in relatively good health.
They may have the thousand year stare of those that have gone through ‘interesting times’ – but to be honest that was my default facial expression before lockdown.
Finally, even at 50-something I also realised that I was actually having fun with my paper round, although my knees didn’t thank me the next day….