Day 76 - "Fiestas and the F-Word"


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Saturday and the weekend has come with some bad news if you are planning a party in Spain, this is the story of a British couple behind the police lines in Spain, a daily diary of Lockdown.

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Day 76 Fiestas and the F-Word

Saturday, and the weekend has come, and with it a rise in Spaniards testing positive for Coronavirus, it would seem, that “somebody said we are having a fiesta”

Nearly all the new cases are from people getting together for a party, in one case 80 people, four of which were asymptomatic virus carriers.

Un doing the lockdown is not without its risks and the Health Authority were expecting a rise, at the moment the victims have been traced, it is when random people contract the virus not connected with events like parties that the problems begin again.

The places where there have been outbreaks have been either held or returned to a lower phase. The Spanish are taking this all very seriously, no mucking about.

Meanwhile in Southend on Sea they are reporting that they think they are seeing a second wave of the virus. A friend has posted on Facebook that the police turned up to a large BBQ party at a local pub and they were ignored. When they tried to break up the party one 81-year-old woman told the officers to F-Off. Which they did.

I think this is the challenge of policing in the UK, where it is done with consent. Here it is different, the police are feared more, they will intervene physically and break up anything that was not allowed under the rules.

It is our biggest worry that the tourists that arrive on July 1st bring with not just their lovely money, but a second wave of the virus and that we will spend Autumn back down in Lockdown, that would be very bleak.

Uncle Pedro has moved forward his plans for a minimum universal income, there are at least 850,000 families below the poverty line here in Spain, they are helped by a mess of uncoordinated schemes that reach about 300,000.

The new scheme aims to lift about 1,6 million people out of poverty, it will be based on the previous year’s income and savings, but it is a step toward a better welfare system. Says Uncle Pablo, the Deputy Prime Minister.

Spain does need a better welfare system, whether this is the right way and will actually work without being a disincentive to work we will have to see.

Saturday was a manic busy day. Now that the lockdown is being eased the trades people have suddenly woken up from their furloughed 12 weeks.

We had the Blind People turn up for two days, they did an excellent job fitting electric blinds on top of our Pergola.

Then the carpenter Alberto WhatsApped me – we come on Saturday at 8.30am OK?

Saturday? - tradesmen working Saturday in Spain? And he and his brother did turn up at 8.30am. They finished their work covering the back of the pergola to stop the rain pouring from the roof and terrace above.

I spent the morning trying to get the wi-fi to extend enough to work at the top of the house, which meant ladder climbing and placing an extender in a weatherproof, sun reflecting box, soldering CAT6 cable and the like. It seems to work.

In the afternoon an amazing sight fifteen or so juvenile buzzards flew over, arching and soaring around, it was incredible. They say that the Lockdown has allowed record numbers to hatch and thrive this year.

Finally, the day was over, and we made dinner for about 8pm, sitting down on the terrace to eat it. Suddenly there was a ring at the doorbell it was 8.40pm.

At the door Miguel from the Blind People, “I come to measure where the carpenter has been.”

“Saturday” I said. He replied, “Yes this is the new normal we work Sunday too now.”

I allowed him through the house, and he measured the carpenters work, drawing out his tape measure like a sword, flourishing to the length and width of like he was taking part in a fencing tournament.

“How will you fix the material; will you glue it? I asked “No, no” he said clipping his tape measure back into its holster. “We will stretch,” he said making a stretching motion with his hands. “No I go, good weekend to you.” And with that he was gone.

Even in the UK having somebody turn up on a Saturday evening would be unusual, here in Spain it would have been unheard of. But this is the new normal.

How it will all pan out here and back in the UK, we just don’t know, none of us, it will be tricky to get the new normal right, the cost is high as people will die if it goes wrong.

Let’s hope that all the hard work that has gone into observing the lockdown here in Spain is not wasted if the summer tourists bring more that their Euros into the country.