COVID-19 Journal *Entry 36*

I worked from home today. I didn’t work at home yesterday as it was my flex day. I am making fun of myself for remembering to not work on my flex day this week, as there was one recent flex day that I did work, despite there being at least three clues to tip me off. I noticed eventually what day it was, but it was in the mid-afternoon, so there was really no point in stopping. To be fair, it was the very first day after my sick leave, and that was the day after Labor Day Monday, which was confusing, as my flex day for that week was on the Tuesday in loo. I was just excited to get back into my routine.

Yes. “In loo.” That’s how I spell it. It’s funny.

My routine includes some exercise again, now that I can do some. This is both a relief and a nuisance, since I would rather not do any exercise. My default is “lazy” and I got into the habit of physical fitness through practice and personal nagging. I also got into the habit by investing much money and commitment into dance classes, which I am not participating in this year. In usual times, dance class provides regular dates and times for physical movement, in addition to the progressive advancement through the year that means it’s better to not miss any pre-arranged classes for fear of missing out on fun technique, chunks of choreography, or prime placement in a dance routine.

Do I miss dance class? A bit. Do I miss exercise? No. Do I have to remember to do some exercise anyway? Yes. And this week I have. It was only last week that I could do anything for a sustained amount of time after being sick, so that felt good, but the novelty has already worn off! I tried leaving my yoga mat out on my living room floor so I might be encouraged to plop down and do some stretching, but it just got leaves all over it (I don’t know where the leaves came from, or why they were all over my yoga mat. There were no leaves anywhere else). All I wanted to do all weekend was watch West Wing and colour in my colouring book.

Ooooh I also wanted to eat. I had some minty chocolate chip ice cream, and also big bowls of food all weekend. I have to stop eating so much. Not just because I’m plumping up from eating a lot and not moving, but also because I keep eating way too much at a meal and then feeling bleh afterwards. Smaller portions! For now. I tried this today and I feel better.

One of my favourite words is “plump.” I named a doll Plump when I was little, which I find hilarious now, but at the time I thought it was the most beautiful name. I was four. Four-ish. Or three. However old and three-quarters because I got plump for Christmas. She has short, super straight blond hair and blinky-eyes.

I also like the word “loo.” It can also be spelled “Lieu” but that’s for fancy people who maybe don’t want it to seem like they are referencing a bathroom. It sounds the same, fancy people!

COVID-19 Journal Entry 23

The Word of the Day is Patience

COVID-19 has introduced to me some alternate forms of patience over the past few months. I thought I was already quite a patient person, but I’ve learned that I was only good in certain forms, like waiting for people to catch up to my brilliance, or waiting in a check-out line. Now there’s more. No problem. But I’ve been noticing and classifying them lately.

  1. Waiting in lines. Waiting in line to get in to a store is new. And the tape marking out the six feet to accommodate physical distancing. I’ve only done this at the grocery store, but I’ve seen it at retail establishments and insurance offices as well. I’ve seen a multi-practice health office that needs to initiate it so people know where to stand – they have been just spaced willy-nilly on the sidewalk in front of the storefront and I have to go into the street to avoid them. I haven’t been standing in very many of these lines since I decided to start getting my groceries delivered.
  2. Waiting for packages and groceries to be delivered. I’ve been getting a lot of things delivered, both groceries and miscellaneous goods. Patience on the day of delivery, because the window for delivery isn’t usually specific; but also patience due to delays due to COVID-19 issues and volumes! I’ve decided not to worry how long it takes for my new stuff to get to me: as a result it’s always sooner than I expected.
  3. Sometimes on my walks here and about I have to stop and wait for another pedestrian to pass when there’s not enough room on the sidewalk, or wherever, to keep distanced. This is sometimes because of a huge holly bush growing out in the way. I wait because holly is hurty if you get too close. Or sometimes there’s too many people approaching me, and a wait for there to be enough room for me to walk past. I sometimes feign patience in this case, becuase people don’t always pay attention when they are out and about, and it seems like they don’t notice I’m there, resulting in me being (very minorly) inconvenienced. This is where I think of Dr. Bonnie Henry’s “Be Kind” advice.
  4. Patience waiting for a vaccine/cure/treatment. This is some big picture patience, but that’s what we’re all waiting for.

I went out last night. On the advice of the guys at the car repair place, I went out when it was dark to check if there were any lights on in my car that may be the source of battery drain. I did that and I think it was the latest I’ve been out of the house for a long while. The week before the lockdown, I would have been going to dance classes, and some of those kept me out until 7:30 or 8 or so. I was supposed to go to the ballet on March 13, but that was cancelled. On Feb 29 (leap year day) I went to Vancouver to watch Dear Evan Hanson with Julie in Vancouver. I went to Vancouver and back in the same day, so I would have been home around 10 or 10:30. I was only out late last night because that’s how long it takes to get dark in the summer.

Musings on having only three days left before my trip to Vietnam.

Today was my last day at work before my trip. It didn’t really hit me, however,  until about ten minutes before I left, when I had a feeling of “now things are starting!”

The day went surprisingly quick for the kind of day it was. I kept finding things to do. Also, people kept coming by to wish me a good time. I feel I deserve points for not only remembering to change the message on my voice-mail, but actually recording it, which is one of my least favorite things to do ever. I deserve extra points for listening to it when I was done to make sure it was audible and sensible. I doubly hate listening to myself. (For assistance, I wrote myself a script a few weeks ago AND set a reminder so I had no excuse whatsoever. Except maybe if I didn’t want to.) I especially enjoyed writing on the vacation board that I won’t be returning until August 11, exactly one month from today.

This evening I started packing and re-packing and generally editing my bags. It was in a bit of a manic fashion so I thought it would be best to leave the house so I’ve come to the studio to watch a bellydance show. This is the group is was in a show with last year, and I didn’t really get to see them, but what I saw- the finale, from a weird angle behind a lot of people- looked interesting. I can’t really pack until I do laundry tomorrow, anyway.

Edit: bellydance-circus fusion.

I don’t feel very good today. I’m afraid that I’m sick again after just getting better from the last time I was sick, like, a couple weeks ago. It feels like the same sick, too, where I’m all weak. Shit. I’m having warm liquids and echinacea throughout the day. Oh right: my throat is sore too as I was just reminded when I swallowed. I’ll have to see how I feel when I stand up again: I am on the lunchroom couch at work.

I don’t want to be sick because I wish to dance this evening. I’ll nap after work and if I don’t wake up then I won’t go. I think there’s a sub tonight anyway.

Boo.

Last night I wasn’t feeling good with sore throat so I went to bed just before 7 and listened to Ideas and played solitaire on my phone. Mono-style. Rock. On.

I was totally too busy last week. One might think that having Monday as my flex day would have helped but it did not. It started then with dance Monday night, followed by four days of work as is normal, but instead of having Tuesday and Thursday evenings off, I had plays to go to. They were good,  but I guess I didn’t really think about having so much to do in my week when I booked them. It was a long week where I didn’t spend much time at home. I was pretty tired by Friday and had a pretty miserable second dance class – I sort of got my second wind half way through I guess but I was super tired after. Then on Sat I had ballet closely followed by a visit from Susan and Amber and Mia. And in between there I also sewed the edges of my duvet cover to make it fit better. I had about 1/2 hour rest on my chair on Thurs before I went to dinner, but I didn’t get back there until noon on Sunday. After Am and Mia were gone. Fun times but exhausted.   This wasn’t helped by me getting up at 4 in the morning on Sunday to watch Canada in the gold medal hockey game. I snoozed a bit during the third period and Am and Mia (who were in my living room) slept through from sometime in the second period right through until a normal getting up time around 9.

This week I have much less to do, though I might do flamenco class on Wednesday again. Not to much hardship on my part since it’s right after modern. The only problem is if I am too tired.

Actually it’s not so bad that I was busy with things to do in the evenings last week as the Olympics were on so there weren’t too many shows to watch anyway. I might have had to read a book or watch a new show or something. I tried watching a new show yesterday. I chose it based entirely because it’s from Australia. I watched part of the first episode. It was actually a soapy medical drama that started in 1998 so it was not only cheesy but filmed on square video that didn’t fill up my monitor as well. Not that this last factor would stop me from watching if it was any good. If it was any good I may not have noticed. I only watched the first half of the first episode so I guess it might get better. I’m not going to bother finding out because the Olympics are over so presumably my regular shows will be back.

I forgot my oatmeal this morning. Rather, my oatmeal was in the same type of container as my hummus so I had hummus for breakfast instead. I sort of remember thinking as I put the hummus away last night that I mustn’t mix them up in the morning. This wasn’t enough of a warning for me when I was rushing to leave.

I couldn’t go to dance today because I’ve strained all the muscles in my left leg. I did this at the last class, of course, and I didn’t notice it was bothered until yesterday, and today it really hurts. Only when I walk though, and try to stand up from sitting in a chair. So lame. (Literally!)

I have no plans for the weekend except to clean my bathroom, which is getting crusty (I think that’s the right word for it…) Also I want to make something with the tomatoes that my parents brought me last weekend. A sauce, perhaps, or many many bacon and tomato sammiches. You may guess that I am leaning towards the later, and you would be correct. Or hummus and bacon sammiches, maybe, since those are, technically, healthy, and I enjoy them a great deal (though not as much as the bacon version). Pepper is an important ingredient in either recipe.

I’ve been reading “Divisidaro” by Michael Ondaatje. I compare all books by Mr. Ondatje to “The English Patient,” which I read when I was nineteen, so there’s never any comparison, really. BUT, he seems to get more “accessible” as he goes (from one book to the next) so that means that more people will want to read them. So that’s good. But for me it means that some of the mystery is lost. I haven’t read anything (ANYTHING) earlier than TEP so I should probably go back and see what he was like before. I’d give an example, but my copy of TEP is in Duncan (I hope). Later.

I’ve also recently watched “Still Life – A Three Pines Mystery” on the CBC television. I only watched it because it was flashed on their online watching site and I was all “hay! I like mysteries! And it’s Canadian!” (this is how I talk). It took me a few tries to get through it because I kept wandering off in the middle and/or going to bed. After watching a lot of British mystery shows of late, it was refreshing to have a similar set-up only with Canadian accents. (It was like that time I went to England and was so happy to hear Peter Mansbridge talking on the airplane on the way home.) But the novelty of this wore off pretty quick as I kept watching and noticing CBC obviousness (dude’s impatient… so he Looks At His Watch) and some overly dramatic acting.

Tonight I did not want to go to dance.  I’ve had a headache all day and feeling crummy and floaty (from the headache still being there but not being able to feel it due to 2 kinds of painkillers!  Maybe).  And totally unfocused!  But then as usual I got hom from work and immediately made my supper, got changed into my dance clothes, then ate and napped and was off to dance class.

I walked there, and I was so pleased.  It’s been a while since I’ve had the strength and energy to both walk to the studio and then do a dance class. I wasn’t totally wiped out for class from walking there and then up all the stairs.  I was feeling strong and like I remember feeling when I was in amazing shape one-and-a-half years ago.  Or getting there at least.  Happy.

I walked home, too, to try and tucker myself out.  Wednesday is going to be a bad day for going to sleep, I think.

***

My goals for the winter are as follows:

  1. Never be cold.
  2. Learn to cook a roast beef.

 

I’ve spent the past few days dancing and resting and drinking and watching (spectacles). The day before yesterday the bunch of us went for a tasting at the Gonzales Byass sherry bodega. For 19 euros we got a tour of the place, four samples and tapas. Thank goodness for the tapas because the “samples” came in the form of four wine glasses of sherry right in front of us. Result: happy group. Result 2: I don’t think I like sherry- at least not four samples of it at the same time.

I could have met up with the Alma de Espania group who are here and doing a day trip to Cadiz today but I have not gone for the following reasons: my feet are sore, and I need to get groceries.  Stores aren’t open on Sundays and I’m out of food, particularly, breakfast food.  Also last night we were up late following some native Jerez-ians to a pena* and so no one has gotten up in time.

We are losing 3 of the 6 smart women who have been sharing the apartment here. Two are off to Ronda and Granada for the sights and shopping; one is back to Germany, where she lives.  However we have acquired a new roomie for the remainder of the time here: the new dynamic shall be 3 smart women and a guy.

*Pena- should have a swoosh over the N, so it’s pronounced “pen-ya”.  According to our Jerez-ian guides, it’s a small, intimate show, in this case, a singer. Also in this case, a few hundred people “intimately” packed into a small venue.

Neat class this morning.  We had a substitute teacher as our regular teacher was in the hospital.  I didn’t catch the whole story there due to no Spanish skills but one of the other students translated.  The sub was a man, opposed to our regular lady, and he is the regular lady’s husband (I think).  He was a bit of a dream come true for some of us as we were meant to do our choro.  solo today (half the class went yesterday, the rest of us were meant to go today.)   The new guy started slowly with hands and arms and ran us through individually our marking step.  His big lesson was that flamenco is about emotion and that technique and doing the steps perfectly is Less Important than personal expression and being able to show that to your audience.  I need to work on that part. The technique too, but ths showing off part for sure. Really, this holds true for all dance,  and performance, but no one really says it.

He also went over listening to the singer (there’s a singer and guitarist in each class) so we know when to start our choreo. I’m not sure why I can’t hear it.  Everyone else seems to. I’ll try again tomorrow with new ears.

The apartment’s hot water (and all hot water in houses in Spain) is provided from a propane tank that is kept under the counter in the kitchen.  Usually.  Right now it’s in the middle of the kitchen, empty, sitting next to a new tank, waiting for someone who can hook it up as we are all frightened.

EDIT: As I laze over here writing, one of the smart women has figured it out. Our original plan was to ask the guys staying upstairs to help (by which I mean hook it up for us)…  Or is it not working now?  New subject.

EDIT 2: (1 hour later)  Nope.  Still no hot water.  Post-dance showers are cold.

I haven’t found any place to WiFi here yet,  so these entries are being stored on my phone until I hook up again.)  I went to my first flamenco spectacle last night. There was gunk on my left contact lens so I couldn’t see the show as well as I might have. But it was pretty amazing.  We ate at a place before the show and met up with other dancers from Victoria.  Also there was wine so I was sleepy at the show. Also there was shopping yesterday (before the eating before the show) but I haven’t bought anything yet. 

I can get to the venue for my class on my own. This is a feat as the streets here are ancient and narrow and mazey,  but we sussed out a route.  We also sussed out a route to my next week’s venue as several people have a class there this week. Score.