Quiet day. I cooked a big chicken dinner for the two of us. Dora doing lots of ironing, then
learning how to make a web site (!).
Quiet day. Out in early evening to take out garbage and get groceries and fruit/veg. Cold out.
Out at 9 or so with Dora to take out more garbage, take clothes to a donation box, stop in a church,
and check on a business she needs to go to tomorrow. Cold.
Out at 11:30 or so with Dora. To gestor to see about last year's tax return, and Dora's coming
change to working a second job. Then to H6 bus, and to a medical clinic where she's going to
rent an office. Interesting place, it's partly Chinese medicine such as acupuncture and reflexology,
which I think are mostly nonsense. But the rest of it seems serious, the people are nice, I had
a good conversation with one guy. Took a long time, and I got bored. Out around 2:30, stop in a
bar for bathroom and coffees, into metro, home after 3. Cooked spaghetti for dinner.
Dora out later to gestor again, but they're closed, which probably means we missed a tax appeal deadline, bummer.
Teeth hurting at bedtime, took paracetamol.
Out at 10 or so with Dora, hauling a suitcase and two bags, full of medical/office stuff.
To H6 bus, to clinic, and put it all in her office there. I went online and we bought
a domain for her, so she can have a web site. Still have to build the underlying pages.
Eventually out and home after 1.
Online, used wix.com to make a web site for Dora, but we're going to wait a couple of days to
make it live, need to get her tax paperwork done first.
Took a diazepam, slept well.
Finally managed to confirm that our ISP does update the firmware in our router every now and then.
Couldn't get an answer out of them, so I had to start recording firmware version number periodically.
Quiet day. I cooked chicken-rice-broccoli for dinner.
Most exciting thing we did was take the garbage out in the evening, and take
clothes to a donation box.
Apparently it's ANOTHER holiday here, today. I wanted to get going on several things
with banks and gestor, but it all has to wait until tomorrow.
A couple of friends came over to chat with Dora and pick up a free mattress we're giving away.
Out in early evening to take garbage out, and take more
clothes to the donation box, but the box is mostly full. Coldish out.
Dora out at 9:30 to go to bank, gestor, etc.
Found out Dora's son is not coming on the bus from the North today, he's sick.
I'm out at noon. Longish walk to bank, and was able to change my phone number
via the ATM instead of having to stand through the line. To niece's school,
but they've just opened for the year and can't accept cash payment today,
come back tomorrow. To carnisseria to buy ribs. To fruit/veg shop to buy a ton of stuff.
Home and started cooking.
Out at 5:30. To bus station by 6:15 to meet the family coming back from the north.
They were supposed to arrive at 6:30, I think they actually arrived more like 7,
and they sat in the far corner of the station and it took us half an hour to find
each other. Finally met, to a large taxi, home by 8 or so.
After some futzing with Support at the domain registrar, got
Dora's web site
It's missing a lot of stuff, needs lots of work, but the basics are there.
Bad headache starting about 2 AM, and I was slow to take medicine. Took paracetamol at 3 or so,
didn't work too well. Slept badly.
Bad headache. Took sumatriptan around 9 and stayed in bed. Stomach feeling queasy
a few times. Dora out to Catalan class.
I stayed in bed until 1:30 in the afternoon. Still headache, but I got up and took ibuprofen
and had a shower and a little food, felt a bit better. After dinner with Dora, felt okay but
In late afternoon, out. To niece's school to pay tuition. To pharmacy for four prescriptions,
including more sumatriptan, but the whole bill came to €12. To shop to buy an extension cord.
To Dia for groceries. Dora's out to a place to print posters for her clinic, probably annoyed that
I didn't go with her.
Did some more work on Dora's web site. Got it working on Chrome on mobile, but something's
funky with it on Firefox on mobile. Later, Dora insisted on taking over the editing; hope she
doesn't destroy it.
Headachey, but felt better after ibuprofen and breakfast.
Dora out to clinic. She's going to sign a one-year lease, despite me querying her
for a couple of weeks now about whether it was month-by-month. She wants me to go
with her, but I'm not going.
Out before 4 with Dora, but we split up. I took her mother's phone to a mobile store
to try to recharge the SIM, but no luck. Can't get the back off it, either.
Dora home at 8. Out with her before 9, to another phone store, where the guy
got the SIM recharged. Apparently it's on some plan that has to be recharged on
the first of every month.
Read the contract Dora signed with the clinic, and they mangled her address a bit,
but added a clause saying either party can terminate with a month's notice. Great !
At bedtime, took diazepam.
Grey, cold and raining. Headachey, took ibuprofen.
News from Peru: the house-ownership/land-deed papers are done (after 3 years of effort), and Dora's mother
has to go there NOW to pick them up.
Apparently at the niece's gymnastics class last night, a girl broke an ankle, and
the response was not good. So now the niece wants to change gymnastics schools.
[Later found the story was wrong, someone fell and was bruised and cried, no big deal.]
Dora out to Catalan class.
Out at 6:30 with Dora, to a farmacia a couple of blocks away. Where she took an eternity
to buy and order all kinds of medicines for her mother, who is about to go to Peru for 2 months
(I'm surprised it's for so long). I paid €50, Dora liberated another €50 from me for
a monthly metro pass tomorrow, and I have to go back tomorrow morning and get more stuff
and pay another €80+.
At bedtime, took diazepam and paracetamol.
Dora out after 9 to do posters for clinic.
I'm out at 11 to farmacia. A bit confusing, but paid €104 for two medicines and four
big boxes of stuff, and did two trips to haul it all home. Dora will have to check to see
if I got overcharged.
Dora home after 2:30. She says I got overcharged and didn't get two barcodes, and also I forgot to get three more
prescriptions filled. We go to the pharmacy, but it's closed, we'll deal with it on Monday.
I can go to another pharmacy to do the three other prescriptions.
[Found out later: Dora met another mother from niece's school to have coffee, and while
they were deep in conversation, someone stole the woman's purse, from a chair right
next to them.]
Teeth hurting after dinner; took paracetamol and laid down. Feeling bad.
Out at 6:30. Cold. To ATM, to pharmacy, to fruit/veg shop.
Out at 8:30 with Dora to ECI, to buy a few things. Cold.
Took ibuprofenn at bedtime.
Taxi arrives after 12:30. Dora and mother and I into it, with one huge suitcase and one small suitcase.
Off to the airport.
Easy time at the airport: get the big suitcase plastic-wrapped, no line at check-in,
bathroom stop, get wheelchair assistance, take mother off to Security, say good-bye,
and she's gone. But I'm feeling bad; headachey and achey.
Into cafe for coffees and small sandwich and a paracetamol. Then Dora is talking on
the phone for 20 before I can get her to leave.
To bus, to Placa Espanya, into L1 metro, home by 3:30 or so. Food, and feeling a bit better. Tired.
In the evening, Dora and niece baked a cake. At some point, a dish shattered on the kitchen floor,
but I didn't even bother to go see what had happened. Then cake into oven,
and Dora said "tell me when it's been in for 1 hour". Near
the 45-minute mark, I smelled smoke and rescued it before it could get too burnt.
Ibuprofen after midnight.
Dora out to meeting with niece's teacher, then Catalan class. Mother arrived safely in Lima.
Dora home at 2:30, and wouldn't eat the dinner I'd cooked, she had leftovers instead.
After some futzing, managed to figure out why we keep having trouble phone-calling
each other: normal and WhatsApp calls have different UIs, and a permission setting for
WhatsApp on my phone was wrong. Someone came over to borrow a set of crutches.
I'm out at 5 to buy some groceries and go to the fruit/veg shop.
Out before 6 with Dora. To farmacia, where we quickly determined I was NOT overcharged
the other day, we just managed to spend some €160 there. To phone store to recharge
niece's SIM. To Dia for groceries.
At bedtime, took ibuprofen and diazepam.
Dora out before 10, after liberating €100 from me to pay for advertising posters.
She's going to pick up the posters and then work at the clinic.
She's home around 3. Dinner.
Out with Dora around 5:30. To bus, to clinic, and put up publicity "posters"
on the outside windows. They're vinyl things that stick with a little water and
soap. Two of them are perfect; the third has ripples that will not come out,
it's made badly. But it looks okay, I think.
We loiter in the clinic for a while, then go up 5-6 blocks and stop in
at the niece's gymnastics class for 10 minutes. Onto bus, out near home.
Stop in Dia for a couple of essentials, then next door to a cafe
for coffees. Home before 9:15.
Dora out at 9, annoyed that I'm not going with her. I'm out at 11, to ATM
and then to ECI to pay water bill. Then I cooked a couple of lasagnas. They were better-received than I expected.
Out before 6 with Dora, to walk her to bus stop to go to clinic. Then I went to Dia and fruit/veg shop.
Walked niece to her tutor. And back again an hour later.
Teeth hurting later; took paracetamol.
Dora home after 10.
Dora out to some medical class most of the day. I'm out at midday to do an errand at the building administration
office, and then to buy a few groceries.
Before 5, I'm half-dozing on my bed, listening to MP3's, when suddenly Dora is home and
yelling at me that we have to hustle to niece's school to deliver something to her as she's
leaving to go to a friend's house, then gymnastics. So we hustle out, get to the school,
and missed her by about 2 minutes. Dora wants me to go with her to clinic, but I go home
Dora up at 7 and off at 8 to catch a train to Tarragona to a medical lecture.
I'm up at 8:40, achey and taking an ibuprofen.
The others had tripe for dinner; I had leftover lasagna.
Online, filed my Spanish ETE tax form.
Dora home before 3.
Out around 5 with Dora. To metro, where I got on a train but she missed it. Got off
at Verdaguer and waited for her. Walked about 10 blocks to a print shop, where we picked up
a replacement vinyl sign/poster for the one that had ripples in it. Back to Verdaguer metro,
to Joanic, onto a bus, up to the clinic. Where the owner was a bit grumpy that he was having to
stay open just for us. We did the vinyl posters as quickly as possible, resetting the three we
did before and adding the new one. Lots of furniture to assemble, but we'll come back
and do that on Monday.
Out, up to bus stop, H6 bus to near home. Into several shops for groceries etc, home by 7:30. A bit tired.
Paid €120 for 11 more lessons with the niece's tutor, and later found out the
price has increased to €130.
Dora out to work 11-11, back at her regular job. I cooked chicken for dinner.
Out to buy flowers for our anniversary.
Dora out to work 11-11, back at her regular job.
I'm out after 3:30, into grey cold windy weather (borrasca Gloria, I think).
To VA metro, connect at Diagonal, out at Poble Sec, to meet Dora at work.
To a Chinese place for dinner. Food was cheap and pretty good, beef dish a little too spicy,
nice to have football on the telly. She headed back to work at 4:30, I went into metro
and home after 5. Windy and grey and cold.
Teeth hurting at 9; took paracetamol. At bedtime, diazepam.
Cold, grey morning. Dora out to Catalan class.
I cooked spaghetti-beef for dinner, to mixed reviews.
Out before 4 with Dora. Bus to clinic, where we assembled lots of furniture and a piece
of medical equipment for her office. Not too difficult.
Waiting for Dora to finish talking with people, I suddenly noticed one of the paintings
the main doctor has created (many of them are quite nice, but this one is funny):
Out and it's raining. Ran to catch the bus, no waiting.
Near home and into a bakery for coffees and pastries.
I laughed at how much bigger my croissant was than Dora's two little mini-criossants:
Then to Dia for groceries, and to fruit/veg shop.
Home after 7:45.
Dark, grey, raining. And niece deliberately left her scarf and sandwich behind when she
went to school, so 45 minutes later I had to go out to deliver them. Colder than I expected,
lots of rain, wind very gusty and shifting. Smallish tree blown over
near the other side of the building. To school, then to a shop, then Dia for groceries.
By noon, wind stronger maybe. Moderately big tree blew over in the park across the street,
and another is tilted.
Niece not going back to school in the afternoon, or to gymnastics in the evening.
Apparently the govt has declared some sort of emergency condition.
But Dora still has to work 3-11. The TV news footage of conditions at the seafront
is pretty impressive. But then after 2:30 the story changed, niece is going to school.
And later we found that her classmate went to gymnastics too, but she didn't.
Dark, grey and somewhat cold, but a lot less windy and not raining.
Dora out to class. I'm out before 1, to stop at asesoria, and to pick
up niece from school.
Dora home for dinner, then out to work a couple of hours at one place, then work 7-1 at another place, I think.
Dora out after 10:15 for a crazy day: to the clinic, later to work 3-11, but out in the middle of that shift to go
to a class 4:30-8:30.
I cooked pork-chops for dinner. In the evening, out for groceries and fruit/veg.
Dora cut her day short, just too tired, she was home after 8:30.
Dora heading out after 10, to go to a lecture then work 3-11. She's skipping Catalan class.
I cooked pesto-spaghetti for dinner. Afterward, out to sit in the plaza, walk,
Out before 10:30 with Dora, carrying a stool to use in her office in the clinic.
To ATM, to shop to buy metro cards, to bus stop. Bus to clinic.
Cleared out extra boxes, set up a piece of medical equipment, which Dora tested
out on herself for a while.
Out of the clinic, and wandered for a while as Dora stuck business flyers into
mailboxes and under doors.
Up to main street, bus running an odd schedule today,
but she stuffed some more mailboxes, and then onto the bus.
Home by 2:40, and I'm tired, laid down for 10 minutes. But soon out again.
Dora and I to a Thai restaurant I've been wanting to try for a while now.
But it turned out to be not so good. The main dishes were fine, but portions
were small. The spring-rolls were poor, the tables etc were crowded, and
the bill was not cheap. Oh, well.
On the way home, Dora stopped in a shop, and then we bought food in Bon Area.
Home before 5; tired. Laid down for a while.
Niece's friend arrived for a sleepover. Lots of noise and screaming. Friend's
mother stayed for a while. I took the girls around to the central courtyard
where there's a playground. Back home, friend's mother left. Then Dora and I
and the girls went out. To a church to donate clothes, then to Heron City Center.
The girls wanted McDonald's, which was a mob scene. But we got our food and
some tables in a fairly quiet corner, and had a nice time.
Out and stopped at a shop, then home after 9:30. Niece wants us to drag a huge
mattress out of her bedroom so she and her friend can sleep on the living-room
floor, but I'm vetoing that.
Slept poorly from 4 AM onward. Slept until 10. Feeling achey.
The girls have been up since 7, and now are charging around and giggling and yelling.
Dora has to go to the Peruvian embassy today to vote, and of course at the last
minute she's searching for her Peruvian documents, and can't find them. Maybe her
mother took them to Peru. And at the last minute, she decides to take the girls with
her. So at 11:30 finally they're out the door, and we have some peace and quiet.
A scare at 1:30 or so, as Dora came out of the embassy and couldn't find the girls (who
weren't allowed to enter). Eventually the girls had police call Dora's phone, and
they were reunited. A long time ago I gave the niece a paper with all of our phone numbers
on it, and I'm sure she wasn't carrying it with her, she had memorized Dora's number.
Then we waited for them to come home, holding dinner for them. And it got later and later,
we got hungry, and Dora wouldn't tell me when they were going to arrive. As I expected,
they were in a cafe or something. Didn't arrive until 4 or so. I put pasta carbonara
on the table, to general approval.
At bedtime, took a diazepam, slept pretty well.
Dora out to class 12-2 and then work 3-11.
Confused dinner, I cooked chicken, I thought everyone else was eating something
else, but then they all ended up eating chicken too.
Out for a walk, but it's too cold to linger. To shop for electronic items, to
Dia for groceries, to fruit/veg shop.
Dora home around 11:45, and she is tired.
Dora out to beauty parlor, then to medical office I think.
I'm out for meat, fruit/veg before dinner. Dora home for a late dinner,
then to clinic for first patient visit (first visit is
a free consultation). I'm out for sit and walk and groceries.
Dora home at 8, patient visit went well.
Took diazepam before bed.
Dora out to errand and then Catalan class. I cooked ribs.
Dinner, then I went out to sit and walk and buy groceries.
Dora home and had her dinner. Then she's out to do an errand
and then work 7-1.
Dora out at 1 to clinic and then lecture then clinic and maybe more. She's irritated
that I didn't go with her to carry a bag and then have lunch with her.
After dinner, out for sit and walk and groceries.
Later, son and niece out to meet Dora at the clinic. All of them home a bit
My mother would have been 90 years old today. I miss her.
Dora out to Catalan class. I cooked chicken and turkey and broccoli (and rice) for dinner.
Out to sit in the plaza; glorious warm sunny day. Started on a walk, and ran into Dora
coming home. We stopped for groceries and fruit, then home.
Out at 5 or so to walk Dora to the bus stop to go to the clinic.
Then I did a little shopping, then home, then right back out to buy international calling cards.
Dora home after 8 or so.
Brexit happening tonight, at midnight our time. And watching TV reports of
the spread of Coronavirus around the world. Not good.
Dora out to work 11-11. I'm out after noon, to ATM, then to recharge phone SIMs for
niece and mother, then to farmacia (have to go back on Monday, and also they're sold
out of facemasks). To Dia for groceries. Son cooked dinner.
In the evening, headachey, took paracetamol. At bedtime, diazepam. After midnight, still headache,
took ibuprofen. Didn't sleep well.
Headachey; took paracetamol. Dora out to work 11-11. I went back to bed from about 11 to 12:30.
Out for groceries and fruit. Some dinner, then took a sumatriptan,
then out again later for a short walk.
Diazepam at bedtime.
Headache before dawn; took paracetamol. Still headache at 9:30.
Dora out at 10 to go to a medical office and then Catalan class.
News says first case of coronavirus found in Spain (a guy who came from Germany, I think).
We're not really worried about it, but we have special interest because 4 of our
family and sort-of-family here are health workers. And their jobs/schools are unlikely
or unwilling to hand out face-masks until there's an immediate local problem,
by which time it's too late. Plus Dora's mother has severe lung problems; a serious
flu or pneumonia could kill her. Which is why it's been driving me crazy that we
can't get flu shots or pills here, for love or money. Been trying for about 4 months now.
Only Dora's father was able to get a free flu shot at the health center, because he's 80 or older.
Out before noon. To ATM, to niece's school to pay €197, to farmacia to buy two ampoules
of lidocaine (lady said 90, I thought she meant €90, but it was €0.90).
Out after 2 to sit in the plaza for a while. Waiting for Dora to get home,
but when I went home there were messages saying she went to get her hair done (again).
So I had my dinner.
Dora home later, I don't see any difference in her hair.
Son is ill, took Nolotil, I went out to farmacia again to buy rehydrating supplies.
Out again half an hour later for a lot more stuff.
Later still headachey, took ibuprofen.
Up at 7:20. Headache; took paracetamol.
Out at 8:45 with Dora. Hustled down to Meridiana and across Sant Andreu, to
a govt housing-assistance office. There for 15 minutes or so.
Street art: pic
To a cafe. To a farmacia.
To Deutschebank. To a bus stop, where Dora got on H6 to go to her clinic.
I walked up F-i-P, and to Dia for groceries. Home after 11.
Still achey after 1. Took ibuprofen. Felt better after dinner. Out to sit in plaza.
Did a lot of online govt-site work to gather documents.
Out before 6 with Dora, to walk her to Llucmajor metro, to go to a lecture and
then work until 1. Longish walk down Molist; a bit cold out. To Dia and fruit shop.
Out before 11 with Dora and son. Up to the local govt center. Did his application
for a digital certificate, that I had set up. Then Dora asked for a padron, which we got.
Then she took us to the TGSS office, where we waited for half an hour, then upstairs.
I got irritated as she wouldn't tell me what was going on, kept telling me to shut up,
while I'm the one who has used the web site for this agency. Finally out of there.
I went to Dia and then home. Dora and son went to a cafe.
Dinner. Then after 2, I walked Dora to the metro, she's going to work 3-11.
I sat in the plaza, but it's a bit chilly. To Dia and fruit shop.
Dora's sister arrived in early evening. Then she was studying all evening and maybe
all night (she was still going at 3:30 AM), for a big test she's taking here tomorrow.
Dora and sister out at 7:15 or so, going to some big test the sister has to take
for a specific govt medical job-opening.
Dora home before 1. Her sister didn't pass the test, because it was in Catalan.
And she was one of seven people competing for two positions.
Dinner, then walked Dora to metro to go to work 3-11. Bought some flowers she wanted,
home to drop them off. To ATM to pay for Dora's next Catalan class. To Dia and fruit/veg shop.
Grey and coldish out.
Son off to airport at 6 or so, heading back to medical school in Slovakia.
Back to bed, and up at 10.
Dora said we have to go to the clinic, the advertising vinyls are peeling off the windows.
But then she starts doing a treatment on her sister, which takes all morning and into the
afternoon, so we're not going. Fine with me.
I'm out after 1. To ferreteria to buy a science-project-kit thing for the niece
(I'm kind of horrified to see that the bulk of it is a big non-rechargeable battery;
they should have just powered everything with a USB receptacle for a phone-charger).
To carnisseria (but they have no ribs), to Bon Area, then to fruit/veg shop. Cold out.
Sister left around 2.
I'm out at 8:30. To Dia for groceries, then to farmacia for a couple of items.
We slept late. Quiet morning. I'm out at 2 to buy roast chicken for dinner.
Out just before 9 with Dora and niece to watch some of the Barca game at a bar or cafe.
But the one we headed for has changed, now an upscale pizza place with
no TV. Headed up Molist and found a small bar. Drinks and plenty of food
for about €13 total, but afterward I had to mug Dora to retrieve my
€5 bill change from my €20 bill. Game was 2-2 at halftime, Barca isn't
doing so well lately. I think they ended up winning 3-2.
Dora out to Catalan class, and then work until 11 PM.
I'm out after 2, lovely sunny day. To ATM, to farmacia, sit in plaza, Dia, fruit shop.
Achey; took ibuprofen. Dora out before 11 to go to clinic. I'm out at 11:30 or so.
To F-i-P metro to buy a card. To Bankia to check on something with my account.
Onto H6 bus, and to Dora's clinic. Short wait, then she was done with a patient (her 2nd so far).
Put tape on advertising vinyls where the corners were peeling a little.
Arranged for her metal placard to be caulked onto the outside of the building.
Out, and started a longish walk. Stopped 1/3 of the way and had lunch at
a nice Syrian restaurant; everything was good except the felafels.
Out, and walked down to near Diagonal metro. To Abacus bookstore, and bought
about €70 of language textbooks.
To Diagonal metro station. Inside, stopped at a mobile-phone shop and bought
new case and protective cover (€22) for Dora's phone from a couple of nice
young Kashmiri guys. Also bought a used book for the niece at another stall.
Onto crowded train, and home by 4:35. Tired.
Dora's sister arrived around 6. And did lots of shopping and then packing all evening, she
and niece are going to Peru tomorrow.
Out with Dora before 11. Across Meridiana to a wig shop, to buy a wig to send
to Peru. But the shop was closed. Dora off to her Catalan class, I went to ATM and then
Dia and then home.
Finally got sister and niece and luggage out of the apartment after 12:45,
and down to street. Taxi appeared before 1, and we piled in. I looked
around and found that Dora's father was with us too; didn't expect that.
To airport by 1:30 or so, sister and niece checked in, got wheelchair
assistance because the sister has a leg problem.
Left them at Security by 2:15, father and I caught a bus by running.
I had to stand all the way on the bus and halfway on the metro.
To fruit shop and home by 3:45, tired.
Immediately Dora said we we have to go back to pick up the niece, her passport
wasn't valid far enough into the future for her to travel. They got all the way
to the gate before being told that.
But 15 minutes later the story has changed, sister and niece both missed the flight,
they will do new passport in the airport and leave the luggage there
and come here for the night, then fly tomorrow. So Dora's father and I don't
have to go back to the airport today.
The others were home before 6, and they have all the luggage, they didn't
stash any at the airport.
Dora out to work 7-1.
Wow, the Mobile World Conference here in Barcelona is cancelled because
of coronavirus fears leading many big vendors to pull out. A big deal,
a big blow to the economy here.
Up at 5:30. Trying to get a taxi for 6:30. But the taxi guy we had yesterday is at the airport right now,
and sister wants to wait for him. So hurry up and wait, as usual.
Into taxi by 6:45 or so. Dora talking the whole way to the airport, to the driver
and her sister, while I want to doze and listen to my MP3s. To check-in by 7:15 or so, and they're not open yet.
Wait 10-15 minutes, check-in takes a while, but finally they're in. Wait for a wheelchair for sister,
off to the special Security entrance, Dora wanting to wave to them interminably until they were
out of sight on the other side. Dora says because of their last-minute ticket change, they're going
to be connecting in Brazil on their way to Peru, and will be traveling for 24 hours.
To cafe for coffee and snack. Then to bus. Long ride to Placa Espanya, but we had seats.
Metro L1. Dora out at Urquinaona to go to her clinic. I go to F-i-P,
up to Dia for groceries.
Home by 10:40. Tired.
Dora home at 1. I'm wiped out, tired, cold, lying down. She's still doing pretty
well, despite far less sleep. Fortunately she doesn't have to work her main job today.
Dora out at 4 to hair salon.
We crashed for a long nap in the evening. I'm up at 9:45, but Dora still sleeping at 11:30.
She had wanted to go dancing, but it didn't happen.
Sister and niece have arrived okay in Lima.
Dora out to Catalan class. I cooked ribs and pesto-spaghetti for dinner. Felt a bit
achey, took ibuprofen.
Out at 5 or so with Dora, carrying a lamp and some other stuff. To H6 bus, to clinic.
Opened up a huge box and took out a big metal-and-glass locking cabinet, and Dora is
happy that now she can display and lock up her expensive medicines. Took pictures of
her equipment and serial numbers.
Out, and we wandered toward Joanic metro as Dora put advertising into mailslots.
Into a market and put some there too. Skies are overcast but it's pleasant out.
Back up and into metro.
To Urquinaona, connect, out at Glories. And we're in the "Llum BCN" festival,
a thing with various light-displays. We went into the design museum and hit
the bathroom and then the cafe.
Long line for some light-displays inside
the museum, so we didn't bother. Out and took various pictures. Nice big full-moon
display hanging from a crane, nice green laser bouncing across the sky from one tall building to others,
Agbar building all lit up as usual, lots of people. Nice. We wandered, and almost got into
line for a couple of inside exhibits, but just didn't feel like waiting in line.
Wandered in a circle, saw some interesting light-displays, some nice-looking
hotels and office-buildings, sat for a while.
Then back into metro. Out at F-i-P, and the independentistas are blocking
car-traffic in the big intersection again. Home through quiet streets, tired,
home by 10:30.
As I expected, most of my pictures didn't come out well, but several of Dora's were okay:
(first three are mine).
Dora out to work 11-11. I'm out in midafternoon to hit ATM, buy an electrical adapter, take a walk, go to fruit/veg shop.
Out at 6 to recharge my phone SIM, and get groceries. Dora home before midnight.
My teeth hurting; took ibuprofen and diazepam before bed.
Dora out to work 11-11. I went out in midafternoon for a couple of groceries.
Dora home before midnight.
Dora out to Catalan class. I cooked chicken. Dora home around 2:30. I'm out with Dora at 4:30 or so, to bus stop
where she went to clinic. I sat in the plaza, walked, got groceries.
Out after 10 with Dora and father. To VA metro, two stops to Horta, walked to Agencia Tributaria (tax) office.
Had to wait 20+ minutes, and Dora went downstairs to start some other process.
Eventually to the counter, and the lady was not happy that we had one cita to get certificates
for three people. But eventually she pushed the buttons, and we should get them in the mail
in a week or more. Back downstairs, and it turns out the agency has old mailing addresses
for everyone (except me). I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.
Finally out after noon, and to a cafe for coffees and snacks. Then headed for metro, but Dora disappeared
into a clothing shop for 10+ minutes and came out with a big bag of stuff. Into metro, and home
After 2, walked Dora to the metro to go work 3-11. I sat in the plaza, hit an ATM, went to Dia for groceries.
I poured the cake-batter Dora had made and put them in the oven, but the tops got pretty
brown pretty quickly while the insides stayed a bit soupy.
In late evening, suddenly Dora is sending messages that she wants to go to Malaga about 36 hours from now,
for a medical conference. So suddenly I have to investigate plane and train tickets, and of course
she wants me to go with her. I don't want to go. And she's booked full all day tomorrow, how is she going
to get ready to travel ?
Dora home just before midnight.
At 1 AM, bought a plane ticket for her to go to Malaga. Return will have to be done later,
I'm up at 7:30, but we're changing plans, not going to a somewhat-early appointment downtown.
I had intended to check flights and trains for Dora and go back to bed, but everything
took longer than expected, and I never got back to bed. Got an AirBNB for her in Malaga.
But still no flight/train back on Sunday. Cancelled appointment we had at 10 in the center.
Out after 10 with Dora and father. A bit cold out. Up to local govt center, where I stood in
line in one office while Dora and father went to another office. They were finished and
back before I got through the line and got a chance to use my limited Spanish skills.
Then the lady wouldn't let us in to do our task, have to get an appointment online (and
the soonest one is almost 2 weeks from now). She was adamant, we had to give up. Not important,
the other office was the important one.
To a cafe for coffees and sandwiches. Then Dora to a bus to Catalan class, father and I stopped
at a bakery, I got groceries at Dia. Home before 11:30.
Dora out after 6 to work 7-1.
Around 7:30, Dora sends a message that she can't go on the trip, her job couldn't find someone
to cover her shifts. So I cancel the AirBNB, losing about €56, and the plane ticket
is a total loss of €135, no cancellation allowed. Grr !
Headache before bed; took paracetamol.
Slept late. Cooked turkey and chicken for dinner. Out at 2:15 to walk Dora to
metro, to work 3-11. Sat in plaza, walked, got groceries.
Dora out to Catalan class, and then work 3-11. Spaghetti and leftover chicken for dinner,
then I went out in midafternoon to sit and walk and get groceries and fruit.
Out with Dora, to near her clinic, put advertising in a lot of mailboxes.
Street art: pics
To clinic and I spent some time un-freezing the laptop she has there.
Out and put more advertising. Into metro, out at Llucmajor, and to cafe
for a while.
In early evening, up to local govt center to see if any Carnaval event is happening,
but too early, and it's cold. Back home.
Out with Dora later in the evening, but we can't find Carnaval stuff anywhere.
Had a nice walk, although Dora was on her phone for 2/3 of it.
Out in early afternoon with Dora and father. Down to Meridiana and found a Peruvian
restaurant we were looking for, called Komeridiana. Pretty good food, although Dora
said the meat was not spiced enough.
And she spent 2/3 of the time on her phone,
as well as being on the phone most of the way home, too. Gorgeous sunny
weather, fairly warm.
Dora out to class and then work. I was out in midafternoon to sit and walk
and buy groceries.
Dora home after midnight, and her mother sister niece arrived from the airport (from Peru)
about 5 minutes later.
After getting all the luggage up and saying hi to everyone, I went to bed. Lots of craziness
happening early tomorrow. But I think the others (except the niece) sayed up for a while.
Up just before 8, to find that Dora is late for her 8 AM appointment with teacher
at niece's school. And to find that now I'm tagged to get mother into a taxi
for her 9 AM appointment.
At the school, Dora has run into problems, the teacher is not there, no one knows about
the appointment, director won't tell her anything. [But later her sister joined her,
and things got cleared up, the situation is okay.]
So, out before 8:45 to try to find a taxi. I couldn't find one, her parents joined me,
and we walked about 1/3 of the way to the medical clinic before getting a taxi.
Arrived at 9:05, and the doctor didn't see us until 9:25 or so. I'm not 100% clear on
why we're here, but I tried my best. Dora not answering her phone, and then I missed
a call from her. Fortunately after 5-10 minutes Dora arrived and took over.
Then her father joined them for his appointment, same doctor.
Eventually out, and downstairs to make more appointments, then out. Slow walk, with Dora
and her mother talking, and I gave up waiting and went ahead. Stopped at an ATM, which
was fortunate. Because got home and found the sister ready to get into a taxi to the airport,
and she had no cash on her. Gave her €90 and helped her load up, and finally she's off.
I'm home after 10:30. Tired and a bit headachey, haven't had my exercise and shower.
Dora and mother home 5 minutes later.
Took a paracetamol, and out with Dora after 11. To a farmacia, where we find we
don't have mother's new prescriptions, doctor must not have given it to them.
Bought other things, got a refund of past things, the money came to about zero.
To carnisseria and bought a big load of meat. Home by noon.
Dinner, Dora off to clinic, later I'm out to sit in plaza.
But it's cool and grey out. Got groceries and went home.
Dora home at 6 or so, bringing the laptop from her clinic, it's not
working again. I look at it, the cursor moves but won't click on anything,
then parts of the UI start working for no apparent reason, then the
whole screen resets and now everything works. Alarming. Installed
Malwarebytes and ran it. It found 5 malwares and 8 PUPs; quarantined them.
In the evening, Dora crashed to sleep until midnight; she's going to study much
of the night for a Catalan test tomorrow. I think most of the rest of us are out of
Woke Dora at midnight, and she sat semi-sleeping in front of the TV until 1.
Then she started stirring to start studying, and I went to bed.
I'm up at 9; Dora has been studying since 1. Dora out after 11 to class and take a test.
She came back saying it was okay.
Late dinner. Out in late afternoon, but it's too cold to sit in the plaza.
To a shop to buy a frying-pan, then to Dia and fruit shop.
Achey; took ibuprofen.
Dora is tired, but she's out to work 7-1. I paid €130 for more
tutoring-sessions for the niece.
Dora home at 2 or so. Fortunately her 8 AM patient at the clinic has
cancelled or rescheduled.
Had to get Dora up at 8:30, because we had to get straight all of our appointments today.
Necessary, but she groused at me for doing it. Then she won't go back to bed, and
we're arguing about N other things. At 10:15 she's out to see a patient at the clinic.
Out at 12:15 or so with mother. Slow walk to medical clinic, with a couple of stops to rest,
through cool windy weather.
As we arrived, we were joined by father and niece.
Inside about 10 minutes before our 1:00 appointment, but no sign of Dora
and she's really the only one who knows what's going on.
Doctor calls us around 1:30, and SNAFU. Niece and mother are in the bathroom.
I give health card and list of items from Dora to the doctor, soon joined
by the niece. The doctor doesn't understand the list, the niece doesn't like
a couple of items on the list, soon we're kicked out of the office.
We mill around, niece back into bathroom, doctor calls us in again.
Mother goes in, a bit later niece goes in, 5 minutes later Dora shows up
and goes in.
Eventually out, and Dora is mad, nothing was accomplished.
Out and try to decide where to go. Mother and father and I have to
be right back here at 4, and it's 2 now. Eventually we end up in McDonald's
in HCC for some food.
Then niece and father to school, Dora off to a class, mother and I do slow
walk back to medical clinic. Joined by father as we arrive. Up to the place
by 3:10, but no chance of getting in early. We start waiting.
I'm surprised when Dora shows up at 3:55. [Turns out her class was
cancelled in the last 24 hours, and she missed the notice about it.] Then they're in at 4, later out
and over to a ECG unit, later back to nurse's office. This visit is going
well, they're communicating well and scheduling lots of tests and such.
Eventually out. Dora off to find a taxi and go look at an office for rent.
Mother and I start slow walk home, stopping to pick up lots of heavy fruit and
groceries. I carry them all, and it's a bit wearing to walk
Home at 5:30. Tired.
Ten minutes later Dora is calling to say a taxi is coming, she wants us
to go to another hospital. I say no, I'm not going.
Before 6, Dora and niece into taxi and they're off.
Around 7:30, I'm out to ATM and then groceries.
Dora and niece home before 9. The visit to the hospital was mostly futile.
Headache at dawn; took ibuprofen. Dora out around 9:30 to do errands.
I'm out at 10:15 to go meet her at the far end of Sant Andreu at the housing office.
I get there by 10:50 and start waiting.
She shows up at 11:45, just the time her Catalan class is starting half a mile away.
Into the office, and we're short a couple of documents, one of which (marriage cert
for her parents) is going to be near-impossible to get.
Out, head for her class, but instead into a cafe for bathroom and coffees and she starts
working on her homework. After 20 minutes, I convince her to go to class instead.
I walk her over to there, then I head home, stopping at the fruit/veg shop. Home by 1:15 or so.
[I'm going to try to write less, only about more noteworthy things.]
Dora's family (at least on the female side) has a bit of an old-world superstitious streak in them.
Today her mother is lighting candles and praying a rosary to try to ward the COVID-19 virus away.
In midafternoon, took metro to Dora's work and had dinner with her in a Chinese restaurant.
Today they had a possible case of COVID-19 at her clinic. And she's very critical of their
lack of masks and poor procedures: by the time a doctor makes a diagnosis that a patient
is a candidate for having COVID-19, that patient has been waiting next to 30 other patients for
half an hour or more, then seen by a nurse and then a doctor who are not masked.
After dinner, I strolled down Parallel. Lots of street art, including a whole park-full
with half a dozen guys creating new art:
To Las Ramblas and into metro and home.
At 12:45, Dora asked me to meet her at the housing office on the other side
of Sant Andreu. So I hustled to get over there by 1:40, waited 50 minutes until they
closed, no Dora. Called her and turns out she never saw my WhatsApp response saying
I would meet her there. Sigh.
Out before 11 with Dora's father, to local govt center to get a digital certificate. Had to
wait 10-15 minutes, got in and started, and then Dora showed up with her mother in tow.
As usual, she tried to get two other unscheduled things done. Today, it all worked,
we got a cert for her mother too, and an answer to my padron question.
Around the corner and into the library, to get cards for parents and maybe niece.
Parents went home, Dora and I to a cafe. Later onto a bus, and to housing office.
Where everything worked again, we're 3 for 3 today. Got our registration / application
all done, now wait for email and get on a web site.
Out and to a cafe. Eventually Dora headed for work and I headed home. Hit an ATM on the way.
Out at 3:30 with mother, to dentist. Then I paid niece's school (€197), bought fruit.
Dora sick with fever and aching, starting around 4 AM. Went with her to clinic urgencias
at 11, seen at 11:45, she's skipping Catalan class and not going to work.
Back home eventually, a bite of dinner, then she's dragging me out to walk with her
to a bank. Did that, and then on way back she stopped in a beauty parlor place for
an appointment; I went home.
Dora still very sick, although she did sleep last night. There's some non-zero
chance she has COVID-19. And I don't know what we can do to keep it from getting to
her mother and killing her mother, who has long-standing lung problems.
Dora still pretty sick. But pumped up with Nolotil, she felt well enough to go out to Catalan class.
She was out the door before I thought to argue with her about it.
Dora up at 4:30 AM, feeling worse and vomiting once. She called for an ambulance or home visit,
but they told her just to stay at home and take pills, I think. At 5:45 the health service called back,
they're consulting with a doctor, etc.
Back to bed for an hour or so. Call at 7, someone's coming at 8 to evaluate Dora.
They arrived before 9:30, two medics, and one put on gown and mask etc out in the vestibule
in front of our apartment door before one came in. But they were gone after 10 minutes, all the medic did was talk
to Dora and take a throat culture for testing.
They didn't even take temperatures from any of us. I think that's crazy.
Later Dora sent me
a parody video about the coronavirus
I thought it was in Spanish, but later found it's Italian.
Out with Dora and niece for lunch, and when we saw octopus on the counter
Dora couldn't resist ordering some to go for her father (not as much as shown in the picture,
and not exactly that one, probably its brother).
It turned out to be quite expensive. But her father loved it.
Dora went to Catalan class. In late afternoon we went to dentist and found that the planned €1850 bill is to fix
just one of the problems in her mother's teeth. All schools in Madrid comunidad are closing
for 2 weeks because of COVID-19. Son's medical school in Slovakia is stopping classes for 10 days,
at least one student has COVID-19.
Dora went to the medical center to get a renewal of her "don't have to work" paper, and they
held her in a room for a couple of hours, trying to find out the results of the virus test
on the sample taken three days ago. Couldn't find out the result, let her go anyway.
And with no examination other than a stethoscope to listen to her lungs.
Seems crazy that they're not automatically taking everyone's temperature now,
in the clinics and in the airports. And in fact a routine doctor's visit here usually does not
include stuff they probably would do routinely in USA, such as checking BP and temperature.
Out three times to stores to load up on groceries. Dia is running a bit short on toilet paper
and rice. Normal fruit shop is closed; sign says for vacation.
In midafternoon, I was out to sit and walk, and then to Dia for more groceries.
In late afternoon, out with Dora to buy medicines, including some extra antibiotics and
a thermometer. Then we went home and all had fun taking our temperatures, multiple times.
Niece is a little high (37.5), father a little low (35), the other three of us in the middle (35.8).
Home for the dinner break, niece says a neighbor of one of her schoolmates has COVID-19.
And then the news says all schools in Catalunya will close starting Monday, and stay
closed for the rest of the month.
Suddenly before 5, we're told niece's gymnastics class for tonight is cancelled,
and school for tomorrow is cancelled too. We hustle to the school, but too late
to retrieve all of her books. They say we'll be able to get them tomorrow, probably.
Later find the niece has brought them all home already.
Dora's Catalan classes cancelled too.
Dora and I take her mother to dentist appointment, and now the office has adopted anti-virus measures:
staff wearing masks, and you're not supposed to approach the front desk too closely (but I violated that,
didn't realize). And the private clinic where Dora rents an office is closing for the rest
of the month (but I'm sure she still has to pay the rent).
Niece woke up sick and running a bit of a temperature.
Out in midafternoon for a sit and walk. Beautiful sunny warm day.
To Dia for groceries, and there's plenty of food, but they're mostly out of
eggs and pasta and rice and many kinds of bread.
Changed son's plane tickets so he'll come home from Slovakia on Sunday
instead of 3.5 weeks from now. His university is closed and no telling
when it will re-open.
Out in early evening with Dora to do more panic-food-shopping.
Dora's sister arrived from the South, so now we are six. On Sunday, when son
arrives, we will be seven in the apartment.
But later, son is finding there is no transport from Slovakia to Hungary,
where he would board the plane. Yesterday may have been the last day he
could get across the border.
The women are in a frenzy of shopping today, only part of it for food.
And everyone out seems a little stressed. Govt declaring a state
of emergency for the whole country. Son can't get out of Slovakia, not
even supposed to leave his apartment, changed
his flight to Mar 27, hopes things will be better by then.
In the evening, we hear that Spain is declaring an emergency; starting Monday
we're supposed to stay home except for certain reasons (food shopping, and work, mainly).
Dora's sister was able to fly back to the South, which is a relief, if she
had been stuck here she would have missed days at work.
Cool, grey, breezy day. TV is full of warnings that you can get ticket and fine and even jail
for going outside inappropriately, but I see a fair number of people out walking their dogs.
Raining after noon; another reason to stay inside. We can't find out anything about our appointments
this afternoon, and the whole medical system web site seems to be saying "no one has or can make appointments",
so I guess it's all called off.
Online, filed my US federal income tax return. Used https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/ ,
which is free and good but has one massive bug: it is easy to miss the tax calculation and
think you owe zero. [Took two more tries at filing to get it right.]
Out at 12:45 with Dora. To carnisseria and then Dia. Mostly just food shops open,
and signs asking people to stay at least 1 meter apart.
Dora out to medical center to see if she can renew her "off sick from work" status.
They did renew it; she doesn't have to work. But they still have no test results or information
about the sample taken from her 11 days ago by an ambulance-type crew. Maybe it was lost, never tested, or tested negative.
Who knows ? At the door of the center, they were turning away non-urgent cases,
but she talked her way inside and they actually measured her temperature and pulse-oxygen level, which is new.
Out at 1:30 with Dora. To farmacia, where they weren't letting people inside, everything
is done through the sliding window in the door. To fruit shop, then home. I went back out to
Dia for groceries. They're a little low on eggs, but have everything else, and a big
truck was outside delivering more food. Not at all crowded in the store, normal.
In the evening, online, filed my FBAR tax declaration with USA. So I've done
3 out of the 6 tax filings I have to do each year (2 for USA and 4 for Spain).
Online, filed my Spanish 720 tax declaration.
Dora and her mother are burning some Peruvian leaves all over the apartment, so the smoke will drive away
the virus. I'm screeching about the computer hard disks not liking smoke, and demanding
to see Dora's medical school certificate.
Out with Dora after noon, to phone shop to recharge mother's and niece's SIMs, then
to Dia for groceries.
I'm told that yesterday, Dora's sister's family in the North was starting their usual weekly drive from relative's
apartment in Bilbao to her house in Ampuero, when they were stopped by police and told they
can't have 4 people in the car. Parents and two 5-year-old twins ? They were either turned back
or decided to turn back, for fear of not being able to do the return trip on Sunday night.
[A day later, they received notice of a ticket.]
Before this all started, niece was taking lessons with a private tutor, a nice former-teacher lady. We just found
out the lady's husband is seriously ill in hospital with the virus, and the lady is home and sick (but has
family to help her).
Apparently she's short of money, so I started an advance payment of €130 for next set of lessons.
Headache; took paracetamol and eventually went back to bed for a while. But temperature normal.
Raining in early morning, sunny later. Headache; took paracetamol. In midafternoon took ibuprofen.
Out in midafternoon with Dora to do food-shopping. We're wearing masks,
and my nice medical mask is too tight on my nose and fogging up my eyeglasses.
Almost immediately we saw a police car,
which freaked out Dora, but we're doing nothing wrong, and they weren't interested in us.
To Dia for a huge load of stuff. They have just about everything except bleach, and
the bread shelves are a bit low. Stopped for fruit on the way home.
Up a bit late, and Dora's father is already out to a medical appointment.
Wish I'd printed a form for him to carry, in case he's stopped by the police.
Cool, breezy morning. Headache; took ibuprofen.
Out in early evening with Dora to go to the farmacia a block away. Cold out.
Airline that son was going to use to fly here from medical school in Slovakia has
cancelled all flights through May. Online, I requested a refund of the tickets, but there's
no way to ask for a refund of the change fee I paid. And I don't think all
the money is coming back. And it's first coming as a credit for future
travel, which supposedly later can be converted into a refund of real money.
I'm seeing a few workers in and outside the park across the street, which has
been under major construction for a year. First time I've seen workers there in more
than a week. I think they were just delivering or removing some materials.
Maybe retrieving stuff that's needed elsewhere to build clinics or hospital or something ?
Out in early evening with Dora. Cold and wet out. To farmacia, but it was closed.
To clothing-donation box. Dora to fruit shop while I went to Dia for groceries.
Store seemed to have everything but bleach. Noticed that the church was open;
no mass happening but a few people inside.
Tried to get Skype working to son in Slovakia. Just could not get it to work
properly on Dora's laptop; something has changed. Installed it on a spare laptop
and it worked there.
In early afternoon, Dora sent me out to farmacia (and to take out garbage).
Despite calling ahead to check, farmacia didn't have the medicine.
This is crazy: I have an N95 mask with an exhalation valve. I'm not sure if I'm wearing
it upside-down; should the valve be up or down (above or below the midpoint) ?
Did a bunch of online searching and can NOT find the answer.
And of course there's no simple "this way up" arrow on the mask itself.
Finally I looked at the pictures on the plastic sleeve the mask came in,
and they're not easy to see, but they show the valve should be up.
Niece not feeling well. In midday her temperature read normal, in the evening
it read high. Not sure the readings are reliable.
Niece feeling better. Dora got her to do lots of homework in the evening.
Found out why the niece was doing homework last night; at 10 this morning she
got onto a Google Meet video meeting with her class at school.
Of course, since it was the first time, she was 15 minutes late getting on,
we had to figure out what to do.
Took the school 2 weeks to get started on this, which seems slow.
And I was trying to ask what their plan was, a couple of days before they closed.
I guess they had no plan in place.
Niece had 10 AM school video-call again. School emailed a newsletter that said they're handling grades 1-4
differently from grades 5 and up, and they had a lot of help from parents in setting up the systems.
And I think her video-calls are just with one teacher so far, one subject.
Son in Slovakia is part of a group of students etc trying to get Spanish embassy to
sponsor a charter-bus to bring them back to Spain. It's complicated.
Out in early afternoon with Dora, to Dia for a huge load of groceries.
Out again in early evening with Dora. To carnisseria for a big load of meat, then
to Dia for mostly snacks and such.
Before noon, Dora out to bank, and to buy book for niece's schooling.
Supposedly Dora's son will be getting on a special charter-bus in Slovakia tomorrow and probably arriving
in Spain on Sunday with 50 or so other Spaniards. But apparently the Slovakia/Austria border is closed, and I wouldn't
be surprised if they have trouble crossing other borders. When they arrive in Spain,
will they be put in quarantine ? The Spanish consulate in Slovakia is involved,
but maybe not helping very much. We'll see.
Out after noon with Dora. Fruit shop. Waited while she went into a couple of banks, then we split
up and I went to Dia to get a load of groceries. Local church still open, which I don't understand.
Son got on a charter-bus in Slovakia at 10 this morning. Got across Slovakia and through Austria,
now at 8:30 PM they're having documents checked at the German border.
During the night I was listening to audio podcasts as usual, and I started getting very scared
about the virus. Mainly I heard an ER doctor in Teaneck NJ saying how they had a large hospital
crammed full of people in medically-induced comas on ventilators, and they'd converted every
conceivable space (including the cafeteria) into patient rooms, and were building tents outside
and expanding into lobbies of adjacent buildings.
I've been thinking "only old people really get hit hard", but now I realize "hey, I'M old !".
Not really, I'm about 60 and healthy, but even some healthy 30-year-olds have been hit hard by
COVID-19. We've known all along that Dora's mother will die if she gets a serious case of it,
but even Dora and her son have conditions that will be somewhat-complicating factors if they
get a bad case. And there's no telling when Dora will have to go back to work and maybe be
thrown into the thick of it, and maybe bring the virus home.
I've been working slowly to get my affairs in order, transferring some money to Spain for Dora
to inherit, and working to make sure passwords and family photos and such are preserved for
my survivors. But I'd better finish getting everything straightened out, today.
See my web page Legal stuff
for more info.
Mainly you should have a will, a health-care directive, a digital-assets directive,
some printed info to help your survivors, and a labeled device of digital documents for your survivors.
Apparently the bus with Dora's son was near Lyon at 7 AM, which means they've crossed the
most difficult borders, and maybe he'll be here by late afternoon. Assuming he doesn't get
put into quarantine by the authorities after arriving.
Out with Dora before noon. To laundromat, pharmacy, ATM.
Enclosed ATMs are closed. Short lines outside stores, as they limit the
number of people inside at any one time. Home, then back to laundromat.
Dora's son arrived after 6. His bus-trip from Slovakia was long, about 30-32 hours, but
smooth. They only had to get out once, at the Austria-German border, to show ID.
They never were checked for sickness or anything. The price for the trip was €300,
a bit high but not as bad as the €390 Dora had told me it would be.
He says all indications are that restrictions will be getting tighter in the future, inside
Slovakia and at the borders. He says students from France were given a free trip home
by the French govt, but Israelis at his school had to pay €1000 to get home.
Headache; took a sumatriptan and slept late.
In late afternoon, I was out to Dia for a big load of groceries. Home, and then out
again to buy a big load of fruit. Saw that print shop was open, bought printer cartridges.
Out in the evening, on this holy day. Only the fruit/veg shop was open, but that was good.
Out in late afternoon, but only the fruit shop was open.
I'm out in mid-afternoon to buy two full loads of groceries and fruit/veg. And forgot
to look for strawberries in the fruit shop.
In late evening, we had a little birthday party for a family member,
which was nice. Dora's son baked a homemade cheesecake for the party,
and it was good. We didn't have candles, so instead used matches on the cake,
and that didn't work at all.
I think the Spanish central government has said construction and manufacturing workers can
go back to work starting today, but the Catalunya regional government has said
no, it's too early. I agree with Catalunya. I don't see any workers in the
big park construction job across the street.
In late afternoon, I went out three times in a row, to Bon Area for meat, to Dia
for groceries, then to fruit/veg shop. Maybe a few more people out than usual,
and a few more cars.
Had a small birthday party for another family member.
Low-grade headaches again, despite taking pills. Slept late and still headachey.
Niece's school finally starting to do multiple "classes" each day, online.
The classes still seem to be a bit more socializing than a rigorous class.
I was out in the evening, to ATM, to Dia for groceries, to fruit shop for bananas.
Headache; took a sumatriptan and slept late.
I was wrong about niece's school; they're still doing very little each day, no
more than half an hour online. Disappointing. I think they're planning to have
real classes again in the summer. Niece was pretty disappointed to hear that.
Dora went to the local health center to see if she can go back to work, and they
said first she has to be tested for the virus. But they didn't test her there,
she has to schedule a test somewhere else. She called, and they will call
her back to tell her when/where to be tested. Then probably it will take several days
to get the test results. We think this is going to be an anti-body test, because
she probably had the virus a month ago. If it's negative, then we think she should
have a virus test. And the answer about the sample taken from her a month ago is:
"Back then, there weren't good controls, we don't know where that sample went or
what was done with it".
Dora says there have been cases of patients walking in with COVID-19 and
dying right in the clinic where she usually works.
Apparently they're not doing screening outside to separate possible virus
cases from non-virus cases (such as a broken finger or something), so everyone's
mixing in one (the only) waiting room.
I went out in the evening. To carnisseria to pick up a big bag of meat that
Dora ordered, then to Dia for groceries.
I went out in the evening for groceries and fruit.
Rain most of the day, and pretty hard in the afternoon.
Raining until afternoon. I went out in the evening to get groceries.
Raining. Dora called pharmacy, then went out to it, and when
she got there they said "our computers have been down for two days, can't sell anything, sorry".
Apparently the NHS computer system went down, probably because yesterday was the first day
everyone's supposed to be able to get facemasks at the pharmacies.
In the evening, Dora went out to the pharmacy and bought medicines, and
got a couple of free facemasks. They're simple surgical masks, not as
nice as the mask I already have.
Three of us trying to help niece with some of her English homework, and some parts are
"well, it looks like THIS is the answer they're looking for, but that's not how
an English-speaker normally would say it."
Windy. Dora out to be tested for the virus. She thinks everyone there to be tested was a medical worker.
The sampling involved a swab way up the nose. Results will come in 2-3 days, supposedly.
In the evening, started doing our joint Spanish income tax return.
At 10 or so, news that Dora tested negative for the virus, so she'll have to
go back to work soon. The results came so quickly that she suspects they sent her
sample to a private lab, although she declined to give them permission to do that.
In early afternoon, I went out to get a big load of groceries.
Some work going on at a road water/sewer construction site a block away, first
work I've seen there since the quarantine started.
Out again in late afternoon, to fruit/veg shop.
In midafternoon, out to fruit/veg shop for a huge load of stuff.
In evening, out to Dia for a big load of groceries.
Apparently today is the first day when people are allowed to take children outside (I thought it
was starting tomorrow). I've seen a number of children and parents go by in our quiet street.
Online, people are saying that there is recklessly dense people-traffic in some parts of
the city, and warning that we may see bad health consequences from it.
In late evening, studied some Spanish for first time in a while. As usual, got into a heated
debate with Dora about reflexive verbs, which I still don't understand. In the process of
consulting 3 or 4 dictionaries, we straightened out something that I was taught wrong from
the start: the basic form of a word is not the "infinitive", but instead the "root".
Then based on the root you can have 1 or 2 verbs (and an infinitive is one form of a verb), and also nouns, adjectives, etc.
That makes several things clearer.
Dora out to local health clinic about her permission to work.
Also bought more printer paper; she and niece have been doing an alarming and
expensive amount of printing. Then we're out of ink, and I refuse to put another
€50 of my money into ink. Dora doesn't want to pay, and so there we sit.
Paid €115 (all the cash I have) for the water bill. Then I'm told
it should have been €150.
Dora has to go back to work, but she keeps telling me different dates.
First it was going to be Monday, then it was going to be today,
now it's going to be tomorrow evening.
Dora and niece out to buy printer ink.
In late afternoon, I went out to ATM and to Dia for a huge load of groceries.
Did computer backups all night.
Checked the computer backups. Said good-bye to Linux Mint 19.3.
Then booted into FreeDOS and updated my laptop's BIOS.
Then booted into a Windows 10 install USB stick
and installed Windows 10. Wow, this process has gotten ugly, as Microsoft
does everything they can to force you to sign up for cloud accounts
and such. All I want to do it test my Bluetooth hardware; it doesn't work
under Linux, and I want to see if it works under Windows. Got far enough
in to determine the answer is no.
Booted into an Ubuntu 20.04 install USB stick. Disappointing to find
that the installer is a bit of a mess, mostly to do with partitioning.
Finally got through it and got the basic installation done, and booted
from hard disk.
Started tweaking settings. Surprised to find that VeraCrypt is not
available in the standard repos; installed it from web site and started
copying tons of files from my backup disks.
In the afternoon, installing lots of applications, and slowly getting
used to the system and getting things working. Password manager,
source-code editor, RSS reader, etc.
Dora out before 6, to work 7-1. We're all worried about how it's going
After 10, a message from Dora saying they have her seeing patients
who do not have respiratory problems, which is good. But later I found
they still have all types of patients coming in through the same
waiting room, and the few examining bays for non-respiratory are right
next to the (great majority of) bays that are for respiratory patients.
She says on weekends the whole place is for respiratory patients,
and the non-respiratory are seen in a separate place. There did seem
to be a lot more cleaning going on than usual.
Dora home around 2 AM, seems in good spirits.
Dora showed me the mask she had to wear at work, it says "PM2.5", looks made in China,
she says she can't breathe through it. No valve. It looks like a construction-dust mask, to me.
But on Amazon every single mask says at least "PM2.5", even the ones with added features
such as carbon filtering etc.
Today's a holiday. Lovely warm day. It's been windy, and there are piles of
pollen and stuff that has blown off the trees. Probably a factor in my headaches
for the last couple of days. I went out in late afternoon and only the fruit shop was
open, got a big load of fruit/veg.
Dora out to work 11-11. I went out in midafternoon to get a big load of groceries.
Headachey. Dora home at midnight. She was working in the non-respiratory-complaints part
of the clinic.
Heard that quarantine restrictions are being eased a little: over-70's can go out 10-12 and 7-8,
14-70's can go out all other times, not sure about rules for under-14's. Everyone must
wear masks and stay close to home. But TV showing beachfront
pictures and there were loads of people out on the malecon today.
Dora out to work 11-11. I'm headachey again, taking pills and napping a bit.
Out in late afternoon for a nice longish walk. To fruit shop for a few items.
Dora home before midnight.
Out in late afternoon for a nice walk. Couldn't get anyone else to go with me.
Too many people out on the streets for my comfort.
Went to a couple of fruit shops but they didn't have what I was looking for.
Later out to Dia for a big load of groceries.
A couple of workers driving forklifts and such in the park under construction
across the street. First time I've seen that in 6 weeks or more.
Out after 1, to phone store to recharge SIMs, and to fruit shop.
A fair number of the usual shops are re-opening; this is the first
time our normal fruit shop has been open in almost 2 months.
Dragged Dora out after 6 to go for a walk. No one in this household
except her father and I are getting any exercise, it's unhealthy.
And Dora has completely the wrong idea: as we're walking, she's trying
to stay more than 1 meter away from ME, when she should be worrying
about keeping both of us a couple of meters away from strangers.
She and I sleep in the same bed, we're not isolating from each other !
Sometimes I amused myself by walking closer to her, and she'd edge away, then
I'd walk closer, and she'd edge away more, until she had to stop or run into a tree.
More businesses are open, still plenty closed, but I'm not happy to see that EVERY barbershop/hairdresser
is open. It seems to me that such optional, close-contact businesses should be the last to re-open.
Out at 6 in the evening to walk Dora to metro, to work 7-1.
Then I went to Dia for a load of groceries.
Fan in big bathroom has stopped working. I pulled a lot of gunk out of it, still no go,
took it down and cleaned it more, no go, need to buy a new one.
I cooked dinner. Then walked Dora to metro at 2 to work 3-11. Everyone has to wear mask and gloves in
the metro, and she says they were giving out free masks the other day. To fruit shop for a big load of fruit/veg.
Out at 6. To ferreteria to buy a new bathroom fan, but there's a waiting list on the wall,
you have to sign up to get in, the list has 15 names on it and 10 people waiting outside.
Went to a gas/AC shop, but they said no. Went to another repair shop I knew, and
guy grabbed a fan off the shelf, here you go. €25. To Dia for groceries, then home.
Sweated and swore a little putting the new fan in. The duct is the standard size,
but all the mounting holes are in different places, and we don't have any small drill bits.
Managed to make do, and got it in, and it's even square with the ceiling panels, looks good.
Walked Dora to metro after 2, to work 3-11. Then I went for a walk to get some
exercise, and to Caprabo for groceries. Lovely warm sunny day.
Still amazed at how many people aren't wearing masks; I think the
law says everyone is supposed wear masks. [Later I found an official page
of restrictions, and it does NOT say everyone has to wear masks. In fact it
says NOTHING about masks, except on the public transit.]
In early evening, on Zoom did a bit of a free Spanish class (more of
a list of tips from a Spanish teacher who runs a school here in Barcelona). Useful, and my first time
using Zoom so I wanted to test that. Supposed to go for an hour
but went about 1:40.
Online, filed my Spanish wealth tax return.
Out to ATM, and then Mercadona for a few groceries.
In late afternoon, had a Zoom call with my brothers and sisters in USA.
Quite nice to see everyone and have a nice chat. Mostly family stuff, but a
few questions about Spain. They asked if there are anti-quarantine protests here;
no, haven't heard of any, and people are applauding every evening at 8 to support
the health and EMS workers. They asked if testing is widely available; no,
even health workers such as Dora are not getting tested regularly, although we
hear that antibody tests are about to become available and maybe eventually routine
for health workers.
Heavy rain at 7 or so.
Headache; took ibuprofen. A fair amount of construction activity has
resumed in the park across the street.
Dora out after 2 to work 3-11. Later I was out for a big load of groceries,
then again for a load of fruit.
Dora home at midnight. Today she was working in the respiratory-problems
side of the clinic.
Construction going at full speed in the park across the street.
Out in midafternoon to go for a walk and then to Dia for groceries.
Dora out at 6 to work 7-1.
Looks like the charger on my laptop stopped working last night. Battery down and
falling fast. No laptop for me today.
Out after noon. To computer shop, but no charger. To Dia for groceries
and fruit shop for fruit/veg.
Home, and ordered a charger online, should be here tomorrow.
And now I learn some useful lessons: The backups from my Linux
machine are not mountable on our Win10 machines; seems to be
an incompatibility between two pieces of software that I thought would
work. Otherwise I'm
in pretty good shape: my phone has a copy of my password database,
I have music to listen to, I can deal with some of my email through the phone.
New charger delivered around 1, less than 24 hours after I ordered it.
And my laptop is charging, so the problem was the charger (and maybe
Out in the evening, to Dia for a big load of groceries.
Dora out to work 11-11.
Out in midafternoon to buy meat and fruit/veg. Cool out, some grey clouds coming over.
Dora out to work 11-11. I'm out in early afternoon, to take garbage, try farmacia but they're
closed, get a big load of groceries at Dia. Plenty of people out, mostly wearing masks, some with masks hanging
around their necks, what good does that do ?
Out with niece to a couple of stores, to buy school-project supplies and groceries.
My US stimulus check arrived in the mail:
Out to ATM. Later out to farmacia and fruit shop. Later out again for more
glue for niece's school project. In late evening, out for a walk with Dora.
I've been out more today than in a usual week under quarantine.
Before 6 (PM), managed to cajol Dora and niece to go out for a walk.
I wanted a walk for exercise, but they wanted a walk from store to store.
About 1/3 of shops were open, and plenty of people outside. A lot of
the shops had a "one person at a time" rule or a table at the entrance or
something. We stopped at a church, a bakery, a candy shop, a variety store, fruit shop.
Out in midafternoon for a nice exercise-walk, and to Dia for groceries. Warm out.
Dora out to work 7-1.
Dora out to work 3-11.
Found out that Dora's gestor filed our Spanish income tax returns, despite me
wanting him not to, until I'd reviewed them. And he screwed them up, filed us as individuals instead of jointly.
Out in midafternoon. Hot. To ECI and found that their mailing counter is closed.
To Dia for groceries.
I think Dora is working on the respiratory side of the clinic today:
Out at noon. Hot. To Correos (post office), and there's a line of 40 people out on the sidewalk
waiting to get in, and several more people inside already, I'm not going to wait.
To the library to return a few books for Dora, and the library is closed and the book-return
box outside is closed. Down to a fruiteria and bought bananas. Home.
Dora out to work 3-11, on non-respiratory-problems side of clinic.
Surprise delivery: Dora and son ordered a huge new TV without telling me.
It's a Samsung UHDTV RU7100 series, 4K, 138 CM (55"), and it's enormous.
Around 2, there was a little "balcony concert". We had a card announcing it in our mailbox
the other day, but it gave date and street name but not time and street number.
Turns out it was right across the courtyard from our back balcony.
Three people with clarinet, violin and trumpet. Some nice sounds, but
everything literally was about 10-20 notes of some popular show-tune, such
as music from Mission Impossible or Star Wars. I listened while putting out
the laundry, and it was pleasant.
Out to Dia for a big load of groceries.
Dragged Dora away from the new TV after 8:30 PM, and went out for an exercise-walk. Loads of people
out, more than usual on a nice Sunday evening. Lots of the younger people not wearing masks,
and majority of the older people wearing masks. People not respecting the 2-meter distance
rule. Found out why so many buses have been coming up our street today: govt has blocked
off several major streets so people can walk without having to get too close together.
Nice, but with mixed results. Later I was told this is going to be a regular thing for a while.
Dora out to work 3-11. Later I was out to Metro to buy a card,
and to Dia and fruit shop for groceries. A few bars/cafes are open that weren't open before, but
only with people sitting outside, not inside.
Out in late afternoon to sit in VA plaza and get some sun. Then
to Dia for groceries. Still maybe 1/2 or 2/3 of the younger people not wearing masks.
Received a letter from the US president, taking full credit for sending
a stimulus check to me. Only interesting thing about it was that it was in English
on one side and Spanish on the other side, I guess because it was sent
to my address in Spain. Read a sentence or two and dropped it into the trash.
Gave myself a haircut.
Out in midafternoon to sit in VA plaza and get some sun. Then
to Dia and fruit shop for groceries. Dora out to work 7-1.
Out before noon. Warm out. To library, but still closed. To ATM. Still a long line outside the post office.
To fruit shop.
Out after 11 PM for a walk with Dora.
Dora out at 7 to get a blood test (virus serology test). Apparently all of the staff
at her govt medical clinic is getting tested simultaneously. Back home before 9 and back into bed.
Smartwatch that Dora had me buy for her (€100) arrived in the mail. Dora took one look
at the size of the dial on her wrist and refuses to wear it.
Out in midafternoon to sit in VA plaza and get some sun.
Then to Dia for groceries. People sitting at cafe outside tables
and none of them are wearing masks.
Grey and raining in early evening.
I've been trying to mail my US stimulus check back to the USA for deposit.
Someone said "use your bank's phone-app to deposit it". So I installed
the app, took pictures of the check, it says "in progress", look again
in a day or two to see if it went through okay. Isn't modern technology amazing ?
Dora out to work 11-11. She's working Respiratory today:
I went out in midafternoon to get sun and go to fruit/veg shop.
Dora out to work 11-11. Around 3:15, I heard a car-accident outside, looked out
to see that a taxi had hit a bicycle-food-delivery guy at a nearby intersection.
Went out in midafternoon. Zoom call with my siblings in USA at 11 PM.
Apparently Dora received her virus-serology (antibody) test results on Saturday morning,
24 hours after the test (which she finds suspicious). Results were negative, no antibodies.
Dora out to work 3-11. Respiratory.
Dora out to work 7-1.
Dora obtained some flu-shots from work, being discarded because technically they expired
last month. I'm sure they're still good; Dora and I injected ourselves. We tried for 6 months
this last season to get any kind of flu vaccine, and failed. Son refuses the shot.
Dora out to work 3-11.
Dora out to work 3-11.
Tried to order some medical parts/stuff on Amazon, and everything says expect delivery in
second half of July. So I guess the delivery systems are getting gummed up, or
the supply chain is empty.
Had a little birthday party, for me.
I paid €220 for water bill and some taxes. Dora out to work 3-11.
I've been fighting headaches for 2+ days now, not fun.
Dora out to work 7-1.
€300 I got out of the ATM yesterday is all gone, spent.
Out with Dora at 10 to go to gestor, to get information about retirement alternatives (pension benefits). Complicated.
Late evening, had a zoom call with my siblings in USA. Nice.
Dora out to work 11-11.
Dora out to work 11-11.
Finally got some life out of the smartwatch I bought for Dora.
Had to do a firmware update on it, add more permissions on Android phone,
mess with notifications on phone, etc. Instructions are written in a typo-laden
translation from Chinese, and are so cryptic as to be nearly useless.
Dora out to work 3-11.
Dora out to work 7-1.
Dora out to work 3-11.
Dora out to work 3-11.
Late evening, had a zoom call with my siblings in USA. I was tired and had a headache, dropped out early.
Dora out to work 3-11.
Tomorrow is a holiday, Dia San Jordi, so lots of fireworks/explosions going off,
especially in the evening.
Holiday. Dora out to work 11-11.
Dora out to work 11-11.
Dora out to work 11-11.
Another sign of return to some normalcy: this evening some independentistas are blocking traffic on
Meridiana again. Looks organized, looks like they came in on 6 or 8 big buses.
Parents and son out to Peruvian embassy to do paperwork. I cooked dinner.
Dora out to work 3-11. When she got home, her smartwatch says she did 11K steps today,
so I guess her work involves a lot of walking.
Out before noon with Dora and niece. To metro and to NatPolice station,
to renew niece's ID card. First time I've been in the metro in 3.5 months.
Afterward stopped at an outdoor cafe; also first for that in same amount of time.
Dora out to work 7-1.
Dora out after 11, to do errands and then work 3-11.
I recharged phone services for me, niece, mother.
Dora's son and father went to Correos to mail something to Peru, and found
that Peru is not accepting international mail because of the virus, so they couldn't send it.
Huge department store near us, El Corte Ingles, is closing. Dora's son says
they're reducing from 5 locations in Barcelona to 2 locations, because of the virus.
Zoom call with my siblings in USA.
Niece out to a barbecue/pool with friends. It turned into a sleepover.
Dora out to work 3-11. Fortunately not working respiratory today.
There's a big lockdown in Lleida (well west of Barcelona) but also there
have been virus spikes in a couple of center-city Barcelona districts
that are served by her health center. [Later she said at least 3 definitely COVID-sick people came in,
to the other side of the clinic, and were sent to hospital. I'm surprised to find out that they don't
start contact-tracing right away; after a test result comes back positive, then family will be
informed, but it's unclear if anyone does any real contact-tracing.]
Dora out to talk to people at clinic, then to work 7-1.
Around 1:45 as scheduled, home-insurance-inspector guys show up to investigate water
maybe leaking from our main bathroom down into the apartment below.
They made me nervous by staying for almost 2 hours, fixing a bunch of stuff,
we served dinner to them at our table. Nice guys, but I'm nervous about
strangers bringing the virus into the house.
Before 5, Dora's sister arrived from the South.
Others out after 10 or so, first to govt office, then to Ikea to buy furniture.
Dora's parents came back soon, after the govt office, but Dora and sister and niece
were out all day, until 8:30 or so. They bought a lot of stuff, people are going
to shift bedrooms, small middle bedroom is going to be painted. But they've hired
people to paint, deliver, and assemble, so I won't have to do much.
Sister and parents clearing out middle small bedroom so it can be painted.
Unfortunately half of the stuff is being moved into the big bathroom.
I tried to avoid the whole circus, but got roped into going out to get
more paint. Store doesn't have any more, and I couldn't understand anything
else they were trying to tell me. [Later, I found out that when they bought
the first paint, they asked the clerks to hide the only remaining tin of the
same color and not sell it to anyone else. Then they sent me to go try to buy it.]
Dora out to work 11-11. Painter was here from about 10-7.
Nice guy, but when he left he shook hands with me, and immediately
I went to wash my hands.
Dora home late at night, and soon emergencies are popping up, can I buy this thing
online, can I paint the mother's big bedroom on Monday. Instead, I go to bed.
Dora out to work 11-11.
Most of the family out shopping in the morning. Workman here from 3-11, delivering and assembling stuff.
Sister back to South. Lots of craziness in the morning, moving stuff out, workman here for a couple
of hours, out to laundromat. After dinner I walked Dora to metro to go work 3-11.
Then I recharged niece's phone SIM; previous
recharge didn't work, and they don't give receipt, so I lost €5. This recharge worked.
Out before 3 so son and I could take niece to a medical appointment.
After 9, father and I put out a ton of furniture-type stuff for garbage truck or recyclers to take.
In 15 minutes or so, someone was taking a bit of it. I think the mattress was too big for their truck.
I groan out of bed after 9:30, and immediately everything is crazy. Truck full of boxes of
furniture arrives, and of course we're not ready for it. We scramble to move stuff out
of the way, and guys carry in lots of boxes. They're done and go, and Dora is off to
Online, I bought bus tickets for niece and parents to go to the north for 6 weeks or so.
Workman comes and assembles lots of stuff in the bedrooms, but there's some problem with the
big furniture for the TV in the living-room. He's gone around 3.
Walked Dora to metro so she can go to work 7-1.
Heavy rain after midnight. Thought of moving the laundry that's outside on
the rack, but there's nowhere to move it to, the balconies are full, everything's in chaos.
Workman arrived at 8:30 while most of us still were sleeping. He worked all day,
left at 5, living-room is done for now:
Dora out to work 3-11.
When Dora came home before midnight, we agreed that the new furniture looks nice,
but the sofa has no back-support, it's uncomfortable to sit on.
TV news says virus cases are increasing in Barcelona, govt is recommending
people stay at home, but no new regulation yet. Parents and niece are due to take
bus out tonight; I don't think they'll have any problem. Certain cities such as Lleida
and Zaragoza have "no one allowed to leave" restrictions.
Dora out to work 3-11.
Had a zoom call at 11 with my siblings in USA.
Dora home late, at midnight. She's unhappy that the bus ticket
I bought stops at Lleida, where there is an outbreak of virus.
But about 200 places in Spain have outbreaks now, including here.
The others arrived safely in the north. Here, I'm moving around furniture a bit.
Dora out to work 3-11.
Dora out in late afternoon to go to a meeting at work.
I badgered her to tell them that in the future they should use Zoom or something instead of in-person,
but apparently that's been asked before, and it's beyond them.
New ceiling lights delivered. I thought workmen were coming with lights to install
them, but no, it's just the lights and I'm the one who's going to be installing them.
I was out to the food-shops a couple of times before dinner. Still fair number of
people not wearing masks, or not wearing them over their faces.
Started to put up one of the new ceiling-lights, and of course I have to drill
new holes in plaster, and of course I don't have the right drill-bits.
After some consideration, decided to let a workman deal with it.
And turns out sister wanted bigger lights anyway, maybe we will send these back.
But then I connected one temporarily, and it's plenty bright.
Then of course I couldn't get the old light back up, because the plaster
had come out of the holes.
Dora out to work 7-1.
Apparently today is a holiday to make up for one that was cancelled in April.
Out for a late-night walk with Dora. Warm, still night. To an outdoor
cafe for coffees.
Dora out to work 11-11.
Dora out to work 11-11.
Dora out to work 3-11. Late in the evening, she sent me a message saying that neighbors say
there are thieves in this area, breaking into cars, maybe trying to get into the buildings.
Dora out to work 7-1.
A nurse in Dora's department (but on a different shift) is asymptomatic but has tested
positive for the virus.
Dora out to work 3-11.
Dora out to work 3-11. At 11, I had a Zoom call with my siblings in USA.
Late-night TV news says the virus death-toll in Catalunya has picked up again, 19 dead in last 24 hours.
Will have to see if other sources report that too.
In the evening, out for a sit and walk. Then as soon as I got home, out again for a long
walk with Dora to look at sites of 4 or 5 offices she might want to rent.
Then to an outdoor cafe.
Things are confusing: she needs to move to a new office, should
she get one near home (probably yes), she wants to move out of this apartment and get
our own apartment, can we get an apartment where she also has a home office in it ?
She'd like to buy an apartment, but I'm dead set against that.
The cheaper offices are not near public transit, so harder for patients to get to.
Best to have an office at street level, but we don't want an apartment at street level.
I'd prefer an already-furnished apartment, she doesn't.
Niece has been begging sister to buy a dog for her, which might be enough to drive us
out of this apartment. Parent's health situations are going downhill slowly. What costs would we still
pay for niece and parents and this apartment if we moved out to another apartment ?
It's August; shops and govt offices are closing or going on short hours, people leaving town for vacation, so hard
to get anything done quickly. Which is okay with me.
Dora out to work 3-11.
Out with Dora in late afternoon to look at an office in Maragall, which
turned out to be high on a hill, hard to get to.
Dora out to work 7-1.
After staying up half the night, Dora was out before 10 to go to her work to get a virus-test.
She's had a sore throat for a few days, some headache, a little coughing.
Expects to have the test results in about 2 days.
At 12:30, son and I met her on the other side of this apartment complex,
and an agent showed us an apartment for rent. It's similar to the one we're living
in now (same builder, same complex, different layout, slightly smaller),
and only about 300 feet away across a courtyard. A govt-subsidized
price of €1050/month, big enough for the three of us and Dora's office,
two full bathrooms, balconies on front and back.
Still need to get owner's approval to have an office in it,
then do govt paperwork also. And we'll need to buy
a refrigerator, washing machine, beds, etc. Do utilities etc. Move stuff from the
current apartment and from her clinic office.
It's on floor 2, so patients would have to be buzzed in and come up the elevator.
We're all inclined to do it. Dora really
wants her own apartment,
she needs a new office (and a single room in the clinic is costing her €450/month),
this place is close to her parents and niece,
between two Metro stations and near lots of buses, easy for patients and Dora to get to,
there's parking underneath and outside, we know the area well, etc.
I joked that we can string a line across the courtyard so we can pass her
mother's cooking over to us.
But an hour later, the owner is saying we can't have an office in the apartment.
Dora says we should have not mentioned an office, just done it anyway. Too late now.
In the evening, I tried to inject some super-glue into some loose screw-holes in a door,
and had my usual experience with super-glue: squeeze, why isn't it coming out, suddenly
it's coming out the side and all over my fingers. Narrowly escaped gluing my fingers
together. Cleaned up as best I could, tried again with another tube, mostly got the
glue where I wanted it to go, but even that tube was not acting quite right.
Online, we found that Dora's test for SARS-CoV-2 was negative.
Up at 8, out to meet a real-estate agent at 9 to see an office.
Not surprised that Dora had the time wrong; we could have slept
an extra half-hour, but on the other hand she had time to grab
coffee and toast at a cafe.
As I expected, the office was terrible, only the location and
price are good.
Dora off to work 11-11.
Dora off to work 11-11.
Out in the evening with Dora to look at an apartment a couple of blocks
from Sagrada Familia. Nice location, apartment in better shape than Dora expected,
the agent said no problem to have an office in it, rent quite reasonable (€1150/month).
But no air-conditioning,
too many rooms with each ending up a little small, I didn't like it so much.
Out, and to a Taco Bell across from Sagrada Familia for ice cream, then to
the park to sit for a while. Far less crowded than it usually is. Most of
the tourist-looking people were not wearing masks.
As we talked, we slowly changed our thought process from "apartment near
current apartment" or "apartment in interesting area such as Sagrada Familia" to
"apartment near Dora's work so she saves nearly 2 hours of commuting on each workday and
can come home to eat". So we'll have to do some investigating on that angle.
Dora out all morning, vacating her private office and having a workman
move everything into a storage unit. She's home for dinner,
then off to work 3-11.
Out with Dora before 4. Metro to go see an apartment between Sagrada Familia and Glories.
As Dora expected, not an interesting neighborhood, and the apartment fronts right on
a very busy street, essentially a highway. Nice kitchen and bathrooms, other rooms
kind of small, basic furnishings, air-conditioning. €1100/month, plus agency charges 10%,
something maybe the other apartments have too.
Out, to a cafe a for a while. Then Dora off to work 7-1, I headed home with a couple of stops.
Workman arrived around 9:15, started putting up ceiling lights.
Despite continuing lower-back pain, Dora is off to work 3-11.
Two of Dora's relatives in Peru have died recently, one from COVID-19.
And the COVID numbers from Peru are very bad, they're having a terrible time there.
She says many of her relatives are at home sick with COVID.
Spain has many outbreaks, but death numbers have been slow to increase.
I think that's changing; Catalunya alone is having about 30 deaths per day now.
Slept late. Dora to work 3-11.
Saw a news article saying they're going to start mass testing for SARS-CoV-2 in Barcelona,
starting with OUR district [actually, I found out later, just
one isolated neighborhood of our district]. Apparently our district has the lowest average income
and the highest infection rate. We're number one !
Late-night Zoom call with my siblings in USA and my aunt. Nice.
Barca played Bayern in Champions League and got destroyed 2-8.
Dora out with son to take a load of stuff to a nearby office.
I thought she was just renting a storage space, but now it seems
she's renting an office.
In the evening, I was out for a nice walk, then out again
for a late-evening walk with Dora and to an outdoor cafe for drinks and nibbles.
Still plenty of people out on the streets not wearing masks.
I haven't been feeling well for a day or two now, headaches and some GI problems and feeling a little tired.
But I'm not running a temperature.
Out to sit in the plaza in the evening, then later out for a walk and sit with Dora
and then to an outdoor cafe. But it was noisy and most
people had brought their dogs which were barking at each other.
Out around noon with Dora, to buy some things, then she wanted coffee in a cafe.
After dinner, Dora out to work 3-11.
Dora and son out to her new private office
for the morning and early afternoon.
Apparently we're going to a big amusement park well south of here,
for a weekend about 10 days from now. I'm not in favor of the trip,
but the family of her sister from the north will be there, and
we want to see them. We're not supposed to do optional
travel during this pandemic. And I'm even less in favor when the price keeps
climbing and it turns out we'll only have one day of overlap with them.
But Dora and her son really want to go, so Im overruled.
Dora out to work 7-1.
During the night, I couldn't sleep at all for about the first 2/3 of the night.
To bank with Dora for 0900 appointment. Trying to open an account for me to get a
credit card. The lady was very helpful, but it turned into a huge ordeal,
open a bank account then an account with their affiliate,
my phone and their computers fighting us at every step. Have to install
THREE apps on my phone and allow location services. Finally
left after almost 2 hours and it's still not working. Accounts are
open, I think debit card is coming in mail, but unable to "unblock"
a credit card so I can get it. Maybe have to let things settle
for a few days and see if it works then.
Home around 11, and Dora immediately out again with her son to do errands.
I'm sleepy and so is she, but she's continuing.
On home Wi-Fi and my laptop, I can log into the new accounts, but
trying to get to a credit card fails in the same way, so I guess I'll
try again in several days.
Dora and son were home about 3 hours later, tired and hot and having
failed at both their errands.
Still not feeling totally well, mostly a headache.
Feeling better after dinner. Out to Dia for a huge load of groceries.
Out in evening with Dora and son, to ECI to arrange school uniform for niece,
and put it on layaway. Total is going to come to €385 plus a couple of pairs of shoes,
which is pretty shocking.
Dora out to work 11-11.
In late evening, bought bus tickets for niece and grandparents to return from Laredo,
and 5 seconds after I finished buying them, was told a 4th person (sister) will
be traveling too. Son did that ticket, but I would have done it if I'd known.
Dora out to work 11-11.
Out around noon with Dora. To farmacia, to buy shingles vaccine. Apparently you can only
buy the old vaccine, and each pharmacy is limited to one dose per day, and it's expensive (€183).
So we ordered one dose.
Walked to Dora's new private office, which is at the edge of walkable distance.
Nice place, she has a room in a mostly-architects office with about 10 rooms.
Put up her advertising banners on the front door.
Out in early evening. Bought vaccine at farmacia. With Dora to another farmacia,
and ordered another dose. To a couple of shops and home.
In late evening, Dora and son injected the vaccine into me.
Dora and son out all morning, at her private office with a couple of patients.
Around 12:45, I met Dora at the bank and they did more work to get a credit card
for me. It's this dance: open a bank acct, open a card account, close the bank acct.
They say it's working.
After dinner, Dora off to work 3-11. Around the corner, her shoes started coming
apart, I had to dash out to take other shoes to her.
Out later and bought the other dose of vaccine, another €183.
Dora home at midnight. She didn't want to take the shingles vaccine, but around 1 AM
her son administered it to her.
Dora out to a class.
Dora's mobile phone is half-frozen: the display is showing partially, it still reacts to
some buttons on the side and to the charger, but the display never updates, and it
won't shut down. Looked up instructions on the internet, and of course the back is
GLUED on and you need a heat-gun to take it off to get the battery out.
Out with Dora before 1. To ATM, to phone-repair shop, then printer-ink place,
favorite butcher is on vacation, bought stuff at Bon Area. Hot. Home.
Out again about 90 minutes later to pick up the phone, it's been rebooted,
no loss of data. I'm lighter by €40.
Dora had been scheduled to go to a medical class in the Canary Islands
in mid-September, and was insisting I go with her. I'm relieved to hear
that the class has been postponed, mostly because of COVID I'm sure.
Dora to work 7-1.
Dora out at 9:30. I start having breakfast, and soon I'm getting messages
from her, her shoe is broken, she forgot her glasses, meet her here, meet here there. Argh !
Before she left this morning, I told her to take a spare pair of shoes.
So, after a bit, I go to meet here at ECI. Of course I've brought the wrong eyeglasses;
they'll work but the other ones are more stylish. She finishes at the mailing counter,
outside, switch shoes. She's off to Metro, I'm into Mercadona for groceries and then home.
Dora not home for dinner, and working 3-11 today.
Son out after 7 AM, to catch train to Port Aventura amusement park an hour or so
south of here, to meet the family from the north there. Dora and I will make the
same trip tomorrow.
Dora out to beauty parlor. I went to ATM, phone shop to recharge my phone, niece's, and mother's.
Bought fruit. Home, then out to ECI to meet Dora. Saw about niece's school uniform, then
lunch for Dora in HCC. Dora to work 3-11, I'm back to phone shop to put another €20
into mother's phone. She needs to call Peru, where several relatives are in hospital
with serious cases of COVID. Two other relatives there have died of it in the last several months.
Dora's private office says she can't see patients there; I guess they expected her to use it just as storage.
So she has to find another place.
Rain starting a little after 10. Supposed to be cool and rainy all weekend,
while we're at the amusement park.
Zoom call with siblings in USA. Dora home early from work.
Trip to Port Aventura:
Up at 6:15, and getting ready for trip.
News from Peru is very bad; a couple of relatives very sick with COVID.
Dora on phone to Peru. But we get out of the apartment before 7:30.
To VA metro through a tiny bit of light rain. Miss a train, wait
7 minutes for next, still at Sants Estacio with 30 minutes to spare.
Buy tickets, then into a cafe for coffee for Dora.
She's back on the phone.
Onto train, and uneventful trip 70 minutes to Port Salou train platform.
Into a taxi and to the edge of the amusement park.
As each vehicle enters the parking lot complex, a security guard scans everyone's temperature, but he's doing
it from about 4 feet away, and it looks like some kind of visual scanner
that would show hot-spots.
To the Colorado Creek hotel.
This whole end of the park is American Wild West themed.
Met by Dora's son, and we check in. To a room where sister and niece are
staying, and soon joined by other sister and husband and 6-year-old twins.
Nice to see everyone.
Getting the whole circus moving takes a while, and we're shifting luggage to
a consignment room because they have to be out of both of their rooms
by noon (they're leaving tonight) and we can't get into ours until 3 PM
(we're staying here tonight).
Out after noon, I think, and head into the park. Cloudy and
a little cool, great weather as long as it doesn't rain. Slightly longish walk
through Wild West town, lots of buildings and cacti (some of them fake) and a couple of closed-looking
hotels, to the actual ticket gate. Security guard looks into bags, tickets into
turnstile, then we're in.
Plenty of people, but I'm sure it's 1/5 what it would be on this weekend
in a normal year. A fair number of shops and cafes are closed, and several
times a ride is closed for 20 minutes while they disinfect. But plenty of stuff open.
Pretty quickly I find out that I'm no longer young, but still foolish.
We go on a big wooden roller-coaster, I'm in a fairly tight seat with a
guy next to me, and this ride is rough. The first or second curve
throws me into the side, and there's no padding, and something hurts
a lot in my ribcage. The rest of the ride is not much fun, getting banged
on various body parts while trying to keep my ribs from getting stressed.
Off, and I think I have a bad bruise, no problem breathing deeply.
We go on a kiddie-carousel, which is fun, and wander.
I continue to be foolish, and over the next hour or two we go on
about 4 more rides, several of them the spinning/tilting kind.
The last one (for me) is some kind of Aztec-serpent thing and is the worst, and I go
right to the edge of vomiting.
I manage to hold it in, and get off pale and sweating. Dora's afraid I'll faint,
but I'm just trying to keep from vomiting. Rest of the family
gathers around to observe and comment, and I slowly recover.
Son fetches a soda, which helps.
We head off after a while, but a couple of rides that the others
try get on are closed for disinfection.
And with 9 people, there's always someone needing a bathroom stop.
To China territory, and there are a couple of major modern nasty-looking
The niece wants to go on them, everyone's going different
directions, Dora's on the phone non-stop, sun is out and it's a bit hot.
Eventually niece changes her mind.
Now we're into Polynesian territory and looking for food.
Eventually we arrive at a restaurant, and as expected it's pricey.
Lunch for us comes to €137, and I pay it.
The food is good, we're under a big thatched-roof Polynesian
building open on the sides, it's pleasant. Towards the end
of our meal, it starts raining. So we slow down. And I have two
folding umbrellas in my pack.
Eventually out, and the rain has mostly stopped. Soon we
are buying 4 rain-poncho's, which I assume are for rain. But no,
they're for riding the water-attractions without getting totally soaked.
Soon four of the others are onto one of those 28-person flume boats that
does a short route with one small plunge and then a huge plunge at the end
that sends water blasting out everywhere. They love it.
Eventually we're moving again, and past some shows that are closed.
Back to Wild West, and several of the others put on the ponchos and
do a log-flume ride.
Head back to the hotel
where soon we're changing into swim clothes
and heading for a swimming pool. Dora and I are last, and no one
has told us where the pool is, and it's not easy to find despite
signs and people giving us directions. Turns out to be behind a
cafe, with no big sign out front saying "pool".
We have a lovely time at the pool, 8 of us swimming, sister's husband
is back at hotel trying to get some sleep before having to drive overnight.
Eventually back to the hotel, and 8 of us in the room using
one bathroom/shower. I don't get my turn until about an hour
and 45 minutes after we arrived.
But as soon as we get there, Dora gets very bad news from Peru.
A relative of hers (and her sisters) has been sick with COVID and suddenly
got worse, but couldn't get an ICU bed. Dora has been on the phone
all day with former colleagues trying to get an ICU bed for him, and contacted the right people
but there just were no empty beds. Now she hears that her relative
has died. He was about my age, and has several 35-ish children who
also have COVID, one of them a serious case. Dora is very upset.
At every step during the day, I've gotten the wrong message
about what we're planning to do, and dinner is no exception. I thought
the others were leaving and then Dora and son and I were going to
dinner, which is scheduled for 10. No, all 8 of us are going to dinner. Which turns out
to be very nice food but reasonably money-intensive, like
everything this weekend. I pay €102.
Eventually out and sit for a while in the hotel, then to the
room. The others leave just about at midnight, off for a 10+ hour drive to the north.
Dora and son and I share the room. We sleep solidly.
Awake at 8, but Dora is up earlier, contacting Peru again.
Out by 9:30, to breakfast hall, where we have coupons so
don't have to pay. Lots of decent food, pretty nice.
Out of the room around 11, stash luggage in Consignment, head into the park.
As a lark, we all get on the kiddie-carousel that we'd ridden yesterday
with the kids, but now we're by ourselves. Dora wanted us to ride, son didn't want to get on,
but I said "hey, it's a free world, you're free to look stupid", and for some
reason that sent Dora into gales of laughter. Soon Dora jokes that she's here
with her babies. I joke that I'm feeling sick and going to vomit.
We wander to the log flume, pull out a couple of yellow ponchos,
and go on it. I'm in front and carrying all of our bags full of papers and phones and stuff, so I cover
up and hunker down, and Dora is hiding behind me. So she's disappointed
that the picture they want to sell us for €10 or something is no good,
and we don't buy it. She seems to think you have to buy the picture
or else the experience is incomplete. I got soaked from the knees down
and plenty of spray on my face, and soaked up my wrists, so I'm feeling wet.
We head in further, taking some pictures. Eventually to a part of the park that
the son (who's been here half a dozen times) has never been to: Ferrari land.
Which has a couple of extreme rides. But also a nice gallery with 4 or 5
race-cars in it, which are very interesting to look at. Wish they'd had
one with the body off so you could see the engine.
(last pic is from previous day).
We loaf and plan, then start heading back across the park. It's a long
walk and hot sunny weather, so we take our time and stop every time
there's a free bench in the shade.
Again, I was wrong, I thought they had said they wanted to swim and then
eat later. Instead, we eat first, and it's the least-good meal of the
weekend, and one of the priciest at €47. But we did get a lot of food.
To hotel, change, and out. Carrying two over-full bags stacked, I manage to drop my
pants and underpants in the street without noticing, and a security guard calls out
to me in front of a lot of people and I have to go back and get them, which sends Dora into gales of
laughter. She just loves this, wishes she'd gotten a picture.
I say she's lucky to have a husband who makes her laugh so much.
To swimming pool. Which is nice, and I rest for a while
before going in the water. It feels cooler than yesterday, but I think
that's because the air is about 6C warmer than yesterday. Dora and I swim
for maybe 15 minutes, and that's enough.
Eventually back to hotel, change, get our stuff out of Consignment,
call a taxi. To the train station a bit early, but the train arrives,
so we get on. Sit there for about 20 minutes, until the appointed
departure time, which is fine. Train is just about full, but they're
only using half the cars for some reason.
Train goes, and at next stop enough people get on to make the train
over-full, people are standing in the connectors. One couple
of loud young idiots stands next to Dora too close, until she
complains and they move away after some back-talk, and Dora is mad.
Arrive in Barcelona, and to Metro. Masks are mandatory, but some
woman is standing and talking into her phone the whole time
with her mask down around her neck.
Home before 8:30. Starting to get windy and later rainy outside;
pouring rain for a little while at 9:45.
Lovely cool sunny day. Dora out to work 12 to maybe 8 [actually 9].
Sister, niece and parents arrive from north around 8. Lots of clamor for a while.
Later niece and Dora get in an argument. Finally some peace and quiet as sister and Dora
head out to Ikea to buy more furniture (just what we need, more furniture),
and son and niece go to ECI to buy luggage.
Dora and sister hitting major snags at IKEA, so we had dinner at 3 without them.
I'm very glad I didn't go with them.
Finally at 8 PM they arrived in the truck, and we carried a zillion small items and
a few big ones up into the apartment. Crazy !
Son's flight to Poland on 7th is cancelled; he rescheduled for 18th.
Maybe that one will get cancelled too. He needs to get to medical school in Slovakia.
If he goes by surface (bus or train), he'll get quarantined at every frontier.
Usual craziness in the morning, with workman showing up at 8:45 or so and women
debating furniture etc. I like quiet while I'm having my breakfast and getting
started on the day.
Out before 10 with Dora. Supposed to just go to dentist's office to check something,
but as usual the trip ended up with 2 more stops and then a cafe, then she took a taxi
back home because she was running out of time to take her mother to a medical appointment.
At 11:45, call from Dora, she's at the mall with her mother, I should bring the niece
to buy the school uniforms. What happened to the medical appointment ? [Found out later,
hospital only did a virus PCR test on the mother, she'll go back for the real appointment
on Friday.] Niece and I
hustle over to mall, and no sign of Dora and mother. Turns out they're up in the cafeteria.
I hustle back home to retrieve the paperwork I forgot to bring.
Back to mall with sister, and wait as Dora does the cashier and various other articles of clothing.
Eventually done, and niece and mother have disappeared.
I go home with most of the clothing. Have a shower. Niece and mother arrive
in taxi, but no sign of Dora and sister. Eventually they turned up.
I did veal and salad, we added rice and lentils, dinner for 8 of us.
Dinner, then nap. Walked Dora to metro to work 7-1. I sat in plaza, then for groceries.
Workman worked all day, finished after 10. We fed him mid-day dinner and some
late dinner. I have a desk now, niece's bedroom is almost finished, etc.
Niece ordered delivery from McDonald's using a mobile phone, but all they
delivered was mayonaisse, she screwed up the order. :-)
Sister back to south, so now we are 6 in the apartment.
Dora out to medical association.
Around 11:30, air-con tech and furniture workman arrived within minutes of each other.
I had to move ceiling panels before and after the tech was here.
Out a couple of times in early evening, to stores. Groceries, hardware, meat, etc.
Workman stayed until 10 or so. In our bedroom, Dora had us stack one chest of drawers
on top of another so she had space to add a big makeup table.
Watched about half of the Germany / Spain football game, and it was a bit boring.
But with minus-one-minute remaining, Spain scored to eke out a tie, 1-1.
Dora hustled to get to an 8 AM medical appointment for her mother, taking niece with them,
only to find that they had the date off by a month. Mother waiting for other 11:15 appointment while Dora
and niece go on errand. But then Dora managed to reschedule the missed appointment for 11 today,
so all is well.
They didn't get home until around 3. Dinner was waiting.
Around 3:15 a technician arrived. I've been agitating for months to get oxygen for
Dora's mother, and Dora's been resisting me every step of the way. Finally after
the mother's appointments today, the NHS is supplying us with oxygen. The technician delivered
not only an AC-powered machine/tank she can wheel around a little, but a big manual tank also
(in case the power fails, I guess), and a wearable machine she can use outside.
I'm surprised to see Dora's mother using the oxygen continuously, right away.
She's been resistant to the idea, and I thought she'd use it only sporadically.
But she really needs it now, I think.
Out at 5:30 with niece, and met Dora on F-i-P. Into a taxi and to a gymnastics club not too
far away. Registered niece for classes, out and to farmacia, then niece says she doesn't
want this kind of class. Back into gym and got my money back; extracting it back from
Dora was a little more difficult. To a cafe for a while. Over phone, Dora signing up
niece for the class she used to take, near the beach but requiring us all to get
up at 7 AM each Saturday morning, sigh.
Eventually to Congress metro, to VA, stop for fruit and shopping etc.
The three of us got separated and all came home separately.
Up at 7. To bus stop with niece and Dora's father by 8:10 or so, just missed a bus, waited 10 for next one.
To Mar Bella complex at the waterfront for gymnastics class. Things have changed a bit because
of virus, but niece got in (and had her temperature scanned) and had a good class 9-11.
Home before noon; I went for groceries. Dora is out to work 11-11.
Son's flight back to medical school in Slovakia on 18th is cancelled.
He's going to have to explore land options.
Dora out to work 11-11.
At night, pouring rain after 10:30 or so, just in time for Dora getting out of work.
But she got out late, got rained on going to the metro, and the rain had almost completely
stopped by the time I went to the metro to meet her, after midnight.
Pouring rain again before 1 AM. Dora and her mother and son calling Peru,
a family member there is sick. [It turned out not to be COVID, but
a couple of very serious chronic conditions.]
Before dawn, Dora tells me we have 11 AM ecography appointments.
Just before 10, as I'm trying to get Dora out the door, the workman
arrives. He wants to be paid, and Dora spends 10 minutes chatting
and explaining that her sister has to pay. Finally we're out the door,
and to the bus stop. Run and the bus waits and we catch it.
Half a mile down the road, Dora gets a message on her phone or looks
on her phone and realizes the appointments are for tomorrow, not today.
Off the bus and walk toward home. She heads off for a beauty parlor,
I go home.
In midafternoon, son finds a flight Barcelona - Munich - Vienna - Kosice
and I book it. About double the usual price, but if it works to get him
back to medical school ...
Dora out before 6, to her private office to see a patient. Son to join her.
Started pouring rain around 7:30.
Dora out at 7:15 or so, to an all-day medical congress.
I'm out after 10. To H6 bus, long ride to CIMA hospital, met Dora
there. Had appointments, a scan for me and two for Dora, and scheduled
three more tests for me in the next couple of weeks.
Briefly to the cafe, then I headed out to the bus. Long, slow ride home.
Son out at 8:30 to get a PCR test in advance of traveling back to medical school in Slovakia.
Social worker arrived before 9 to interview us and maybe arrange help for Dora's parents.
Done before 9:30.
Dora to her congress around 10:45, in taxi through rain.
In late afternoon, SNAFU. "Parents" are supposed to go to a big meeting
at niece's school at 6. Dora is at medical congress, son is going out,
niece refuses to go, so the guy who doesn't really speak Spanish is going.
I get over there and the place is empty, find out the meeting is online.
Back home, rush to find out details and passwords etc, finally connect
well after 6:20. Some slide-show and talk about COVID prevention measures, classes, rules, etc.
Niece and grandmother start watching it. 15 minutes later Dora was connected too,
from her congress.
Niece out later to a party with friends at McDonalds. I went to sit in plaza and
wait for Dora to arrive on Metro, but then rain and cold wind drove me
down into the station. Rain stopped before she arrived.
Later Dora out to talk to other parents at niece's party.
Dora up before 5 and turning on lights to search for documents, so I got up
too for a while. Back to bed. Up before 9, and she has papers spread out everywhere.
By 9:30 or so, Dora running around yelling at various people, then out with her
father to sudden medical appointment and then errands.
In late afternoon, out to plaza and then for groceries. Then as I'm
at an ATM trying to do a complicated payment, Dora calls, she's in a taxi
and needs me to pay. We manage to meet on the streetcorner and
I give cash to her.
Out at 7:30 or so with Dora, to farmacia. A long list of items, stuff
for son to take to medical school, and stocking up at home. 28 boxes of
medicine for €50. Amazing how cheap much of the medicine is here,
although we're lucky that none of us have conditions requiring anything unusual.
Son's PCR test results came back negative, so he's one step closer
to flying back to medical school on Sunday.
Had a late-night Zoom call with siblings and aunt in USA, but I was tired and couldn't get very engaged with it.
Dora couldn't sleep last night, was up all night, and then has to work 8-8 today.
And of course she left everything (such as ironing) to the last minute, so she's
out at 7:30 with some shouting, and has to take a taxi to work.
I'm out after 8 with niece and Dora's father. To V27 bus, and to Mar Bella on the waterfront.
Niece into gymnastics class, and father and I went our separate ways for 2 hours.
Niece out at 11.
We all want to go home, but Dora has scheduled medical tests for us at her job.
So walk to metro, ride, connect, ride, out and to the big clinic.
Where everything is busy, and Dora is finagling paperwork for us.
We're back and forth, then waiting outside the building for a long time.
I thought niece has to have a PCR test for school, but turns out that's wrong,
Dora just wants us all to have PCR tests, and an x-ray of my still-aching ribs.
The wait drags on, I park niece and father at a cafe across the street.
Finally they get to go in, but my test has to be done tomorrow. I think I'm going to skip it.
They're out, we want to eat, but Dora is busy, and then she's committed
to an x-ray for me. I send niece and father across the street to eat,
and I wait. Eventually a technician takes 4 x-rays of my ribs, and
they decide no fractures.
We get out, put niece and father into a taxi to go home, and Dora
and I have lunch in a cafe.
Done, long metro ride, I'm home before 5.
Dora home at 9:45, and she's tired but not dead, more energy than I expected.
I think we all slept well.
Lots of packing etc as son gets ready to fly back to medical school in Slovakia.
I go out, get €400 from ATM, then go for groceries and fruit.
Back home, and almost all of my cash immediately gets distributed to
Dora's mother, Dora, and son. Poof !
Dora and father and son off to the airport after noon.
Out at 2:30 to meet Dora and father at a metro station
and go to a restaurant. But they didn't arrive until almost 4.
Someone on the train barged in front of Dora and flagrantly
violated social distancing, she had words with them and their
two friends, then one of them came over and kicked her and wanted to fight. Sounds like Dora
gave as good as she got; she had some martial-arts classes a long time ago.
Then she tried to report to the train guards and the real police, and
none of them were interested at all. She went to a health clinic and
found her blood pressure was sky-high. Finally to me and we went
to a Chinese restaurant.
After midnight, son arrived okay to his apartment in Kosice Slovakia.
Up before 6:45, niece getting ready for first day of school.
She's in the upper grades now, in a new building, and they start
an hour earlier now (0800), so it will be an adjustment.
SNAFU. Dora's phone still dead because she lost the charging cord.
We hustle to get out the door late, down to school, arrive a
little after 8, and find out that on the first day only, they start at 9.
No one read the instructions I printed out and handed to Dora and niece, and I should have read
them more carefully myself.
Dora and niece into a cafe, while I go to an ATM and then home to
pick up the bag of stuff Dora forgot to bring.
To the cafe, get
niece to practice English a little (she has an exam today, to determine
level). To school, and now all the students are there, waiting outside. Dora not pleased
to see that a boy she knows had COIVD symptoms (or someone in his
family did), is there and going in. Niece herself is not 100% healthy,
but doesn't have COVID symptoms. PCR test results should come tomorrow.
Take a few pictures.
Kids go in, Dora goes off to do an errand, I go home.
Check two stores to see if I can buy a charging cord, but
neither of them is open yet.
Niece home from school after 1, and she's feeling bad. Doesn't eat
dinner, and eventually to bed and she's not going back to school for the afternoon session.
I go out to sit in plaza, then buy a charging cord for Dora, and then to fruit shop.
Dora home around 5, tired and stressed and ready to bite my head off at anything I say.
Belatedly I try to take niece's temperature, but neither the non-contact nor electronic-with-contact
devices are giving me numbers I believe. Her forehead feels hot.
Scramble to find ID cards; somehow Dora lost or had stolen the niece's health card
when we went for tests on Saturday.
Then Dora on Skype to Peru, some relative there needs an ICU bed and Dora is
trying to pull strings for them.
Out after 7:30 or so. Down to main street and caught a taxi after 5 minutes or so.
Started to the local health clinic, but the driver said it would be closed,
and we went to the main hospital. Eventually found pediatric urgencies. I got
kicked out to wait outside. Waited maybe an hour.
They came out. Niece has a virus but it's not SARS-CoV-2. She has to stay home
and isolate for several days.
Down to main road, Dora bought a ton of soda and snacks for niece.
Caught a taxi after 10 minutes or so. Home after 9.
Out after 8:30 with Dora's father, soon followed by Dora. Lots of people out,
lovely weather. Longish walk
to a hearing-aid place, long appointment there. To a cafe. We were supposed
to go to a bank, but Dora off to a medical appointment. I went to an ATM
and paid a bill for Dora's next Catalan class.
In late afternoon, went to bus stop to meet Dora and carry bags for her,
and of course somehow she slipped past me and I wasted half an hour of my life waiting.
Dora received a message from a radiologist at her clinic where I had my
ribs x-rayed. I DO have a fractured rib. I want more details.
At 7:45 a crazy woman barges into my bedroom and yells at me to get up,
we're all going to be at the bank at 8:30 when it opens.
I stagger out, get some breakfast, then at 8:40 she's still copying
documents and not even close to going out.
By 9:45, I've convinced Dora not to drag her mother and niece out to the bank.
10:05, she's still copying documents.
Then at 11:20 I'm informed that everyone is going out.
Out at 11:30. Dora disappears to one bank for 20+ minutes while the rest
of wait on a street. Around noon, she reappears, calls for a big taxi,
and there are none to be had. She flags down a normal taxi and she, niece
and mother get in. Takes me 5 minutes to flag down another, and father
and I get in. To another bank. Wait 10 minutes, and they're out, failed,
but found info of office they need to call.
Put niece and mother in a cafe and order food. I go to join Dora
and father in hearing-aid place. Takes a while. Out and back to
cafe. Dora jumps in a taxi and is off to an appointment at the CIMA hospital.
Soon we finish at the cafe, I put the other three in a taxi to go home.
I get in a bus, connect to another bus, eventually to CIMA hospital.
Can't find Dora, I go to a cafe, get two bites of lunch, then she calls.
I'm not supposed to eat before my test at 5:30. Now I'm really grouchy.
Dora shows up. She had her scan, but it was late, radiography is crowded.
Soon we're across to the hospital. She sweet-talks them into doing
my blood sample early. Then down to Urgencies. I think she's just
doing this as a dodge to get my kidney-ecography without going through
the line in Radiography, but it turns out she's in distress.
So we end up in urgent/emergency next to each other.
It's not very busy. I fib to get my ecography, which turns up normal.
Dora turns out to have dangerously high blood-pressure, and is medicated
and has to sit for more than an hour as her pressure comes down.
I go back up to laboratory to have blood taken again for much more
extensive tests, and they take a LOT of blood. Wait 45 minutes or
so for Dora to get out. She checks on one more test, has to schedule it for tomorrow.
Into a taxi. Home at 7:15.
No time to rest or shower; have to go to a private mass at 7:45.
And of course despite planning this days or more in advance, Dora is
scrambling at the last minute to find photos etc. We're out late,
supposedly to a private mass for just the 5 (actually 3) of us.
We get there at 8, find it's a public mass with about 20 other
people there, already in progress. Priest says the names of the four
people we've come to memorialize, but Dora says he gets two of them
a bit wrong. At the end of the mass, zing, he's out of there and
lights are being turned off. I say maybe his TV show is starting 10 minutes.
We leave one set of flowers we brought, cart the rest of it home.
Dora chats with several women who attended, probably trying to promote
her medical business.
Home by 8:30 or so, and finally get a shave and a shower, then some food.
After 11, Dora getting ready to go out to police station, to report the
Metro altercation that happened three days ago. I've told her ten times not
to bother. And she wants me to go with her.
She went around midnight, had to wait about 2 hours, eventually got in,
did everything, home by 3:30 or so.
Up at 9:30, and Dora has been copying more documents and already is missing one medical
appointment at the CIMA hospital. Soon I'm scanning documents and figuring out how
to send them electronically to her doctor in the NHS.
Social worker arrived at 11:30 or so. Brought an "alert" device for Dora's parents,
and buttons for them to wear,
so they can push a button to summon aid. I plugged it into the telephone wire,
they tested it, then unplugged it, said a technician will come tomorrow to plug it into the telephone wire (!).
Dora out at 12:45, late for her next set of medical appointments.
Online, I'm starting to send all my medical records from private hospital to NHS.
Have to scan paper and send it through an NHS web site, not too bad.
I must say there's method to Dora's madness. Between the police report and the
high blood pressure and medical tests, she got a letter from her famil doctor
saying she can be off work for up to 49 days.
[Dora told me later: in the AM hours, she saw three guys fighting with bottles across the street
from our apartment, called the police, the police came and grabbed them.]
I'm up briefly before 6, but get sucked into Dora's orbit, she need documents,
and she's going out to a 0700 blood test. I do some things and go back to bed.
Dora still here when I get up at 9:15. Finally she's out at 9:45, but to a bank.
I go out to a couple of errands (niece's school, farmacia) and basically fail at both of them.
Dora wants me to go across town to see an apartment, but I'm not going.
Dora home at 9:45.
Niece still sick, no gymnastics class this morning.
Dora out to class 9-2. Home at 4.
Out at 5:30, into a taxi with Dora and father. To La Rambla, and to a church/monastery
that Dora has been going to. Upstairs and into a moderate-sized chapel for a mass
to commemorate one of their relatives in Peru who died. I'm a bit alarmed to see
that the three of us, plus one more man, are the only ones wearing masks
out of about 18 people present. Most of the others live here, this is their home,
but still. And half the time Dora didn't have her mask on either.
The mass was okay, but Dora was trying to Zoom it to her relatives in Peru, and
typing texts to them, which I thought was a bit embarrassing. Afterward,
I got tapped to make a €100 donation to pay for it.
Dora chatted with a man for a while, showing him pictures from Peru, while her father and I were itching to leave.
Up to Placa Catalunya, and into a cafe for drink and snacks.
Then a hot metro ride to FiP. Independentismos blocking the
big intersection as usual, they were doing it last night too.
Home by 9. Took a shower.
Niece well enough to go out once with Dora, then twice with her friends.
Dora supposed to go to 0700 blood test, but she didn't go to bed until 0520 last night.
Niece back to school.
Dora out at 11 or so to medical appointments.
Heavy, heavy rain starting a little after 1, just as kids getting out of school.
And we're supposed to go to the bank. I went to school to take an umbrella to
the niece, and 5 minutes later Dora's father did the same, but niece slipped
past both of us somehow. I headed home, and met Dora's mother going to the bank.
So the two of us went there, and got various things done, but it was slow.
Home and dinner, as niece is going back to school.
Emailed my election ballot to USA. Now I have to paper-mail it too.
Dora home in late afternoon, then out again for the evening, but not
before having a big shouting argument with the niece, probably about
her mobile phone or something.
Before I could get out the door to go to the consulate, Dora intercepted me
and sucked me into going to local health center to fight about paperwork.
Then she wasted another 1.5 hours before we actually got out the door.
I started walking to the health center, lugging heavy binders. And of
course she pulls up in a taxi, now in a hurry.
We get to the health center and of course there's a long line.
Dora disappears inside and goes to some administrative office.
Then she starts calling me, telling me to come inside with her father,
but I can't get past the guard and receptionist. Then she says she'll
come down to get documents from me, I go in, but she doesn't come down.
Back outside. Eventually she comes down and we go inside.
Then we stand in the lobby for more than an hour, as she sorts
photocopies into big envelopes for each of the 5 of us. Apparently
the 50 or so electronic copies I uploaded into their computer system
are somewhere that the local administrator can't see or won't accept;
we have to do paper.
Finally she goes to a clerk, they take the envelopes, don't need to
see me or the father or see any of our IDs. Then Dora is talking for
another 10+ minutes. I'm watching it get dark outside; looks like
it's going to start pouring rain at any moment. Then she's done,
but instead of going out the door, she goes back upstairs.
Then she's back down and talking to the clerks again.
Finally we're out, and I walk home fast before she can rope me
into a taxi or a cafe or it starts raining. But the weather is
clearing, and I get home before 1:45. Dora and father go to bank, I think.
She's home after 2:30 or so, and she's tired and stressed out. But has
a medical appointment later.
Sudden heavy rain starting at 4.
Dora out later, out most of the evening. Home, then out to farmacia,
then to a small supermercado while I'm waiting at home so I can
do travel tickets.
Finally around midnight I buy bus tickets for Dora and niece to get
part of the way to the south.
Dora out to spend most of the day at the hospital.
I'm out around 10. To metro, to bus, to US consulate.
To vote I have to go all the way through Security and inside,
which I wasn't expecting. But they nicely gave me a US-postpaid
envelope which I didn't know I had to bring. Dropped my ballot
in the box.
Tricky to get down into the center from there. Bus, walk, bus, walk.
To a gun-shop, where I bought pepper-spray for Dora. To metro
and home before 1. First thing Dora said was that she wanted me
to buy some for her sister too. Too bad.
Dora's son at medical school in Slovakia is still in quarantine, waiting
for virus test results. Classes started Monday, two days ago. He can
watch the lectures online, but he needs to do rounds in the hospital.
Dora home before 6, and she's exhausted, didn't eat all day. I buy a BlaBlaCar for her tomorrow.
She eats. Then she has to go out to local health center to pick up a paper.
After 7, I went with her to the health center. SNAFU.
Instead of a referral we went to pick up, they had some simple printout of
a visit we made. They gave us back unopened an envelope we gave them yesterday.
Their records for Dora's parents have the wrong diagnoses/codes on them.
Out, then Dora wants me to tag along to two farmacias, but I go home.
As Dora and niece pack, I'm getting a sinking feeling about their trip.
They're connecting through south Madrid, and the news is full of stories
about how that's a major hotspot for the virus, and the govt is putting
new restrictions on movements. I hope they don't get stopped and fined
and sent home. They're traveling both for a valid reason (Dora has to
do paperwork in the South) and for vacation.
As usual, Dora and niece are late getting out the door. They had planned to
take the Metro, but I put them in a taxi at 9:24 to catch a 10:00 bus.
Dora and niece made it to Madrid on the bus, and onto the BlaBlaCar to go to Seville.
I think they arrived in Sanlucar around 5. So about a 19-hour trip.
It's suddenly changed from summer to autumn here. Cool, breezey weather.
In Cadiz, Dora has found that her doctor in Jerez never transferred her baja records to Barcelona,
potentially costing her nearly a year of pension credit. Her blood pressure is spiking (I'm serious).
She's going to yell at him and probably hire a lawyer. And she's upset with her niece, so that's
a mess too.
In Slovakia, Dora's son has tested negative for virus, can start classes on Monday, and rounds.
Had a Zoom call with siblings in USA; nice.
Changed my laptop from Ubuntu GNOME 20.04 to Ubuntu MATE 20.04.
Recharged accounts for mother's and niece's phones.
In Slovakia, Dora's son's university has cancelled all in-person classes.
Apparently all the foreign students were forced to get virus tests,
but the local students weren't, and now there are 70 positive cases.
Quiet too-cool day, until lots of nice fireworks nearby starting at 10 PM.
Big blowup between Dora and niece has continued in the South.
Now they're talking again about the niece moving to the South to live
with her mother there. But there are N reasons against doing that.
Finally getting messages from Dora in the late evening. She's going to be in the
South at least through Wednesday. Meanwhile her parents here are bored and lonely and
the niece is missing days of school.
Lots of messages from Dora, looks like niece will be coming back to Barcelona.
Dora's son in Slovakia says the students are going home from university.
He's going to wait another week or two before coming back home, will do
classes virtually from here. His roommate had one day of classes in person,
and he had zero days, before in-person classes were cancelled.
Dora called in evening, and I found out most of her reason for her trip to the south
was to dump the niece with her mother there. But everyone else in the family (except maybe
the niece) disagrees with her about that. So they're both coming back.
Typical: after I've been telling her for 2 days that she needs to print the flight
itinerary before going to the airport, Dora calls me at 0730 (for 0915 flight) to say her computer
can't read the PDF document I emailed to her. So I have to get up and convert it
several ways and send it again a couple of ways.
Before 1, Dora arriving at Barcelona airport, and wanting me to come carry luggage for her.
Not a chance; it's too late to get there, I don't want to do it, and the police
wouldn't let me inside anyway. So I'd travel for a couple of hours to push a baggage cart
about 100 yards.
Dora and niece home by 2:30 or so, with a huge amount of luggage.
In early evening, the craziness is starting again. I flee the apartment
and go sit in the plaza and ignore half a dozen phone-calls from Dora.
Eventually home, then out to farmacia, then out for groceries.
Dora is out at her private office, which is demanding rent backdated
and in cash, so something dodgy is going on.
Son in Slovakia says a "state of alarm" will be declared there tomorrow,
about the virus. So getting him here will be an expensive adventure ... again.
Dora out all evening, first at beauty parlor, then at office. I went to bed
early, maybe 11, and she got home maybe 11:30. I got up at 2:15 to find her
still up, and having some pain. Got her into bed at 2:20 and she says
she has an 0800 appointment at the hospital halfway across town.
Why does she do this to herself ?
Dora out by 7:45 or so. Niece not going to school, I think she doesn't feel well.
Dora home around 6; she was out of energy, I had to go meet her near the bus stop.
But then at home, it was a chore to get her to stop talking on the phone and
eat and drink something.
In late evening, I just could not get Dora to go to bed at a reasonable hour.
I went to bed around 11. Then at midnight, the niece wakes me up to say she needs
something printed for school. It's in Google Docs on her Chromebook, neither
of which I've used before. I get our printer known to Google Cloud Print, but
can not get her browser / Google Doc to create a print job or see any printer.
Finally I save as PDF, take it to Dora's laptop, and print it from there.
Dora to bed around 12:15 and up at 2:45, I think. I give up trying to get
her to take care of her health.
Up at 7:45, and immediately regretted it. Dora in the usual morning frenzy, and
I like everything quiet for an hour or so as I slowly wake up and eat breakfast.
Not a chance. Here's laundry to put out, kitchen is full of ironing board etc,
find documents online and print them (why couldn't this have been done yesterday evening ?).
Finally she's gone around 8:45, with her father.
Now son's medical school is saying they MAY re-open in 2 weeks. But I think
almost all the foreign students have gone home. Now they're supposed to fly/train/bus
back yet again ?
Went to meet Dora at pastisseria near bus stop, after 8.
Dora finally got a solid 8 hours sleep this night.
Up at 7. Out at 8:15 with niece and father, to gymastics near waterfront.
Other than missing both of our buses by 30 seconds and having to wait 10 minutes
for each, a smooth outing. Sunny, slightly cool, very breezey day. Home before noon.
I'm out after 11 or so with Dora, supposedly to go to the CIMA hospital to return
the blood-pressure monitor she's been wearing for a day or two. Quickly SNAFU:
at the corner of our building, she's not heading for the metro I thought we
were heading for. Turns out she wants to go to the Peruvian restaurant
for tamales. Then turns out she didn't eat breakfast, she tried all morning
to get someone to deliver tamales, and they stiffed her.
Get to the restaurant, and no tamales. So into FiP metro, and long looping ride to
hospital are, arguing all the way about 10 different things.
Turns out I've been wrong about the son's medical school in Slovakia.
It's split into two parts, a public part for Slovakians, and an expensive private
part for foreigners. In March when the pandemic hit, 2 foreign students were
infected and the whole foreign half was shut down, but the Slovakian half kept
going, no problem for those students. Now again this semester, 20 foreign students
tested positive, so foreign half is shut down, Slovakian half is shut down.
On that front, and every other thing we argue about, Dora rejects all of my
suggestions, finally I give up.
Out of metro and up to hospital, and I wait outside for 90 minutes or so while
she gets tested. It's going to be a week or more before someone tells her
what the BP monitors says. Her pressure is too high right now.
Eventually out and down the street, and soon I'm finding out that not only
has Dora gone ahead and rented (€561/month including tax, a full year commitment) an office here,
she's also rented (€1200/month, a full year commitment) an apartment here
for the two of us. So we're moving ASAP.
The apartment is okay, not quite what I wanted (I wanted fully furnished, and 2 full bathrooms
instead of 1.5), but all the other
items (AC, kitchen equipped, washer, closets, elevator) are there.
Rent is okay, maybe good for this area.
I'm going to have to paint the walls in the office, apparently. Didn't go in the office today,
but apparently it's almost a full-sized apartment itself (no kitchen).
Down to Diagonal, most things closed today, but found a place for drinks.
Found out at least Dora had her accountant review the contracts before she
signed for the office and apartment. Moving won't be too hard, but I'm worried
about money, and being straddled between two apartments about 45 minutes apart.
Dora is pushing the other apartment and niece and (somewhat) parents off onto
her sister, with some talk about hiring help for them. I worry about
what happens if the health of her parents goes further downhill.
To metro, and long looping ride back to FiP. To Peruvian restaurant, where
I wait outside for half an hour while she chats with the lady. Finally I give
up and go home without her. Home after 5.
So, what's done is done. We're moving, for at least a year. Maybe not
the apartment I'd have chosen in the area I'd have chosen, but it's not
bad. Next to the hospital Dora's been going to, 4 metro stops from her work,
near a big set of malls/shopping on Diagonal, area is not without its charms.
2 metro stops from main train/bus station, half as far from airport as
our previous place.
Later, I found out that in Peru, the sister of Dora's childhood best friend,
aged 38, has died of COVID-19. There will be a mass tonight, and Dora
will watch online at 2 AM.
Out at 12:30 or so with Dora and parents, and down to bank to try to
straighten out the account, splitting it into two. Took over 90 minutes.
Afterward, Dora and I to several shops.
Out all evening with Dora, to a real-estate place to sign the contract for
her new office. I was mostly able to read the contract (which was in Catalan) and
ask intelligent questions.
I thought we had to go sign the apartment contract today, but no, Dora did that last Friday
(without telling me). Reading the contract, they've back-dated it to a couple of weeks
ago, before the new rent-control law took effect. And the rent shows as €1300/month,
but then says we pay €1200/month for the first year, again to avoid
the rent-control law, I think.
We're waiting to move into the new office and apartment, waiting until
Dora can get a refund and get her stuff out of her old office.
But to get the refund, she has to send a legal demand. So we're stuck
for a couple of days more, I guess.
Niece home at 1 for dinner, and turns out the school is SNAFU too. She doesn't have
half of her books, we thought it was because they were back-ordered, now they say
we never paid (which is true), I expected to pay on the first day but then
they never lined us up to hand out books or told us to pay, etc. Books were
bought two different ways, I paid one set but they never billed us for the other set.
Niece went for first morning of first day of school, then was out sick all week, then
went to the south for a vacation. So all this is just coming to light now.
The front desk doesn't know anything, the only person who knows comes in at 5.
Out after 5 with Dora, late for everything. Gave up on most stuff, headed
across town to medical appointment. But running half an hour late, cancelled it
as we neared the hospital. Instead stopped at new office and then new apartment,
doing various little chores. Then to ECI and sent the legal letter. Bought
a schoolbook for the niece. Eventually out, and eventually into metro. Home by 10, tired.
Out at 11 or so. To farmacia for a medicine, to phone store to charge account of my phone,
to Abacus but they didn't have book for niece, to Dia for a few items.
Home, and then out with Dora. To ECI to send a second burofax and order book
for niece, then to cafe, then to shop to pay a big bill they've run up
and get a bunch of binders and such. Home, while Dora is off to get papers
from opthamology shop. Which was closed, but somehow she stayed out for an hour
anyway, and came home tired.
Dora said we were going out to a govt office at 4, but that didn't happen,
then said we were moving starting at 6, but that didn't happen. Now it's 8:10 and counting,
and I have no idea if anything will happen.
At 8:45, Dora says guy is coming at 5 AM, we'll move the easy stuff,
go to office and move more easy stuff, he has another job at 9. I guess
truck will come again another day for more stuff. Crazy !
Finally around 9:30, after I pack all my clothes, Dora gets moving and starts
Up at 0410. Packing, then started moving things down to the street.
Of course the "0" button in the elevator has been broken for a couple
of days, so after loading the elevator I have to go down the stairs and
push the button. Soon stationed Dora's father down there to
watch the stuff and push the button.
Benigno and truck showed up before 5. Started moving lots of stuff.
Each time I thought we were nearly finished, it turned out we were
taking something that I had thought would wait until another day.
Dora and I own more of the stuff here than I thought. Pretty much filled
the truck, and still left behind two big chests of drawers and three full suitcases
on the balcony.
Into truck by about 7, and careful ride to the new apartment.
Unloading went faster, with Benigno doing most of the harder
work downstairs, loading everything into the elevator, and me
upstairs unloading the elevator and carrying stuff into the apartment.
Last few loads were the two big mattresses and the big TV.
Done by 8:20, and Dora is taking Benigno to cafe next door for
breakfast. I'm sweaty and aching, instead I go upstairs.
Drink water and take an ibuprofen.
At first no water from hot side of bathroom faucet; figure out
how to turn that on. Then no hot water, figure out how to turn
on the water-heater. Find fresh clothes, by searching through
about 10 bags. Shave and have a nice shower. Lie down.
Soon Dora arrives.
I nap for a couple of hours. Up feeling groggy, and start
getting things set up. Printer leaked some ink during the move,
but otherwise everything seems okay. Dora can't find her new
keys at the moment, so right how I have the only set of all the keys.
No internet here, and no free Wi-Fi signals nearby.
Dora late for her 11:30 medical
appointment, even though now the hospital is 5 minutes away instead
of an hour away. I go out at noon to Carrefour and buy some essentials.
Home to apartment, then out to private office to meet electrical
inspector at 12:30. I loaf while he inspects and inspects.
I think he's inspecting far more than electrical: he draws a
floorplan of the whole place, investigates all sides outside,
the floor below, etc. Finally done at 1:50.
I go home to wait for Dora, who has had a long slow time of
it at the hospital. We're supposed to dash back to the old
apartment and meet the truck there again at 3, move stuff, then
go to her old office and move stuff. But she's running late.
And she wants to go to a govt office later. That's probably going
to be pushed to tomorrow, as it has been for each of the last couple of days.
Dora eventually home very late, at 2:45. And announces she's traveling to
Bilbao tomorrow for several days of vacation with her sister's family there.
She's been trying to talk me into doing that for a week now, but
there's a pandemic, we're still in the middle of moving, etc.
I'll stay here and relax and cook what I want.
But she's smiling, she's happy we're in our own apartment.
She can't find either pair of her reading-glasses, but eventually I find
one pair (that will work, not what she was looking for) in a suitcase. [Later we found another.]
I'm out to Carrefour again to buy various real food this time.
Now workers are coming tomorrow to remodel both bathrooms, and Dora won't be here.
Should be interesting. I was looking forward to some peace and quiet.
But 5 minutes later, the plan has changed, workers are coming on Wednesday.
Dora thought the agreement was a total remodel of both bathrooms,
workers thought they were coming to clean the ceilings or something.
Dora cooks spaghetti for dinner. We have new silverware, but the only
plates are decorative Christmas plates. Good enough.
I turn on the hot-spot in Dora's phone and get Wi-Fi access.
Turns out there are no seats in buses or trains to Bilbao today
or tomorrow, and flights are not cheap. Requested a BlaBlaCar for her,
early tomorrow morning, but no response from the driver.
Apparently this is a holiday weekend starting.
Missing a small antenna-cable-adapter for the TV, so no TV.
Dora very upset because of a bad medical diagnosis she's received.
Groaned out of bed at 9:20.
The BlaBlaCar never answered, so that's cancelled.
Dora has bought an open bus-ticket, but there are no seats
Off to an 11:15 medical appointment that I didn't want.
Can't find my private-insurance medical card.
Had to wait in line, brief visit with doctor where Dora
kept requesting tests I don't want, finally scheduled
one test. Then wait in line again, as she suddenly
remembers an appointment she's missing, in another place.
Out, and she's into a taxi, and I go to Carrefour to
buy some things. Try the free Wi-Fi, it has a strong
signal, connects right away, and then no internet behind it.
At home, I rest for a while. In the "park" outside our
window, they're setting up for a kid's-concert or theater tonight.
I clean up tray on washer and start a load of laundry.
Dora home at 5, much later than I expected. She arrived late
at her doctor's appointment and had to wait 2 hours for a space.
She says she has a bus ticket to Bilbao for tomorrow morning at 11.
She found her apartment keys, which is good. Later she's out to
buy printer paper, home to gulp a bite of food, out to beauty parlor.
Kid's-concert outside has started, it's mostly a puppet-show.
I'm out to go to Carrefour for more stuff.
Saw a message sent earlier: apparently medical school
for Dora's son is re-opening. Good news. But later
Dora says they're only opening very minimally, and no rounds in the hospital.
So still a problem.
Zoom call with my siblings in USA; nice.
Groaned out of bed at 8:45. Dora has found my private medical card, that's good.
Her father is coming by taxi with lots of stuff.
Sister and father arrived by taxi at 9:30 or so, and I paid. Dora wouldn't let them into
the building; they waited on the sidewalk while I carted the stuff
up to the apartment. Then they went to a cafe for breakfast, and at 10 Dora joined them there.
Dora back at 10:35, and in a frenzy of last-minute packing.
We're downstairs and putting her in a taxi shortly after 11.
I fully expect she'll be back in an hour, having missed her
bus or finding no seats available.
At 11:30, a call from Dora, she's at bus station and bus is
leaving in 3 minutes, she doesn't have a printout of her
ticket, can I find it ? I've never seen it, I don't see
it here, I don't have internet access. She hangs up, I think
they're finding it in the computer. She called again a couple
of minutes later, she's on the bus, they found that her ticket
is to Laredo, not Bilbao (close enough). So she's on her way.
Loafed all day. Out in the evening for a late walk, but it
started raining (I had an umbrella). To an ATM, then eventually
to SuperCor for a few groceries.
Slept late. Cool, sunny day.
Very quiet. No internet, no TV, no other people.
But I have things to do on the computer, and plenty of
saved audio and video to play. Did some exercise.
No sofa or comfy chairs.
Out in late afternoon. To private office to plan what work needs
to be done: sanding and repairing walls, painting walls, cleaning bathroom, cleaning floors.
Then for a stroll, checking out parks and looking for Wi-Fi.
Eventually found municipal Wi-Fi down along Avinguda Diagonal,
and sat there for a while doing WhatsApp and email and a little browsing.
Dora is going to Lourdes today, I'm sure to pray for relatives and family and herself.
Slept late again. Cool morning. I want to do a couple of things, but I'm
pretty sure today is a holiday.
Dora's son called in midafternoon from Slovakia. Now the govt there is shutting
everything down, all levels of schools, including both halves of his medical school,
everyone has to go home. So he's arranging travel. I can't help, without good internet
access, but he doesn't really need help.
Out in early evening for a walk, and to get Wi-Fi. Not many messages.
Surprised to see some shops are open, maybe today was just an office/school holiday.
Strolled through Lilla mall. Up the hill and through some back-streets to home.
I'd forgotten how much stuff I had saved up on my laptop: videos, movies, TV show episodes, audio podcasts,
technical books on PDF, etc. So I've been speed-reading "how to make an Android app" books,
watching comedy videos, watched a movie, listening to podcasts on my phone, etc.
One problem is that the only chair is uncomfortable.
Out in midafternoon. Most useful shops closed, but explored a bit and then went to Carrefour.
Finally figured out their Wi-Fi: usually after connecting to public Wi-Fi, you try to access any non-HTTPS address,
and the portal kicks in and makes you accept TOS. But at Carrefour, you have to access
one of THEIR non-HTTPS sites for that to happen. Exchanged a few messages with Dora,
she's starting on her way home.
Out again after 5. To ferreteria a couple of doors away, and bought
sandpaper and a stove-igniter. To Dora's private office and sanded
walls for an hour or so, getting most of the marks and streaks out.
Wearing a black sweater and black shoes, which got lots of white paint-dust
on them; not smart. Paid porteria €8.50 for 4 new keys. Down to
Diagonal to get some Wi-Fi, but no travel status update from Dora. To another
ferreteria and got a TV antenna connector.
At home, got the TV connected and working. It found a hundred channels, but
only about 20 of them have signal. Got me excited, then disappointed.
Fewer channels than we had in the other apartment, but of course we're just
on building cable right now.
Back down to Diagonal to get Wi-Fi and try to figure out where Dora is.
Eventually her sister in the north said she is coming by plane, landing before 9 PM.
Don't know if she'll take taxi or train from airport.
Dora called about 9:15. She'll take a taxi from the airport. I expected her
by 10, but she arrived at 11:35. Among other things, she forgot to tell the
taxi driver her new address, and they were talking all the way,
so the taxi took her to the old apartment.
Stayed up too late last night, groaned out of bed after 9, doorbell rang at 9:10,
it's a worker to look at the bathrooms.
Fairly quiet morning, then suddenly before noon we're in emergency mode.
Dora needs 50+ pages of medical records digitized ASAP. She wants to
take photos of them, but her phone is full, she starts to use mine, but
the photos always are bad quality. I can't get the scanner working on our
new temporary Wi-Fi network. Finally I connect scanner via USB to her
laptop and start scanning documents.
After the first 40+, another 50+ added to the queue.
Out after 3:30, to office and then Carrefour. Home, eat
dinner, and somehow the day has melted away. Dora was supposed to go across town
to beauty parlor, but I think is skipping it. She's going to lawyer later.
I'm staying here to scan more documents.
She's here longer and longer, my stress level is rising, she keeps changing
the times she has to be places. Finally she's gone at 6:30, to lawyer at 7:30.
No sign of Dora all night. I go to bed around 11:30, assuming she's sleeping
at other apartment. At 3:30, I see I had a voice mail from her at 1:30.
I can't hear almost all of it, just a few words.
Dora calls at 9, wants N things, everything's an emergency. Vague descriptions of
all kinds of stuff to bring to her from this apartment. So I roll out of bed,
quick shower, skip breakfast, grab stuff. To metro and to old apartment by 10:30.
Where, other than using the medicines etc I've brought, nothing happens for hours.
I thought we were going to SS office, she was going to beauty parlor, gestor, lawyer.
I spend an hour or so setting up a new laptop for the niece, and a new printer,
only to be told niece is not allowed to use new laptop, Dora hid it.
Niece arrives from school, we eat. I try to get her school-provided Chromebook working with
the printer, no luck.
Finally we arrive to the gestor at 5, and the unlucky guy in the office has to talk
to Dora for 45 minutes. Then down FiP, first to a shop where I think her Catalan class people
work, then to lawyer. Hustled to get there for 7 PM appointment, only to find that
the appointment was for 7:30. Dora came out somewhat-happy, then went clothes-shopping
for a while to get happier. Then she wanted to go to a cafe, but I was tired. Stop
at an ATM, then home by 9:30 or so.
Slept in old apartment this night. Dora was up half the night doing stuff, including
buying tickets to fly to the south to get tested by a medical specialist of some kind.
Dora said we would be at SS office at 0900 sharp this morning, I bet her €5 we wouldn't.
We got there (about 4 blocks from the old apartment)
at 11 or so. And the person we needed to see was out on a break, so we went to
get coffee ourselves. Not easy to do; starting last night, cafes and restaurants
are closed again (except for take-out) because of the pandemic.
Back to SS around 11:45, Dora in, and I waited outside. She has a 1:15 medical appointment,
and she didn't get out until about 1:10. She gave me the suitcase full of papers, and
gave me instructions, and she went for a taxi. I dashed down to the bank, got stamp and signature
of director on two documents, back to SS office, got everything submitted before they closed at 2.
Dinner at old apartment. Dora says truck will come here tonight to
do moving. But I was resting later when Dora changed plans again.
She called, we'll move tomorrow. So I headed for the metro, got home at 4:30.
5-10 minutes later, Dora arrived.
Out with Dora after 6, late for medical appt. Into taxi, down to Manso, she
went in while I waited outside.
Eventually she came out, we walked up to niece's
gymnastics office, they're closed. We want to sit and relax in a cafe, but
of course that's exactly what you can't do for the next 15 days, they're closed.
Into Arenas shopping center. Nowhere to sit, no cafes open except for take-out.
Dora in a clothing shop, then a beauty shop.
Finally we're out, down to metro,
home after 8:20. News from old apartment is bad, Dora's mother is feeling bad
even on oxygen. We're telling them to press the alarm buttons we installed for
them, or call 061. Her mother refused to use oxygen most of the day, she's stubborn.
She's supposed to use it all day, to ease the strain on her heart.
By 10:30, technicians have been with Dora's mother for a while, but (by phone) Dora is
badgering them into having a visiting doctor examine her. Her mother sounds strong/normal
(for an 80-year-old woman with critical health problems) on the phone.
At 11, Dora tells me the man with the moving truck is coming tomorrow at 6 AM. Great.
Dora up at 4:30, and I have to get up soon after. 95% of the stuff in this apartment
is hers, but somehow she's fixated on re-organizing my closet. I thought the guy was
coming to take the desk, here for 5 minutes then we're all leaving. But no, turns
out he's delivering and assembling a big armario for the front room. He arrived at 6. With
plenty of heavy stuff in the truck, including several
huge sections too big to fit in the elevator, we're going to have to carry them up 4 floors.
So he and I got busy and carried everything new up. Fortunately only the two biggest
sections (which include glass) had to come up the stairs.
Then we carried a desk and small chest of drawers down.
Done by 7:15 or so.
Into truck and to old apartment. Delivered the desk and drawers. Dora's mother
looks normal (weak); last night's medical scare has passed.
Back into truck
and off to the old office, to pack it into the truck. Everything I do is wrong, Dora
is mad at me. She's leaving things I thought we were taking, she wants me to pack
her equipment but doesn't like how I do it, etc. Eventually we get done.
Into truck, and back to old apartment. Son has arrived from Slovakia. Niece has
skipped gymnastics class yet again, this time because of a hurt hand/thumb [and maybe class
has been shut down, too, because of virus resurgence]. We start hauling
stuff out and down to the truck, and the stuff just keeps coming. Apparently half the stuff
in the apartment was Dora's, including huge quantities of clothes. Then several pieces of
furniture. Finally the truck is full, no more.
Into truck, this time with Dora's father instead of Dora. Off to new apartment,
where we unload everything and haul it up, me working at the top of the elevator and
the moving guy doing the harder work between truck and elevator. He brings one heavy set
of shelves up the stairs by himself. We manage to bring Dora's office desk (which is
fairly weakly connected and could snap into chunks), and her big metal-and-glass cabinet,
up and in without any mishaps.
Done before 2. I only got a small cut on the base of one hand and a moderate scrape on
the inside of one arm.
We call Dora, and turns out she and her mother are in a beauty salon.
Moving guy and father refuse offers of food, just have some soda and a nibble.
Then the guy is leaving, and I put Dora's father on 34 bus back to old apartment.
Up to apartment before 2:30 and I can take my shoes off and relax. Then food and a bit of a haircut
and shower and lie down.
What the mess looks like after moving:
Out to store in early evening, some Wi-Fi, Dora not sure if she's coming home tonight.
She's tired and I'm sure she wants to visit with her son a bit.
Out in early afternoon. Got some Wi-Fi; Dora still at old apartment at 2 or so,
I thought she'd be here by now. Got directions to a public
library and walked down to it, a little far but not too bad,
maybe 12 blocks or so. Street art:
Out in evening to do Wi-Fi. Dora leaving other apartment at 7 PM, and she has a flight
out at 7 AM tomorrow.
10 PM and Dora still not here. Finally she arrives at 10:30, in a big taxi loaded
with more of her stuff from the other apartment. She was hot to get it all moved here
before her sister arrives from the south tomorrow, apparently, or else
her mother said get everything out of the apartment. And Dora never distibutes heavy
stuff among multiple bags: one suitcase she brought is all books and must weigh well over 80 pounds.
And then she finds
she left important papers at the old apartment, and she needs to take them with her
on her 0700 flight tomorrow morning. So now her son is going to take a taxi to bring them here.
Son arrived at about 11:45. Left before 1, "forgetting" to take stuff back to old apartment.
I went to bed around 1; Dora stayed up all night.
Taxi buzzed the door before 5:30, and Dora hasn't even showered yet. Tells
the taxi to wait, and into the shower. Well, if she misses her 0700 flight, she'll just
have to try again another day.
Finally, she's out at 5:40 or so, leaving various messes for me to tidy up.
She caught her plane, no problem.
I'm out before 10, to hospital a block away for a simple medical test.
To store, home after 11, out at 11:25, metro to other apartment,
carrying a big bag of stuff. To gestor to drop off receipts.
Dinner with the family. Initial medical news from Dora in the south
is encouraging. To metro and back home before 3:30.
Out briefly in the evening to get some Wi-Fi, but not much info from Dora.
Gas inspector supposed to show up at 11, I waited from 10:45 to 12:15, nothing.
[Later, I realized probably the sign had said they'll show up any time from 11 to 2.]
[Later, Dora says it's probably a scam, it's some company that just wants
to charge for an inspection.]
Used the time to start nibbling away at the piles of stuff in the apartment.
Down to public library to get some Wi-Fi for phone and laptop.
Very nice library, lots of great places to do computing.
To medical appointment, to library again, to farmacia, etc.
Changed to new daily headache-prevention medicine.
Door buzzed at 0930, water service guy here to deliver 4 big bottles of water for the
water-machine Dora has in our kitchen. I have to stop this madness. She has these
machines in 2 apartments and her office now, they're going to cost something like €30/month each,
and pretty much Dora is the only one who uses them.
Went to library in early evening, and it was hard to find a space to use my computer,
especially with half of the space X'd-out to keep distance between people.
Dora home at 9:40, with plenty of luggage. And already is missing an important
medical appointment. [But then it turns out the doctor is sick today,
Her trip to the south was a fiasco: her sister forgot that there was
a 3-day holiday this week, so the main medical department she went to
go to was closed.
And in other apartment, apparently niece was sick for 2 days solid, feeling
better today. But Dora says now a protocol will kick in, niece will have to have two PCR
tests 10 days apart, and miss two weeks of school. My guess is that it
was food-poisoning; she ate sushi. Sister is arriving from the south tonight, and should
take her to hospital and to be tested. [Later, Dora said son took niece to hospital
last night and got turned away, hospital is full of COVID patients and ICU is crashing.
I haven't seen that on the TV news.]
Dora finally doing something about getting internet here in the new apartment,
and in the new office. But she's switching us all (including old apartment, and 5 mobile phones,
and a fixed phone) to a different company, from Vodafone to MasMovil.
Should be cheaper.
We need to get new SIMs for our mobile phones.
The agent can't answer a simple question "what is the internet speed ?";
the answer comes in terms of MB when it should be in Mbps,
and the number (600 MB) is too low to be a monthly data cap or something.
But online, in 2H2019 a testing site says fixed broadband speed for MasMovil is better than
the speeds of the other three companies tested, including Vodafone.
I hope this works.
Out with Dora after 6, and SNAFU. I wanted us to go to the huge hardware
store. She didn't bring a bus card, can't pay on the
bus, skip it she's tired, but not too tired to go with me to Carrefour and start
buying everything in sight. I'm grumpy. Home, and soon she's crashed, sleeping hard.
Late-evening Zoom call with siblings and others from USA; nice.
Dora woke at midnight as I was going to bed, and I think she stayed up all night.
Internet installer arrives before 9. Soon up to the roof, he'll have to run a new cable, etc.
In other apartment, niece has sore throat. Dora is thinking COVID.
[Niece had a PCR test yesterday, if negative needs another one 10 days from then.]
It's almost noon before we have internet. Most of our (old slow) devices show 30-90 Mbps, but
Dora's newish phone and installer's laptop show high-500 Mbps. I show them that
speed is Mbps, not MB. Apparently we're getting 600 Mbps service for 3 months for free,
then it will drop down to 100 Mbps unless we start paying more.
Dora gives him a snack, then we're out and around the corner to her new private office.
Soon up to the roof, which has no railings aroung the edges.
Installer runs into a few snags: a big overhang of the building, too high to get
to with his 20-foot ladder, and the wire really has to be snugged up under there.
And it takes a bit of drilling to make a hole through the side of the building,
more than it took in the other building.
New internet service has some things we didn't have before: guest networks, firewall allow/deny lists.
Still no IPv6, no VLANs.
Not done there until 3:15. Installer comes home with us for dinner. He's still
chatting with Dora at 4:45 when I go to lie down. He doesn't leave until almost 6.
Dora crashes into bed before 7. But she was up an hour later.
And then she sent me out at 9:15 for a semi-urgent run to a farmacia. One near our front
door is closed, but around the block and another is open. Had to interact through
a fortified access-port like you'd see on a bank, and Dora had hand-written
a bunch of complicated stuff, but the lady accepted it eventually.
And handed out the products before I handed in the money, which seemed a bit strange.
Dora stayed up all night. Not healthy.
Up at 8:10 (really 9:10 because time has changed), and Dora is in a hurry,
she has to take stuff to her sister at other apartment before sister leaves
for airport. Won't accept a suggestion that her sister have the taxi
stop here on the way to the airport. She's out at 8:45.
Dora has misplaced ALL of her keys, apparently. Searching a couple of likely places in the apartment,
I found about half of them, including the most important ones.
I had been planning to go to old apartment, but then Dora said she was coming
home. Then she disappeared for a couple of hours, for nap and then Mass, I think.
Met her and her father coming out of the metro around 2:15, to apartment,
fed them a dinner I'd cooked. She's found most of the remaining missing keys, I think.
By 4:15, Dora was out cold, sleeping in front of the TV.
Father goes home around 5. Dora finds the rest of the keys, which is a relief.
But then another issue: she's saying alarming things about the new internet/phone contract, it
sounds far too good to be true. We're getting six new mobile phones, and use of three routers
and internet in three locations, all for about €40/month ?
To bed before 10:30, and I'm relieved to see that Dora gets a solid 7+ hours sleep.
But I have a headache, and eventually take sumatriptan.
SNAFU. Dora up at 5:45, and messages from son in old apartment saying he's sick.
She's going to rush off to there, but the bathroom-remodeling guy is coming
here at 8. Dora starts dictating things to me that he has to fix/change, and
the list gets up to 20 items or so. I go back to bed, and get up at 7.
But eventually she sees reason, or just runs out of time, or runs out of patience with
her son. So (after extracting taxi money from me) she stays to meet the bathroom guy.
Two workers show up at 8:45. Dora gives them a long, non-stop tirade about all
the stuff to be cleaned / fixed / changed. She's finished by 9:30, they go to get
tools and materials. They're back before 10. Soon I take a heavy suitcase down and
put it on 34 bus with Dora.
Son was feeling better by time Dora got to the old apartment. Later, I told her
these medical scares are going to be happening to one or the other of the 4 people
over there every few days, and she can't keep dashing across town each time.
Same thing happened by the end of our stay in Jerez; we were making the hour-long bus+ trip
to her sister's place in Sanlucar 4-5 times a week.
Workers done before 4:30, they only replaced the shower doors (and track etc) and all the
grout around the tiles in the shower.
Out at 5, to hospital a block away. Went to my 5:15 medical appointment,
Dora said she'd meet there but she was 25 minutes late. I showed the doctor
a 2-page writeup Dora had given me, but none of it makes sense to him, why
did we come to him. I go back out, wait for Dora, back in before 6.
He says same to Dora. Out, and she goes to 3 desks making another appointment for
me and about 5 more for herself and one for her son. I see one appointment
she made for me a few weeks ago that I'm going to cancel. Finally we're out at 6:30.
To Carrefour for a huge load of laundry soap etc, and home after 7.
Dora has to make a couple of important phone calls, and of course her
phone is down to 0% battery, and my phone is somewhat crippled (and I like
it that way). She grabs my phone anyway. Much later, she grabs my computer, too;
somehow she left both of her laptops in the other apartment today.
Up at 7. Workers arrived at 8:20 or so. They were done before 12, but
their boss has to arrange the many other items on our list.
Out with Dora after noon. Stop at farmacia next door, where she takes her time.
Then she wants me to go to other apartment with her, for no reason. She needs
to go because she left her laptops and critical documents there. Then she's
going to rush back for a 4:30 medical appointment.
I stay here. Look for a place to buy printer ink, but the only one in the block
is very expensive. Home, and now the moving-guy is coming at 2 to do various things.
So good that I stayed here.
He arrived at 2:30, we had to move most stuff out of the front room, and he
started assembling a big set of wardrobes.
At 4:20, Dora calls, she's arriving downstairs in a taxi, can I come down and
get a suitcase while she continues on to her 4:30 at the hospital. So I go down,
and find that "a suitcase" is 2 suitcases, 3 bags of stuff, and a big box of stuff.
Now the apartment really is full. But soon she'll be unpacking clothes into the
armarios in the front room, I guess.
Worker still going at 7 when Dora arrives. He finished the armario, we went out
to look at the office, then he started working on the desk. When that was done,
we moved a tall heavy armario from front room to back bedroom, then desk into living room.
Done around 8:30, Dora cooked a delicious dinner, he left around 9:15. By 9:45, Dora
had crashed into bed, out cold.
I wanted to sleep late, but Dora woke me at 8, and then I realized the phone SIMs all changed
last night. Dora is playing music through a new disco-ball music-player; just what
I want first thing in the morning. Unplugged it.
With some struggles, got the
SIM changed in my phone. I never have been able to get Dora's phone open; there's some
special tool we've lost, and I don't know where to apply that tool if we had it.
But found instructions on internet, modified a paperclip, got it done.
Found that Dora has bought all kinds of knick-knacks for the apartment, some Halloween things,
some little things such as an "I Love You" stuffed toy, some tea-racks and such.
She loves it, I worry about money.
Dora to medical appointment, me to ATM and then groceries.
At 3 or so, to V3 bus and to big BauHaus home-supply store. Looked at synthetic parquet
flooring, then called the portero at Dora's office and hashed out details for him and his
son to do painting and floors and electric in her new office. Not cheap, €3400 for labor
and materials, but other (partial) quote wasn't much different, and using those two guys
will make everyone happy with us. Now we have to get €1500 cash by 8 PM tonight.
Looked at bathroom sinks, hit the actual bathrooms, out, got takeout from a pastisseria,
drank coffee and ate pastries while sitting on a street bench. Eventually back onto V3 bus
and home after 5.
Half an hour after Dora tells me the phone/internet installer is coming tomorrow to old apartment,
her son calls me to say the installer is there NOW.
I find that somehow Dora's phone has been set to "do not disturb" mode, so she's been missing
calls from the new phone/internet company.
Out for a long walk to nearest branch of my Spanish bank, to use the ATM without fee.
I need as much cash as possible. I ask for 1100, it says limit is 1000. Fine. I ask
for 1000, it says too much. 800, too much. Finally I get 600.
Add to the 200 I already have in my pocket. Long walk back home.
Run into Dora in the elevator, right back out. Around the block and she gets 700
out of her account. Down the block, and there's a free desk sitting by the curb, and
Dora wants it. But it's too heavy to carry.
Eventually we go around the corner to her new private office, where apartment
owner and portero and son are waiting for us. The portero
gets a dolly, and his son goes with us to bring back the desk and stash it in the
office. Then there's discussion, and signing a document, and we pay €1500 cash
to start the work of painting, flooring, and electrical in this office.
They take off, I think to go right away to buy materials and get started tonight.
At least the painting part of this job is going to get done fast, I think. Maybe the whole job.
Dora and I head home. Tired.
Internet/phone installation in old apartment has been completed.
Deliberately wanted to sleep late this morning, just lie in bed. So of course the
bathroom workers buzzed at 8:40. But it appears they're not staying to work today, they
just came to deliver a refurbished shelf and drawers, they're gone in 10 minutes.
Then I hear that Dora's mother and son are arriving at 10, mother needs to go
to dentist, and maybe there's one in the hospital.
Dora's son arrives before 11, with a heavy box, and with no mother (I thought bringing her
was the whole point of the trip). I guess he's planning to move in with us, but
there is no mattress (much less a bed) for him.
Out at 12:30 with son. To new office, and the guys are hard at work. They show us
that the electrical outlets were ancient, they're replacing with nice new ones.
New mobile phones have been delivered to new apartment and new office (one to each place), and the
paperwork says they're free.
Dora home around 2:45, and we have the dinner I've cooked. And I find out she's
making a sudden trip to the south, leaving tonight, because she has to appear in
court with her sister in a civil debt case (don't ask) on Monday. Borders of
cities and provinces are being closed again because of the virus, so if she doesn't
go tonight she might not be able to go at all. Already there's a curfew 10-6 each night.
Out with Dora to farmacia before 8, and she chatted with the lady for a long time,
until I gave up and went home. Soon Dora arrived, and then she's in a frenzy of packing,
she has to get to bus station before curfew kicks in at 10. We're downstairs before
9:30, and for the first time the cab rank across the street has NO taxis in it.
Always there are at least 3 waiting, but not tonight. But we flag down a taxi
within a few minutes, and she's off.
I have fun setting up my new mobile phone, free with our new internet service.
It has a slightly bigger screen than my old phone (so need to buy a new case),
is faster, is running Android 9 instead of 6,
and best of all has 32 GB of storage instead of 8. But lots of work to set
up my apps again, especially because I don't like letting Google back up all my stuff.
Soon have Wi-Fi and VPN and WhatsApp and email and password manager and a few other key things working.
But somehow 1/3 of the storage is used by the time I get 8-10 apps and 800 MB of audio on there.
Quiet day. TV news is full of more restrictions because of pandemic. Libraries closing again, for example.
Out at 12:25, to metro, to old apartment. Said hi to everyone, checked on some things,
had dinner with them. Apartment is much more spacious now that Dora's stuff is out of it.
And of course now that we've moved out, govt has finally opened the big park across the
street that was being renovated for the last 18 months or so. Was supposed to be open in April,
but then the virus stopped everything.
At 3:30 or so, out with son. Walked to Dora's old office
to finish her moving-out there. We're both wondering if she'll
be able to travel back to Barcelona any time soon; the provincial borders
are being closed to stop the spread of the virus.
Street art: pics
Fortunately only a few things belonging to her were left in her old office.
I disassembled her examining table and screen, we moved those and a couple of stools out to the
street, locked up. Called a big taxi, loaded it up, I got in, home to new apartment.
Carried the stuff up, done by 5:15. Soon out to check on the new office, around
the corner, then back home for the evening.
At 8, I start getting messages from Dora, she needs emergency money put into her bank account,
wants me to go out and get cash from ATMs and put it in her account. I do an online
"instant transfer" instead, will see if it gets there. Then I lose contact with Dora
for a while. 10 PM curfew starts here, if she didn't get the money, will have to
deal with it tomorrow.
She left a big bowl of quinoa soaking when she left here, and now it's time to
cook it. I've never cooked quinoa, and I don't even really like it. I've been rinsing
it and changing the water etc. So cooked it, and cooked a mess of sausage and onion
and garlic, and dumped it all together. Edible, but would have been better with
something other than quinoa.
Walking around, saw street art up on a concrete wall:
Call from Dora before noon. It's a holiday in the south, so her court date
is postponed until next Monday. She's going to medical appointments this
week, so the trip won't be a total waste. Turns out that on her trip from here to the south,
in Madrid she got stopped and questioned by police about why she was travelling, and
missed her train because of that, had to catch next train.
Around noon, messages from Dora, things are happening. Her bank account has run empty,
so I sent money. Then news that the bank has made more steps to
repossess and sell her sister's apartment,
the one Dora and I just moved out of. That's been hanging over us for a couple of years now.
In the evening, in the south, Dora is pretty sick with hypertension and dizziness and severe headache.
She went to the hospital ER. Later she felt better.
9:15 in the evening, building power went down for 3 or 4 minutes.
Late night, had a Zoom call with my siblings in USA.
In the afternoon, over to old apartment to say hello to everyone,
have dinner, get mail, help niece start baking a cake. But she
was taking hours doing it, I left before 5.
Dora in the south called me. She's okay but the court/legal stuff
is in limbo and the other side is demanding she and her sister
pay their legal fees, which are enormous. I had to hang up after
a while, it got too depressing.
Late-night call from niece in other apartment saying she broke a finger,
can I come first thing tomorrow morning to take her to clinic/hospital ?
No, she has 3 adults with her, I'm nearly an hour away, and I don't speak much Spanish.
After much back-and-forth, it seems niece's finger (or a bone in her hand) really is broken,
after school someone will have to take her to clinic/hospital. Not me.
My afternoon wanderings took me to the fancy L'illa shopping center, which
turns out to be 3/4 closed because of the pandemic. But a nice design
exhibit in the middle with several interesting pieces, from various theaters
or shows around Barcelona:
Found out niece did not have a fracture.
Pulling my hair out: Dora is out of money again, I had to send more to her account.
This can't continue. Rent, moving, remodeling office, legal troubles, travel, medical, it's a lot.
Unearthed as many of Dora's shoes as I could find, and counted them.
I counted around 77 pairs, plus one orphan, and I know some work-sandals are
not included, and whatever she's wearing in the south.
That's up from about 63 pairs I counted about 3 years ago:
[Later, I found the mate to the orphan shoe, plus 3 more pairs of shoes. So the total is about 81 pairs.]
Found another stash of Dora's shoes, another 10 pairs. So the total now is about 91 pairs:
I was going to leave them all on the floor until Dora got home, but her return is delayed
and we don't have enough floor space, so some are going back into bags.
Late-night call from Dora. Just found out about another specialist, sounds like she'll
be staying in the south until at least middle of next week.
Out after 11, to old apartment before 12. I thought we were going to
buy a cake and food and have a birthday party at 2. But then I'm told
someone is bringing a cake. And first they're going to be here at 2,
then 4, then 5 or 5:30. We had dinner. But the place was pretty boring, and around 3:45 I went home.
To opthalmology appointment at 9:15, in the big private hospital a block away.
A few language difficulties, but smoothed away by the family history and
question I'd written down in Spanish in advance. Technician spoke some
English, doctor spoke English well. Check, test, two sets of eyedrops,
test, wait, test, done. All looks good with my retina, schedule a macular degeneration test for
a week from now, done. Dilated pupils:
Dora keeps extending her time in the south. She'll be returning middle of
next week at the very earliest, it sounds like.
Late-evening Zoom call with my siblings in USA.
Headache. Eventually sumatriptan got rid of it.
Woke up with a headache again.
Woke up with a headache again.
In early evening, to hospital for an appointment. Some wasted time,
go directed to wrong floor, eventually saw doctor. Came away with
appointments for several tests.
Pretty sure Dora, I, son, niece all were at doctors at same time tonight.
To opthalmology appointment at 9:30, in the big private hospital a block away.
Waiting room still running same Buster Keaton silent film they were running last time,
and it's still entertaining.
Eyedrops, scan for macular degeneration, they will call with results on Monday, I think.
Before noon, workers setting up for some kind of kid's Christmas concert,
in the plaza right in front of my window.
Pouring rain after 7 PM or so. I think there's a huge storm rolling
across most of S and E Spain.