Barcelona Diary 2021 Bill at Barca football game

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Research and tips about traveling to Barcelona
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Sun for a new day  2021-01-01 (Friday)
In midafternoon, I went over to Dora's office and software-installed a security camera connected to her smartphone over the internet.

Late-evening Zoom call with my siblings in USA. Had 3 cats, 2 dogs, and 1 baby on the call with us at various times.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-02 (Saturday)
After noon, over to Dora's new office to get it ready for her first patient, coming at 5. Then somehow it changes and the patient is coming at 2:15.

Session with patient went well.

In evening, Dora off to old apartment; I didn't feel like going. She ended up staying the night there.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-03 (Sunday)
Dora at old apartment all day and into the evening, administering medicines to her son (flu) and her mother, and I think cooking.

Met Dora at bus stop at 9:30. Cold out, and the building front door was open and letting a cold wind make the whole building cold.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-04 (Monday)
Out to a shop, then to Dora's office to arrange some things, and she had a meeting with a pharmaceutical rep.

Phone call from landlord; Dora hasn't paid the rent again, she still wants to fight with them. I pay the rent directly again, as I did last month.

Dora home for dinner, then back to office for a patient at 4. I set up more security cameras, to ATM, to supermarket.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-05 (Tuesday)
Dora out early, but not before dragging me out of bed to print some last-minute paperwork. She was out all day. I met her in early evening at the bus stop. Then I was out to office, ATM, supermarket.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-06 (Wednesday)
Took stuff to office; we're starting to get a little clear space in the apartment. That won't last long.

Out in the evening to try to go to ECI to look at furniture, but they're closed, it's a holiday (Three Kings, I guess). Stopped in at mass for 10 minutes, but I was nervous being around so many people.

In late evening, doing more Christmas cards.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-07 (Thursday)
Sun for a new day  2021-01-08 (Friday)
Dora out all afternoon at medical appointments.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-09 (Saturday)
Raining steadily. Most of the north of Spain had lots of snow in the last day or two, so I think we're getting it as rain. Stopped later; I went out to supermarket.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-10 (Sunday)
Raining steadily again. Madrid has been shut down by huge snowfall.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-11 (Monday)
Dora out to errand and then a couple of medical appointments. Later I was out to mail a big load of Christmas cards, stop in several shops. Home, start dinner, then out to supermarket and back.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-12 (Tuesday)
Sun for a new day  2021-01-13 (Wednesday)
Out briefly in midday, then nice dinner, then found that refrigerator/freezer has stopped working. I fiddled with the buttons and eventually managed to get it back to life, I think. But 20 minutes later it was stuck again. Messed with it, eventually got it going. This time it stayed running.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-14 (Thursday)
Fridge/freezer still running, although fridge part is too cold, I think. But I don't want to mess with it, for now.

Messed with fridge later, and it stopped working. Found that unplugging it for 5 minutes helps, sometimes. Not sure. Got it running again. But it's either on all the time, or unplugged, and after plugging in, sometimes it will run and sometimes not.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-15 (Friday)
Late-night Zoom call with my siblings in USA.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-16 (Saturday)
Filed my Spanish ETE (wealth declaration) tax form for 2020. As usual, had to use Dora's Windows laptop to fill out the PDF file.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-17 (Sunday)
Refrigerator wouldn't start in mid-morning, and nothing I did would get it going. So when we left to go to other apartment after noon, we took all the frozen meat with us to give to them. Picked up Peruvian chicken on the way, had dinner with family at old apartment. Dora's mother is weaker, her son is recovering after a bout of flu, her father is sick, niece is a teenager who doesn't talk much to us. Boring. I did sit in the park in the sun for a bit, and collected some books I'd left in the apartment. To bus stop and home by 6:30. Found that in my absence, refrigerator started running (non-stop, I think) again.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-18 (Monday)
Refrigerator guy sent by landlord came, looked at situation, will consult landlord. Later the news is that they'll bring a replacement tomorrow afternoon.

By late afternoon, the refrigerator is totally dead, indicators not lighting up, not running at all.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-19 (Tuesday)
Our third wedding anniversary !

Around 6:15 in the evening, a couple of guys came with a new refrigerator/freezer for us.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-20 (Wednesday)
Sun for a new day  2021-01-21 (Thursday)
Sun for a new day  2021-01-22 (Friday)
At 9:30, high wind and torrential rain. But reasonably nice the rest of the day.

Package delivered, but instead of being the keyboard I was expecting, it was expensive medicines for Dora and I had to pay for them.

Got some life out of a phone-app I've started developing using Flutter: BillDietrich / fake_contacts
Sun for a new day  2021-01-23 (Saturday)
Sun for a new day  2021-01-24 (Sunday)
High winds for an hour or so around 7:30.

News is that Dora's mother is doing worse today. We went over there around 2, picking up Peruvian food on the way. I didn't even see Dora's mother; she was lying on her bed all day, too weak to get up much. In the evening she was worse, and Dora called the medical service, but they offered paramedics and she held out for a doctor. We probably could have had the paramedics within half an hour, but we waited 3+ hours, no doctor, and then went home.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-25 (Monday)
Doctor saw Dora's mother at 10 last night, increased oxygen supply, but she's about the same this morning.

In early evening, word comes that Dora's mother was taken to VDH hospital by ambulance around 4. Dora didn't hear until almost 5, and told me around 6. Out to metro and to hospital. Wait in emergency room, and they won't tell us anything, just someone will call Dora on her phone sometime. We wait.

After 45 minutes or so, we start to leave, but then Dora has a word with one of the main doctors and gets to go back and see her mother. Turns out there's a long line of patients waiting to be examined, they're parked in hallways. COVID and non- are supposed to be separate, but we've been sitting in a waiting room for both kinds. Almost 5 hours and her mother has been triaged and given a full oxygen mask, but is sitting in a wheelchair in a hallway waiting to be examined and maybe put in a bed. Of course she wants to go home, but we think she has to be processed and official decisions made. No point in us waiting here all night, maybe getting infected. And we couldn't even wait with her. We go home, arriving by 9:45.

I'm a little shocked that there wasn't separation of the two kinds of patients (although of course everyone was wearing masks). A young woman came in with bad stomach pain and a bit of a cough, and sat 5 feet across from us for a couple of minutes until they took her in as a priority. Likely a COVID case.

At 11:10, the hospital called. Dora's mother is in a bed in the Emergency area. They think she got worse because of a respiratory infection, maybe. No blood test results yet. We'll see tomorrow. I'm relieved that she's in a bed.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-26 (Tuesday)
At 9, the word is that Dora's mother has tested positive for the virus. I assume they did a rapid-test, which has a low accuracy, and I tend to disbelieve the results. The only symptoms she had were her normal symptoms of being on the edge of lung failure. It's a miracle she didn't get the flu that a couple of others in old apartment had; maybe what she has now is a touch of that ?

But now the others at the old apartment should be tested, and Dora and I should stay home for 10 days because we were exposed to her. Not to mention being exposed to everyone else in that waiting-room last night.

Dora out before 11:30 to go to old apartment to pick up a bag of stuff and take it to her mother at the hospital. A long trip with no chance to visit at either stop.

Dora home before 3. She wasn't able to see her mother, who still is in a bed in the Emergency dept, hasn't been moved to anywhere else. Her mother is feeling a bit worse today.

I didn't want to have a PCR test, but Dora went ahead and scheduled tests for four of us for tomorrow.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-27 (Wednesday)
I'm out after 10. To metro, to old apartment. Picked up Dora's father, and we went to medical clinic. Gave samples for PCR test, and it wasn't as bad as I'd expected, just a brief discomfort. Dropped him back near home, I'm to bus. To near home, to supermarket, home before 1.

Not sure how Dora's mother is today; our news is secondhand.

I started cooking, but then Dora was out at 1:45 to take things to mother in hospital, then to have PCR test in the evening.

Dora home after 8. The news on her mother is mixed, apparently she's stable but has some pneumonia. If she really does have COVID, and with the pneumonia and her pre-existing lung condition, I'm amazed she's still alive.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-28 (Thursday)
Dora's mother about the same today, still on oxygen, still tired.

Starting watching the Biology section of some cool educational videos on YouTube: Crash Course.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-29 (Friday)
Getting PCR test results online. I'm negative. Dora's father "preliminary" result is positive. No result yet for Dora. Can't get result for niece (we've never had online access to her records).

Also, Dora's son had a rapid-test (antigen) today and it was negative. But I don't trust the accuracy of those tests.

Got a notice that my new laptop has been assembled and is in the testing phase. Late afternoon, notice that it has been shipped.

In midafternoon, online it says Dora tested negative.

By late evening, no one has called to inform us of niece's test result, so that means it must be negative. We received several calls about Dora's father's positive result, telling us to isolate, asking who he's had contact with, etc.

Late-evening Zoom call with my siblings.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-30 (Saturday)
After noon, received a message that implies Dora's niece tested positive for the virus, wants to know her contacts.

Around 6, received news that Dora's mother seemed to be fading, we'd better go see her, there was mention of putting her on morphine. So we somewhat-rushed to the hospital, and up to her floor. It's a COVID ward, so I didn't go inside, but one at a time Dora's sister and son and then Dora were able to go in and see her. Apparently she seemed weak but stable. Eventually we headed out, long Metro ride, home by 8:30.

The COVID ward (one of many) is specially-dedicated, signs at the doors warning you to stay out. But all the workers going in and out are wearing just normal facemasks. I think the ones going into the rooms are wearing a lot more PPE, but still there didn't seem to be full precautions. Hard to tell, just looking through the little windows in the doors at the end of the hallway, from a respectful distance.
Sun for a new day  2021-01-31 (Sunday)
Windy and cool during night and morning.

Out around 4 or so. Long metro ride to hospital. But then son spent so long with Dora's mother that when Dora got in, her mother was falling asleep and Dora couldn't hardly at all with her. Her mother is on morphine and doesn't have long to go, I think. We did get a chance to talk with Dora's sister and son. Long metro ride home, back after 7.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-01 (Monday)
Windy morning.

At 0930, new laptop delivered ! Pics. Worked on it all day, exploring and testing things.

Dora's sister from the North made a one-day trip down to see her mother in hospital.

At 1730, delivery of a new keyboard for another laptop we have.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-02 (Tuesday)
In early evening, Dora went to the hospital to see her mother. I was feeling a little sick, stayed home. Her mother was awake and they were able to talk.

Completely re-installed the operating system on my new laptop, and results were not good. I think I know what I did wrong (wrong OS image), but I have a message to Support to confirm it.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-03 (Wednesday)
Have had a low-grade headache for a couple of days; tired.

Installed Kubuntu 20.10 on my new laptop, all looks good, started transferring everything across from old laptop.

In late afternoon, out to medical, pharmacy, shop, supermarket.

On TV, watched Barca beat Granada 5-3. A thrilling game, and it's been a long time since I've seen a Barca game.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-04 (Thursday)
Sun for a new day  2021-02-05 (Friday)
Sun for a new day  2021-02-06 (Saturday)
In early evening, to hospital to meet Dora's sister, and the two of them went up to see their mother.

Received my US stimulus check ($600), dated Jan 6, and deposited it through US bank's phone-app.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-07 (Sunday)
In late evening, my nice new laptop froze solid, just the way the old laptop does. Mouse stopped moving, no keys worked, had to power off. Must be an OS problem; both laptops are running Kubuntu 20.10. Old laptop has overheating and RAM problems, but new one doesn't.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-08 (Monday)
At 0415, a call that Dora's mother has passed away in the hospital.

Groaned out of bed before 9, out to a taxi by 9:30 or so. To hospital, and met Dora's sister. Soon to the funeral home offices on the hospital grounds, which are side-by-side, a guy waiting to invite us in to each one. I have read that there are only two funeral homes in the whole city, it's a bit of a monopoly.

We got a quote from one of them, walked next to to the other, and got a much cheaper quote there. The first guy was adding a couple of optional things, I think.

Took a while to do the paperwork, then down to main building to collect her belongings, then taxi to old apartment. Day has turned colder and rainy.

Hung around at the old apartment all afternoon. Finally home by 6:45, cold and tired and wrung out.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-09 (Tuesday)
Sun for a new day  2021-02-10 (Wednesday)
Out at noon, to a viewing of Dora's mother's casket.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-11 (Thursday)
Sun for a new day  2021-02-12 (Friday)
Sun for a new day  2021-02-13 (Saturday)
Sun for a new day  2021-02-14 (Sunday)
Raining. Out around 10:40, to metro, to church near old apartment. Into a mass where they mentioned Dora's mother name as a memorial. And today would have been her 81st birthday.

Afterward, wanted to buy flowers, but the flower shops had long lines (it's Valentine's Day). Fortunately I bought flowers for Dora yesterday.

Weather has turned cold. To old apartment, had dinner, Dora and her sister and son went out to vote. Home before 5.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-15 (Monday)
I have a slight sore throat. Dora out to a couple of medical appointments. I'm out for groceries. Still slightly cold out.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-16 (Tuesday)
Sun for a new day  2021-02-17 (Wednesday)
Online, filed my US federal income tax return. I use Free File Fillable Forms.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-18 (Thursday)
Sun for a new day  2021-02-19 (Friday)
Dora out early, to medical association, and later to church to donate stuff. Glad to see her doing some stuff, she's been just watching TV far too much.

Kept hearing a pump or washing machine running over the last few days, and finally realized it's our gas water-heater. Maybe we have air in our radiators. Pressure gauge on heater reads zero. We have heat in most radiators, but the system does not shut off properly, we have to run the hot-water faucet briefly to get the heater to shut off.

Then, after 8, the heater quit completely, blinking a code E9, no hot water or heat.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-20 (Saturday)
Sun for a new day  2021-02-21 (Sunday)
We're out at 12:30 or so. To metro, to old apartment. Had a nice hot shower there; we still don't have heat and hot water at our apartment. Dinner. Loafed. Home by 7:30.

Forgot that we DO have a couple of built-in electric heaters at the apartment; we think of them as air-conditioners, and we've never used them, but they do heat too. But of course they don't do hot water.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-22 (Monday)
Heater guy will come tomorrow.

A little Android app I created (my first) finally appeared in F-Droid store: Fake Contacts app.

Headachey and tired all day.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-23 (Tuesday)
As planned, building electricity out from 9:15 to 12:35.

Water-heater guy came after 1:15. He said the system was neglected and calcified, he replaced the main pump and motor. Done by 2. He said €179, but supposedly the landlord has a service contract, so we didn't pay anything. Took a nice hot shower. All but one radiator is working.
Sun for a new day  2021-02-24 (Wednesday)
Sun for a new day  2021-02-25 (Thursday)
Sun for a new day  2021-02-26 (Friday)
Sun for a new day  2021-02-27 (Saturday)
Sun for a new day  2021-02-28 (Sunday)
Online, found that a friend I'd lost contact with in the last month or two has died, as I'd feared. He'd had cancer for several years and was 73 years old. I first met him in 2003 or so, on my boat when I was passing through Norfolk VA.

Out at 2:30 or so. Metro to old apartment and had dinner. Then everyone vanished to their computers and phones as usual. Eventually left, home by 7:30.

Time to take down the Christmas tree.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-01 (Monday)
Opened up my new laptop to see what was inside. Didn't see any clear markings identifying the motherboard, which was my goal. Pics.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-02 (Tuesday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-03 (Wednesday)
Finally got rid of two bottled-water machines that Dora had signed up for.

In the evening, watched on TV as Barca beat Sevilla in a thrilling tie-breaker game that went to an extra half.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-04 (Thursday)
Seems they're starting to vaccinate all 80+ people here. And there was a chance that Dora and I could slide in somehow, but it was at a place near old apartment and I'm cooking dinner.

But her father did get vaccinated, first dose of Pfizer vaccine. So that's good.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-05 (Friday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-06 (Saturday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-07 (Sunday)
Over to old apartment for the afternoon and into early evening. Dora's sister was up from the South.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-08 (Monday)
Online, filed my Spanish foreign assets declaration form (720).

We had been planning to move back to the old apartment, now that Dora's mother has passed away. But it turns out that the niece especially likes the extra space and lack of supervision, and they like having the extra room and privacy, so they don't want us back there. So I guess we're staying here.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-09 (Tuesday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-10 (Wednesday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-11 (Thursday)
To Dora's office in mid-day, and returned the big expensive new machine she bought a month or two ago. Trying to reduce the financial bleeding a little.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-12 (Friday)
Dora out much of the day, at medical appointment and then visiting old apartment.

Late-night Zoom call with my siblings in USA.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-13 (Saturday)
Heating system acting up again; I think air and gunk in the system and maybe leaky pipes outside.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-14 (Sunday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-15 (Monday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-16 (Tuesday)
Landlord's guy stopped by after noon, said "yup, you need a heating system technician", and left. One will come tomorrow afternoon.

But then a technician showed up 15 minutes later, took one look, and said "you've got a broken pipe, of course the system won't work".

In the evening, workman came by to leave a ladder to use tomorrow morning, when they will come to do the pipes.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-17 (Wednesday)
Plumber arrived at 10:45, did some repairs, by 11:15 he was bleeding air out of radiators. Done by noon.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-18 (Thursday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-19 (Friday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-20 (Saturday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-21 (Sunday)
Moving-guy came at 12:30. We moved all the stuff from Dora's office into our apartment, giving away a desk and a junky cabinet in the process. So now we've vacated her office.

I've been fighting headaches for several days now. Dora thinks I have a fever today. Later, started taking antibiotics.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-22 (Monday)
Dora is approved to go back to work, but has 2 weeks of accrued vacation she didn't take last year, so it will be another 2 weeks.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-23 (Tuesday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-24 (Wednesday)
In the evening, received an SMS from the health service saying I can schedule a vaccination for COVID. But the web site offers no sites in Barcelona, which I assume means no available appointments at the moment. Rules say I have to be less than 65 years old, which I think means it will be the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Tried again later, citas available in Barcelona, but by the time I pushed the button there were none left. And of course their web site is written in some non-standard way, so I have to re-type all the info each time I want to check. But on about the 4th try, I got a cita, for Friday at noon at a health center pretty easy to get to from here.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-25 (Thursday)
In the evening, Dora got a call to schedule her vaccination, because of her job. Tomorrow about the same time as mine, different place.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-26 (Friday)
Dora out to get her vaccination, I went out after 11 to get mine. Longish bus ride, walk, then stand in line for half an hour. Pretty confusing inside, I think half the time they were speaking Catalan to me. But got injected with a dose of AstraZeneca. Message from Dora saying she'd gotten Pfizer. Bus ride back, to supermarket, home tired at 1:45.

Late-evening Zoom call with siblings etc in USA.

In early AM, had fever and chills, I assume from the vaccination. Chills soon went away, but fever stayed, and I didn't sleep much.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-27 (Saturday)
Stayed in bed half the day, slowly getting a bit better. Paracetmol and Nolotil. Fever ended around midnight; slept okay.
Sun for a new day  2021-03-28 (Sunday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-29 (Monday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-30 (Tuesday)
Sun for a new day  2021-03-31 (Wednesday)
Sun for a new day  2021-04-01 (Thursday)
Sun for a new day  2021-04-02 (Friday)
Out after 12. Metro to old apartment. Had dinner, chatted, watched TV, put together an exercise machine. Long day. Home before 9:30, tired.
Sun for a new day  2021-04-03 (Saturday)
Sun for a new day  2021-04-04 (Sunday)
Sun for a new day  2021-04-05 (Monday)
Sun for a new day  2021-04-06 (Tuesday)
Sun for a new day  2021-04-07 (Wednesday)
6:45 in the evening, doorbell rings, there's a water leak in the building and they think it's coming from somewhere inside the walls of our apartment ? Apparently it's in some big, old main pipe of the building, I don't know if water or sewer.
Sun for a new day  2021-04-08 (Thursday)
Dora out in late afternoon to do an errand, so of course building president picks that time to ring our bell and tell me workers are coming at 0530 tomorrow to fix the water. Pretty sure I got that time right, and she apologized, saying the company picked the time.

And of course when Dora gets home, she's outraged, says she won't open the door at 0530, etc. Apparently it's a main sewer pipe going through the tiny balcony outside our kitchen, where the washer/dryer are. I just want to let them get on with the work.

But Dora goes and finds out I got the time wrong, they'll be here 4:30 to 6 tomorrow afternoon. And then she says this leak apparently has been a longstanding problem, it's not a sudden emergency.

Online, started my Spanish income tax return.
Sun for a new day  2021-04-09 (Friday)
Someone came at 5:30, but apparently it was just an insurance person to inspect the damage (nothing to see from our apartment), and Dora handled it.
Sun for a new day  2021-04-10 (Saturday)
Over to old apartment and spent afternoon there, sort of in honor of some coming birthdays.
Sun for a new day  2021-04-11 (Sunday)
Sun for a new day  2021-04-12 (Monday)
Sun for a new day  2021-04-13 (Tuesday)
Dora went to other apartment, sort of for birthdays. I skipped it, and was glad I did, she was over there for about 8 hours.
Sun for a new day  2021-04-14 (Wednesday)
Sun for a new day  2021-04-15 (Thursday)
Online, filed my 2020 FBAR with US govt. Forgot about it and almost missed the deadline.

Online, filled out my 2020 Spanish income tax, but didn't submit it yet. Want to see if it's better to file separately or jointly with Dora.  
Sun for a new day  2021-04-16 (Friday)
Dora out to get her second dose of Pfizer. No idea when I'll get my second dose of AstraZeneca. Originally I had thought after 3 weeks, but now I'm reading it could be after 12 weeks.