Barcelona Diary 2022

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Still in Lima
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Still in Lima:

Sun for a new day  2022-01-01 (Saturday)
Slept very late, then got a nasty surprise as usual: we're going out to lunch/dinner with relatives. I'd been hoping for a lazy day.

Out at 4:30 or so, with father, to main road. Caught a taxi and up to an area fairly near the airport. To a relative's apartment, and joined by one of the families we were with last night. Turned out to be a nice time, although we dozed off from time to time (since we were up until 4 AM this morning). Some nice music, and we even danced a tiny bit. Four little children (from three families) bouncing around. Quite nice dinner, the wife is a good cook. Then the other guests gave us a ride back home, which was very nice of them. Home around 10:40.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-02 (Sunday)
Slept very late.

Since no workers, I went up on the roof and watered the concrete, using a hose to half-fill a couple of buckets. Maybe I overdid it; it rained on the floors below for a while. But the concrete looked very thirsty, to my inexperienced eye. Took about an hour, since the water-pressure was only moderately strong. [But reading up on it later, I see probably any damage has been done already, in the first days after the concrete was poured. And I should water in the mornings, not afternoons.]

Before 5:30, getting ready to go out, Dora plugs in the clothes-iron, there's a bang, and all electricity on 2nd floor goes out.

Picked up after 6 by Dora's former professor and his wife in their car. Over to far side of Surco, to a Chinese restaurant near their home. Twice as much food as we could eat, and it was good. Eventually out, and stopped at their house, then to our house by 10.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-03 (Monday)
SNAFU. Last night Dora said we have to be somewhere at 10 this morning, now she says first somewhere else at 9. Up at 7:30 and water the concrete.

Out after 9:30. Found a taxi right in the neighborhood. Up to Miraflores to consult with a friend and a friend of the friend, a bit after 10. Done by 11:30. Same taxi back home, and turns out his father is an electrician, so we picked him up and brought him to look at the house situation.

Out again in taxi around 12:45. Across Surco, hit ATM, then to large home-DIY store Sodimac. Where Dora grabbed about 3x as much stuff as I expected; she's going to get the guy to install all new light fixtures in her floor, replace a couple of plumbing fixtures, etc. SNAFU at check-out; had to dump 10% of the stuff, she couldn't find her discount card, we had to go elsewhere to get a replacement card, then to Western Union where they didn't have any cash to give us, back to Sodimac to put the bill on one of her credit cards. She liberated S1500 from me on the ride home. Dropped her off at Makro to pay a credit-card bill with my cash, the rest of us got home by 3:30 and unloaded the stuff. S110 for the taxi.

Electrician back by 4:30 or so, and Dora soon after, she went to have her hair done. She was back out again at 5 or so, to go to a party of friends.

I dozed and listened to audio on my phone. Suddenly at 6:15 I woke up and saw that we had electricity again ! Electrician is gone, but we have electricity on both floors. I went around turning stuff on, soon we had Wi-Fi again.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-04 (Tuesday)
Electrician working on first floor.

Out at 11 or so, into taxi with Dora and father. Usual madness, several errands within first mile, with taxi and father waiting for a long time as Dora and I were in the mercado. To laundry, where there is no sign of father's missing clothes, maybe they're not really missing, we're not sure. I walk home from there, carrying stuff Dora bought in the mercado. Dora amd father off in taxi to go to doctor, and Western Union, and bank. I hit ATM at Makro on the way home.

Up onto roof to water the concrete; I was told a worker would do that this morning, but I think he didn't. Slower than usual, with lower water-pressure I think.

Electrician finished the first floor and left after 6. No sign of the other worker, who is supposed to do water-system and roof stuff. Dora and father home at 6:30.

After 8, out with Dora to bulk-goods store a few blocks away. I really don't want a house in Peru, but this one has some advantages: in a controlled neighborhood, near that bulk-goods mega-store, a garage for a car, and several military bases nearby to provide a pool of renters. And not overly far from the beach, sort of.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-05 (Wednesday)
Concrete worker from next door didn't arrive. Electrician working on first floor. I went up and watered the concrete on the roof. More workers/visitors later.

In late evening, around 11:30, set up printer/scanner so Dora can photocopy and scan documents. Sending messages to Spain NHS failed, something wrong on their site. Didn't get finished with her stuff until 1:30 or so. Falling asleep after 2, and she says we have to be at a hospital by 8 or 9 this morning.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-06 (Thursday)
Awake at 7:20, and then Dora didn't get out the door until almost 9. Moto to metropolitano to center, then ATMs, then taxi to hospital in the center by 9:45 or so.

Then I waited inside for 6 hours as Dora was being processed in various ways. Neither of us ate breakfast this morning, because we were supposed to have tests. I ended up having no tests. Finally out at 4, and we're both hungry and achey and dehydrated.

Down the street for food in a tiny restaurant. Then waited while Dora was in a pharmacy. Into a taxi, and traffic is bad. Wanted to drop off gifts for doctor-friends of Dora, but no one is in the offices she expected them to be. Long slow taxi ride home, arriving at 6.

Downstairs, some kind of painting and installation of doors is going on. I ignore it and go take an ibuprofen and drink water and lie down. Soon all the workers are gone.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-07 (Friday)
Earthquake at 5:30 AM ! Later heard it was magnitude 5.6, epicenter was maybe 25 NE of here and deep underground.

Slept very late. Dora out to bank etc.

Dora stopped by in a taxi at 6, did a few things, and then she and I went out in the taxi. To a medical clinic. Done by 7:15, cafe (pic), then to pharmacy, then taxi home, arriving after 8.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-08 (Saturday)
Up at 7. Taxi at 8:30 or so. Down to the beach, and into a drive-through mass-vaccination center. Not crowded. Didn't have to get out of our car. Our paperwork was strange; app wouldn't take Dora's Peru DNI, and I had US passport and Spanish vaccination proof. But eventually we both got our third doses, with Pfizer (my first two were Astra-Zeneca).

Then various errands and waiting, culminating with Dora buying paint supplies at a ferreteria and telling me it was going to be my job to paint all the doors on the first floor (later, she said no, I'm just going to paint one armoire). Home by noon.

Dinner with a friend of father invited over.

In the evening, Dora off in a taxi to do stuff, I'm to the bulk-goods store to buy groceries.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-09 (Sunday)
Slept very late, but very noisy construction started downstairs at 8 and kept going all morning. They're removing old wood parquest flooring, and going to install tile, on four rooms directly under my bedroom. They have to chip out old layers of tile that were underneath the parquet. And no internet today, because they're working in the room where the router was.

Feeling tired, maybe because of the vaccine.

Out at 4 or so with Dora, to taxi to banks. But instead used the ATMs in the bulk-goods store, with mixed results. Then did a big shopping trip, getting much more than I wanted, with many delays. Home after 5:30.

A friend came over for the evening; had a nice visit.

When I told Dora this morning that the internet cable couldn't be re-routed to our bedroom on the 2nd floor, apparently she told the workers to make it happen. So they chopped the connector off the end and threw it away, pulled the wire out through the wall, and let it dangle into our window. No connector, so no internet at all tonight; I had hoped to move the router back downstairs for a couple of hours to get Wi-Fi. I use a phone hot-spot instead, for a while.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-10 (Monday)
Dora and father out to doctor. I slept late.

Gathering bank data to file a Spanish tax form, and some accounts are tricky because they want to send SMS to my Spanish phone, which is not working here.

Dora and father back at 5:15, exhausted and frustrated. They spent all afternoon waiting in the public hospital emergency room, and never got to see a doctor.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-11 (Tuesday)
Dora and father out to doctor. I slept late. They're back before 2.

Friend and washing-machine repair guys arrive after 4:30. They soon had the washing-machine working, then started looking at mounting security-cameras, then someone came by and offered to remove all the construction debris for money.

Out in the evening to farmacias and bulk-goods store.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-12 (Wednesday)
Dora and father out to doctor. I slept late. They weren't home until after 6 PM.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-13 (Thursday)
At 8:30 or so, suddenly batches of workmen show up. And I didn't get to sleep until about 2 last night.

Out at 10 or so with Dora and two workmen. Walk to main street, catch a taxi, to big home-improvement store. Looked at tile (apparently Dora is going to have the entire first floor re-tiled, not just a room or two as I thought). Very frustrating: everything we picked turned out to be out of stock. FInally gave up on tile and the electrician bought a lot of electrical stuff. Dora bought a TV (or got one as a premium; not sure). Electrician left to go to the house.

The other three of us went to a cafe for food. Which turned out to be slow and not-good.

Then into a taxi and to another place, more focused on tile and bath. Same story there: everything we picked was out of stock, so we were forced out of the cheaper stuff and into the mid-price. Then it took two solid hours to pay and get out of the place, loading the truck and fixing receipts etc. Eventually into the truck and home by 5:30 or so.

I helped unload the bags of cement (probably 25-30 KG each), but the cartons of tile were too heavy for me, I let the guys with muscles do those. Finished and truck gone by 6. Pic.

Some dinner revived us a bit. Dora's father doing poorly, probably because of a mistake when taking his medications.

Out with Dora at 6:40 to go to the laundry 2 blocks away to pick up blankets. And somehow it turned into a 45-minute ordeal, as things with Dora usually do. They couldn't find the bill, then couldn't find one of the blankets, then I had to go home to fetch money. Home at 7:30.

Took down the old CRT TV in the bedroom, and it's so heavy I can barely lift it. Must be 80 pounds or more. Doesn't quite fit through the hallway with drawers and shelves in the way. Just put it on the floor and hope it doesn't fall through the Earth's crust. It's a Sony; probably cost a fortune in its day.

New flat-screen 32" TV weighs 5 KG, probably consumes 1/20th the power. Had to get father up to find out where he'd hidden the screwdrivers; he's very possessive about the household tools. Got the TV together and set up. Only about 4 decent channels, but then I have it connected to internet through a phone hot-spot, so we can do YouTube and maybe Netflix. We'll have to see if there's enough bandwidth to do those (yes on Netflix).

Sun for a new day  2022-01-14 (Friday)
Slept as late as I could, with Dora dragging me out of bed as trucks delivered more tile, and cooking gas. Finally quiet as the trucks are done and she's gone at 11:45 or so. Leaving me with things cooking on the stove and instructions to do another couple of parts of dinner.

Father slept in a chair most of the day.

Zoom call with my family in USA.

Dora home at 5:45 or so, with throat-ache and other symptoms that make her worry that she has COVID. The (un-vaccinated) friend who visited us several days ago has tested positive. But after food and ibuprofen, Dora felt better.

At 8, I'm out to bulk-goods store for food and to use ATM.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-15 (Saturday)
Slept late. Pounding downstairs started at 11:15 or so. And later the workers showed me that the substrate is damp under the old tiles, as we expected.

Dora out for a couple of hours to visit friend who tested positive for COVID. He has some flu-like symptoms, his oxygen level is good.

Dora's father still very tired, walking slowly, sleeping most of the day. We're all going to get COVID tests tomorrow [later, postponed]. Dora and I may be having reactions to our third dose, which we got one week ago. But father had his third dose about 3 months ago.

In late afternoon and evening, Dora gave her a father an IV with saline and vitamins etc.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-16 (Sunday)
Slept late. Dora and father out to mass (but they had the time wrong) and then stores. Father is feeling better; later he was up on third floor disassembling a metal bookcase for no good reason. Eventually he overdid it, and by 2:30 was getting another IV from Dora.

In evening, out to bulk-goods store for groceries. Lovely cool weather.

Dora coughing badly.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-17 (Monday)
Up at 5:30. Despite being up most of the night, Dora was unable to get out the door on time. Into a taxi around 6:55, to medical center by 7:20 for our 0700 appointment. Had COVID tests, and father and I tested negative, but Dora tested positive. So she stayed to see a doctor, and father and I went home to let workers in. But they seem to be busy next door, not wanting to get into our place.

Dora home after 10. Relieved me of S14 for taxi and S300 for workers.

And soon Dora is saying she needs to be admitted to a hospital, for the COVID and bronchial stuff and tachycardia.

Confusion in the afternoon. Will father fly back to Spain by himself, to avoid catching COVID from Dora ? Will I go with him ? No. Security-camera installer wants to come tomorrow, but the bill is large, and he needs internet, which we don't have. Dora wants to cancel current non-working internet, and get a different company. Waiting to see what insurance/hospital will take Dora and for how long. Tile worker comes back with supplies and starts running a grinding-machine downstairs.

Out with Dora at 4:30 or so to do errands, mostly in a taxi. She was double-masked much of the time, and one of the errands was important, but still it was a bad thing to do. Home at 7:30.

No resolution of any decisions by the end of the day. I slept in the living room, Dora in the bedroom.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-18 (Tuesday)
Dora slept well all night, no coughing, probably due to a new inhaler.

Turns out father (and I) is not allowed to fly for 10 days, since he's been exposed to a COVID-positive person. So he's stuck here. I was going to stay here with Dora in any case.

Dora and father out to do errands.

Supplied food to the tile workers, security-camera guy came at 4:30, put some laundry out to dry, paid money to worker-boss, out to ATM.

Dora and father home at 7:30, but Dora immediately out again to go to blood test at medical clinic. Later got a message that the clinic won't admit her. She'll try the public hospital tomorrow. I think she should just stay home with us. If we all get COVID, so be it. We're all triple-vaxxed. If it's her father's time to go, maybe he'll go. Sounds cold, I guess, but COVID is everywhere now.

Dora home around midnight-fifteen. She slept in bedroom, I'm out on the sofa.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-19 (Wednesday)
Dora slept well all night, no coughing. But father has a bad sore throat, and I have a headache and slight fever and some sneezing. I think we all have some COVID at this point. We're going on antibiotics and other medicines.

But Dora out to do errands.

Today is our wedding-anniversary.

Worker downstairs before 2. Dora arrived home before 4. She wants us all to get tested again, but I think we should just assume we all have COVID, and she should stop going out to do errands.

In the evening, Dora feeling maybe a little better and father and I feeling maybe a little worse.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-20 (Thursday)
Dora out for errands in late morning, then out all later afternoon and early evening visiting friends. I asked her not to go, since COVID. She was home around 8:30.

Someone pointed out that we probably shouldn't be taking anti-biotics.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-21 (Friday)
Bad headache; spent all morning in bed. But maybe it was my old "cluster" headache; taking Sibelium mostly got rid of it.

Dora out to do errands. I went out to ATM and bulk-goods store.

Dora home at 6:45. And soon bad news: in a couple of weeks, six more family members will arrive from Spain, to stay for more than a week and go to a memorial mass for Dora's mother. I don't see where we're all going to sleep. And I'd like to be gone before they arrive, I've had enough of Peru. But I'll have to recover, test negative, buy a ticket, test negative again in the 2-3 days before departing. And I hope that none of the family members catch COVID while they're here, for their own sakes. A mess.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-22 (Saturday)
Bad headache; spent all morning in bed. And Dora says you're not supposed to take ibuprofen if you have COVID. She gave me Nolotil and 4 other things.

Dora cooked dinner for 6 workers, and then we ate later. In evening, two friends arrived to visit with Dora. And I went out to ATM and bulk-goods store.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-23 (Sunday)
Woke up feeling pretty good. Still slept late. Dora out 10-3:30 or so.

In late afternoon, I went for a little walk around part of the neighborhood, and it was nice. And I found that the "eco-park" a few blocks away is more interesting now: they've added a section displaying a lot of airplanes ! Didn't go in, because I didn't have my vaccination documents, and I think they were about to close anyway.

Late at night, trying to buy airline tickets (for Feb 15th to Barcelona) online, and at times our bad phone hot-spot internet is crippling me. But then suddenly everything started happening, and I got it done. [Good luck trying to figure out if their additional-cost travel-insurance will cover cancellation due to COVID. Their page gives two paragraphs that directly contradict each other on this point.]

Sun for a new day  2022-01-24 (Monday)
Woke up feeling bad again: headache and fever. Dora has a headache and GI upset. Workers starting loud noises downstairs at 8:30. Slept late. Started taking antibiotics again.

Felt a bit better in the afternoon. Took a walk around the neighborhood in late afternoon. Tile progress downstairs: pics. Later I went out to ATM and bulk-goods store. Dora home at 9:40.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-25 (Tuesday)
Feeling okay. Bit of a headache in the afternoon; took Nolotil.

In early evening, out for a short walk around the neighborhood with Dora. Showed her the airplane-park, we saw some other new things. She says they allow building houses up to 7 stories tall now, so she wants to do that. We saw one building 9 stories tall.

Out again in later evening, to bulk-goods store with Dora.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-26 (Wednesday)
Feeling okay. Dora coughing, but out in middle of the day. I went to ATM and bulk-goods store in late afternoon. Dora visited by lawyer and security-camera people. Workers getting more heavy materials delivered.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-27 (Thursday)
Headache. And day starts with a disaster: apparently my phone is set to "roaming" and has been running up a huge bill in Spain. I vaguely remember messing with that setting when we first got here and tried to get phones working. I hate phones, and I hate being in Peru.

Dora out all afternoon and until 9:30 in the evening. Her evening was spent at a hospital where a 31-year-old relative is dying of COVID. Unvaccinated, very low blood-oxygen, lungs full of pneumonia, septic shock starting.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-28 (Friday)
Out at 2:45 with Dora, which means I'm going to miss the Peru football at 4 and the Zoom call at 5. Taxi up into the center, to a couple of blocks where just about every store is an eyeglass shop. Bought new glasses for me, they'll be delivered in a few days.

Dinner in a cafe. Gypsy-taxi and then another taxi to a friend's house, where Dora talked and prayed with her. Finally out, and to a taxi, finally home at 8:15.

Found that Colombia totally dominated the game all the way, and then Peru scored once at minute 85 and won.

Drugstore delivery of lots of supplies (including rapid antigen tests) at 9:15.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-29 (Saturday)
By the time I found out Peru was playing Ecuador here on Tuesday and ticket sales for non-members opened today at noon, it was too late. Online, created an account (site kept failing), tried to buy tickets, it said 621 available, but when I tried to buy 2 it said none available, then the main screen said 0 available.

Out to bulk-goods store. Use ATM, ask if they sell football tickets (no), get groceries. Dora and father out at some lunch/show. Out for a walk in late afternoon.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-30 (Sunday)
In the early AM, barefoot, bashed my little toe into some furniture and maybe broke it.

Dora out to Mass. Then in mid-morning, she's coughing badly and feeling cold.

In the afternoon, visited by a cousin and her children. Had dinner, then walked over to the aero-park a few blocks away. Pretty nice place, some nice aircraft (but one is concrete model, another has a bucket in the nose), and a couple of playground areas for the kids. Pics. I'm limping badly, my wounded toe is not good against the inside of my sneakers.

Dora coughing and feeling bad again in the evening.

Sun for a new day  2022-01-31 (Monday)
Various work continuing downstairs. Dora out all afternoon and into the evening. At 2, I limped out to the bulk-goods store. At 4, friend and worker showed up to fix the washing machine again; eventually they gave up. Dora home after 4:30. Online, I struggled again with the futbol web site, trying to buy tickets, no luck. More tickets have become available, it says things like "24 seats available in this section", but trying to actually buy a seat always fails.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-01 (Tuesday)
Dora out in the early afternoon. Friends visiting in the evening. Watched some of Argentina-Colombia game (no Messi in it). Then watched the Peru-Ecuador game, which ended 1-1.

Dora administered a COVID-antigen (lateral flow immunoassay) test to me. Turns out the big batch of tests she bought are blood tests, not saliva tests. I tested IgG positive and IgM negative, which means I've had COVID in the past but don't have it now, I have long-lasting antibodies.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-02 (Wednesday)
Out before noon with Dora and head worker (later, Dora mentioned that most of the workers are Venezuelan). Walked out to tile/kitchen/bathroom shop where they spent a long time picking out a sink and faucets etc. Then walked to a ferreteria and a bed shop, where they bought lots of paint and a simple bed and a couple of simple mattresses.

Left the worker there to get the paint to home. We went up to the mercado and spent a long time trying to do some financial transactions. Then into a cafe for a snack and bathroom.

Into a taxi, and up to a district where all the big banks are. Stopped in about four of them, and Dora grabbed every bit of cash I could produce to dump into her accounts.

Done in time to go to a meeting with a relative, but instead we went into a restaurant and had a small dinner. Then off to the Marriott to meet the relative. I stayed in the park across the street while Dora went in.

Eventually she's out, and soon we're into a taxi. Across town to friend's house, for conversation and snack and so Dora and friend could pray together.

Finally done, into a taxi, and home by 10:45. A long day.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-03 (Thursday)
Dora out early to a clinic, to check her coughing. Delivery of bed etc at 11. Dora back in midafternoon, still feeling bad. And news that her sister in Barcelona, about to fly here, has tested "maybe" for COVID; will test again [or have the sample analyzed again].

After days of struggling, finally figured out why Dora's Win10 laptop wouldn't connect to internet through phone hot-spot: DNS settings. Changed to automatic and it works. But now I'm getting occasional DNS errors on my laptop. I didn't change anything on phone or my laptop; how did changing on Dora's laptop affect mine ?

Sun for a new day  2022-02-04 (Friday)
Dora out in late morning. Then I went out with her in evening, to a big store to buy a new washing machine. But she's going to put it downstairs, in her apartment, and leave the sister's broken one where it is in the sister's apartment.

Dora says rules for flying are changing; maybe the people flying here from Spain don't have to get PCR tests ?

Sun for a new day  2022-02-05 (Saturday)
Apparently last night all the family got onto planes as intended, no problems.

Out from 11-6 with Dora, a death-march through stores and banks, everything taking 3x as long as it should have. As usual, pouring all of my cash into her accounts.

After dinner, out to bulk-goods store, mostly to get cash, but also to get groceries.

Around 8, six family members arrived from Spain. Lots of suitcases. Later, arguments about the house and mother's possessions, etc.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-06 (Sunday)
Others out to stores in the morning. Workers downstairs painting garage door etc. Friends arrive at noon. Soon another friend arrives. Lots of cooking, later there will be dinner for 13, I think.

Out at 5:30 to go to a memorial mass for Dora's mother. Into a bus and up to old town, only a mile or so away. 6 PM outdoor mass, paid to have her name read a couple of times along with a dozen others. 8 or 10 friends in attendance, with Dora and her father and me.

Out of mass. Outside the church, there's an unmarked curb, and first one lady fell on it, then on the way to a car Dora fell down it and hurt her knees.

To the house, and a dozen friends collecting downstairs, which has been decorated with balloons etc. I hustle to bring down soda and snacks and silverware and chairs. Eventually others start bringing down more snacks. Then a mariachi band arrives and starts playing, and they're pretty good.

Nice food served by some friends. Paid more for the band to play another hour. My dancing, never good, was not improved by my broken toe, but we had a couple of nice dances.

Everyone gone and some cleanup finished by 10:30. Dora arguing with at least one of her sisters about various things. And the TV remote control has disappeared (found next day). And someone delivered my eyeglasses to her at the church and they've vanished. Someone closed the apartment door downstairs and we can't get it open with the key, have to wait for the carpenter tomorrow (turns out we mainly were trying wrong direction, but also it's newly sticky).

Sun for a new day  2022-02-07 (Monday)
Lawyer arrives at 10, and of course all the sisters are late getting ready. Some contention as they get things sorted out. Then lawyer is gone, and soon everyone but father and I are out to various places. Lawyer comes back later, gets directed to meet them at the mercado to sign a letter. One group of family comes home. I go out to bulk-goods store. Various workers and deliveries coming and going.

Dora home before 5. And apparently one lady who delivered something hours ago was a relative we were supposed to let in to cook and wait for Dora. But I didn't recognize her, she didn't explain, Dora didn't tell me she was coming. So she waited in the area for hours.

Workers unboxed the new washing machine and left, I connected it up and started it, and after one small flood and a hose-correction, seems to be working. But then it started making noises, and spit out a couple of plastic pieces. Ran it again, out came two more pieces. Ran it a couple more times, no more pieces, but it's not centrifuging. I think it has to go back to the store.

Found my new eyeglasses sitting in a bag downstairs, so that's good. But when I put them on, they're not right for anything but reading-distance. I'll wear them for a day or so to see if I get used to them.

All evening, Dora doing cosmetic/medical treatments to friends/relatives. They weren't done until midnight, and then Dora and I didn't get to sleep until almost 2, I think.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-08 (Tuesday)
A noisy early morning. I determinedly stayed in bed until most of the people had left. Went downstairs to look at the painting, and it looks more blue than I expected, asked the guys to use more white in the mix for the smaller rooms. Friend has arrived, hired to do some cleaning and cooking.

Looking online, apparently none of us will have to get COVID tests before flying back to Europe. We just have to have vaccination certificates. Much easier.

I'm out to bulk-goods store for cash and groceries. Quiet afternoon. Dora home at 5:15 or so. She's very happy that the downstairs apartment is (half) painted.

By evening, I have a slight headache and maybe slight fever; took Nolotil.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-09 (Wednesday)
Noisy, argumentative morning as usual. I stayed in bed.

10:45, two workers huffed and puffed to carry out the heavy old TV.

Out around 11:30 with Dora and head worker. ATM, tile shop, ferreteria. Saw a big police/immigration operation on the main road, they're stopping lots of traffic to check for illegal workers/drivers. Found a station-wagon taxi, to home, loaded up the washing machine, took it back to the store. They tried to claim we must have done something to break it, but we insisted we didn't, and eventually they took it back and refunded the money.

To a bank for a long session, home after 4, tired. While we were away, friend came to pick up old broken washing machine from 2nd floor.

Dora out again before 7. Later I went out to ATM and bulk-goods store. Dora home at 11, and we hand-wash laundry until after midnight.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-10 (Thursday)
Every day I've been trying to get us to take the kids to the fairly-wonderful aero-park just 3 blocks away. Hoped to get there this morning, but lawyer arrived at 10:15, then others will go out to mercado.

Finally at 11 or so, Dora and I took the twins to the aero-park. And it was a bust: the kids weren't interested in the airplanes, were scared of some cute miniature horses tethered around the place to crop grass, there were no other visitors, and the kids didn't want to play on the playground equipment. Pics. Soon out and to a local store for fruit etc.

After noon, we find that the house has no running water, something has stopped. Called the water company, they said whole neighborhood is turned off until 5 or 6. And by 6 or so, it was.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-11 (Friday)
Slept late, despite noise. Out at noon or so with Dora in taxi. Waited for her and contributed my money through two banks, a pharmacy, a cafe, and a religious shop. Meanwhile, it turns out that the workers can't get a box of parts they need, we've left it locked up back at home. My temper is totally gone by the time we get home just before 4.

Everyone else (except father) went out to eat somewhere. I had a nice Zoom call with my family in USA.

At about 11, suddenly the electrical outlets aren't working, no power to chargers and TV and refrigerator etc. The overhead lights still work. The breakers look okay, and the next morning I flipped them anyway, didn't fix the problem.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-12 (Saturday)
Electrical outlets still not working, no hot water, refrigerator getting warm. A workman came and restored the electricity by 9:15.

Out at 10:45 for a 10:00 appointment at eyeglass shop in the center. Hot today. Got there, measured by a different person this time, but results about the same: the letters are fuzzy and swimming a bit. I paid S300 ($75) already for a new pair of glasses that aren't as good as my old ones. Now they want me to pay S200 ($50) for another pair which, as far as I can tell from their explanation, should be better simply because the lenses are smaller. I decide to give up, stick with the bad glasses as an emergency backup.

To a store, where we bake in the taxi waiting for Dora to buy books. Onto the main highway, which stops dead many times and bakes us some more. Finally into a big mall. Stand in line for bank. Wait more as Dora does several ATMs. To cafe for a reasonable lunch. Later joined by our head worker, and into big home-improvement store. I find a chair and rest on it while they buy stuff. Eventually done and home by 4. I go in, drink water, and collapse onto my bed. Dora is out in the taxi for another hour or more to do more banking. I have a headache, take Nolotil, feeling bad.

At 7:30. father finds out that the hot-water heater is not working. I wonder if that's what made the elecricity fail.

Dora says, no problem, we'll use the bathrooms in the 1st-floor apartment. So I go look down there. And no hot water down there either. And the bathrooms are partly construction zones, with various issues. I take another Nolotil.

Online, trying to buy tickets for a concert here two days from now. But it wouldn't accept two different forms of credit card, kept saying "wrong secret key" when in fact neither had a secret key and I never was asked for a secret key (PIN).

Sun for a new day  2022-02-13 (Sunday)
Feeling better; headache gone. Kids and women and two friends to beach fairly early. I slept late and had a hot shower in one of the downtairs bathrooms. First group arriving back from the beach at 11:30. Rest back at 2:30 or so. Brother-in-law off to airport at 3:30.

In late evening, end with an argument as usual: sister has shared the house keys with a trusted friend, not the one Dora picked, and sister still has not paid any share of the cost of the locks. So Dora is furious.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-14 (Monday)
Out by myself at 11 or so. Took a taxi up to Metro supermarket, where we think they sell concert tickets. Turns out no, you have to go to a different Metro supermarket somewhere else fairly far away. Took a moto-taxi home. Police ID checks in both directions, and police in our neighborhood.

Online in the evening, doing plane ticket check-in and Spain entry forms for all 8 of us. A lot of work, took until after midnight. Seems we don't have to do France entry forms, since we're just transiting through the airport. And seat-assignments are wonky for one sister and father, looks like they've asked for extra-price seats but not paid for the upgrades yet ?

Dora out all day and all evening until almost 1 AM. Then she had her latest taxi driver sleeping in his van outside overnight, saying she had to go again at 5 AM.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-15 (Tuesday)
Dora up at 5 AM, and eventually some arguing and door-slamming started. I stayed burrowed in bed as usual. Lots of work going on downstairs, which is odd because not so much was done yesterday, and we're leaving today. I surrendered all my cash to her, as usual. She didn't get out into the taxi until after 10.

Online, paid for another checked bag for Dora. To ATM for a wad of cash. Now workers upstairs starting to remove the wooden supports for the new concrete.

As I feared, afternoon is proceeding and no sign of Dora returning in the taxi. I always want to be a bit early, she always manages to be as late as she can get away with, drives me crazy.

Finally things start happening. A taxi-van arrives at 2:45. Dora arrives before 3. We load the 6 others and their stuff into the taxi-van, barely fitting, and they're off around 3:15. They're going a little early (7:40 flight) because there's something strange with a couple of their seat-assignments. Dora starts packing and showering etc.

At the last minute, it turns out Dora hasn't negotiated rates and terms with the friend who's going to manage the house while we're back in Spain. I assumed she did that weeks ago. And he's irritated that the workers are going to be here 8:30-5 every day this week, so he has to be here too.

Despite all my pleading, I can't get her out the door before 5 PM. We're now in jeopardy of missing our 7:50 flight, or at least reaching the last-time-to-check-bags of 6:40. We head up the coast, hit heavy traffic inland, then at one big intersection the whole road stops dead for 10 solid minutes. Eventually through that, soon hit another stretch where everything stops dead for 5 minutes.

Get to the airport at about 6:30. Taxi driver helps us with the luggage on a cart. Dora bullies her way to the front of the check-in line, our papers are in order, but two of the suitcases are overweight, and mine is underweight. Dora re-arranges things, we get the suitcases in, then they nicely check a smaller suitcase without charging us for it.

It's almost 7 PM. Instead of heading to the gates, Dora argues for 5-10 minutes trying to get wheelchair assistance for her, and berating me for not reserving it when I bought the tickets. Apparently this is her way of cutting all the lines, and dealing with having much more luggage than she should, plus she does have a bit of a bad back.

Finally we get her to walk, and we luck out. No line at Security, although getting stuff out of our bags takes some effort. She cuts the line at Immigration, then wants to show police papers to the officer. We run for the gate, which turns out to be not far away, and with a 5-minute line in place. Looks like the flight is 10 or so minutes late. So we've made it. I want to rest and cool off and go on last, but Dora butts up to the front and gets wheelchair assistance for both of us, mainly to get onto the plane with extra luggage. They take one of the small suitcases and put it in the hold, no charge.

So I'm hot and sweaty and totally stressed out, but we're on the flight. So are both sisters, their kids, and Dora's father. So all is well.

An uneventful flight, overnight to Paris France. The food is reasonably good, each seat has a TV screen to watch movies, and the seats are adequate-size. Still it's a long flight.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-16 (Wednesday)
We land in Paris around 1:15, I think. A parade of wheelchairs as all three sisters and father get assistance. We have plenty of time, almost 4 hours, for our connection. But one sister has a lot of luggage and two 7-year-old twins, other two sisters have somewhat-bad backs, father is 89 years old.

Father and I get parked with the baggage, then the others disappear for a couple of hours to shop and eat. Finally Dora comes back, and we get chances to go to bathroom and ATM etc. Dora wants me to "lend" money to her to pay for sister's shopping spree, but I say no.

As I sometimes do, I fill a small water-bottle from a faucet in the restroom. I have no problem drinking that water, but if Dora hears that it's from a restroom faucet, she cringes and has trouble drinking it. Then I like to say I got it from the toilet, not the sink. Seems funny at the time.

Sister and twins are getting flight to Bilbao, the remaining 5 of us are flying to Barcelona.

Onto flight, then it's delayed 15 minutes because someone checked baggage but then didn't show up at the gate to board.

Land at Barcelona around 7:30, then confusion as I get off first, then the others (waiting for wheelchair assistance) never appear outside the gate. I wait, ask near baggage claim, ask back at the gate, return flight is boarding so the agent says there must be no one waiting for assistance in the jetway. I don't see how they could have bypassed me.

So I go to baggage claim, pretty much no one else at our carousel, and I fill 4 carts with our luggage.

Finally Dora and father appear. They waited forever for assistance at the gate, apparently. Then sister appears.

We re-sort the baggage, sister heads off to taxi with hers, and with niece and father. Dora and I go to police to file some paperwork. Which ends up taking well over 1.5 hours. Bathroom break. Then a taxi driver Dora knows is waiting for us. Weather outside is lovely, just slightly cool. I thought it would be colder.

Home before 11 PM (5 PM Peru time, so 24 hours door-to-door). And to cap off the trip, the building elevator isn't working. Have to carry all the suitcases up 1.5 floors.


Well, having the 6 other family members join us in Peru for 10 days didn't turn out to be the disaster I predicted. No one got COVID, no one missed their flight, no one stranded in Peru.

Dora's son is taking care of a small dog for a friend, so we have a dog in the apartment.

Dora manages to have several loud arguments with son and sister before things quiet down.

Very nice to have decent internet again.

I slept very well. Dora stayed up all night. Sister was back to airport and flew to South in the morning.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-17 (Thursday)
Slept until 10:30, woke up having no idea what time it was.

Out at noon or so with Dora. To health center to try to straighten out her records, but I think mostly what she got was an appointment for later today, and renewal of some prescriptions. To pharmacy where we spent €120 or so, of which we should get back €60 later. Dora wants me to pay €150 or so to one of her credit cards, but I'm saying no, I'm not going to end up paying for all the work she had done in Peru and put on credit cards (we'll see how long I can stick to that policy). To one bank, where she started re-activation of a credit card. Home by 3.

I get Dora to start working on getting a new phone number for her main phone; all her accounts and contacts depend on that, it has to be done first. I'm out to store for groceries.

Dora's son tells me the dog is a permanent resident; I thought he was temporary. And not more than a week ago Dora told me we were NOT getting a dog. He's a cute and quiet dog, but likes to get underfoot. He's only 5 months old.

Out at 5:15 with Dora. To health center. None of the paper documents submitted by her son in the last 2 weeks reached her doctor. Have to go back again with him to try to figure out who he gave them to. Longish walk to printer-ink shop, bought cartridges.

Late evening, I had a Windows Update running on Dora's laptop, and she effectively powered off the machine in the middle of it. But Windows seems to have recovered okay.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-18 (Friday)
I pry Dora out of bed at 8:30 so she can go to a 10:00 medical appointment, and suddenly everything is SNAFU. I have to scan and email a document for her, print an appointment for her father, do photocopies, she's going to be late for her appointment, will have to take a taxi (using my money), etc. Finally she's out around 10:15.

And she has to pay maybe €1200 to Peru soon, and wants it from me, but I'm not going to pay it all. I'll give the minimum to pay the workers. So I went to ATM, then groceries, then butcher shop.

Now Dora's son tells me the dog is Dora's, she told him to buy it for her. So we're stuck with it even if we move to another apartment ? Another major decision she has made in direct contradiction of my wishes.

No sign of Dora all afternoon, her phone isn't getting messages from us, she's missed some appointment, there are questions from Peru. A mess.

Dora finally home at 9:15. She's trying to have it both ways about the dog: it belongs to her son, but won't go with him to school, who knows where it will go if we get a separate apartment. Several other things I was stressing about today turned out not to be true. I need to calm down.

Gave €400 to Dora to send to Peru. She immediately said "not enough".

Sun for a new day  2022-02-19 (Saturday)
Quiet day. Cool weather, with a little rain in afternoon.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-20 (Sunday)
Our new dog is a Bichon Frise, bought from someone in Madrid, but bred in Hungary. He's just a puppy, we're told 5 months old [veterinarian says younger than that]. He's named Harry, after Harry Potter. Pic.

He's a nice dog, but I don't want any dog. But that ship has sailed: Dora and son and niece love the dog. So now we're stuck with him for his lifespan, maybe 13 years or so.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-21 (Monday)
So today the dog peed on the living-room floor and pooped on a small rug in our bedroom.

Dog to vet for vaccination.

Dora out much of the day, and again in the evening. Then baking apple pies starting at 11 PM.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-22 (Tuesday)
Dog pooped in our bedroom again.

Installed Linux Endeavour 2021.12 LXQt on my laptop.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-23 (Wednesday)
Dora hands me a stack of 6 medical appointments she's made for me, at the private medical system we have. I go online and cancel all but one of them, one that wasn't even in the stack she gave me. Later another one pops up that I'll keep too.

Out at midday with Dora. To two banks, language school, mobile-phone shop, cafe. Home, tired.

SNAFU in the early evening as Dora suddenly realizes her "off from work" permission is expiring today, she'll have to go to work tomorrow ! Suddenly she's photocopying documents, getting me to scan and online-file a dozen pages, then she's rushing off to the health center to try to talk someone into extending her permission.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-24 (Thursday)
Dora out all day at medical appointments.

Dog pooped in hallway in front of our bedroom door. He's trained us to keep the doors closed.

Dora home at 6:30.

Russia has invaded Ukraine. And someone knocked on our door wanting to discuss it / persuade us of something. That was quick. Selfish, but: we're worried that son's last semester of medical school in Slovakia will be canceled yet again.

Then I can't get Dora out the door on time to go to the 8 PM concert. It's 7:30 before we get out, mad at each other. Luckily we catch a taxi less than a block from our door, and get to our seats (or approximately the seats we bought) with about 3 minutes to spare.

The concert is okay. Mozart concert for flute is pretty nice. Mahler symphony number 5 was long and lacked melody, but had its moments. Pics. Dora falling asleep a couple of times. At the end, audience went wild, ecstatic, which I thought was unjustified. Okay, the Mahler was a long complex effort which I'm sure they played well, but the piece was not outstanding.

Out, walked down to the cathedral (nice picture of Dora: pic), then to a cafe. Eventually out and metro to Llucmajor, home after midnight.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-25 (Friday)
Up at 8. Out with Dora and son to big private hospital across town. Ophthalmology and other appointments. I came back home by 1:15; they went to eat and then Dora had more appointments.

Dog in carrying case when son was intending to take him with us to hospital: pic. But we didn't take him with us, I vetoed it.

Tired and headachey in the evening, despite taking ibuprofen.

Dog peed in the hallway and pooped in a corner of the living-room. This is getting tiresome fast.

Late-night Zoom call with my family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-26 (Saturday)
In midafternoon, light switch on main bathroom breaks, no light. Out with Dora to look for replacement switch, but everywhere is closed. Bought fruit, went home, then I went out and bought a huge load of groceries and laundry stuff.

Dog vomited in the living-room, and when I tried to get niece to clean it up, she denied she'd ever wanted a dog. Not much later, the dog pooped in the living-room, and when I tried to get Dora to clean it up, she made her son clean it up. Then while I was out buying switches, dog vomited several more times (someone has been feeding him people-food) and has to be taken to the vet.

Installed the new light-switches, and as I expected, got stuck on the very last step, where two side-by-side push-plates somehow pop into place magically. Try as we might, we could get only one at a time to go in. Put tape across it and left it that way until morning. Lights in bathroom work, with some fiddling.

Vet bill for dog comes to €150, and guess who gets to pay it ?

Sun for a new day  2022-02-27 (Sunday)
Dora baked apple pies. In the evening, we baked 4 simple (but big) cakes. When Dora gets going with baking, she tends to make big vats of batter.

Sun for a new day  2022-02-28 (Monday)
Dora in her usual morning SNAFU, late for medical appointments, changing direction 5 times, late into the shower, etc.

Dora home for dinner, then back out for more appointments. In evening, I go out to medical clinic to try to collect her baja for her, but all they will give me is a stamped note saying the baja will be ready tomorrow.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-01 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-03-02 (Wednesday)
Out with Dora to bank, medical clinic, pharmacy.

Online, did Spanish 720 tax form.

Dora and niece had a screaming match, a bowl got broken, and later police arrived. Still later, Dora was furious and wanted to go stay the night in a hotel.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-03 (Thursday)
In the evening, to ferreteria with Dora, where a guy swapped our wrong switch for the right switch. Back home, and the wire-ends fought me for a while, but finally I got everything into place and working.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-04 (Friday)
In late evening, sister arrived from the South.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-05 (Saturday)
Walked the dog. May be the first time I've ever really walked a dog.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-06 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-03-07 (Monday)
In late afternoon, a screaming argument between Dora and niece, with her sister caught in the middle.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-08 (Tuesday)
Sister flew back to South.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-09 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-03-10 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-03-11 (Friday)
Late-night Zoom call with my family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-12 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-03-13 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-03-14 (Monday)
Fairly cold and windy today.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-15 (Tuesday)
Out to medical appointment with Dora in the late morning.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-16 (Wednesday)
Good news: apparently the dog will be going with son when he goes to medical school in Slovakia, which may happen next week. But bad news later, looks like son's semester may be done online, so he may not go to Slovakia until July.

Out in the evening with Dora and hauled a big heavy suitcase and bag through the metro and to Drassanes. To a church to donate to Ukrainians, but right up front there was a sign "no clothes", and 80% of what she'd brought was clothing. So she donated what she could, then up La Rambla 12 blocks or so to a convent she knows. They also said they didn't want clothes, but then they took them anyway. To a cafe for a while, then home after 9:15.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-17 (Thursday)
Out all afternoon with Dora, doing some medical errands and then cafe and farmacia. Home at 4:30, tired.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-18 (Friday)
Out 9:30 to 1:15 with Dora. To Placa Espanya to get another dose of COVID vaccine, Moderna this time. We've both had three shots already, but Spain/EU only knows about two of them, so this makes our records look up-to-date. Now I've had two doses of Astra-Zeneca, one of Pfizer, one of Moderna. Plus in the middle there I was sick with COVID for a week. So my immunity should be excellent now. Dora has had three Pfizer's and now a Moderna, plus COVID more than once.

Now it seems Dora's son will stay here, studying online for a Slovakian state medical exam to be given in late April. If he passes that, he's done with medical school. I get the privilege of paying the normal full-semester tuition (€5250) for his month of online studying and the exam.

Dora sleeping in the evening, from maybe 8. I went to bed around 11:30, and just could not get to sleep. When she got up at 3:15, I got up and took ibuprofen and diazepam, eventually got to sleep.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-19 (Saturday)
Feeling headachey and tired today.

In the evening, again Dora went to bed very early, maybe at 8. But this time she slept through until 8 AM or so.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-20 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-03-21 (Monday)
There's been a truck-driver strike for a few days, and today a few items were out of stock in the grocery store.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-22 (Tuesday)
To hospital for an eye-scan; results normal.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-23 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-03-24 (Thursday)
Out after 4 with Dora and father. To a hospital, for the father to have out-patient eye surgery. I didn't want to know any more details; the mere idea makes me woozy. It went well, we were home by 8:30.

Trying to understand process Dora's son has to go through, and it turns out Dora doesn't fully understand it either. We got some clarification from her son about part of it. So he studies online for a month (now), then goes to school in SLovakia and takes a whole series of govt tests, and has to write a present a paper (thesis). Then he graduates and is a doctor, in Slovakia. Comes back to Spain, gets his degree validated, then has to take a Spanish exam in February to try to get a residency position somewhere. Apparently all hospitals/clinics in Spain, public and private, must hire through that program. If you don't get a residency position, you remain a plain doctor, and no one can hire you for more than temporary jobs ?

Installed Linux openSUSE Tumbleweed KDE on my laptop.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-25 (Friday)
In the evening, a Zoom call with my family in USA.

Online, did my US income tax return and submitted it.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-26 (Saturday)
Corrected US income tax return and submitted it again. Later had to submit a third time, just trivial fields wrong.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-27 (Sunday)
Online, tried to file my US FBAR form, but site keeps giving an error and throwing away all my work. Other people having problems too.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-28 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-03-29 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-03-30 (Wednesday)
Steady rain in the late evening.

Sun for a new day  2022-03-31 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-01 (Friday)
Online, filed my US FBAR form, I think it worked this time.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-02 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-03 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-04 (Monday)
Dora baked two apple pies.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-05 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-06 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-07 (Thursday)
Weather has warmed up a couple of degrees, is quite nice now.

Watched "The Wizard of Oz" with Dora; she's never seen it.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-08 (Friday)
Dora's sister arrived from the South.

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-09 (Saturday)

Sister and niece out early, on a trip to Madrid.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-10 (Sunday)

Watched "Fantasia" with Dora; she's never seen it.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-11 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-12 (Tuesday)

In mid-day, sister and niece arrived back from Madrid.

In late evening, other sister and twins arrived from the North. And the twins are scared of the dog. So now we are 9 plus dog in the apartment.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-13 (Wednesday)

Birthday party for Dora's father (90 years old) and early birthday party for niece.

Watched most of "Mary Poppins" (in Spanish) with Dora.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-14 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-15 (Friday)

Gorgeous weather, it's warmed up a degree or two and the wind has died down.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-16 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-17 (Sunday)

Early, one sister and twins head out, back to North.

Other sister left in early afternoon.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-18 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-19 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-20 (Wednesday)

Weather cold and windy.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-21 (Thursday)

Weather cold and rainy.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-22 (Friday)

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-23 (Saturday)

Heavy rain several times in the afternoon.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-24 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-25 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-26 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-27 (Wednesday)

Niece's best friend at school has tested positive for COVID. But apparently niece just has to (continue to) wear a mask, doesn't have to stay home.

Sun for a new day  2022-04-28 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-29 (Friday)

Sun for a new day  2022-04-30 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-01 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-02 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-03 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-04 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-05 (Thursday)

Dora in bad pain and vomiting at dawn, with kidney stone(s). To medical clinic after 9, for shots and prescriptions.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-06 (Friday)

Dora achey and medicated, but in reasonable shape.

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-07 (Saturday)

Festivities and then concert in the park across the street. Fun to visit in the afternoon and again in early evening, but then loud music was thump-thumping until at least midnight-twenty when I went to bed.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-08 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-09 (Monday)

Dora out to a medical appointment. I took the dog out for a walk and sit in the park.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-10 (Tuesday)

The weather has turned, now at times it's too warm for the clothing I'm wearing. Time to get out the short sleeves.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-11 (Wednesday)

Out with Dora so she could get a CT-scan. Later she went out for another medical appointment.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-12 (Thursday)

In the evening, out with Dora for a late appointment at a medical imaging place across town. Turned out she had to wait almost 90 minutes for contrast to work through her system, so it went very late. Taxi and home around midnight-10.

I've been moving money from USA to Europe, now that the exchange rate has gotten more favorable for that, changing from around $1.20/Euro to around $1.05/Euro. But the Euro continues to fall. And I'm running low on money to move, without tapping into pre-tax retirement accounts.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-13 (Friday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-14 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-15 (Sunday)

Now wearing shorts and sandals.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-16 (Monday)

Niece stayed home from school, sick with a hollow cough that says "COVID" to me. No other symptoms except tiredness. She and Dora objected to my diagnosis. In the evening, I bought a couple of COVID rapid tests (saliva tests, about €3.50 each), but the niece tested negative.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-17 (Tuesday)

Niece stayed home from school again, still has cough.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-18 (Wednesday)

Niece still home sick from school. But she took 2nd COVID test this morning, still negative.

I'm out at noon with Dora. Bus to hospital, where she had a lung endocscopy. Took about 20 minutes, she was anxious beforehand and coughing afterward. Preliminary results look good. But she couldn't eat or drink all day, which was taxing. Home by 3:30. She wasn't supposed to drink or eat until 4:30, but she ignored that and we had dinner right away, Doctors are the worst patients.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-19 (Thursday)

Niece still home sick from school.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-20 (Friday)

Niece still home sick from school.

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-21 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-22 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-23 (Monday)

Niece back to school, after missing all of last week.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-24 (Tuesday)

Out with Dora in midafternoon to a medical examination.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-25 (Wednesday)

Out with Dora in midafternoon to accompany her to a kidney stone procedure.

Sun for a new day  2022-05-26 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-27 (Friday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-28 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-29 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-30 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-05-31 (Tuesday)

Noticed that some people had slept overnight in the park across the street. Then in late afternoon I noticed that they had hung out laundry to dry, on the playground equipment and a tree. I filed a report to the city. Police came in a little less than 2 hours.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-01 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-02 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-03 (Friday)


Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-04 (Saturday)

Headachey all day.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-05 (Sunday)


Sun for a new day  2022-06-06 (Monday)

Online, did my Spanish income tax return. Just one more return left to do, and then I'm finished for this year.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-07 (Tuesday)

Online, did my Spanish wealth tax return.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-08 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-09 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-10 (Friday)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-11 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-12 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-13 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-14 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-15 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-16 (Thursday)

With Dora, went to Caixa bank where we have accounts, and had an infuriating experience. A couple of their workers are out, front-desk guy is trying to do everything, they're moving things online. I have 4 cards and none of them work to give me cash, and all he could say was wait 3 days for my main card to work. I had 4 or 5 other questions/operations, and he just denied that any of them were possible or had happened. I'll have to print out stuff and go back again.

Back to the bank an hour later, with printouts. Different person at front desk. She says there's something strange with my account, probably because it came in through a merger, maybe because the branch in Jerez where I opened it put a restriction on it. Got some things sorted out, but come back later for an appointment to do more.

Out to bank (fortunately only 2 blocks away) again for a 3:15 appointment. Which they seem to have no record of. But anyway, a little clarity, apparently the Bankia branch in Jerez where I opened the account has been closed, account transferred to a Caixa branch in Jerez, and somehow locked there. They will do paperwork to move it here, but it might take a month. And for my ATM card, they said wait a week. Luckily I was able to use my USA ATM card to get cash, so the pressure is off. But it's all very confusing, this bank seems to have arms-length arrangements with subsidiaries, and my accounts are in various sections of them. All of which means probably expect more fees from now on, despite me recently having deposited a ton of cash in the main account.

Dora's sister arrived from the South.

Dora's son has had flu or something for a couple of days. Took a rapid COVID test this evening and it was negative.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-17 (Friday)

8:20 in the evening on a hot day, building power went out. On again 5 minutes later, off again a minute later, on again 30 seconds later. Off again just before 9, just for 10 seconds.

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-18 (Saturday)

Sister and niece off on a trip to Denmark.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-19 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-20 (Monday)

Now I have maybe the same illness Dora's son has had for a week, although maybe I don't have it as badly: coughing, sneezing, achey, etc.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-21 (Tuesday)

Now Dora's father is feeling a bit sick too.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-22 (Wednesday)

After midnight, sister and niece returned from Denmark.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-23 (Thursday)

Sister back to the South.

Today is Dia San Joan. Plenty of firecrackers all day, increasing in the evening. A party/concert in the park across the street. Loads of firecrackers going off. I'm happy to be inside. Surprisingly, the noises don't bother the dog, even when we're out walking.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-24 (Friday)

Dora's son got his medical-exam grades, and he failed 1 of the 7 tests. We're not sure, but it seems that is enough to make him have to do a whole year more of school.

In the evening, went to take a shower, and found no hot water. No gas, I think. And no one remembers ever getting or paying a gas bill. Apparently the son knew there was no hot water an hour or two ago and didn't tell anyone.

Eventually Dora finds that she's been paying a gas bill. She starts calling numbers for the gas company, but it's 8:30 on the evening of a holiday. I give her other numbers, and she does get through to someone, who says they have not cut the gas (although we do owe some deposit). So it must be the water-heater itself. Another call, and someone will come tomorrow morning to look at it.

Niece got grades from her latest semester; half are good and other half are okay.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-25 (Saturday)

Water-heater guy arrived at 10:50. Machine is old and very dirty. Done and working before 11:30, cost €72.

I cut a couple lengths of board to fix shelf in kitchen.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-26 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-27 (Monday)

Father and niece off to the North of Spain for the summer.

Dora's son says several of his friends have COVID, but at least one of them isn't even allowed to stay home from work. Apparently the new policy is you stay home if symptoms are severe enough (e.g. high fever) to prevent you from working, but simply testing positive is not enough to let you stay home from work. (Just checked, and Spain has an 87% fully-vaccinated rate.)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-28 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-06-29 (Wednesday)

Not sure of the date of this picture, but the dog very dirty after a romp: pic.

Sun for a new day  2022-06-30 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-01 (Friday)

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-07-02 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-03 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-04 (Monday)

To CaixaBank again, waited through line, and frustration again. Apparently last time we were here they did't do anything to unblock my ATM card; it will take another 10 days now. And my account is in limbo between two offices and two banks, still locked somehow, wait another 15 days for that maybe. Meanwhile the old bank is charging me €35 every 3 months for ... something.

But looking online, there don't seem to be any good alternatives. I want no fees, and an ATM card with a high monthly limit on withdrawals. Can't get it. But then I found Openbank, which looks pretty good, so I opened an account.

Sun for a new day  2022-07-05 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-06 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-07 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-08 (Friday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-09 (Saturday)

In late evening, got Dora to walk the dog a little for the first time, and it was comical. I mostly let him wander and sniff everything; she wants to charge along in a brisk walk in a straight line. And there were two of us with him, and he was chewing on something. So it was a very confused walk.

Sun for a new day  2022-07-10 (Sunday)

Went to a Turkish cafe for lunch/dinner; nice.

Shocked to hear that one of Dora's cousins in Peru died last month, of cancer. We saw him a lot when we were in Peru back in Jan/Feb, and I thought he was healthy.

Sun for a new day  2022-07-11 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-12 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-13 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-14 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-15 (Friday)

Zoom call with my family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-07-16 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-17 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-18 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-19 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-20 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-21 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-22 (Friday)

Sorry I haven't been writing much in this blog lately. Life has been pretty routine. Weather has been warm (32C / 90F) but not horrible. Half of the time it's just Dora and me and dog in the apartment. Dog has trained me to walk him 4 times/day. Exchange rate has fallen so I've been moving a lot of money from USA to Europe, and opening a new bank account and a brokerage account in Europe.

Dora (with some help from me) gave the dog a bath in the bathtub, and a bit of a hair-trim. It went better than I expected. Dog looked a bit forlorn afterwards: pics.

Sun for a new day  2022-07-23 (Saturday)

The dog looking more normal than his after-bath state yesterday: pic.

Sun for a new day  2022-07-24 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-25 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-26 (Tuesday)

Guy arrived at 3:30 to repair one persiana and check/lubricate another. Bill was 50% more than I hoped. Next time maybe I should try fixing it myself.

Sun for a new day  2022-07-27 (Wednesday)

Out with Dora to two banks, two Western Unions, and food stores. Sweaty by the time we're home.

Out with Dora again in late afternoon to another Western Union.

Sun for a new day  2022-07-28 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-07-29 (Friday)

The dog after a haircut: pics.

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-07-30 (Saturday)

After several false starts with other distros, installed Linux Pop!_OS on my laptop.

Sun for a new day  2022-07-31 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-01 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-02 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-03 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-04 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-05 (Friday)

In afternoon, after dinner, couldn't get air-conditioning to restart. Sometimes it's balky. But then around 5 a nice thunderstorm came through with lightning and plenty of rain, and cooled everything off.

Sun for a new day  2022-08-06 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-07 (Sunday)

A little warmer today, up to 33C. Took dog out for his midafternoon walk, and after about 5 minutes he said nope, and headed for home.

Sun for a new day  2022-08-08 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-09 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-10 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-11 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-12 (Friday)

Late-night Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-08-13 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-14 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-15 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-16 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-17 (Wednesday)

Nice rain in the evening.

Sun for a new day  2022-08-18 (Thursday)

Lovely cool greyish morning, great weather to walk the dog.

Nice rain starting at 5:30.

Sun for a new day  2022-08-19 (Friday)

Dora out early to a medical appointment, then later she and I went to Caixabank to close my accounts. I was expecting a frustrating ordeal, but it was amazingly smooth, probably because a different lady at the front desk and essentially no line. I handed over 4 debit and credit cards, and she had 3 more waiting for me in a drawer. Canceled my Bankia, Imagin, and Caixa accounts, lots of signatures on her touch-screen computer, paid me the €0.17 remaining in my account, and done.

Sun for a new day  2022-08-20 (Saturday)

Had a bad headache much of the day, continuing from yesterday.

Sun for a new day  2022-08-21 (Sunday)

6:15 in the evening, thunder and lightning and then pouring rain.

Sun for a new day  2022-08-22 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-23 (Tuesday)

Exchange rate continues to fall; now about $0.99 for 1 Euro. I'll move some more money soon. A couple of years ago, it was about $1.20 for 1 Euro. Five years ago, it was about $1.25 for 1 Euro.

Sun for a new day  2022-08-24 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-25 (Thursday)

Dog has been limping badly. Son took him to vet, turns out he has an infection.

Sun for a new day  2022-08-26 (Friday)

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-08-27 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-28 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-29 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-08-30 (Tuesday)

In afternoon, I went to metro, to train station, train to airport, bus to other terminal. [Found out later: masks mandatory on train and bus, but not in airport.] Waited, and picked up niece and father arriving. Lots of luggage, and father walking with a cane. Into a taxi and home.

Sun for a new day  2022-08-31 (Wednesday)

Raining in the morning. Took the dog out in light rain for a brief walk. Five minutes after we got back, it started pouring.

Lovely day, but then at 6:30 in the evening, high winds and torrential rain coming sideways.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-01 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-02 (Friday)

In the evening, installed Linux Solus 4.3 Budgie on my laptop.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-03 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-04 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-05 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-06 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-07 (Wednesday)

First day back to school for niece.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-08 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-09 (Friday)

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-10 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-11 (Sunday)

Apparently Dora's "back to work this week" means "use up accrued vacation time this week, back to work following week".

Sun for a new day  2022-09-12 (Monday)

Apparently son and his class are not going back to Slovakia for school this year, they're just going to wait and take the tests again next March or whenever. But we won't have to pay tuition, and he'll get rid of his apartment there. If they had gone back to school, maybe he would have had practical experience in the hospital, which he hasn't had yet. But I guess he'll graduate without it.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-13 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-14 (Wednesday)

In the afternoon, went with Dora to a medical place so she could have a scan done. Despite wearing masks, they made all non-patients wait outside the building.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-15 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-16 (Friday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-17 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-18 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-19 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-20 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-21 (Wednesday)

Dora out to work for first time in 1 year plus 1 week. Working 2:40 to 10 shift.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-22 (Thursday)

Dora out to work 10-5.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-23 (Friday)

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA.

Pouring rain for a while at 1:45 AM.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-24 (Saturday)

Dora out to work 8-8.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-25 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-09-26 (Monday)

Son off to Slovakia for a few days to empty his apartment there, not going back to medical school in person.

Niece sick, on a holiday.

In the evening, we made a couple of apple pies.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-27 (Tuesday)

Niece home sick from school.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-28 (Wednesday)

Niece home sick from school.

Online, I see the center of Hurricane Ian is projected to hit Florida's west coast about 10 miles north of where the center of Hurricane Charley hit in 2004 (Cape Coral, and up the Caloosahatchee River), which in turn was about 10 miles north of where I was (Fort Myers Beach) on my sailboat at the time. Ian is estimated at category 3 [but later increased to 4 to 5], Charley was category 3 to 4.

Dora out to work 3-10.

Later in the day here, the updates on Hurricane Ian hitting Florida sound nasty. Sustained very high winds (nearing cat 5), ocean storm surge 12-18 feet in places, etc. Glad I don't have my sailboat any more.

In late evening here, the news is that Hurricane Ian made landfall on FLorida as a category strong-4. Water flooding up to tops of first floors in houses in Fort Myers Beach, where I had my boat in 2004. An online article says "The eye of Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa ... This is the exact same point where Hurricane Charley made landfall in 2004 as a Category 4. Both hurricanes had winds of 150 mph at landfall." But I don't remember such high flooding from Charley.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-29 (Thursday)

Niece home sick from school.

On TV, photos from the hurricane in Florida are amazing. I'm not sure my boat would have survived so well in this one as in the 2004 case, given the huge flooding I see on TV, so many boats loose. [Later I read: Ian is a much wider hurricane than Charley was.]

Dora out to work 3-10.

Sun for a new day  2022-09-30 (Friday)

Niece home sick from school.

In the evening, son arrived home from Slovakia.

Installed Linux Elementary OS 6.1 on my laptop.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-01 (Saturday)

Installed Linux UbuntuDDE Remix (Deepin) on my laptop.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-02 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-10-03 (Monday)

Dora out to work 8-3.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-04 (Tuesday)

Dora out to work 8-3.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-05 (Wednesday)

Dora out to work 3-10.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-06 (Thursday)

Dora out to work 3-10.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-07 (Friday)

Rainy all day. Dora out to work 3-10.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-08 (Saturday)

Found this: video of Hurricane Ian 10-to-15-foot storm surge across Ft Myers Beach FL, the island I was sheltering behind on my sailboat for Hurricane Charley in 2004.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-09 (Sunday)

Dora out to work 8-8.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-10 (Monday)

Sun for a new day  2022-10-11 (Tuesday)

Dora out to work 8-3.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-12 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-10-13 (Thursday)

Dora out to work 8-3.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-14 (Friday)

Dora out to work 3-10.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-15 (Saturday)

In the evening, Dora's sister arrived from the South.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-16 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-10-17 (Monday)

Dora out to work 8-3.

Went to health center to ask about vaccinations, but it was jammed, no one at the Information desk, a sign that answered about 1/3 of my questions. Came home, online, no citas available. So I guess we'll just have to go back some other day, and stand through the line and hope we can get what we want (flu and COVID shots).

Sun for a new day  2022-10-18 (Tuesday)

Sister back to the South. Dora out to work 9-3.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-19 (Wednesday)

Dora out to work 3-10.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-20 (Thursday)

Dora out to work 3-10.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-21 (Friday)

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-22 (Saturday)

Dora out to work 8-8.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-23 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-10-24 (Monday)

Dora out to work 8-3.

After trying online for a week, went to health center in person and got a cita to get vaccinated (flu and COVID).

Sun for a new day  2022-10-25 (Tuesday)

Dora out to work 8-3.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-26 (Wednesday)

Dora out to work 8-3.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-27 (Thursday)

Dora out to work 3-10.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-28 (Friday)

Dora out to work 8-3.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-29 (Saturday)

In late evening, installed MX Linux on my laptop.

Sun for a new day  2022-10-30 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-10-31 (Monday)

Dora out to work 8-3.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-01 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-11-02 (Wednesday)

Niece home sick from school.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-03 (Thursday)

Niece home sick from school.

Dora out to work 3-10.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-04 (Friday)

Weather cool and very windy. Walking the dog at 8:40 wasn't much fun.

To health center and got vaccinated for COVID and influenza.

Dora out to work 3-10.

I've had a cold and mild sore throat for a couple of days, and I felt worse and worse as the day went on. I don't think it has anything to do with the vaccinations.

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA, but I missed most of it, because apparently Daylight Savings time ended here on the 28th and I didn't even notice.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-05 (Saturday)

Slept very badly, feeling lousy. Took the dog out at 8:30 and felt wobbly after half an hour. Home and back to bed. Dora started me on anti-biotics and Nolotil.

Spent about 1/4 of the day in bed.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-06 (Sunday)

Feeling better today, mostly because my headache is gone. Still have cough and runny nose and feeling a bit tired.

Dora out to work 8-8.

In the afternoon, headache again. Spending some time in bed today.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-07 (Monday)

Feeling better this morning.

Dora out to a work-class, 9-5.

A busy morning: walk dog, go to ATM, to dog-groomer and then niece's school to pay for trip, to store. And an expensive day: €40 for dog-grooming, €300 payment on niece's trip, €50 for dog-veterinarian. €10 for pharmacy. Plus the usual groceries.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-08 (Tuesday)

Dora out to work 8-3.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-09 (Wednesday)

Dora out to work 3-10.

In late evening, went out with dog and umbrellas to meet Dora coming home on metro. Light rain, but after we got home it started raining a lot harder.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-10 (Thursday)

Sun for a new day  2022-11-11 (Friday)

Dora out to work 3-10. And there she got vaccinated for COVID and flu.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-12 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-11-13 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-11-14 (Monday)

Dora out to work 3-10.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-15 (Tuesday)

Dora out to work 8-3.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-16 (Wednesday)

Dora out to work 3-10.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-17 (Thursday)

Dora out to work 3-10.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-18 (Friday)

Weather suddenly turned grey and coldish.

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA. Lots of interesting talk about current events, and also one sibling is selling a house, an aunt is traveling in Israel/Jordan, more.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-19 (Saturday)

Dora out to work 9-9.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-20 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-11-21 (Monday)

Dora working today.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-22 (Tuesday)

Dora working today.

In the evening, suddenly Dora says she has vacation coming up, let's travel. So I booked 8 nights in Paris in early December.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-23 (Wednesday)

Dora working today.

In the evening, I made a couple of apple pies.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-24 (Thursday)

Dora working today.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-25 (Friday)

Dora working today.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-26 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-11-27 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-11-28 (Monday)

Dora working today.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-29 (Tuesday)

Dora working today.

Sun for a new day  2022-11-30 (Wednesday)

Dora working today.

Walking the dog, saw this odd bicycle.

Heater repairman came. He was here for a solid 90 minutes, replaced a big capacitor or something, maybe recharged the refrigerant, said we need a major new part which will cost €470. System works now, but leaking will make it stop working again in a matter of weeks or a month, maybe.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-01 (Thursday)

Dora at all-day medical class.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-02 (Friday)

Dora at 2/3-day medical class.

Planning out our stay in Paris, lots to see, but it's going to be cold.

Evening Zoom call with siblings in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-03 (Saturday)

In the late evening, buying lots of Paris museum and concert tickets online.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-04 (Sunday)

We're flying tomorrow, so of course Dora can't find her passport.

In late afternoon, I had to resort to confiscating the TV remote before she would start searching for her passport. After a good long search, and lots of stress, she found it. Later, checking in to get boarding passes, it turned out she could have traveled without it.

Trip to Paris:
Sun for a new day  2022-12-05 (Monday)

Decided we could leave at 9 instead of 8:30. Up at 7:30. Dora up earlier, packing. Breakfast, shower, walk the dog.

Out before 9. To ATM, to metro, to Clot. Where we found that the direct train to the airport has been cancelled (maybe they are doing construction). So we lost 25 minutes waiting, then another 10 minutes connecting in Sants. To airport, shuttle bus to other terminal, no lines at check-in or Security, made our flight with maybe 10 minutes to spare.

Uneventful flight, except that there's a crew strike so no refreshments. Landed early at 1:20. Weather damp and foggy, but not too cold.

Took a good 2.5 hours to get to our AirBNB. Wait for baggage, out and walk to other terminal, buy tickets for train. Wait for train, 40-minute train ride, to Gare du Nord train station. Very confused at how to buy Metro passes and the machines are broken, but someone guided us to a counter that was open.

Onto Metro, 4 stops, found our apartment pretty easily, lady was waiting to let us in. As expected, it's small, and no TV. Wi-Fi network has a 26-char password ! Some of the lights don't work. She left, and then we found that a key power outlet under the desk doesn't work.

Out around 6, and it's 2.5°C and feeling cold. To a photo-booth to take pictures for our metro cards, €8 each ! To a Chinese/soup restaurant recommended by our hosts, and it's not so great. To Belleville metro, and long ride to Arc de Triomphe. Walked down the Champs Elysee enjoying the shops and lights. Pics. Had enough, into Roosevelt metro and to the home neighborhood after 8:30. Everything is closed or closing, we barely managed to duck into one boulangerie and get some bread and pastry. Home by 8:45.

Heater keeps turning off; somehow it's gotten into timer mode. Got up several times during the night to start it again. But slept reasonably well.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-06 (Tuesday)

Still fighting with the heater. And unfortunately the weather forecast is bad, it will be colder on the weekend.

Out in late morning. Went several blocks to a boulangerie recommended to us, but it looks like an industrial bakery now, no space for customers. Up the street looking for a hot breakfast and some heat, and went into a corner bar. Place is reasonably warm, but the only food was croissant or bread, not warm, with tiny coffees, and orange juice with ice-cubes in it ! Ate our breakfast.

Into metro, and to Montmarte. Tiny bit of light rain, so Dora bought an umbrella. Climbed the steps up to the basilica, being assaulted by various groups of vendors. In, and the place is nice. But then some adoration-service finished, and they turned off most of the lights !

Out, and the view today is mainly of fog. But the photo-explanation stand shows that the view is not much even in clear weather.

Dora insisted on buying a lock for €4, writing our names on it, and adding it to the tens of thousands of locks already locked to the fences here. I told her the lock-vendor probably comes back at night to unlock them, wash them off, and sell them again the next day. I told her just to find another lock on the fence already with same initials as ours, and we'll adopt that one. But no, she wanted to spend the money. Pics.

Down to metro, but instead walked through a park and down streets, looking at shops etc, to next metro station. To Les Halles. A little trouble getting oriented, but then into Sainte-Eustache church. Nice, but not as amazing as I'd hoped. Pics.

Walked to the Louvre, getting a bit lost on the way. Arrived at the side of it, sort of, and didn't see anything interesting. [It's closed today anyway, we have tickets for tomorrow.] Into a Tourist Info place, and basked in the warmth. They gave us a nice street map, but otherwise were useless, I think they were there mainly to sell tickets.

Into metro, to home (Belleville). Into a Vietnamese restaurant, and had quite a nice meal for €30. [Dora's pho had some meat in it that looked like testicles, and was very dense and chewy (I've never eaten testicles). I ate one, and she ate one. Later I mentioned the possibility and started teasing her about it. She thinks it was heart meat, but who knows ?]

More of the day's pics.

Stopped at a couple of shops and then home by 4 or so.

In the evening, out to supermarket.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-07 (Wednesday)

Out at 9:30 or so. Down a block or two and into a bar for coffees. Into metro and to the main station for the Louvre art museum. A bit of a walk, badly marked, to the entrance, but we're in a crowd going to the same place. Into long line by 10:20 or so for our 10:30 entrance. But it went pretty smoothly, and the weather is a little milder today, Lots of Americans and Spanish here.

In and got maps and then climbed steps several stories up to the top, level 2. French and Italian painters. Very nice art, nice building, but it's huge. And a few sections or stairwells are closed, making us backtrack a few times.

Dora's son messaged us saying, send me a picture of the Mona Lisa. So I sent him a photo of a painting of a monkey, and called it the Mono Lisa (mono is monkey in Spanish).

We saw a painting of the Last Supper, so I told more jokes. Judas says to Jesus: "I invite you to the Last Supper on Friday". Jesus says "The what ?". Judas says "Normal supper. Normal supper with the guys." And another joke: they show up for the Supper, and the maitre d' says "Party of 13 with no reservation ? Well, we have a table, but it's a weird one, you'll all have to sit on the same side."

Spent almost 2 hours on that floor (jokes probably made it seem longer to Dora), then down one. Through royal apartments, then to more Italian paintings, and the Mona Lisa. A bit of a mob scene there, and we didn't stand through the line to take pictures from 15 feet directly in front of it. But we got some pictures of it anyway.

Into a cafe and had a decent lunch for €25. Very nice until the waiter propped open a door to outside, about 6 inches open, and it blew cold air on us.

Out of cafe, wandered a bit. Running out of steam, but saw more paintings, and then down to a floor of statuary (some of it ancient copies of even older originals; also the Venus de Milo).


Finally we're worn out, we've seen probably 40% of this place. Bathrooms, out to main entrance hall, then to gift shop. Right into metro station, and very crowded trains home (the metro here seems to be crowded most of the time). Stop in a shop so Dora could buy slippers, home before 5. Feet tired.

Out in the evening to buy a few groceries.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-08 (Thursday)

Out at 12:30 or so. Metro to Solferino, walk to Musee d'Orsay. Big place, 3 floors with lots of stuff, mostly 1800s art and sculpture. Confusing layout. Started at the top (crowded) and worked our way down. One famous painter after another: Van Gogh, Cezanne, Renoir, etc. I think the Van Gogh's were my favorites.

Then sculptures, a lot of Rodin. And Art Nouveau furniture and such. Our feet are tired from yesterday, and after 2 floors we were pretty tired. Took it slow, lots of rests, and skimped on the last floor. But enjoyed the art. Pics.

Out, and down the street to a sandwich shop for coffee and quiche and panini.

To train station under the museum, and found that our passes did work on the RER train. Took it three stops to the Eiffel Tower, which was all lit up, closed but lots of people outside. Pic.

Long crowded metro ride home, arriving around 6:45.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-09 (Friday)

Out at 10, for 11 entrance at Versailles. Thought I had been smart to test-run the train last night. But took the metro to a different station, long walk inside the station, only to find that the platform for that train at this station is closed. Back to the metro platform, wait, onto metro, connect, to Gare Austerlitz. Probably missed the train by 5 minutes, because we had to wait almost 25 minutes for next one. And it stopped at EVERY station on the way to Versailles. Followed the crowd to the Chateau, arrived more than an hour later than shown on our tickets, but no problem, right in.

Lots of rooms of paintings (but just of royal or important people) and furnishings. Some nice views out into the gardens. A fancy clock (maybe an orery) that took about 40 years to design and build, and showed the movements of the planets and the time and the phase of the moon. Some huge halls with lots of chandeliers and battle-scene paintings. Pics.

Done by 2:30 or so, out and a tiny walk at the very edge of the gardens, then headed toward the train. But stopped in a French restaurant for lunch, and it turned out to be terrible. Menu of the day notice was deceptive (2 items instead of 3), meat was seared but almost raw inside (probably by design) and not hot at all, dessert was disappointing, only the french fries and a beer were reasonable. €41 and I left no tip.

No wait for the train, nice. Into town, and suddenly Dora wants to see Notre Dame, which is at the closed platform we tried to use this morning. So off the train at Musee d'Orsay and a long walk along the left bank to Notre Dame. Took a couple of pictures and that was it. Pic.

Tried to find the metro, diverted at the last second into a cafe for coffees and crepes. Both were disappointing, but the cafe was comfortable and a nice break. Pic.

Metro to home, into a supermarket and a boulangerie, home around 6:45.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-10 (Saturday)

Slept late.

Out after 6:30. To a restaurant for dinner, not as fancy as I had hoped. Then into metro, connect, to Eglise de la Madeleine. Made a complete circuit of the building before we could find the entrance. Cars honking horns, I think France is playing England in the World Cup.

Into the Madeleine, for a concert. Ravel's Bolero, and then Mozart's Requiem. Nice, but choral music isn't my favorite, and that part went on a bit long for my taste. Lighting very bad for photography, but pics.

Out into the cold, metros home, people singing in the metro, France beat England. Home by about 10:45.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-11 (Sunday)

Slept late.

Out after 3. Cold. Metro and metro, to Cite on the island in the middle of the Seine.

To Sainte-Chapelle church for some kind of music display in the church. Line and security to enter, then the church and music were disappointing. Not bad, just not good. Pics.

Out and across the river, onto right bank. Cold. Tried to find Beaubourg museum and got lost. Wanted to go to another church to hear organ music, but had to give up on that. Into an Indian-food place and had a decent meal.

To metro, to home neighborhood. Bought goodies at a boulangerie, Dora did some clothes-shopping. Home before 7.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-12 (Monday)

Slept late.

Loafing today, I have a headache, Dora is doing yet another online medical class (third she's done while we're here).

Out in the evening to do some shoe-buying in nearby shops. Cold.

Later, don't quite have the energy or appetite for a restaurant. Out to an ATM, and then fried-chicken take-out to bring back to the apartment. Cold, -2°C.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-13 (Tuesday)

Up at 6:40, out of apartment at 7:30, our trip is finishing. To metro, and bought single-trip tickets. Made a mistake, should have bought tickets all the way to the airport. Didn't realize it at the time.

To Gare du Nord station. Left Dora and suitcases on the platform while I went to buy tickets. Which turned out to be a half-hour ordeal, several people sending me in all different directions, in and out of ticket gates, tried machines but none take cash. Finally a security guard steered me right: took me to end of main hall and then upstairs, and there was the ticket counter. Bought tickets, got slightly lost on the way back to Dora. Reached her just as the right train pulled in, onto it. 8:30, still plenty of time to make our 11:30 flight.

To airport, long walk outside to other terminal, 5-minute line for check-in. Coissants and coffees for breakfast. Bathrooms, security, to the gate, no hurry. Nice.

Uneventful flight, except that we had to wear masks the whole time. And we had to connect in Madrid. Where there turns out to be a 50-minute delay; it's raining across most of Spain, severe in some places.

To Barcelona by about 5. Wait for baggage. Out and onto a crowded bus, but good timing, we didn't have to wait for it. Nice and warm here, compared to Paris. To Placa Espana, onto a crowded metro. Out at F-i-P, longish walk home with a tiny bit of very light rain at the start. Home by 6:30 or so, tired. Dog ecstatic to see us again.

Soon out for groceries. Then watch a World Cup game, Argentina beating Croatia.

So: Paris was nice, but December is too cold for it. Didn't hit nearly as many restaurants as I'd hoped. Managed to avoid the Moulin Rouge, which Dora wanted to see but I didn't (and tickets were €77 each according to one listing I saw).

Sun for a new day  2022-12-14 (Wednesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-12-15 (Thursday)

Popped out of bed at 8:30, got dressed, ready to walk dog and then be back in time to deal with heater/AC technician. Only to find it's raining, can't walk the dog, technician has called to reschedule because the work to be done is on the roof. But by 9:30 the rain had stopped, and I walked the dog.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-16 (Friday)

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-17 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-12-18 (Sunday)

In late afternoon, watched a scorcher of a World Cup final game. Argentina beat France. I lost €20 betting with Dora and her niece, but it was worth it.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-19 (Monday)

Niece, son, father out after 4 AM to airport, to fly to the North for the holidays.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-20 (Tuesday)

Dora out to work. Dog is bored, home with only me for company.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-21 (Wednesday)

Dora out to medical and then work.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-22 (Thursday)

AC/heater technicians arrived at 11. I thought they were going to replace a major part, but after an hour on the roof they seem to be saying the fault is with our electrical service. Fortunately Dora is here to deal with it, my language skills would not suffice. They were here for 2 hours, I don't know what they did, all I know is it cost me €240. And apparently the capacity increase for the electric took just a simple phone call from Dora to the electric company. Technicians said something like our unit probably is requiring more power than before since it's so old.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-23 (Friday)

Dora working today.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-24 (Saturday)

Sun for a new day  2022-12-25 (Sunday)

Sun for a new day  2022-12-26 (Monday)

Dora working today.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-27 (Tuesday)

Sun for a new day  2022-12-28 (Wednesday)

Dora working today.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-29 (Thursday)

Dora working today.

Late-evening Zoom call with family in USA.

Sun for a new day  2022-12-30 (Friday)

Dog picked up at 10:30 by a guy who will mind him while we're travelling.

Dora working today.

Trip to USA:
Sun for a new day  2022-12-31 (Saturday)

Up at 5:45, taxi at 6:40, to airport. Flight to Frankfurt, then long flight to New Jersey. Should have bought other tickets, I didn't realize the second flight would be so long. And we got headaches. I did watch all 4 movies in the Jurassic Park series.

Landed in dense fog at Newark. Odd to be back in USA after last being here 5+ years ago (August 2017). Immigration, baggage, ATM, train tickets, monorail to the train station, onto train. Arrived at Hamilton station needing to get a taxi, and found no taxis, no payphone, no signs giving taxi info, station is mostly closed for the evening, and of course our Spanish phones are useless. Some people helped us, and before too long we had a taxi. Arrived at my brother's house a bit after 8 PM, tired.

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