Phase 1

Free7

Walking the path of freedom.

Laziness. Apathy. The lockdown time warp. These are my excuses for a 17-day silence. Oh, and an evaluation of my mental state by certain readers that happen to be family based upon the contents of my blog posts. As any writer knows, such scrutiny is our kryptonite.

Please, dear reader, don’t worry. There’s no need to worry about a woman who spends her days talking to cats and avoiding divorce papers and tax returns. Really. You should see the cupboards she has organized these past couple weeks, and even a couple of drawers.

Free8

Laundry – my new answer to “Do you have any hobbies?”

Plus, I’ve been kind of busy living life again. Life beyond the stone walls of Carrasqueira 99. Last Monday Galicia entered Phase 1 and it was like a magic wand passed over these green hills. Sidewalk cafés and non-essential shops rolled up their shutters. Families and friends reunited in groups of ten or less. Our one-kilometre radius of roaming space expanded to the whole province of Pontevedra.

I literally felt drugged by these newfound freedoms – heading “downtown” to experience the buzz of a café con leche first thing that blessed Monday morning and an albariño in the evening. In between I bought non-essential goods such as an embroidered throw pillow and a set of nesting baskets. I went to one of my favourite beaches – Porto Maior – and sat for hours watching the tide come in.

Portomaior

Porto Maior. Pure balm for the soul.

But one week later and the pre-lockdown anxieties have re-surfaced. It’s time to push play again, resuming our lives where we paused in mid-March, and all without the next great novel in the works (I wrote two pages and gave up, but thought about writing it A LOT) or a perfectly toned beach body (au contraire).

I learned about the impossibility of this ever happening (the beach body) on Sunday when I went for a hike with Miguel and Débora and we came upon a nude beach. As anyone who has been to Spain knows, people here are very comfortable with nudity in all of its forms.

Free1

O Canada. A family in Bueu flies a different flag each day. Thanks for the photo, Miguel.

Coming from a country that still displays the Queen of England on its currency – a woman whose gaze emits the subtle brainwashing of centuries-old conservative Victorian values – I hesitate to display my form.

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Miguel and Débora wasted no time in stripping off (it was a hot and sunny day, sorry people in Canada who have been experiencing snow in May) and cooling down. I thought about my too-white flesh and my too-many-lockdown-cupcakes jiggly bits. Luckily, I had my period (the first time I’ve ever said this in my life).

So, here we are – a few pounds heavier and none the wiser. What to do and where to go in this post-lockdown world?

Butterflies

Free to flit from flower to flower – but don’t forget your mask.

After completing its four phases, Spain could enter the “New Normal” as early as July. The taste of true freedom is so near, but much like taking off my clothes in public, I hesitate to take the plunge.

Exposed again to the gaze of the world, will I jump into the wild blue Atlantic, or just want to wrap myself back up in a warm towel?

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Also feeling anxious about saying good-bye to these two – Alaska and Emily – who have been with me since Phase 0. After nearly dying from a cat virus, they’re ready for their furever homes.