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Corona quarantine diary
Thread poster: Mervyn Henderson

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:17
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Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Thursday 30 April Apr 30

And, wait for it, deaths are up again in Spain. Only a few dozen, and obviously not due to the tentative beginnings of downscaling yet, but just you wait.

I’m still tootling along here with a bit of a work downscaling myself, but nothing suicidal yet, and a while before I have to dig into my savings. That, or a life of crime. Never too late to start, especially as there’ll be a lot of people with no prospects out on the streets with nothing to lose, a-thugging and a-mugging. Al
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And, wait for it, deaths are up again in Spain. Only a few dozen, and obviously not due to the tentative beginnings of downscaling yet, but just you wait.

I’m still tootling along here with a bit of a work downscaling myself, but nothing suicidal yet, and a while before I have to dig into my savings. That, or a life of crime. Never too late to start, especially as there’ll be a lot of people with no prospects out on the streets with nothing to lose, a-thugging and a-mugging. Al Capone was a mild-mannered kid who did errands for da mob now and again, until he got scarfaced tending a bar and gangstered up, realising that crime does pay and that mild manners get you nowhere among all the wise guys. I was about to write “And no tax to pay, either” here, but then that’s what they sent Al down for in the end. But understand I’m keeping it under wraps, so schtoom, geddit? Mum’s the word. Don’t even think about it, don’t force my hand. I know where you all hang out, see.

I seriously considered this when I was half the age I am now, so about halfway through uni. I thought that, if you could find a way (and you couldn’t do it so easily then, but look at the possibilities now …) of getting some IT geek to set off a bank’s alarm past closing time in some way, what happens? The cops turn up, run through the joint, find nothing’s amiss, and they all go away again. I’m pretty sure this was done in a film, but they stole the idea from me. The next day your geek does the same, and then two days later the same. After the third or fourth time, sure, they might turn up, but all they do now is have the manager turn off the alarm. Then in you go, under cover of darkness and with malice aforethought, and set off the alarm, but it doesn’t matter because the rozzers are tired of it by now, and the manager has even switched off the alarm for you, except now you’re inside waiting for him to do it. You break into the vault with the geek, and Bob’s your uncle. Of course, the geek’s a liability, because he might squeal, and even if he doesn’t, you have to share the loot with him, so you get rid of him sharpish when he thinks he’s meeting you for his share, and he gets a shallow grave for his troubles. These days the IT geek hacks the system and sends all the money to the Bahamas. Either way, got to keep in with the IT geeks. I think I’ll give mine a bell.
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expressisverbis
 

Yolande Hivart
Austria
Local time: 01:17
Member (2016)
German to French
And this is when you find out... Apr 30

That banks have a silent alarm too and a vault that only opens at certain hours and with a countdown of 3 hours

expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:17
Member
Spanish to English
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Friday 1 May May 1

There won’t be the usual demos in Bilbao this year to celebrate 1 May. What they will do, and I haven’t heard this, but I’m just imagining it, is to do it from the balconies, so expect a lot of flag-waving this evening. Or maybe before. The balcony applause has finally been manipulated, no surprises there, and we have been receiving “instructions” on social media for special issues. It’s no longer just applause for healthcare workers, police etc. I reckon people working the check-out... See more
There won’t be the usual demos in Bilbao this year to celebrate 1 May. What they will do, and I haven’t heard this, but I’m just imagining it, is to do it from the balconies, so expect a lot of flag-waving this evening. Or maybe before. The balcony applause has finally been manipulated, no surprises there, and we have been receiving “instructions” on social media for special issues. It’s no longer just applause for healthcare workers, police etc. I reckon people working the check-outs at supermarkets are worth an applause, too, so I always make a point of giving them some encouragement as I pay them. Has anyone else noticed, though, that prices at supermarkets have gone up? Twice now I’ve paid around 100 euros for more or less the usual stuff, maybe with the odd pack of gloves here and there, but it used to only set me back 60 or 70, giving me a 10 or 20 euro discount for next time. The fruit and veg shop too. Difficult times? Production problems? Whatever. Just pass the cost on to Joe Public.

But those instructions. From everywhere, too. From associations and federations and groups and foundations. Sometimes you hear about them at the last minute. There are also instructions for saucepan-banging against the monarchy (the only one I respond to), instructions for no applause tonight, just a silent vigil because someone died, and there may be a few more I haven’t heard about yet. Last night the applause caught me just as I was heading for my door, but I noticed, going down a street that I wouldn’t normally see at that time from home, that there were few people out on the balconies. Maybe people are getting tired of clapping, not clapping, candles, all that. I certainly am. Disillusion setting in.

And it doesn’t improve my mood to hear (constantly) about pressure on the government to respect civil rights and start reactivating the economy (I reiterate that I’m not a socialist) from the cunts, yes cunts, the smarmy bastards who don’t give a toss about the people, bugger the country, in fact, whose only objective is for it to fail, now means that this weekend we all gaily go out to infect each other. Which will help the cunts, because then they can say it was all improvised … terrible management … you lie about the figures … putting our brave people at risk … a nation left helpless … shame on you … we would of did it much more better etc.

Bad day, sorry. Better get my invoices done.
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Jennifer Forbes
expressisverbis
 

Brian Joyce  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
Hommage to Catalonia May 1

Mervyn quick while there is time read this book and storm the barricades!!!!

Or if you are still feeling down I recommend "The road to Wigan pier" a classic.


 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:17
German to English
American irony May 1

Mervyn,

Never let it be said that Murricans don't understand irony.

Many of the armed pro-death protestors at various state capitols in the US are also pro-life. Go figure...


Kevin Fulton
P.L.F.Persio
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:17
Member
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Saturday 2 May May 2

I was out running this morning as an addition to the morning exercise routine. You’re allowed to from 6 to 10 am, if you’re not a child or a senior citizen. They have the 10 to 1 slot, I think. I can also do this from 7 pm, but back home by 11 pm or off to bed with no supper. As some joker asked on the news last night, who gets the 11 pm to 6 am slot? Out running doesn’t mean you can run just anywhere, though. I would preferably do it down by the river, but that’s a little outside the ki... See more
I was out running this morning as an addition to the morning exercise routine. You’re allowed to from 6 to 10 am, if you’re not a child or a senior citizen. They have the 10 to 1 slot, I think. I can also do this from 7 pm, but back home by 11 pm or off to bed with no supper. As some joker asked on the news last night, who gets the 11 pm to 6 am slot? Out running doesn’t mean you can run just anywhere, though. I would preferably do it down by the river, but that’s a little outside the kilometre limit, and more so the more you run, unless you run for a few minutes and then turn round again, but then you might as well do that around here, so that’s what I did, round and round the same block. I’m buggered if I’m getting a fine for being off limits down by the riverside, since apparently they check your home address. Only saw a couple of other runners.

I was wrong about yesterday, because it wasn’t so much balconies as cars here to mark 1 May. Usually at election time the parties go out in cars bedecked with flags and posters blaring out their message, and that’s what the unions did this time. About twenty cars came up this street, but not much else.

@Brian
I’ve read Homage to Catalonia a couple of times, a great insight into Barcelona during the Civil War, the only place Orwell had ever been where the working class was "in the saddle”, as he puts it in the book. Trouble was, the working class didn’t know how to handle being in the saddle, there or anywhere in Spain, so they just started arguing and fighting among themselves. As if it wasn’t enough that Orwell got himself shot up in action, in the end he had to leg it across the border to France before he got himself executed, but by the same side he’d been fighting for. All thanks to Stalin. Old Joe was a bit of a stirrer. He even executed his own officers who’d been working for him in Spain once they got back to Russia, just in case they blabbed. How could Franco lose, with all the infighting going on in Barcelona and elsewhere? No surprise, either, that Orwell wrote books like Animal Farm and 1984 afterwards. I haven’t read The Road to Wigan Pier yet, but I will. I imagine it's full of all that shiny happy proletariat idealism he saw torn up in front of him a few years later in Barcelona.

[Edited at 2020-05-02 06:40 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-05-02 06:40 GMT]
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Brian Joyce
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
expressisverbis
 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:17
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
In memoriam
Clap May 2

When all this moist-eyed "clap for the NHS" stuff began several weeks ago now it occurred to me that giving someone a clap used to mean something quite different when I was alive.

Mervyn Henderson
Jennifer White
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:17
Member
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Clappy-happy people May 2

Getting the clap certainly has its down side.

[Edited at 2020-05-02 09:01 GMT]


 

Brian Joyce  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
French to English
Riddle of the masks May 2

Irony is the intelligent response to hypocrisy. If I wear a mask, I am flattening the death curve, so why not de-confine with masks and flatten the unemployment curve, or if the masks don't work why waste time with them at all (I have never worn a mask, yet).
Why are people allowed to go to work, but not the beach?
Another hypocrisy, why are the large super market's open, but not the small holder, this is the crushing of the independent enterprise by the multi national in hand with
... See more
Irony is the intelligent response to hypocrisy. If I wear a mask, I am flattening the death curve, so why not de-confine with masks and flatten the unemployment curve, or if the masks don't work why waste time with them at all (I have never worn a mask, yet).
Why are people allowed to go to work, but not the beach?
Another hypocrisy, why are the large super market's open, but not the small holder, this is the crushing of the independent enterprise by the multi national in hand with puppet government. In a little while the only people that will have any money will be Bill Gates the Chinese Communist party and that cross eyed freakshow Jeff Bezoz.
Brave new world
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expressisverbis
Richard Purdom
 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:17
German to English
Laye-stage capitalism May 2

Brian Joyce wrote:

Why are people allowed to go to work, but not the beach?
Another hypocrisy, why are the large super market's open, but not the small holder


Late-stage capitalism requires human sacrifice in order to survive.


P.L.F.Persio
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:17
Member
Spanish to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Human sacrifice May 2

That's a lot of lambs to be sacrificed. But then lambs are just young sheep, and the powers-that-be will always need sheep. And talking of sheep, here's one about wolves for the weekend. Slightly tangential, but there you go. Lots of lessons to be lurnt here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa2_Hu2iSM0


 

Yolande Hivart
Austria
Local time: 01:17
Member (2016)
German to French
When deconfining, people are seriously showing signs of shopping addiction May 2

Why coming an hour before the opening just to be the one in a 200 m long waiting line to enter in an ikea shop? Why lining up on the first day in front of a Louis Vitton shop? Did the people did really miss that much their luxury goods - or less luxurious that they could not order online? Well only addicted would not wait one or two days more to go shopping if they had to wait for 6 weeks.

My son who usually used to enjoy going shopping said he won't go shopping unless necessary bec
... See more
Why coming an hour before the opening just to be the one in a 200 m long waiting line to enter in an ikea shop? Why lining up on the first day in front of a Louis Vitton shop? Did the people did really miss that much their luxury goods - or less luxurious that they could not order online? Well only addicted would not wait one or two days more to go shopping if they had to wait for 6 weeks.

My son who usually used to enjoy going shopping said he won't go shopping unless necessary because he has to wear a mask, and with a mask it is hard to breath and it is not that enjoyable that much anymore.
It seems that the quality of the masks offered is deteriorating now that we have to pay for them in a pack of 50 pieces. Written on it: not fpp1. Well wearing a mask does not seem to be to protect myself then, but to protect the world from me. Well I am so healthy that I will wear gloves? Why the point of wearing mask if I can infect myself on the tip of my fingers?

It seems to be working in a way not to have the illness spreading into the cooling system. I would seriously not think of having to work all day long with a mask and I admire the ones who do. Though it is seen that some cashier do not wear a mask anymore but a plastic helmet. Lets hope for them air does not circulate.

We have no beach but some lakes are reopening - the summer will be saved - at least for local residents because every car immatriculation plate not of the neighborhood get suspected as a potential germ bringer. Yesterday I had the first hours-long drive in the last 6 weeks. Are the public toilets desinfected? Did look like that I was the only one going with mask and glove, having to wear a mask my children simply declined the offer until they came back home.

I remember as a child that one could get germs using public toilets. How far we had come to think that everything we could touch was clinically safe.

I do not think a mask is something we will have to get used to. I still hope for meeting and concerts at the end of the year, in that case I would take a one offering more of a protection than a name tag.

Nice that life seems to go back to normal though.

[Edited at 2020-05-02 14:53 GMT]
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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
😳 May 2

Jennifer Forbes wrote:

When all this moist-eyed "clap for the NHS" stuff began several weeks ago now it occurred to me that giving someone a clap used to mean something quite different when I was alive.


Sorry to hear of your demise, Jennifer. Anything we can do to help? Or is it a case of needing to keep some silver bullets handy?


Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:17
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sunday 3 May May 3

If the run-up to the weekend was a washout, the weekend proper didn’t start too well either. For reasons too complicated to explain, I wound up in a car mid-afternoon yesterday transporting a carpet. An annoyingly large and dust-filled carpet, too, which I’d just walked down four flights of stairs. I was also carrying a glass dish with liquidy food in a paper bag. As I adjusted the carpet hugged between my chest and my arm, the paper bag in the other hand tore and fell on stone steps outside... See more
If the run-up to the weekend was a washout, the weekend proper didn’t start too well either. For reasons too complicated to explain, I wound up in a car mid-afternoon yesterday transporting a carpet. An annoyingly large and dust-filled carpet, too, which I’d just walked down four flights of stairs. I was also carrying a glass dish with liquidy food in a paper bag. As I adjusted the carpet hugged between my chest and my arm, the paper bag in the other hand tore and fell on stone steps outside the house, shattering into a thousand pieces along with the food. Not that I counted the pieces, just cleared them off the steps along with the goo and binned most of it. And so to the car. The carpet being annoyingly large, as I said, it just about fitted in the back seat and I took the passenger seat. As we set off, I could see four police officers across the road leaning against a couple of patrol cars, staring at us (passengers are really supposed to take the back seat). Amid some nonchalant whistling and determinedly looking in any other direction but theirs, we continued, but amid all the nonchalance I only noticed the red light 100 metres further on just as we sailed through it. Just a pedestrian crossing, not a junction, and no pedestrians around, so not a serious red light, but still a red light. After the roundabout outside the Town Hall, a cop car (with the same female cop I’d noticed looking at us as we sailed off) drew up beside us at another red light – they’d been quick off the mark - and asked us to move on and park up on the right.

It was the Ertzaintza, the Basque police, who tend to be reasonable. The Civil Guard and the National Police tend not to be reasonable in Euskadi, and I suppose that’s why the Ertzaintza is left to do the day-to-day stuff. To be fair to the Civil Guard, it’s not actually their fault, because the force was never conceived to be sympathetic or helpful, but rather to inspire fear and respect, and that’s why they’re never posted to their native locations, to discourage any bonhomie or friendliness with people you’ve known all your life.

The two ertzainas just wanted to know what we were doing with two people in the front seats, and when they saw the carpet and also the bags piled on the passenger seat, they just nodded understandingly and said Get in the back seat whatever way you can, and don’t do it again. “We know it’s a pain,” the male cop said, “but let’s not ruin things when we’ve got this far, OK”? OK, officer, sir.

I had to clean this carpet at home too. I took it up another four flights of stairs and vacuumed it three times until the vacuum cleaner wouldn’t take any more fluff and dust and I had to empty the tub. I vacuumed it twice more (and five times more this morning). After round five yesterday afternoon, I went to wash my hands, and in doing so managed to knock a mirror on a stand in the bathroom off its perch. The last bloody straw. Panic gripped me as it fell, but thankfully it fell into the clothes basket. If it had smashed, I’d have thrown a wobbly for sure.

Out running again this morning, but down by the river this time. My mistake: you can run any distance you like, as long as you give other people a wide berth. It’s annoying to run snorting and puffing through a mask, though.
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expressisverbis
 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:17
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
In memoriam
Thanks May 3

Thank you for your condolences, Chris. It's nice and warm down here.

Chris S
Mervyn Henderson
expressisverbis
 
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