September 17, 2021

Dateline – Marbella, Spain

Today was a down day. We’re just a little over half way through the tour and it’s been fairly busy so a day without agenda or having to get up or get on the bus was welcome indeed. I can’t help but think that Fernando, our guide and general herder of cats and Armenio, are bus driver, quite skilled at maneuvering a full size Mercedes tour bus through narrow European streets needed a day away from the intrepid eleven. Today was about swimming pools, beaches, walks on the esplanade, and a couple of naps. A number of us also got together at a beachside restaurant for a lunch of paella and other treats and the whole gang had dinner tonight in the hotel restaurant, mainly steak although I opted of pork loin as I’m really not that much of a beef person.

Today was the first day on this little jaunt that I’ve felt a bit lonely. My travel companions are very kind and gracious and make sure I am not left out in any way but there are times when, as in Side By Side By Side, it’s obvious there’s an empty place next to mine. Tommy’s been gone long enough now, that I think I’m more or less over my acute grief and, while I am not looking for a new romantic/intimate partner, I am starting to feel the need for some reliable activity/travel/shenanigans companions with whom I could share an occasional adventure. I’m sure someone will turn up at the right time. One thing I’ve learned from life is that things usually fall into place when you don’t look too hard and don’t force them.

I went through a backlog of UAB emails earlier today and caught up on the local Covid statistics. The number of folk hospitalized at UAB has been trending down over the last ten days or so which is a good sign. The percentage requiring ICU care, however, is not declining at the same rate. I’m hoping this means that Birmingham, at least, with its significant health care worker population, will be on the downside by the time I get back to work in about ten days. The various trackers I follow show that this is likely in urban Alabama, but the rural parts of the state where vaccine hesitancy is so much higher, continue to be hot spots. Vaccine numbers continue to trickle upwards but the damage done to public understanding of vaccines by politics remains extensive and very difficult to overcome. The FDA met today and came to what I think is a reasonable decision on booster shots: not necessary for most healthy younger adults but appropriate for older adults over 65 and for those with significant immune system issues. How that will be rolled out to the general public remain to be seen but I imagine older adults will be able to receive a booster from most pharmacies no questions asked and no payment necessary as of the first of the month, maybe even as early as next week. As far as the significant immune system issues go, if you don’t know what they are are, you probably don’t have one so don’t worry about it.

I just don’t have much to say this evening. I’ll likely have more tomorrow what with us being back on the road (Ronda and Granada if I read my schedule correctly – I’m not following it too closely, preferring to let the trip pleasantly surprise me from day to day.). Then there’s the gathering in DC in protest of the prosecution of the January 6th protesters. Who knows where that one will end up. As I read the European perspective on American political news, I’m more and more tempted to take my retirement savings and purchase a golden visa for resettlement in the EU where people still look out for their fellow countrymen, rather than be at each other’s throats. Of course the Catalonians and the Castilians might disagree with me on that one. The bar singer below my window is busy destroying Elton John, I have The Last Action Hero dubbed into Spanish on the TV and there’s a lovely moon out so I’m going to sign off and drift off to sleep.LikeCommentShare

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