Diary of a liberated hack 

Photo credit: Barry Duke 

This week, I decided to share my week’s routine with you again. Can you relate at all?!

Monday: Wake up with aches in muscles and joints I didn’t know I had. Fifi shoots me a look that says ‘you’re not as young as you once were. Just because the outdoor gym across the road is now free to use, you stupidly rushed out yesterday out and overdid things. In the blazing midday sun, you moron!’ 

Tuesday:  Receive an anti-bark collar for Fifi. A humane one that doesn’t shock, but just buzzes and vibrates. Why the need? Because right now there’s a world-wide epidemic of separation anxiety among dogs, but cats suffer it too. Pets, during the COVID-19 lockdown, grew accustomed to having their owners at home 24/7, and now millions of people are pulling their hair out as they realise they cannot leave home without  leaving a frenzy of barking and meowing in their wake.  

Fifi’s lifelong companion Bijou died just before Spain implemented its lockdown. After we adopted the pair they quickly settled in their new surroundings and could be left on their own. But after lockdown restrictions were eased Fifi began barking and howling the minute I left home, and I was compelled to buy the collar. 

Wednesday: Collar is as much use as a walking stick to a walrus, so I’m compelled to take Fifi with me to the local convenience store and bar. Post a pic of her eyeing my coffee and a whisky on Facebook, saying ‘Me and old bat-ears at Bar Via Parque.’ Friend Gill Kerry responds with: ‘Is the dog saying that to you. Lol.’ 

Thursday: Get out to do a leisurely shop at an out-of-town superstore. Husband Marcus remains home with Fifi. Get the munchies and decide to buy something to nibble on the bus ride home. Settle for a tub of celery. No fartons, because I’m on a diet. Run into a problem. Forgot you can’t eat while wearing a mask on a bus. I surreptitiously slip a stick of celery under the mask. Hearing me crunching, a little old Spanish woman whips around in her seat and glares at me. 

Friday: Notice visitors from the UK trickling back into Benidorm’s Old Town. Some of them recognise me and come rushing up for a snog and a cuddle. I recoil and snap: ‘Where are your masks? Have you not heard of social distancing?’ They look hurt and retreat. I feel really bad. 

Saturday: Mount the scales. Joyfully discover that the boiled egg diet I wrote about last week is having an effect. I’ve shed two pounds in five days. But I won’t be happy until people start calling me Twiglet. 

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Barry Duke