FIRSTLY, I wish to extend my sincere condolences to the families and friends of all who have lost loved ones across the planet.
My household has experienced sadness too, learning this week that a close family friend died in Milan, due to the virus. Living in Spain, a wonderful country that’s currently going through hell, I’ve witnessed, first hand, the amazing effort by the Spanish frontline services, as well as the majority of the citizens. For years, I’ve admired the Spanish, always strong, always polite, and always putting family first.
The people of Marbella adapted quickly to the current regime, and essential trips to the grocery store, something very new for me, have been an uplifting experience in many ways. Seeing humans exude kindness and support for each other, gives us great hope, at a time when we need it most. Okay, so we may no longer be able to go to lunch at our favourite restaurants every day, and cocktail hour may now take place at home, but life keeps going, and so must we.
In a long list of family traditions, martini time is one rule we’ve strictly adhered to for generations. Always at home, always at five o’clock, and always requiring correct attire. While it may feel as if old rules have gone out the window, making way for the new, this is one rule I insist must continue.
As we sat by the fire discussing the news of the day, all of which Covid-19 related, my friend Paolo asked our thoughts on Corona Babies. “Imagine in nine or 10 months, there’ll be a baby boom like never before!” he said in his strong Italian accent, as he puffed on a Monte Cristo. “All those couples trapped at home, killing time making babies,” he laughed. I guess he made a good point. Does that mean, in nine months’ time, nappies will replace loo roll as the hot new commodity? Should we invest in Pampers now?
What will the ‘hot’ names be for these new-born boys and girls? At dinner, we used FaceTime to invite others to help fill our usually full table. Somehow, we cooked enough pasta to feed an army, and we managed to eat it all. “A Corona baby? Are you mad?” screeched our good friend Cristina, who joined us via the small screen from Rome.
“You must remember, darlings, being trapped at home with our partners, may result in divorces over babies!” She laughed, although I could sense that on day 19 of lockdown with her husband, she may not be joking.
The following morning, I took my dog Henry up the street for a walk, happy to see that the streets of Los Monteros were completely isolated. As someone used to lunching every day, hence my nickname being Sir Lunchalot, I now have a very different daily dress-code.
My old routine required numerous outfit changes – gym, lunch, dinner. These days I find myself surviving in sportswear, complimented by a face mask and surgical gloves. So, you can understand why, even though the house feels empty, it feels good to dress for martini time. Making it a sense of occasion, and I know my mother would be proud, as would my late grandmother.
Another thing, to avoid the chance of divorce or singledom, we should all try to make an effort. Trust me, life in quarantine feels and looks much better when you dress up.