• andrew

Day 21 of lockdown

Day 21 of the Madrid lockdown and whilst we’re into a rhythm of sorts with our WFH and Home School scheduling, the lack of space and exercise is proving to be quite a different challenge.

The authorities here have imposed draconian restrictions on our movement to try and stem the world’s worst outbreak of Covid-19.

For non essential people without a dog (more of that later) it means we’re only allowed out for food and other priorities. Even then only one person per household is given a freedom pass to the shops.

No outdoor running, cycling, sailing, climbing, diving or adventure of any kind. Nothing, nada.

As most Madrilenos live in apartments there is not even the simple pleasure of a jog around the back garden, a collective lack of exercise that’s likely to result in the biggest aggregated weight gain since KFC rolled out their franchise model.

Discipline is everything or you quickly find yourself slumped in a corner wearing nothing more than Mickey Mouse pyjamas and an empty packet of chocolate hob nobs.

My routine includes morning stretches, running on the spot to Dua Lipa and an increasing daily circuit of sits up, press ups, star jumps and plank times.

I occasionally risk sprinting up and down the communal stairs before the neighbours stir but that my friends is it.

Otherwise, I have a 4th floor view of the neighbourhood and for 3 weeks barely anything or anyone has moved. The streets have few moving vehicles, the pathways barely any people.

It’s like Albania in 1983, but with better streaming services.

Occasionally a delivery van will scoot past laden with Amazon boxes marked “How to keep your kids occupied for another 2 fucking weeks”.

Police cars lurk around every corner, before moving with dystopian stealth to snare any rule breaker. I witnessed a mother and child being stopped within 10 seconds of leaving their flat. Man on the balcony opposite comes out for a morning preen and a 10am peloton.

But the only other movement I spot is from the dog walking community, of whom I have become an expert these last 21 days have become familiar with every nuance of every dog, and every “owner”.

Some owners move with purpose taking advantage of the pooch to drive air into their lungs and distance into their legs. Others dawdle with little obvious intent of returning home or using their pooper scooper.

Then we have the exhausted dogs who are clearly being shared between 6 different owners.

A dog walking black market is alive and profitable in the Madrid suburbs.


It’s a solitary, virtual life for us at the moment.

Necessary, reflective but definitively unadventurous.

Thank goodness for Tiger King, WildBase and our forthcoming Online Adventure Film Festival.

© 2020 WildBase