My weekly pilgrimage into our local town this morning. My sixth or seventh so far I think. I asked Maggie if she wanted to do it because she’s not been out of the house for 47 days now. She preferred not to.

The roads seemed just a tad busier than last week. There was a police control at the crossroads in to Pinoso but he was checking traffic coming from another direction. Plenty of parking space in the town centre car park because nothing much is open and very few people are visibly working. My first stop was the Post Office. It was the first outing, the premiere, for my free (thanks to the Regional Valencian Government) face mask. I’d got gloves too. To be honest I’m a fan of neither but I’m happy to be civic. There was no queue at the Post Office which was a bit of a surprise. There can only be two (or possibly three) people inside so there is usually a patient, spaced out (not in the Seventies way) line of people waiting outside. Not today. Straight in. I only wanted to check our mailbox so I ducked and waddled underneath the glass side counter to avoid having to squeeze past the customer at the perspex encased desk.

Supermarket next. We’re a bit too rural for home delivery. There was a masked police officer outside. He waved. Small town life. Remarkably there was space in the tiny supermarket car park and no queue to get in either. The lad squirted alcohol wash onto my gloves and then fitted new plastic gloves over the latex ones. They make it nearly impossible to open those thin plastic bags you use to put fruit and veg in but, as I struggled, one of the supermarket staff offered to help. Her nitrile gloves were less slippery. Shopping was routine. I didn’t even have to wait at the delicatessen cum butchery counter. There was nothing much in short supply, there had been no butter last week but there was this. People generally kept their distance. There were no children and nobody was doing that “I don’t believe a word of this so I’m not going to play along with these stupid restrictions game”. I didn’t meet anyone who I knew which is the first time that that’s happened so the shopping got done faster! I was two trolley loads back for the checkout and the woman in front of me was slow to unpack, had trouble with her bank card and didn’t seem keen to move away from the end of the checkout. After a while she realised I was waiting. “No problem,” I said, “I’m hardly in a hurry”. “No, nobody is,” she replied. Plastic gloves to the approved bin, trolley to the car for unpacking and the emptied trolley to the disinfecting queue. Me back in the car and off towards home.

Two police vehicles working the exit from town but again I was lucky and didn’t have to wait in a queue of stopped cars or explain what I’d been up to. Back through the house gate and glad to be home.