3. The old normal

10 Years of the Blog 2010 – 2020, marking a decade since the blog began. This morning the van arrived from Nutrivila with the donkeys’ food. Tito climbed out of the cab putting on a face mask and I put on mine before greeting him. We unloaded the 25 bales of straw and three bales of alfalfa. Two humans protected from each other, in an otherwise unpopulated landscape of mountains and trees in the morning sunshine: the “new normal”.

Already, just three months after this COVID-19 nightmare began, I begin to look longingly back on those innocent times of the “old normal” with a growing sense of loss and a realisation that we will not be returning to normal again. Matilde is twelve today, born on 5th June 2008, and Rubí is eleven tomorrow, born on 6th June 2009. This blogpost from Brother Lapin’s Pilgrimage is the birthday picnic at the Font de Moli, with Matilde and Rubí wearing their new birthday head collars.

The donkey birthday picnic at the Font de Moli started off reasonably well. Then, as with anything involving donkeys and food, it all got very pushy. Rubi attempted to drink my beer.

Finestrat town hall. Matilde, the birthday girl, caught sight of herself in a plate glass window and was suddenly captivated. The really interesting question is this. Did she think she was looking at another burra or did she know she was looking at herself?

Finally – to round off this celebration of ten years of the blog – let’s just remember how it was possible to deliver the donkeys’ food without either the driver from Nutrivila or me wearing face masks! A post from 2015 – one of the last posts of the old Brotherlapin blog – before either the Brexit or COVID-19 disasters. La Vida es Bella. Or the “old normal.”

And with that, it is time to let the blog rest for a while. There’s little evidence from either “likes” or comments that there’s much of an audience for the blog. There is nothing pleasant to write about in any case. We are in a different world now and everyone’s caught up in their own survival. This blog was always above all else, just a diary. That can be done just as easily with pen and paper. Life with donkeys carries on here in El Parral behind closed gates. Keep safe.

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