So it's time for me to own up to my little trip back to the UK! I popped back (or at least that was the idea) from 29th April to 5 May, mainly to do a weekend TEFL course. It didn't leave much time for socialising which was why only a few people knew I was coming back. I didn't want anyone to think I was coming back and purposely not seeing them, but there was no way to fit everything in.
As it turned out, most of my plans were thwarted anyway by a quite spectacular foot infection, origin unknown (though I'm trying not to blame my little accident detailed in "The Retiro Tried To Kill Me). What started off as feeling just a bit rough the night I arrived, had turned itself into a disaster by Sunday night. I spent day 2 of the TEFL completely spaced out - I really can't remember much about that day though it appears I bluffed my way through it OK, did my 15 minute practice lesson and passed the course. By the time I got home I had a temperature of 103 degrees and was having trouble standing up. To my massive disappointment, that meant I had to ditch the Mexican meal with Sid, Cathy, Bex and Tanya that I'd been looking forward ever since I discovered my visit coincided with Bex and her sister being down from Sheffield.
2 days of very high temperatures and the associated shivering, sweat-drenched nights hideousness eventually resulted in me going to my GP the day I was due to fly back to Madrid to tell all, and show him the rather bizarre large, hot red mark on my anklebone. It took him all of 10 seconds to tell me I had a bad infection that needed immediate treatment and even so, he couldn't guarantee it had been caught in time. Being an amusing sort, and having presumably worked out that I wasn't the panicking kind, he asked after my immediate plans then said "Well, you can fly to Madrid tonight on a plane. Then you can fly back in a box!"
Hmmm, not optimistic then! To be fair, he didn't absolutely tell me not to fly but it was clear it wouldn't be a good idea. I was under strict instruction that if I saw any sign of it spreading despite the oral antibiotics he was going to put me on, I had to promise to go straight to hospital. I took the pragmatic approach and decided that if there might be a medical emergency imminent, I'd probably be better off in the UK. I rebooked my flight for the following Sunday and set about trying to feel better. Foot up as much as possible, loads of water, constant temperature-taking and lots of TLC from Andy meant that by about Friday night, I felt a lot better.
It did give me the chance to meet up with people during my unexpected extended holiday but if I'm honest, I'd rather have not been ill and flown back when I was meant to! Lovely though it was to see everyone!
So - here I am back in Madrid with a rather unsightly swollen, red calf and ankle. At least the antibiotics are doing the trick.
Sadly, the roadworks outside the flat are showing no signs of going away - in fact, if anything, they're worse. It's harder and harder to get to the front door. Constant dodging of diggers, pneumatic drills, dust, rubble, sand, men in yellow jackets etc. And today, they knocked down an entire house about 20 yards from our front door! Intriguing to watch but the clouds of dust and the noise have been incredible. The little white car that was parked outside the house next door has all but disappeared under a couple of inches of thick, yellow dust.
But it is very lovely to be back. I can honestly say that coming back to Madrid and to the flat really felt like coming home, and the trip to the UK was a holiday!
Ah, yes, the "delight" part of the title! After weeks of disasters, disappointment and threats of technology-tossing from balconies, my laptop is fixed and happily online. I won't pretend to understand exactly what happened, but with a new hard drive and having installed the recovery disk from Toshiba, all is well. I was so excited when it connected to the net last night that I was obliged to drink several glasses of wine (forcing my flatmate to join me entirely against her will of course!)