It was all about numbers when I woke up on Friday 11th September. The world had now reached over 20 million recoveries from Corona, Vietnam had just 3 recoveries, no deaths and no more cases in the previous day. The lockdown in Danang imposed at the end of July was finally lifted and I had a message from our mate to say he had already had breakfast and lunch out and was going to the pub later to celebrate their freedom after 6 weeks!
I had cancelled physio due to my stomach being a bit too sensitive and unpredictable and Captain Caveman had to do some work. We decided we would try to work out exactly what was making my stomach so bad and maybe it was going to have to be back to basics and cooking from scratch more often. Captain Caveman made himself a full English breakfast and he had some lovely fresh bread to have with it. I felt a bit disappointed at just being able to have bacon, rice crackers and brown sauce (which I then realised might have gluten in), followed by an apple for dessert. I did some language lessons and blogging and some leg stretches. In the evening Captain Caveman made us White Russian cocktails and for dinner we had left over East Hill chicken, guacamole and cashew nuts. It was only later that I realised I had drank milk but I had no side effects and wondered if UHT milk was ok! We would see tomorrow.

I was feeling fine on Saturday 12th September despite the 6.30am alarm after a night of White Russian drinking. I had managed to get an appointment at physio for 8am and so Phuong picked me up at 7am and off we went. I much prefer a morning appointment – it means I have less stomach issues if I go before eating and I can work/study in the afternoons. I had started doing my Vietnamese language practice in the physio and it was hard to concentrate when it got painful but I tried to take my mind off it, especially the sciatic nerve and toe twitching which seemed to be getting worse. I had a new therapist today, Hien, who seemed a bit more gentle until she did the back of my calf, knee and thigh with her arm.
The beach in Danang was now open and people were out walking, jogging and swimming with masks on (mostly). It was 21 weeks since I’d woke up after our end of lockdown celebrations with an injured leg – this Corona had a lot to answer for!
I had a banana for breakfast, although I don’t like them they can’t do me any harm – my stomach was still fine. Captain Caveman was working again that day but we had planned to have some takeaway food from Momma D’s, and I was particularly looking forward to her gluten free sausages. For lunch I continued with my experiment and had just 30g of brie with my rice crackers, cashew nuts and a dragon fruit – I was fine and spent the afternoon doing my usual tasks. I had just opened a bottle of red wine when Captain Caveman arrived with our food and my order of all the different types of gluten free sausages with french fries. The idea was to eat some and save some but I ate most, with the help of Captain Caveman and I really enjoyed them and the chips, with a second glass of wine. I also had a bit of the BBQ sauce with them which was very tasty. My favourites were the pork snags but before I could have a third glass of wine I was ill again, it couldn’t have been the gluten free sausages this time so maybe it was the delayed effects of the cheese from earlier.

I was looking forward to a nice day off from physio on Sunday 13th September. This week I’d only had 5.5 hours of physio, so a lot less than usual, but I felt ok. The knee pain had pretty much disappeared but the ankle was still sore and ached a lot – I was disappointed that I still wasn’t allowed to swim. Captain Caveman had to work and so was up very early. My stomach had settled down and I felt fine so I decided to have cheese, crisps and a Snickers for lunch and see how that went. It went fine and no bad effects, which was a relief, maybe next week I would try yoghurt. 
Today was 21 years since I had started working at Norwich Union (later renamed Aviva) and it made me feel a bit nostalgic. I had been left there for over 5 years now but I still had lots of friends back home who I had met through working there. My life is so very different now and I wouldn’t want to change that (I’ve hardly touched a spreadsheet since then) but I do miss my friends back home.
Captain Caveman was finished early so we decided to go for dinner at Phong Nha Farmstay where we ordered a nice bottle of Shiraz, we took half home to finish as Captain Caveman was driving us on the motorbike. Captain Caveman surprised me by not ordering pizza, he had Aussie pie, chips and beans and gravy – he’s an animal! I had a sensible gluten free option of beef in bamboo with steamed rice and vegetables which I really enjoyed. We even sat at the big dining table with some of the other guests which meant Captain Caveman managed to not be glued to his phone the whole time. Back home we had a night cap and then an early night. The coming week was set to be a lively one, by my standards.

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