Breakfast for me on Monday 21st September was a rice cracker, 2 Laughing Cow light cheese triangles and a snickers. Captain Caveman went to do some work but was finished by the time it came to share the ride to Dong Hoi with me at 2pm. I actually managed to go in and out of the physio building without my helping sticks (crutches) for the first time but I still needed a hand on the 2 steps. When I got back in to Phuong’s minibus I had a surprise waiting for me – Captain Caveman had bought me a popcorn maker as a present. I already have one at my parents’ house in Sheffield and I have wanted to bring it over to Vietnam or Turkey. I was so excited because now it means I can have gluten free snacks which are healthy and won’t make me sick with surprise gluten in. Electric items are so expensive here though and it cost about £60 for a basic model – I think Captain Caveman felt bad for shouting at me for trying to wash up in ‘his’ kitchen. Vananh from Phong Nha Underground was back in Phong Nha and would be opening the restaurant tomorrow for a couple of days so that they could sell off stock and then she would close for the winter, we decided Captain Caveman would go to collect some items for our fridge/freezer and she messaged me a list of what was available. Back home I didn’t try my popcorn maker but I had a Revive drink and some cashew nuts as a snack. For dinner Captain Caveman cooked steak with salad and olives and I decided to have a day off the alcohol.

I had 4 mini salamis and a half of a rice cracker for breakfast on Tuesday 22nd September then a lunch of salad and olives – conscious of my ever present dodgy stomach. We had both been invited to Ho Khanh’s for an end of season party that evening but only Captain Caveman was going to go. I caught up on languages, blogging and read more of the book by Melissa Wiringi, Domestic Violence on Ice. In Corona data the world had exceeded 23 million recoveries and in Vietnam they had now gone 20 days without any more cases being reported in the community. A man in the north of Vietnam had been positive, recovered, tested negative more than once and had now tested positive again.
My physio was at 3pm and the sessions were going well, even if it meant it was very slowly. Captain Caveman arranged to pick up some Phong Nha Underground food the next day so that Vananh could be there to supervise any ‘complicated’ orders. For dinner I had more salad with a bit of hummus, a couple of glasses of red wine and then enjoyed an early night.

I was up at 6.30am on Wednesday 23rd September because Thuy at physio had managed to fit me in on a morning appointment which I was very happy about. Phuong picked me up at 7am and I was in the heat room by 7.45am followed by my 2 hour session from 8-10am. In the news Vietnam had gone 3 weeks without any new Corona cases in the community, Hoi An had reopened and Danang had it’s last Corona patient recovered so now there was no more Corona in Danang and 2 months had passed since the second wave started.  When I got home I tried the popcorn machine and had some healthy popcorn which was amazing. By 1pm Captain Caveman was eventually back from Phong Nha Underground with lunch, hummus, falafel, cheese and steak. I had the pork, veg and rice for my lunch which was nice and it was sad that the restaurant would be closed for the rest of the season. For dinner I had my newly acquired Phong Nha Underground hummus with rice crackers and a couple of glasses of red wine. It was another early night (I was getting used to this) as I had another morning appointment at physio the next day.

I was lucky enough to have another morning physio appointment on Thursday 24th September and so the alarm went off at 6.30am and we were both in Phuong’s minibus at 7am. Captain Caveman had decided to come along so that he could get some shopping while I was at my session. It went well and I was making some progress although the physio was still painful. When we got back home we had another argument over the kitchen arrangements and I was not amused – he’s obsessed with things having to be done his way. I had some grapes and mini salamis for breakfast and ignored his funny ways. He went to work and was going to another work party later so I would be able to do my own thing. I did my usual chores then finished Domestic Violence on Ice, the book written by our neighbour Melissa Wiringi – it was a really good read and a fascinating, brutally honest story! The Corona cases had reached over 32 million worldwide now, Vietnam had agreed to open up flights with 6 other countries and the first flight to South Korea from Hanoi was due to fly tomorrow. I had hummus, rice crackers and steamed rice with tamari sauce on for lunch. For dinner I cooked fried rice with red cabbage, red pepper, garlic and falafel and it was really nice. I was pleased to have made my first meal in the kitchen by myself, without any help or needing my crutches. I decided not to have any booze that night either and stayed up watching something I immediately forgot about on Netflix.

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