4 Weeks of Lock down – near the end of Week 2 – 29th March 2020

Flashback…“So we are back in our rural part of France, hoping that the next two weeks don’t cause further delays for us.

Well we got that wrong didn’t we?  So what delayed us apart from being in lockdown? – firstly our flight via Singapore got cancelled – we were able to book on an Emirates flight, but then we were put into lockdown and the airlines stopped taking animals on indirect flights in case they were to get stuck somewhere other than their destination country – fyi. no direct flights from Paris to Melbourne.  So now it looks like we are here in France until May sometime.  Yep May!

We are also in lock down until the 15th April – which is after Easter.  I have been leaving the house once a day to go for a walk, but we’re now restricted to only being 1km from our house for our exercise!  It’s frustrating and not a lot of fun.  Pat has been doing our shopping once a week as we’re not sure where my immune system is at after my illness.  So I’ve actually not been anywhere for over 2 weeks.

Pat is still working, which is good, but I’m not at the moment, so I have a lot of spare time – so far I have completed my colouring pencil course – which was 3 pictures in 1 week, and last week I went back to a picture that I hadn’t completed for an earlier assignment and finished it.  I’ve also been painting cards so hopefully I can still send birthday cards.  I’ve made hot cross buns – which have all been eaten so I now need to make more and today I tried cinnamon biscuits for the first time – they are really, really nice.

We’ve also being slowly spring cleaning the house – which actually has been good – so far the attic and the lounge have been completed and I’m part way through the bathroom.  We were going to do the kitchen this weekend but I really couldn’t be bothered.  I’ve also spent a lot of time on my couch watching YouTube and painting my nails.  Maybe I can get good at painting them by the time I get to Australia?

We have been fortunate that for the most part the weather has been lovely spring weather, however we do actually have snow forecast for tonight (and, breaking news from late blog, it snowed all day Monday) interesting as we were thinking that it had all past.

For now, à bientôt, from our wonderful but small part of France – Delia

Socially distanced

Like most of the world to varying degrees, we are practising social distancing. In France we have this restriction enforced by armed gendarmes, having to carry a document for each day for each type of outing – shopping for necessities, exercising (no more than 2km from one’s home), medical visits, going to essential work or attending our vulnerable relatives . We had one ready adapting the last one to hopefull get us on the plane to Perth next Wednesday but never got the chance to test its validity. We had a slight hiccup when Aus closed its borders to non-residents but checking with Aus foreign affairs confirmed my visa details as being “resident” . The main problem when airlines blocked carriage of live animals, meaning Siena and Wallis (booked for Monday) couldn’t go. Short of hiring a private jet this rather put our trip on hold. We don’t know anyone who could look after out pets, especially with the burden of keeping up their vet visit and pet passports for an indefinite period. Plus kennels and catteries are not considered essential and are closed.

It feels like its been a long time in limbo for us, certainly the last few months of last year. Social distancing has become almost habitual. Apart from a few rare outings we have had to stay home and avoid social gatherings all during Delia’s cancer treatment. Where we live is one of the most isolated parts of France so it isn’t too different from day to day life at the moment. My work is slow but I am keeping busy with my few web sites and building my new one for Aus. Delia had stopped work and just found that her agency’s work has dried up in any case

One of the things we most look forward to once we get to Perth is an improved social life but even that would, of necessity, be postponed by a further fortnight of self-isolation. Still we share such things with much of the world, it is not getting home that disappoints

At least it is spring here and, for the moment at least, the sun shines. Cherry and plum blossom abounds. I bought a couple of lenses from eBay and have been playing around with portraits and close-ups of blossom.

A romantic weekend in Paris – sort of – 14th March 2020

To start we appear to have everything in place to be able to travel at the end of the month, as long as we are not prevented from doing so due to the COVID-19 virus. We are hopeful that we will still be able to get to Australia this month.

As last weekend we were due in Paris due to the fact that our original flight date was the 10th March, we had booked 3 nights in a nice hotel at CDG, with the plan of relaxing and hopefully getting up to the top of the Eiffel tower. Well we did get to do these things, with a slight variation. We were joined by 2 friends from the UK who we had not been able to see during our farewell tour (as they were both out of the country) so they basically came for a day trip to say goodbye. So they joined us for our Sunday trip into Paris, a walk around Montmartre in the morning, lunch at our favourite Bistro near the Eiffel tower. Pat and I ordered the same dessert – which made one of our friends go “oh wow” when they arrived – she considered changing her dessert – but by that stage they were flambéing her crepe. Then off to the Eiffel tower, unfortunately by this stage the rain and wind had started. We did get to the top of the tower, but did not enjoy a glass of champagne on the top because the wind was just too strong. We did get to have a drink on the 2nd level while watching the rain from inside a bubble! But it was great to see the view from the top – especially as the clouds and rain waxed and waned the pictures that we got were incredible.

On Monday Pat and I had a late start to the day and a big breakfast, we then went to look at how to get between the train station, hotel and Terminal 1, after this exploration and a discussion with the hotel reception staff the decision was made that we would be best using a taxi to get to and from the hotel because we will have so much luggage – it will just make our journey easier. After that the day was ours to do as we liked, which basically meant we headed to the heated pool to swim and have a sauna. We relaxed for an hour or so down by the pool (it was deserted) and then headed back to our room to sit and read in the little bit of sunshine that was streaming in through the windows. We did do a quick trip out to buy some snacks.

Dinner that night was a walk to one of the nearby hotels as our hotel was incredibly expensive for food and the previous night we had spent a small fortune on our dinner and wine. We had pizza which we enjoyed and then walked back to our hotel to sleep. Tuesday was our return journey to Limoges – a little bit of a lie in and then down to breakfast. We packed up and headed back to Paris. We weren’t going to have a large lunch, but found a restaurant near our train station that had some lovely salads so we stopped and had our lunch and then walked through a nearby park to head back to the station just as our train platform was announced.

So we are back in our rural part of France, hoping that the next two weeks don’t cause further delays for us.

For now, à bientôt, from our wonderful part of France – Delia