Lock down in France – 29th April 2020

Sorry I know I haven’t been on top of my blog writing but sometimes life is like that.  Up until 2 weeks ago I was a little despondent and slightly bored.  I’ve got no work to do at the moment, and spring cleaning only takes so long.  So wasn’t I happy when there was a skillshare 2 months free offer on one of the YouTube channels that I watch.  I signed up and I have since been painting like a fiend.  Following tutorials on various watercolour things and also how to use Instagram (deliawallace81 if you are interested) etc, I’ve been keeping myself occupied and loving it.  Unfortunately I ran out of watercolour paper yesterday.  I’ve ordered some more but that is looking like it will take 10 days to arrive, so I will try and keep myself occupied with other things.

This Saturday is Pat’s birthday – he is 65 – very disappointed that we can’t go out for a nice meal (or do a trip somewhere) but I’ve lined up a couple of video calls for the evening so we can chat to friends. 

We really don’t know when we will be able to leave France, our gradual move out of quarantine starts on the 11th May but as to when we will be able to fly home (and when our pets can go) we just don’t know.  But here in our rural part of France we are currently safe and sound and enjoying our daily walks around the countryside.

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

Locked down until May 11th

Looks like at least another 3 weeks of lock down. Its not been too inconvenient for us, though Delia is missing her coffee mornings with a friend. It feels very removed from the momentous events of global pandemic. Of course we are very inconvenienced by being unable to emigrate, heaven knows when we will be able to transport our pets, I doubt that’s a high priority for freight transport at the moment.

What am I complaining about? I guess it’s keeping us both from getting Covid19 for the time being. We had a lovely skype conversation with K&H in Aberdeen last night. The world must have been doing something not on the web at the time because for two hours we had good quality. It started to break up at about 8.30pm GMT. We had tried a whatsapp chat with R&L my brother and sister-in-law but the quality was so bad it was hard to keep going. Internet bandwidth here has never been wonderful. We read of poor unfortunates who have their netflix streaming slowed down – we dream of ever being able to stream. I often read of how bad broadband is in Australia, my research suggest its still better than rural France. Not surprising really when just up the road, the telephone line has come undone from a post and droops so low I could touch it.

Spring continues to spring. We had a storm the other night, big thunder and lightning and the internet turned off (I guess we do have a biased focus toward the internet, it is after all our main access to the outside world, especially now our TV bust).

Anyway here’s some photos I shot on a spring walk.

Under the Dome

It’s been a year since the dome came down. A year since going out of the house has been limited to a 1km radius. Its given us about 6.5km of circumference enclosing mostly fields and woods, all good for dog walking. Its been quieter for a few days since our neighbour went stir crazy and ran down the street beyond the boundary shouting “the dandelions, the dandelions, I can’t stand it…He had been spending his days trying to remove all the dandelions from his acre or so of grass, unsuccessfully. I’ve nearly run out of toilet rolls again so nothing to exchange for food. I did grab one of the few free range chickens but roasting is difficult since the gas ran out months ago. Driving out to the shop is easier but the check-points only let you pass for a toll of 6 toilet rolls. You can still buy wine and baguettes of course. Wallis the cat is getting fat on his diet of field mice and Siena looks hungrily at the cows instead of barking. At least the covid19 podcasts have run their course and I’ve forgotten what crowds are like.

OK reality – its hard to believe that lock down has only been a few weeks, it certainly feels longer. To be honest, there are a lot worse places to be stuck and life isn’t really too different. Restrictions in Australia and especially WA have become even tighter and, even if we had found a flight, we would still have had to quarantine in a hotel room for 14 days. I will have to make it to Aus (anywhere in Aus) before September or my visa expires and a further perhaps €4,500 and at least 9 months. In reality I would expect them to just extend the activation date, I mean its not as if I’m not trying – but they may not consider an inability to ship pets to Aus to be a valid reason for delay.

Apart from the snow the beginning of last week the weather is definitely spring like. I may even need my sun hat to protect my exposed head.

Here’s some shots I took on my lengthy 5km walk this morning (all inside the dome perimeter). Oh, and a sunset under lockdown, just the same as not.