Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Diary of Covid-19 confinement, day thirty

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day thirty
In Chef Boutonne during covid-19 confinement

Day thirty

Out and about

Life seems to be getting busy enough around here for me to start writing things back on the weekly blackboard in the kitchen, which is bizarre when on the surface there is nothing to do and nowhere to go. 

Yesterday, for the first time since day eleven, I had to leave the village. Adrian has been keeping the kitchen fully supplied, but the gas bottle for the cooker was running low and we had no spares, I had to go to the bank for something I can’t do online, and Ed needed more hay fever medication from the pharmacy. Disappointingly, Chef Boutonne was surprisingly busy, but I had my mask, gloves, attestation, ID, shopping list, driving docs, bank card, cheque and paperwork for bank, hand gel, sunglasses and that constant feeling that I'd forgotten something somewhere, and seemed to be bordering on panic most of the time.

The pharmacy and gas bottles were no problem but thinking it would be a good idea to get a few bits from Intermarche turned out to be a bad idea. They didn’t seem to be regulating the number of people allowed in and everywhere I turned, someone was there, or behind me, or coming alongside me and many had no problems standing around chatting to friends. I felt really uncomfortable and couldn’t get out quick enough. To add to my woes, all that greeted me at the bank was a closed door and a phone number (that went to answer phone). I really needed that extra coffee when I returned home.

Thankfully our bank manager was quick to call me back and we’ve come up with a plan. It might go down in history as the longest ever transaction of its kind, but fingers crossed it works and we can finally get the money into the account. It also gave Adrian the golden opportunity to get out on his bike today, to head back to the bank, to succeed where I failed yesterday.

Life goes on

Other admin jobs that needed tackling this week included phoning the doctor to see if a routine blood test was still deemed an essential procedure in the current circumstances. Surprisingly it is, so that and a check-up with the doctor are now chalked up on the blackboard and I need to psych myself up for leaving the village once again. We have also been in contact with our car insurance agency and have saved ourselves a few euros by putting the cars onto a reduced kilometre policy, at times like this, every little helps.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day thirty
In Entrevaux on the River Var, 15th April 2008 (I still have these clothes!)

April holiday memory

Today I am going back to 15th April 2008, our first Mini Cooper road trip, a treat from Adrian’s parents to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. We had left Gap that morning and spent the day in Mini driving heaven. Narrow roads that twisted and turned as we wound our way through gorge after gorge with stunning scenery all around. We stopped in Entrevaux on the Var river, before continuing on through the olive groves of Puget and over the Montagne du Cheiron before dropping down into Nice. We had a couple of nights on the coast before continuing over the Italian border to the Mini Cooper Mecca that is Turin.

Stay indoors, stay safe.

Lockdown library

My reading suggestions today are for the novels by Celia Imrie, all set in a fictional coastal town, near Nice. They have a fun set of expat characters who as well as enjoying life on the Riviera to the full, seem to get themselves into all sorts of strange situations. I've read and enjoyed the first three books.

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