Friday, May 1, 2020

Diary of Covid-19 confinement, day forty-six

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day forty-six 1st May  Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley 1st May, France

Day forty-six, 1st May 2020

April, a month of celebration and loss that showered us with memories; of our wedding, our holidays, and time spent with our extended family, is now behind us. It has been a turbulent month of mixed emotions, but then a month lived entirely in lockdown, where I only left the safety of the village three times, was always going to be a strange and unusual one. Something that must not be overlooked is the effect on people’s mental health and well-being from the change in, or lack of, routine and enforced social isolation. We might be lucky to live in a time of easy communication, but it is the physical contact of giving and receiving a hug and spontaneous conversation, without an internet delay, that we are all missing right now.

There is a lovely tradition in France of offering a small bunch of Lily of the Valley to your friends on 1st May, to bring happiness for the coming year. With this year being so difficult for so many people, I think we could all do with some extra happiness in our lives, so stay safe my friends, keep smiling and keep those you love safe and smiling too.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day forty-six 1st May plan de deconfinement
France high to low risk areas


For the first time since this nightmare began, figures from the UK have overtaken France in terms of the number of people infected by the virus, and for those who have died, the UK is now higher than France and Spain, and not far behind Italy. We might be looking at the beginning of the end of lockdown here in France, but we still have a long way to go on this journey. The French government have issued a colour-coded map showing areas of high risk (red), medium risk (orange) and low risk (green) which will be key to the deconfinement plan beginning on 11th May. Thankfully our area and all surrounding areas are green, but his could change at any time. Wherever we live, I think we still need to do what we can to keep safe and minimise the risks.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day forty-six 1st May Black Mountains
Black mountains 1st May 2012

May holiday memory

It was never my plan to continue reminiscing about past holidays in France once April was over, however so many people seem to have enjoyed it and there are still a few photos to share, so here you go.

1st May 2012, a day of sunshine (unlike today) and great driving, from snatched views of the Canal du Midi in Carcassonne, to the craggy rocks and feathery pine forests of the Black Mountains, to circling vultures above the impressive Tarn Gorges. As we wound our way from pass to pass, we stopped to picnic at the side of a quiet mossy gorge road, surrounded by beech forests, and when we looked closely, we could see small patches of iced snow glinting on the forest floor. 

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day forty-six 1st May Viaduct Millau
Viaduct Millau 1st May 2012

The afternoon drive to our hotel in the Cervenne National Park saw us following the Route des Lacs near Laozas, then through Roquefort, home to the sheep’s cheese of the same name, before driving underneath the impressive Viaduct in Millau, and along the Tarn Gorges where the evening sun was illuminating the rocks and the vultures were circling above us. We finished the day with a chilled beer on our hotel balcony in Meyrueis, a town we have now returned to a few times.

Lockdown library

My reading selection today is for the La Cour des Roses series by Helen Pollard, a lovely trilogy of books that will feel just like a holiday in France.

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