Sunday, May 3, 2020

Diary of Covid-19 confinement, day forty-eight

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day forty-eight cycling smiling
A smile and a bike ride

Day forty-eight, 3rd May 2020

I mentioned yesterday that if I raised just one smile with my naked gardening photos, I would have achieved my goal. Then something amazing happened. Yesterday evening I was tagged on a Facebook post from a friend in the UK who having cheered me on for a number of years, had been inspired to embrace her body, do a bit of naked gardening in her conservatory and share her pictures with her friends. What shone out for me on her beautiful photos was her radiant smile, and that just made my day. Thank you S, you were just the tonic I needed last night.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day forty-eight cycling
Perfect weather for cycling

It seems to have rained for most of this last week, which has just added to our low moods, in what has been a particularly difficult time. Today’s warmer temperatures meant we had to get out and break free for a bit on our bikes. It was only for an hour, and we stayed within a kilometre of the village, but we still managed a pretty good 10km ride. It felt great and went a little way to clearing that fuzzy feeling that seems to have lodged in my head. As we neared the woods that surround the allotments, I also heard a cuckoo for the first time this year, which is something I always look forward to.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day forty-eight
Ben's story

This weekend there have been a number of UK local and national news articles sharing our nephew Ben’s story. His parents want to do what they can to ensure no one else who is struggling in lockdown feels the need to end their life. You can read one of them here and we would love it if you could share it on social media too. Loneliness, lack of social interaction and too much time with your own dark thoughts is a big issue for many people and lockdown just compounds this. There is always someone you can talk to, from family and friends or your doctor, as well as associations like the Samaritans, Mind (who Ed raised money for a few years ago) and Papyrus (who Ben had donated to in the last few weeks).

I consider myself lucky that there isn’t much that I’m missing, in terms of being out and about doing things (happy home-bunny that I am), however I know for certain that I wouldn’t be anywhere near as happy if I didn’t have Adrian and Ed home with me too. It now seems more important than ever to have my nest full and be able to cook for, feed and look after my boys. My way of coping is through food and having full cupboards, organised freezers and a well-stocked fridge has been key. I’m one of those people who is always thinking ahead and planning not just the next meal, but often the ones after that too. Tonight, it’s homemade pizza night, not a traditional British Sunday roast, but a meal we all love. 

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day forty-eight Argentat Dordogne

May holiday memory

On 3rd May 2012, our Mini Cooper road trip was drawing to a close. We left Argentat on the Dordogne river following the Route des Noix, the walnut route, where orchards of walnuts, not yet in leaf, lined the roads. 

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day forty-eight Beaulieu sur Dordogne
Beaulieu sur Dorgdogne

Our morning coffee was in Beaulieu sur Dordogne where the sun was shining and then we drove to Collonges la Rouge, a pretty red-stoned village that deserves its Plus Beaux Villages de France label. 

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day forty-eight Puy Yssandon
Lunch at Puy Yssandon

We lunched on Puy Yssandon looking down onto Brive la Gaillarde and with the Auvergne Mountains just visible in the distance. Although we had been much higher this trip, the view from here was lovely and our picnic was so peaceful; birds, butterflies, a fairy-tale ruined tower, sheep grazing the walnut orchards and not much else for miles.

By early afternoon we were back to the Poitou-Charentes with its limestone houses and terracotta roofs, and fields of bright yellow colza (rapeseed) lined the roads. Another great holiday was over.


  1. Good morning Jacqui. My husband and I (I think I mentioned) are keen cyclists. I can absolutely feel your relief to be out on your bike in this post. Have a good day. Jayne x

    1. Thanks Jayne. It did feel good and I think we managed about 60km in total the last week of lockdown.


Please don't be shy, I love to hear from you.