Monday, November 30, 2020

Lockdown diaries day thirty-two, the great advent calendar hunt

French Village Lockdown Diaries day thirty-two advent calendar shopping
DIY advent calendar for dogs

Day thirty-two, Monday 30th November 2020


All shopped out

It was a bitterly cold 0º when we cycled out for eggs this morning and by the side of the road, the frost-coated fallen leaves sparkled in the weak sunshine. Our main plans for today were shopping in Big Town, forty-five kilometres from home, mainly to collect the shelf unit we hadn’t been allowed to shop for last time we were there. However, the more we thought about what we might need on a trip to Niort, the longer the list became.


Having not used Adrian’s car in over a month, it was reluctant to get going this morning and thinking it might have been the battery, we left it in the garage to investigate later. We set off in my car, which promptly beeped to let us know it was low on fuel. The first garage we tried filling up in was also empty, but we made it on to Melle without any further issues. Bikes powered by legs are so much easier than cars needing batteries and fuel.


Nine shops and five hours later, we were done, in all senses of the word. Thank heavens for the flask of coffee and the cake we packed in case of emergency, or we may have been forced to tuck into the Christmas chocolates we had bought. It was also a real shock once we were home to discover that despite having a list and all those hours spent shopping, I’d forgotten to buy courgettes.


The great advent calendar hunt

At least we fulfilled the mission Adrian’s mum set us, which was to buy special advent calendars for everyone, including Mini the dog. Every December, Mini remembers that when we show her the calendar she must sit, tap her paw on a door and wait for her treat. Grandma always buys her the calendar and Adrian brings it home from the UK, but this year, we had to find one in France. We tried supermarkets, pet shops, stores that sell all sorts of things you never knew you needed until you went in, but nothing like a treat filled advent calendar for dogs. If there is one thing Adrian is not, it’s a quitter, so he carefully removed the cheap chocolate from a budget advent calendar and refilled each window with a tasty dog treat. I’d like to say we will be restrained and slowly nibble our way through the chocolates, but within a very short space of time (of Ed getting back from the dog walk), they’d all gone. 

Once Adrian had sorted the car, which turned out to be just a lazy key fob, he set to building and individually tweaking the shelf unit. My task, once the shopping was all unpacked, was to clear enough space on the kitchen table for our advent calendars and I’m not sure who had the toughest job.

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