Sunday, June 20, 2021

Things change once more

French Village Diaries Covid-19 changes
Hollyhocks in the sun


Life seems to have done nothing but change since early 2020, when Covid-19 burst into our lives. Some of these changes have turned out to be more positive than expected, like lockdown meaning we spent more time together as a couple and a family, as well as the ensuing changes to Adrian’s work that have enabled him to do so from home, without an international commute. 


More recent changes to our lives have also been great news, like Ed finishing his degree, getting accepted for a Masters degree, returning home for the summer and getting himself the best holiday job in the world at the library in Sauze-Vaussais. I’m also looking forward to the change in routine that working at the Chef-Boutonne library will give me when I start at the beginning of July. 


The changeable weather we have experienced this week, however, has not been so positive. The storms, rain and wind, interspersed with the odd moment of sunshine left me feeling unsettled and fed up that I couldn’t get out on my bike. That post-holiday feeling really hit hard having had two fantastic holidays in such a short space of time.


The recent Facebook updates for managing a Page made it more difficult to share my new blog posts directly on my page, and what I do post is now seen by fewer people, thanks to the algorithms. It was good to know that many of you had signed up to directly receive an email notification whenever I added a new post, until another change was thrust upon me; the withdrawal of the email subscription service by FeedBurner. Why do so many changes in the name of progress ultimately make things more complicated and create more work? 


If you are an email subscriber, in the coming weeks the way you receive your email will change, but thankfully there is no need for you to do anything. Adrian and I have been busy setting up and testing out the new MailChimp email service, so please do look out for the new email and keep your fingers-crossed the transition will be a smooth one. I couldn’t have done it without him.


If you haven’t yet signed up but would like to receive an email whenever I post a new blog, you will find the new sign-up box at the top of the sidebar on the right. Thank you.


French Village Diaries Covid-19 changes
Sunshine and storm clouds and hollyhocks

One change I don’t mind at this time of year is that every time I look out of the window, there are more hollyhock flowers to look at and admire. Every self-seeded plant stands at least as tall as me and although they are mostly all pink, each one is a slightly different shade of pink and shape of flower. Whatever the weather, they put a smile on my face.

French Village Diaries Covid-19 changes
Outdoor apero concert organised by the Chef-Boutonne library

Covid-19 changes in France

Today sees the next step in France’s ‘life with Covid-19’ policy come into force; our curfew is over. From six o’clock this morning and for the first time since the end of October 2020, when lockdown number two came into force, we are now free from any restrictions on our movement outside the house. The wearing of masks outside has also been relaxed, unless you are walking around a market or other crowded place, and we attended our first outdoor event on Friday night. 

French Village Diaries Covid-19 changes
My individual apero selection

Organised by the Chef-Boutonne library, we enjoyed a poetry and musical apéro concert, held in the outdoor theatre at the back of the Mairie. There was ample space for everyone to sit in their small groups, sensibly distanced from the groups around them, and we were all served our own individual plate of nibbles, ensuring no contamination on a buffet table. It was a simple thing, but a sign of a return to normal, that gave so much pleasure.

I’d like to say we will be celebrating the lack of curfew with an all-night party, but with the excitement of so many changes to cope with, I think a family Father’s Day meal of spaghetti bolognaise with a nice glass of Cahors wine from the vineyards we were cycling in last week, will do for us tonight.


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