Saturday, March 21, 2020

Diary of Covid-19 confinement, day five

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day five
Welcome to spring

Welcome to Spring

Spring has always been my favourite time of year, full of new buds and shoots, blossoms and the first flowering bulbs; it promises so much in terms of new life and new beginnings. This year that all seems at odds with the world we are currently living in. 
French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day five
Cherry blossoms

However, it only took a quick walk around our orchard this morning to realise spring is still as vibrant as ever. The grass has cowslips and orchids pushing their way through, the bay tree is in flower and the first cherry blossoms are out. The invasive thugs were also in evidence, so fired up after our morning coffee we were inspired to do some bramble busting and trying once more to tame the rampant Clematis Vitalba, or Old Man’s Beard. 
French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day five
Defrosting the freezer

As well as gardening we also managed to hack away around 9 litres of ice from the small kitchen freezer this afternoon, freeing up more space for food. It’s amazing the things we’re finding to keep ourselves amused. Once I’ve worked my way through the other three larger freezers, I’m determined to be a bit more organised with what we’ve got and how long it has been there. There may be a few interesting meals in the next few days, depending on what I find lurking in the dark corners. 

Today we should have been wishing our neighbour Pierrette a happy 80th birthday, but as she and her husband only return to the house she grew up in here in the village at weekends, they will have to wait for the lockdown to end before their next visit. Our weekly chatters about anything and everything have certainly helped improve my French vocabulary and are something I’ve been enjoying for over fifteen years, so it doesn’t seem quite right without them here today. She always says the first swallow appears around her birthday, so I’m keeping my eyes and ears open for its arrival. We also have new neighbours in our little dead-end square of four houses, who moved in on Monday, but we can’t go over and introduce ourselves just yet. All we have managed so far is to stand at our respective front gates, smile, wave and shout bonjour.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day five
Who to call in France if you feel unwell

Saturday statistics

We have been having a bit of a play with numbers as it does seem odd that we are on lockdown here in France, only allowed to leave home when absolutely necessary, while much of the UK is carrying on as normal, even though pubs, restaurants and schools have now closed. In our not so small area of France, there are only 8 cases here in the Deux Sevres and 6 in the Charente, which is 14 cases spread over 12,000 km2. Where our parents live in the UK there are 65 in Berkshire and 57 in Surrey, so 122 in an area just over 2,800 km2. It seems to me the UK hasn’t quite grasped the severity of what is just around the corner and with the number of deaths being reported in Italy and Spain still on the increase, it’s rather scary to watch from so far away.

Is it really so hard to close your front door, step back from your friends and family and just take some time out in order to stop the spread of something that might kill you or those you love? I don’t think so.

Take care and keep yourselves safe and healthy.


  1. I'm catching up with your posts on the day Boris finally annnounced a UK lockdown. Here in the US, I fear few are taking this seriously enough - treating it as a holiday. Trump hasn't behaved like a statesman at all. My wife and I have been almost housebound for four years, so our current self-isolation is not so hard. But others around are lax - 67 deaths in our state but still people out and about. Vive la France.

    1. Thanks for commenting Roland and I hope that you and your wife stay safe and well. I know Macron isn't always the most popular, but I think in his public addresses he has shown leadership. I can only hope other world leaders can do the same and we can beat this crisis. Take care.


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