Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Diary of Covid-19 confinement, day one

French Village Diaries Covid-19 confinement day one
Back home, tired, but with five minutes to spare

Be careful what you wish for.

I can’t remember how many times over the last fifteen years I’ve wished that I could live my life within the village. Whether it was yet another early morning school run I couldn’t face, a wild and windy airport run I could have done without, or just the fact that being here makes me feel safe and happy, there have been many times I’ve dreaded getting in the car and driving away. Well, as from midday today, this will be our life. 

In an attempt to restrict the spread of the pandemic virus Covid-19, President Macron has closed down France. Borders have been shut, all non-essential shops and business have been closed, all social gatherings are forbidden and leaving the house has to be for a justified reason. See more here, in French.

I can only feel relief at the happy coincidence that Adrian and Ed both came home last Thursday, just hours before President Macron’s first address to the nation. It was at this point we realised that neither of them would be leaving me or the village for quite some time as schools and universities were to be closed, and for the foreseeable future Adrian’s work as a freelance trainer, working from a different office each week, was no longer tenable with the current situation. As someone who is so often home alone things feel far less scary knowing my nest is full and we are all here together rather than in three different locations, as is our norm.

French Village Diaries Covid-19 confinement day one
A last bike ride with friends 

What would your last outing be if the world were about to end?

Even though the weather was nicer this afternoon than this morning, we couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to have a final bike ride with friends before the midday curfew arrived. We avoided each other’s houses, we didn’t make any physical contact with each other, but we did ride hard and fast, and even going uphill we didn’t stop talking. It will be the face to face conversations with others that I think we will miss the most. Adrian is used to spending each week interacting with a different group of people and talking business. I can merrily chatter away about bone broth soup, yoga and the goings on in the village for hours, but as someone whose corporate life ended almost twenty years ago, I fear he finds my conversational skills lacking.

For Ed, life has changed dramatically. At 19 and with the independence of a studio apartment in Poitiers, with his girlfriend of a year, the shock to be stuck back in a village in the middle of nowhere, with both parents, no girlfriend, a car he can’t drive (as his driving test on Monday was cancelled) and a never-ending list of jobs to do in the garden, as well as checking online for any university deadlines, must be hell on earth. However, he is a star and taking it all in his stride. He is not angry, sulky or any of the emotions I know would have been bursting out of me if I had been put in a similar position at his age. He is calm, chatty and helpful. His usual escape when he is home, walking the dog, is still possible, but only if he is in possession of the signed form stating who he is, where he lives and why he has a justified reason to be outside of his home. 
French Village Diaries Covid-19 confinement day one
Ed (upstairs) and Adrian working together in the garage
We always have, as I am sure many of you do too, a long list of jobs we never get around to finishing. The hope is that this period of isolation and three pairs of willing hands, will see many of them ticked off and I’m pleased to say that this afternoon we have got off to a good start. Adrian has started sorting out his garage shelves, Ed has mowed the orchard and I have carried on as usual; washing, sweeping, soup-making and keeping abreast of things on Facebook. Although I have become more used to preparing easy meals for one, I’m glad my freezer and cupboards are well stocked to keep my men well-fed. Tomorrow will be the day the potager gets some much needed attention and my aim is that this year I’ll be able to keep on top of the weeds.

My other plan is to keep you up to date on our daily situation here in rural France, if nothing else it will keep me out of trouble and hopefully prove an interesting read when this madness is over.

Please take care of yourselves and stay safe.

French Village Diaries Covid-19 confinement day one
The form to complete to leave the house from https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus


  1. Take care and best (healthy!) wishes to you and your family~

  2. I will be checking in every day, lovely to be connected.x

  3. Cleaning the garage, gosh, things are desperate, and the last ever outage, the garden centre obviously, take care chums

  4. Best of luck with your projects! Not sure what will happen to us in London yet, but did manage an 18-mile bike ride to the deer park. :)

    1. Thank you. I'm guessing the UK will follow the rest of Europe soon. It doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon! Hope you can continue to get out on the bike.


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