Thursday, April 30, 2020

Diary of Covid-19 confinement, day forty-five

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day forty-five cycling rain
Cycling in the rain


Day forty-five, 30th April 2020


Wet, wet, wet

We have been out and about delivering flyers from our Mairie about the proposed distribution of masks to everyone, but initially to those with the greatest need. I volunteered to do the hamlets furthest from the village centre, just so Adrian and I could legitimately get out on our bikes to do the deliveries. Why oh why, after all the lovely weather we have had for weeks and weeks, did it have to be so wet yesterday afternoon that we were soaked through, even with waterproof layers on. Never mind, we did manage 15km on the bikes, out in the fresh air, and little bit of rain didn’t do us any harm.


French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day forty-five rain
Life in the gutter


Gutter woes

Rain seems to be on my mind at the moment, but when it rains here, it knows how to do it properly. It was so impressive the other day we watched it fly off the roof, into the gutter and then cascade back out in a sheet of water that hit the ground by the back door with such force, it puddled indoors on the floor. It didn’t take Adrian long to decide the gutter must be blocked, but without a ladder tall enough he needed a plan. Adrian is a man for plans and with the help of Ed and his GoPro, two long bamboo canes, some rope to lash them together and a bit of Gaffer tape for luck, he soon had himself a gutter inspection testing kit. 

As you can see from the photo, we had a significant blockage that I am blaming on the dumb doves who think a gutter is a great place to nest. Thankfully a quick call to our builder friend and he arrived with his ladder, and cleared the gutters in double quick time, so he could hurry back home to help a birthing pig. All in a day’s work.

The rain looks like it’s here for the weekend, but at least now the gutters are flowing as they should and there are no more puddles indoors.

Stay indoors, stay safe.



French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day forty-five Brasserie
Morning coffee in Banyuls 30th April 2012


April holiday memory 

On the morning of 30th April 2012 we set off from Collioure and followed the coast back down towards Spain, stopping in Banyuls for morning coffee and a spot of postcard writing in the sun, before driving up to the Tour Madeloc (652m) on a stunning road lined with terraced vineyards, cork oak trees, wild flowers and lavender flowering out of the cracks in the rocks. It was rather breezy but beautiful and we were loitering, reluctant to leave the Med behind us and head inland towards Perpignan. From there we drove to Forca Réal on roads lined with plain trees, olive groves and cherry orchards, and where we got our last glimpse of the Med, and the snow-capped Pyrenees for this holiday. Our afternoon drive to Carcassonne let us dabble into the Cathar castle route, took us via backwater gorges and through some stunning scenery, where we were often the only car on the road. A perfect Mini Cooper road trip driving day.

Lockdown library
Today it is release day for Augustine, the prequel to the Allouette Trilogy by Vanessa Couchman. Vanessa’s historical fiction books are all fantastic reads and I can’t wait to get stuck into her latest. You can read my reviews for her previous books here.

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