Sunday, April 5, 2020

Diary of Covid-19 confinement, day twenty

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day twenty
Ready, steady, cut!

Pop-up hair salon

Well, maybe salon is taking things a bit too far, but I could wait no longer, my fringe (bangs) had to be trimmed and as I’ve been shaving Adrian’s hair for many years now, it seemed only fair he got the chance to have a go too.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day twenty
I can see again!

I was unnecessarily nervous as the minutes ticked slowly by, imagining the result would be something way too short, but even before I got a peek in the mirror, it already felt so much better now it wasn’t tickling my eyes. As I hope you will agree, he’s definitely hired and did a great job even if the only comb we could find was a beard comb and the scissors were kitchen scissors!

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day twenty
La Cornuelle

Palm Sunday or Rameaux

Today is the last Sunday in Lent and a day I’ve always looked forward to, since I discovered the special biscuit, la cornuelle, baked locally to celebrate. In these unusual times I was looking forward to a moment of normality this morning when I arrived at the boulangerie. However, I was disappointed as sadly, there were no pretty triangle shaped buttery biscuits, with fluted edges, a hole in the middle and decorated with aniseed sweets, for me to buy today.  Bernadette admitted that with everything that has been going on recently, she had completely forgotten all about les cornuelles

The tradition behind these biscuits has two explanations. The first being the triangular shape represents The Holy Trinity; The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit and traditionally it was baked to be sold at the entrance to church on Palm Sunday, where a sprig of box (another traditional French symbol of Palm Sunday) would have been placed in the hole. The second story comes from those whose beliefs are more Pagan than Christian, and with spring signifying new life, la cornuelle is believed to be triangle shaped to represent the female reproductive organs and is a sign of fertility. Maybe Bernadette was subconsciously erring on the side of caution, as many believe this period of enforced confinement is likely to lead to a rise in the number of births in nine months’ time, so I guess there is little need for a fertility biscuit this year.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day twenty
My courgette, squash and pumpkin seedlings

Talking of signs of new life, I can’t help but share news of my courgette, pumpkin and squash seedlings, that are growing so fast, they will need to be potted on this week. I hope you agree they are little beauties and so far, I have counted a whopping 60 have germinated.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day twenty
Adrian in the potager

Adrian has also been busy rotivating the potager and turning the compost heap, all necessary tasks getting things ready for the seedlings to be planted out next month. As I now know the exact contents of my freezers, this year’s harvest can’t come soon enough as stocks of last year’s roasted veg purée are running very low. 

Stay indoors, stay safe.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day twenty
The Roma Nova series by Alison Morton

Lockdown Library

Today’s reading suggestion takes us away from France, into the alternative history world of Roma Nova, a series written by local (to me) author Alison Morton. Alison is currently offering book one in the series, Inceptio, FREE on kindle. 
Universal link here.

Alison and I both write a regular piece for The Deux-Sèvres Monthly magazine and Alison and her husband kindly offered us a bed for the night when we took on the challenge to cycle the whole of the department on a charity bike ride back in 2017.


  1. What a strange coincidence re hair trimming! I let Steve snip my hair at the back by my neck this morning. I’ve been cutting his hair for years (à la Bruce Willis mostly) so I was a little anxious as he approached with scissors and comb. But looks fine.
    Thank you so much for mentioning my books; I hope they help to pass a few hours for your readers. Looking forward to the ‘déconfinement’...

    1. I think there will a lot of spouse hairdressers in the coming weeks. For better or for worse!


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