Thursday, April 16, 2020

Diary of Covid-19 confinement, day thirty-one

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day thirty-one

Day thirty-one, 16th April 2020

Lasagne love

Thursday now has its own little lockdown tradition for us, as for the last three weeks it’s become lasagne/pasta bake day. This is me at my most organised. I prepare the homemade bechamel and the veggie sauce during the afternoon, layer it all together and leave it to rest. I can then relax into my evening yoga class with no nagging thoughts about what I need to do for dinner bothering my head space. Adrian is then in charge of preheating oven and ensuring dinner is ready to serve as yoga finishes. This means by nine o’clock we are ready to join our friends online as we take part in a virtual pub quiz together. 

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with lasagne because as much as I love it, it takes more preparation, more time and certainly more washing up than my usual pasta dishes. Having a reason to prepare it has not only rekindled my love for it, but I’m also finally using up the many half opened boxes of lasagne sheets that seem to have been multiplying at the back of the cupboard for ‘a while’.

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day thirty-one
Adrian in his pain cave

La Poste comes good, at last

While many public services are operating almost as normal in France, La Poste (the post office) was very quick to close the doors of many of its branches and follow that with a suspension of mail deliveries on all days except Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. We are quite lucky in the village as our boulangerie is also a sub post office, so we could buy stamps and leave small parcels during boulangerie opening hours. However, when Bernadette asked if I wanted priority delivery on my letter to the insurance agency, we both laughed, as it seems pretty pointless paying for something you just know is not going to happen.

Adrian has been hopping up and down every time we catch a glimpse of a yellow post van in the village, as almost three weeks ago he ordered some bits from a cycling company in Germany. Knowing getting out and cycling would prove to be difficult and not having a 4000€ Smart Cycle training system like Peleton or Zwift, he did what he does best (and what I love him for); research, problem solving and coming up with his own (cheaper) solution.

We already had a turbo trainer that he’d set his road bike up on, but most online virtual training video sessions are based on more than just sitting on a bike and pedaling. Buying sensors to attach to his bike, that give him his cadence and speed, means he can connect to the virtual cycling world, joining others on rides, racing and being able to climb mountains and have the feel of gradients. However, he was beginning to fret that lockdown would be over before they arrived. A few days after ordering, DHL Germany passed his precious parcel into the hands of La Poste, and there it sat. The online tracking showed no update, day after day, even on the days they were working. But good news! Today the postman beeped from the driveway and approached my outstretched hands with a box that made my man very happy.

With the sensors in place and the app downloaded, he has already tested climbing his first mountain and hasn’t stopped chattering excitedly about all sorts of things that made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. 

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day thirty-one
Lunch in Nice, 16th April 2008

April holiday memory 

Today I am looking back to 16th April 2008 when we spent a sunny day in Nice. We were staying in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, and on the map Nice didn’t look too far away. Road trip holidays always mean lots of sitting in a car, so we decided our legs needed a good stretch and set off to walk the coast road through Villefranche and over the headland into Nice. Let’s just say the seven and a half kilometre walk was a little more challenging than expected, with gradients of around 20% in places, but it did mean we had earned our lunch, and after a relaxing afternoon on the beach, we did the sensible thing and caught the train back to the hotel.

Stay indoors, stay safe.

Lockdown library

My reading selection today is for the two Penelope Kite novels by Serena Kent, Death in Provence and Death in Avignon. Great fun reads with lively characters, a few dastardly deeds thrown in and mysteries to be solved.

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