Thursday, April 2, 2020

Diary of Covid-19 confinement, day seventeen

French Village Diaries Covid-19 confinement day seventeen
Emergency food package UK

A helping hand

One of the more positive things to come out of this crisis is news of communities pulling together and people checking on their neighbours to make sure things are going as smoothly as possible. Volunteering networks have been set up in France (Je Vieux Aider) and in the UK, although living in a small village in the middle of nowhere, there isn’t much scope to help around here at the moment. Until the French local elections can be finalised, I am still on the village council, which means I am in regular email contact with the Maire and the mairie. It is nice for me to see what small steps are going on in the background and they know that if there is anything they need me to do locally, I will be there.

I have to admit though my desire to help out is somewhat compromised by my need to stay safe and keep my family safe. It is a little outside of my comfort zone at the moment to be regularly driving the thirty kilometres to our local hospital where they do need volunteers to help with tasks such as deliveries and serving meals to patient’s rooms. I have always been happier living my life close to home, so I’m really not missing going out nor am I in any hurry to escape the village. There is a guilty feeling that I am not doing enough though, especially given our privileged position. We are all together, safe and well, with enough to keep us occupied indoors and out, as well as enough food to keep us fed. I am enjoying this bonus family time, but I appreciate not everyone is as lucky.

Adrian’s mum falls under the NHS ‘self-isolate for twelve weeks’ category in the UK and although she has managed to get a bit of shopping delivered it was still a nice surprise for her this morning when she received an emergency food package from her local council. As you can see from the picture above, all the basic foods were covered, as well as toiletries and loo roll and there were a few nice sweet treats too. All delivered by a friendly driver who wished her well and told her to stay safe.

French Village Diaries Covid-19 confinement day seventeen
Brompton Bikes Wheels for Heros

Brompton Bikes NHS Wheels for Heros

I might be missing out on the opportunity to ride my Brompton at the moment, but I had to share this good news story from the Brompton factory in London. 

Since the beginning of the crisis Brompton have opened up their bike hire scheme to enable NHS staff to have free access, ensuring they have a safe and quick way to get to work, without the need to use public transport. The initiative began in London but has now spread nationwide and is proving so popular the number of bikes available no longer meets the number of staff who have registered to take part. Brompton are now pledging to make up to 1000 bikes, in NHS colours, to be used by key workers across the UK. They have set up a Crowdfunder ‘Wheels for Heros’, as the more money they can raise, the more bikes they can produce. Brompton Bike Hire will not profit from these bikes. You can read more and donate here.

Stay indoors, stay safe

Lockdown library

Today is publication day for book five in the Dales Detective series by Julia Chapman. Set in the Yorkshire Dales, rather than France, but I’ve loved every book Julia has written so I’m happy to recommend this one too. Prior to this series she published five books set in the Pyrenees, The Fogus Chronicles under the name of Julia Stagg.

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