Monday, June 1, 2020

Covid-19 Deconfinement in France, phase two

French Village Diaries hello June, hello normal cycling Charente Chateau
Cycling in the Charente


Hello June, hello normal


Welcome to June, a month that seems a long way from March when everything went a bit crazy in the world. We have just spent a lovely weekend doing things like cycling and meeting our friends, and there is a real feeling in the air that life is slowly returning to normal once more.

The second phase of deconfinement in France begins this week and will see bars, restaurants and holiday accommodation opening up again, as well as the lifting of the 100kms from home restriction. We are free to roam, to stay away and to stop for refreshments once more although sensible social distancing and wearing of masks will be our new normal. The bar in our village has a sign up saying it will be open from 8h30 on Thursday 4th June and we already have plans to meet friends there for a drink. It might still be a while before we can experience one of our legendary soirees with a packed restaurant, generous buffet and live music that slips into raucous karaoke as the clock ticks by and the night becomes morning, but I’m just happy it will be open again soon.

I have now cycled my first 1000km of 2020, including over 150kms this week, discovering new places even though we’ve not been more than forty kilometres from home. On Saturday evening we cycled to friends and enjoyed an outdoor curry and games night, with wine, music, laughter and real-time, face to face conversation. It was fantastic fun and social distances were maintained throughout the evening. 


French Village Diaries hello June, hello normal cycling Charente Chateau des Chevaliers de Londigny
Chateau des Chevaliers de Londigny, Charente

On Sunday Adrian planned a bike loop of 57km that quite by chance took us past the Chateau des Chevaliers de Londigny, a beautiful fairy tale castle with towers and turrets, almost hidden in the gently rolling hills of the Charente countryside. It has been there since the 15th Century and we have lived here for over 15 years, but this was the first time I’d so much as glimpsed it. A little bit of research has shown me that it is a B&B as well as having a gatehouse cottage to rent.


French Village Diaries hello June, hello normal Lou Messugo Côte d'Azur
Photo ©LouMessugo website

We have even been starting to think about a week’s holiday with the bikes, on the Côte d’Azur, thanks to some brilliant news on Friday. I was the lucky winner of a Facebook giveaway; three nights at Lou Messugo on the Côte d’Azur, just a 26km bike ride from Nice. Owner Phoebe and I have been blogging friends for years, but have never met, so I really can’t wait get down there, especially as they have been busy decorating the accommodation during lockdown. Maybe 2020 is going to redeem itself a little having already hit us with Brexit, Covid-19, Adrian’s isolated 50th birthday, losing our nephew Ben and no work for over two months. A bit of south of France sunshine and a new area to explore by bike is just what we need.


French Village Diaries hello June, hello normal Team Kharma cycling #forBen
JustGiving #ForBen


Team Kharma update

Team Kharma, our virtual cycling team is gaining strength, even though we still have a week to go until we are off. As a team we will be logging the 7500km that represents the distance from Loughborough to Istanbul and back as we raise money for charities helping young people with mental health issues, in memory of our nephew Ben. As well as our local friends, who we will hopefully be clocking up the kilometres with, thanks to the power of social media, we have reconnected with friends in the UK from our corporate lives over twenty years ago, who are also keen to get on their bikes and help us. The For Ben; To Turkey and Back, Facebook page is the place to go to see how big this event has become, including video messages of support from celebrities and sports personalities, encouraging over 800 people who are taking part and who have already raised over £25,000. We can’t wait to start our part of this challenge.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Jacqui for all of your posts & updates from these difficult, last few months. Over the years, I have enjoyed your posts about life in France. I am so sorry for your loss of Ben and everything that you and your family have endured. These past few months have been so surreal, strange & unsettling. This post provides a glimmer of hope to us here in the US. Thank you.

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