Monday, November 2, 2020

Lockdown day four, the internet saves the day

French Village Diaries life in lockdown
Adrian's home office

Day four, Monday 2nd November 2020 

It was so wet yesterday that only Ed and Mini braved it out to make use of the 'one hour of permitted exercise, no more than one kilometre from home', rule. Thankfully today the sun and blue skies returned and although Adrian was working online for most of the day, we did make it out on the bikes first thing to buy eggs from the local organic egg farm, like we do most weeks. As the morning wore on, it wasn’t just bright and sunny, it was warm too, so it was back to attempting to clear the mountain of washing for me, although I would have preferred a few more hours of drying weather before the rain arrived.


It might be day four of lockdown, but today marked the start of our new routine. Adrian delivering a course, Ed logging in to his lectures and me working my way down a to-do list. While their days seemed high-tech, mine felt decidedly old-fashioned. I’d used the bike to buy eggs from a local farm, swept the floors, baked a cake and worked my way through a small pile of clothes to be mended, as well as ensuring a healthy home cooked meal was awaiting my man at lunchtime. I did, however, draw the line at doing the two wash loads in the cold water of the village lavoir. 


The sewing jobs, in life pre-covid, would have been taken down to our village sewing club that used to meet every Friday morning. There, over a coffee and most likely a piece of homemade cake, I would have enjoyed mending the pocket in Ed’s jeans, or redoing a hem or darning a hole, half concentrating on the job in hand, half listening to the chit-chat in French and English going on around me. If I didn’t have the exact colour cotton, someone there would have, and those with more experience were always happy to offer help or advice. There might be the whir of a sewing machine or two, or the clatter of knitting needles in the background and always there was lots of laughter. It is the simple exchanges like this that I miss the most in our new anti-social covid world.


Today was also back to school day here in France, following the October mid-term break. Sadly, things looked a bit different for most children this morning as France comes to terms with not just another wave of Covid-19 cases and a new lockdown, but an increase in terrorist attacks too. Most schools would have seen a Gendarme presence at their gates this morning and a minute’s silence was held before class for Samuel Paty, the teacher killed at work just before the holidays in the outskirts of Paris. Since then, three people have been killed in another attack by extremists in Nice, meaning France is on high alert once more. It can’t be easy for the kids and it’s certainly a crap time for parents having to send their children off to school. I am once again thankful that Ed is home, safe, and able to continue his studies online.


Yoga has helped me a lot this year, both mentally and physically, and although my day might have seemed stuck in an Edwardian time warp, this evening it is my turn to go high-tech as I log in to my first online yoga class of the week. Having missed classes whilst away last week, I’m keen to get back to my mat tonight and breathe away the anxieties of this crazy world.

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