We're still in this strange half in , half out stage of lockdown. The schools, which were supposed to re-open, remain closed. The local teachers unhappy with the arrangements for spacing. Sometimes a school bus arrives at the war memorial, waits three minutes, then it leaves the village empty. Presumably the driver has returned to work even though he has no passengers. The two tikes celebrate their extended freedom by zooming around the countryside on their two-stroke bikes. Yesterday, two friends joined them. Nothing like the rasp of four two-stroke engines to tell you summer's here.
If we're going shopping we tend to be up and out early in the belief that we can be in and out of the store before anyone else shows up - or certainly before they get crowded. Some folks wear masks, others seem to view them as an impertinence. We'd be much happier if mask wearing was mandatory as the epidemiological studies seem to agree that wearing them cuts down transmission rates by 75%. I'd say that only half of the folk you see are still wearing masks. At this rate we'll be down to a quarter by next week. What all this hints at is a decline in infection rates through the summer and then a return when the heat dies away and we enter into the autumn cold and flu season. Loic came to drive the garden tractor again today. The matrons warning about getting a very bad cold seems to have registered . He stood a good ten feet away and shouted at me.
Today we walk to the neighbouring village. Sophie leads the way. From time to time she stops and turns to look at me. I'd like to think she does this for reassurance. More probably it's her ever so slightly irritated way of saying ' Do keep up !'.
Men in dark suits are on the phone from Singapore. We discuss the new vaccine arms race between China and the US, the peculiar case of Dominic Cummings ( Angus falls in the camp of believing his behaviour to be corrosive ) and the outlook for the Greek tourism industry ( not good and accounting for 80% of the economy on some Aegean islands ).
While I talk Sophie takes herself off into the garden. If find her on the grooming table by the swimming pool. Why she clambers onto the table to sleep is a mystery. Her brother and her PON predecessors all did this. Maybe they enjoy the flow of air on their undercarriages. She opens an eye, briefly, to look at me and then carries on with the important task of dozing.