Wednesday, May 13, 2020


Sophie takes a little time to compose herself before setting of on our morning walk.

Our departure is delayed by the arrival of two Magpies who land on the grass by the olive trees. Sophie is incensed. The Magpies fly off to be replaced by a ginger cat that clambers down from the log pile in the barn to see what's going on. Sophie's  noise level notches up when she sees this interloper. The cat heads off left. A braying Sophie heads right. Proof, that when it comes to chasing, it's the thought that counts.

The horse field covered in buttercups. Earlier in the week this was just grass. Buttercups must seed rapidly and grow as if there's no tomorrow.

Our first trip along the motorway in two months. The traffic as busy, possibly a tad busier, than normal.  We're going to the garden centre for some begonias. We pass the supermarket. The car park is jammed solid. France is divided into two pandemic zones. A restricted red zone - Paris and the north  - and a green zone in the west and the south  - where life is opening up again quickly. No matter where you live there is no travelling more than 65 miles from home except for work or 'emergencies'. So far folks have been unemotional about lockdown. That may or may not hold true in Paris when the summer heat arrives and people are prohibited from going to the coast. Everyone at the garden centre is wearing masks. This is an unusual sight but one that will quickly be accepted as normal. Because they're wearing masks the concept of maintaining 2 metres distance from other plant buyers is forgotten. We are in and out with our begonias in 3 minutes.

Probably correct :

A poem Angus remembers learning at school. He'd have enjoyed it more if taught like this :

French music listened to on the car radio this morning :


  1. How exciting to have an outing, even if only in search of begonias! I agree with you on the poem. My daughter is currently doing a high school poetry unit online, and I realized that hearing a poem read well is a completely different experience from what I remember from school. But I also realized that hearing a poem well-read makes being forced to analyze it afterwards even more annoying.

    Cherry went to the vet yesterday and passed all of her tests with flying colors - finally! It was a strange experience, as they've taken out all the chairs and tables, as well as the doors on the consultation and waiting rooms. We dropped her off and they asked us to take a walk and come back in 30 minutes. While we were on our walk, we realized there are a lot more people out on the street now than there were two weeks ago. The weather has turned nice and I guess people have become tired of being cooped up in their rabbit hutches - Tokyo apartments tend to be very small.

    1. That's great news about Cherry ! How quickly we are all adapting to new means of interacting. There has got to be something positive in that ? Who would have believed at this time last year that the world could behave so differently ?

    2. Oh, I agree! I stayed up until 2 a.m. last night listening to the oral arguments in the US Supreme Court on the cases concerning Trump's tax returns. Something I never imagined I'd be able to do.


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  3. Oh to have had Joanna Lumley teaching poetry, and not stout old Mrs King with her long woolly bloomers protruding from under her tweed skirt when she sat down and her oft repeated refrain "no you didn't forget your homework, you just didn't bother to remember". I recall loving Masefield's 'Sea Fever', despite and not because of Mrs King. Good to hear this poet has not totally gone out of fashion.
    Cheers, Gail.

  4. This is what has happened in our little corner of the world:

  5. The best time to go to the store in France is between noon and 2 p.m., when the French are having lunch. I have always tried to do this, but especially now--it's the only way not to stand in line waiting to get in. The downside is some businesses, such as many garden centers, close during lunch hours.
    The Sweden article is upsetting. Upsetting because I'm borderline old, and I keep reading about people who are still feeling aftereffects of Covid-19 two months after they've been declared virus-free. And the risk of stroke. I think I'm healthy, but even healthy young people are getting flattened by this virus. At the same time, how long can it go on? No income for two months and counting.
    Find your fitness age:

  6. Hari OM
    The only certainty about all that has arisen due to a novel virus is that uncertainty rules. Let's just say I am glad I am living in Scotland... YAM xx

  7. I have never heard that poem before, but Joanna Lumley reads it so well.

    It is good your shopping was quick and you got what you needed. Our traffic too is looking more and more like normal and I dread Monday, when our schools open again. I wonder how hard it will be to catch buses home when they say only 1/2 the normal amount of people can travel on each bus. I am sure they will not be putting on 3x the amount of buses.

  8. Here I've found it's better to get to the supermarket early, even if you have to wait for the car park gates to open. I went this morning and was out within 3/4 of an hour, having found everything I wanted - no shortages at all.
    Now the region has moved up to Phase 1, there are many more cars and people about. Shame, because I really rather liked it when everywhere was so quiet and empty!

  9. I went to the supermarket yesterday. Roads and shopping totally back to normal traffic here in the Touraine. I was surprised that about a third of customers were not wearing masks.

  10. The garden center is the only place I've been. It feels like such a splurge.