Tuesday, June 16, 2020


Sophie follows her master round the garden, He checks for overnight wind damage, she checks for C-A-T-S. The feline that sleeps on top of the log pile in the barn is barked at. It stares at Sophie in the knowledge that it's safe on its high perch. This arrogant disdain drives Sophie into making whimpers of frustration.

France rapidly returning to normal. Every day signs of change. All the schools to reopen a week on Monday. Bars and restaurants starting to stir into life. Our local restaurant has reduced the number of tables on its patio by half to meet the social distancing requirements.  After all that work in getting the outside seating arrangements in order  the last three nights have been  punctuated by brief spatterings of rain . Faced with cancellations and no shows the poor owner is trying to maintain a positive outlook on life.

This afternoon Angus is going to the barbers. 'The Font' did some 'tidying up' with the dog shears. This proved to be 'asymmetric'. A word not often associated with haircuts. On one side the hair is long enough to touch the ear on the other there's a full one inch gap between ear and hair.

Sophie isn't the least interested in her masters haircut. She fixes me with that recognizable 'Is it time to head off to the cafe ?' look.

Stunning graphics : https://public.flourish.studio/visualisation/2637725/

In some places you can cycle to work : 


  1. Beautiful photos again today - I was going to call out the first two, capturing the sunrise, but all three pictures of Sophie are also pretty great. You could never say she's not expressive! I found the graphic fascinating in a horrifying sort of way. On the other hand, I don't think you are doing justice to "the Font," as asymmetric cuts really are quite the thing: https://machohairstyles.com/best-asymmetrical-haircuts/

    1. I shall brighten up the breakfast conversation with 'The Font' by suggesting my asymmetric hair style is both 'eye catching and glamorous'.

  2. Poor Sophie. Hamish the Westie would have sympathised with her frustration concerning the perching cat. (Bertie would probably not notice a cat positioned well above his eye level).
    It's interesting - and also consistent with my experience of cycling in continental Europe - that France, a country so identified with cycling has relatively few bike lanes. But cars drivers are much more considerate to cyclists on the road in France than they are in Germany, which is another factor to consider. There has been much talk of increases in cycling in the UK in the wake of covid-19, but I suspect this will come almost exclusively at the expense of public transport use and will not, as many hope, reduce vehicle pollution in cities. I read yesterday that sale of cheap used cars has also shot up, also by people seeking to avoid train, bus and tube. I could go on about this at length. Oh, I already have!
    Cheers, Gail.

  3. Gorgeous photos.
    I am stunned thar Belgium shows so much bike path density. I had many hair-raising experiences when I lived in Brussels--such a contrast with the Netherlands. And as for France, the density peters out with the population and the start of the Massif Central.
    Too bad the Twizy is so pricey--just right for commutes in bad weather when carpooling and public transport seem like Russian roulette.

  4. The graph is somewhat frightening as you watch, horrified, the speed at which Covid-19 rushes to overtake all the familiar causes of death.
    Lovely photos of the early morning and that moment when the sun breaks over the hills. A pleasure to be out of doors to enjoy the moment. Inca has little notion of C-A-T-S, unless they have the temerity to walk across her field of vision, or, even worse, decide to sun themselves on the terrace outside her living room window!
    Here, the local council has committed itself to cycle paths - all of which go nowhere, and frequently peter out, as though those painting them got bored found something better to do! Cyclists actually ride on the road beside the path, but never use it. It's so infuriating to think of all the money wasted.

  5. Really interesting graphic. Interesting to me because I have been banging on to friends for years about malaria being a leading cause of deaths but no one made anywhere near as much fuss about it as COVID. After the initial pandemic COVID will probably settle down to somewhere lower on that graphic year on year while malaria will regain No 1 and continue to kill over 400,000 people (mostly children under 5) every year and never hit the news.

    1. Hari OM
      I was thinking along exactly these lines... TB is another one that is 'old fashioned' but on the rise. Our flash in the pan(demic) however, has the greater impact not simply due to numbers lost, but the social impact. That is quite the greater tragedy one feels...

      And we can rely on Angus to keep us focused on the quiet and sensible. YAM xx

  6. You can dine in here now, with social distancing and on Monday the movie theatres will reopen. Kids have been able to go to school for 3 or 4 weeks, although less then 20% are.