Have you ever seen an orchestras musicians sway as much ? :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmHqslLbpyY&list=RDOdibDKnp7Mc&index=20
Everyday life in a rickety old Scottish farmhouse with a very happy Polish Lowland Sheepdog. A record of those unimportant little things that are too important to be forgotten.
Saturday, October 31, 2020
A large pile.
Friday, October 30, 2020
The last shopping day before Christmas.
The prices surprised me : https://www.sothebys.com/en/marketplace/sneakers
Norwegians playing Warlock : https://youtu.be/OdibDKnp7Mc?list=RDOdibDKnp7Mc&t=80
The graphics in this El Pais article are about as clear as they could be: https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-10-28/a-room-a-bar-and-a-class-how-the-coronavirus-is-spread-through-the-air.html
Thursday, October 29, 2020
The French always refer to their President as Le President de la Republique. A somewhat lengthy and fussy construct to Anglo-Saxon ears. Anyway, President Macron was on the television at eight last night. A four week national lockdown announced. Bars and cafes across the country to be closed. Permits needed if you want to go out. Earlier in the year the country was locked down for two months. This time round the dark skies and cold weather will make it all the more necessary but also much more unpopular and much more difficult to police. For the first time in his speech a hint that there will be real economic and political damage.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Too close !
This morning we meet the new mayor heading along the lane. ' I'm off to the town hall ' he says by way of greeting. He tells me that he receives daily official bulletins on the progress of the pandemic. The hospital ICU's are close to being full - 2 beds left - but so far there have been no cases in our canton.
A little later we meet the German billionaires wife walking the new labrador puppies. She is off to Switzerland. She's heard that the young couple with the farm on the road to the next village have tested positive although they are displaying no symptoms. Perhaps someone should tell the new mayor. ' Too close to home for my liking !' she says breezily. Angus wonders if it's entirely sensible to be driving backwards and forwards across Europe with an entourage of hairdressers and flunkeys. Not being a billionaire he keeps this prosaic thought to himself.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
This Twitter thread about getting into Harvard was interesting : https://twitter.com/RubenGallego/status/1320750914072788998
Monday, October 26, 2020
Body clock chaos.
Another quiet morning in what are turning out to be exceptional times. 52,000 new cases yesterday which adjusted for population size would be equivalent to 320,000 in the US. Sophie hasn't quite got the hang of the time change yet so PONette and master , although early risers by nature, are up and about while it's pitch dark. On our second walk of the day, when it's getting light, Sophie is allowed off her lead. This morning she can sense the presence of a C-A-T but it never enters her head that her nemesis might be sitting on the wall above her.
We think that we'll be the first folks at the fancy greengrocers. It's a thirty minute drive away along the motorway. Seems that the clock change hasn't only affected Sophies routine. The car park is unusually full at three minutes to opening time with folks who are getting used to the body clock change. Lots of '75' plates ( Paris ) with a sprinkling of 33's ( Bordeaux ) and three or four from the Vaucluse ( 84 ). Angus still manages to buy lemon and limes, carrots for Sophie and a variety of yogurts in less than three minutes. He is the first at check out and the first out.
Being a large nationwide chain the fancy greengrocers has become very American in its approach to the seasons. I'm sure Halloween never used to be this big a thing in France.
Sophie waits stoically for my return in the back of the big car . She has displayed some semblance of patience although I get a ' where do you think you've been ?' glare as the tailgate swings open. As a treat she gets taken to the drive thru bakers. Service is delayed while the manageress on duty remonstrates with two customers who have walked inside and are refusing to wear masks. The young manageress , who is a mere slip of a thing, informs them to put their masks on or get out. ' Can't you read the sign at the front door ? It says masks are obligatory and that means you !'. This later part of her message not so much said as shouted. The two offending middle aged men in shell suits meekly comply.
You've got to feel sorry for some people. After 17 years of restoration work this hotel has opted to open now -- just as travel restrictions are put in place : https://www.ensanahotels.com/buxton/en
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Will the builder show up ?
The accents are what you'd expect to go with these pictures : https://youtu.be/ENHPE8kZcf8
A human trait : https://cosmosmagazine.com/nature/animals/ageing-chimps-value-old-friends/
Friday, October 23, 2020
Off to the pharmacy with 'The Font' for our annual flu jabs. Sophie considers all outings, even those for flu jabs, to be great adventures. Overnight a shocking 42,000 cases reported in France. As of Saturday we will be under curfew - residents need to be in by nine at night and can't go out before six in the morning. For the villagers this will not prove to be a hardship....or a change to their routines.
The pharmacy has introduced a strict one way 'Covid' system. Customers enter through the side door , wash their hands in gel, then walk past the reclinable chairs and detour round the vitamin counter before arriving at the cash desk and the vaccination room. There is no one else in the pharmacy at this time of the morning so this triumph of organization is somewhat lost on us. While preparing the needle the masked pharmacist engages Angus in polite conversation. He breeds ferrets and went to Dumfries in Scotland to visit his pen pal on his thirteenth birthday. Angus can only assume that this conversation is straight out of the French medical textbook on ' making the patient feel relaxed by engaging in uplifting conversation' . 'Do you want the injection in your left or your right shoulder ?' I'm asked. Angus opts for the right.
In the greengrocers some Costa Rican 'Eddos'. Angus rather likes going to the greengrocers. Every day there is some new and exotically sourced product. Local shoppers are left to ponder what Costa Ricans make with 'Eddos'.
Absolutely nothing staged in French music videos :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t48_vQT5Zsw&list=PLV9Y77TQ4I9dpk6vvIelM376j0Pclh8La
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Quiet. So, so quiet.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Will be difficult to beat this as a Covid tool : https://www.breathablebacon.com/
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Blowy this morning . Loic comes to deal with the fallen leaves but the wind makes his task a Sisyphean one. No sooner has he got them in a pile than a gust undoes his handiwork and they go flying. For once the havoc can't be blamed on Sophie.
The family diva spends her morning following Loic around . She uncovers hidden treasures that her late brother had painstakingly hidden around the garden. That old family favourite, Lamb on a Rope , expertly buried alongside a rose bush, is rediscovered. So too is Green Toad. Sophie is delighted to be reunited with these old acquaintances.
With much of the country in lockdown life has taken on a gentler pace. We are reading a lot. Angus finishes this book on the German revolution of 1918. Although largely forgotten, the author ranks the events of November that year alongside the French, the American and the Russian revolutions as being one of the great political changes in history. Its success was obscured by development 15 years later. Not an easy book but well worth reading for its insights and the ' what might have beens'.
Today we spot two cars with Dutch plates, one British registered Mazda drophead, three Spanish vehicles and no less than five cars with Belgian plates. Many, if not all, the local rental homes are let out - at peak season prices to Parisians and other 'incomers' fleeing the lockdowns. Ireland has imposed a six week lockdown so I'd expect to see some Irish plates joining the mix.