Lockdown Life

Hey.  It’s been a while.

To wrap up 2019 we continued in a similar vein, me working on-line and S doing a lot on the DIY. Progress was made on all fronts. The winter meant getting the wood burner in the living room going and at times the three of us being too hot! The cuisinier worked better too as we’ve got the hang of it and had better drier wood. You may remember we couldn’t get any till November in 2018.

My work continued and I made more money than planned, S’s stuff with Gites was slower despite her efforts but she learned a lot. Mitzy continues to not pay her way, something we have talked to her about! S, not Mitzy, continued going to Art on Sundays and we kept up the French classes, more S than I. She’s better at reading and can guide in delivery men to our wee hamlet, while I bumble through blethering in my usual fashion. Football wise I wrote quite a bit for a website called French Football Weekly so you dear reader are spared much of that here. Suffice to say Limoges FC died as an entity but the supporters club monthly meals continue, I pop along now and again and confuse them with my attempted French.

We spent a cracking day with my old Dondeh Uni pal Paul, Leiza and their lovely girls in Agen. The day topped off by seeing the car in front had a very domesticated looking pigeon riding on its parcel shelf. As we agreed no-one would believe us Paul and co appeared and also ended up behind said Dacia!

Crimbo was less Spartan than the last and we like everyone else looked forward to a new year of further progress.


Fast forward to today, March 23rd or day 6 of Covid-19 lockdown here in France.

The blossom is out on the trees, the sun shining, birds are singing and our bit of the Haute Vienne is as peaceful as always. The minimal traffic has reduced a little and our neighbours gardens are showing the effect of more work as people hunker down for however long it takes to help manage the spread of the virus.

The virus was more in our minds than most as I teach mainly Chinese and Taiwanese adults and children. Thus, I was aware of the shutting down of much of China and my employers were proactive in helping us get handwashing and similar messages out to our students. I had a double class with a 9 year old Taiwanese lad and an 8 year old Chinese girl which began with him saying “Everyone in China has it, they are lying to us” they got extra time as I made clear to him that wasn’t true and did my best to calm the poor lass. ☹

Many of my pupils are enjoying going out and about again and the adults indicate that life is returning to near normal but with more temperature checks and altered working practises. The situation can improve if we work together. 😊

As you can tell I continue to teach on-line and have a regular tutoring pupil in Saint Yrieix. S’s work has of course been affected by the virus but this is not a problem. I had a late winter cough which became a chest infection as I get used to French germs but now am back to normal. We have continued the DIY mainly with S doing almost all of it. The spare room is now looking rather good the pink carpet removed and the cherry wood floor looks rather better. I’d just reached a point that returning to the football was an option and they cancelled it all. Ho hum.

Covid-19 wise we have like the rest of the British immigrant community looked on with horror as the UK failed to act either promptly or adequately… For example tonight the Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe – second to President Macron – was answering questions live on the main news. I doubt Raab could do that properly…

As regards Lockdown tips here are a few.

  • Toilet roll is not currency here or anywhere else so dinnae buy it aw!
  • Get a haircut before lockdown or like me it’s going to get long and shaggy…  Ok, as I post this the Blonde Bombscare is taking action.  get your clippers out!
  • Use the extra time you have fruitfully, books can be read or listened to for free on modern gizmo’s.
  • Do art or something that stimulates you and yours – I’ll leave what up to you!
  • S not content with adding to her knowledge of French birds has been checking out butterflies and caterpillars too. Being rural and having half an acre we have creatures we don’t see but only yesterday she was regaling me with facts about the different, erm, calling cards of some of the visitors. That girl knows shit!
  • Last Thursday via Facebook I hosted a NOT GOING OUT event. More than 40 people and families from locally, elsewhere in France, the UK, Spain and even Estonia all had little soirees at 8 that night together but very much apart. Another is happening this Thursday tho we’re not sure if any more hot tubs will be filled for the occasion this time…
  • Pals have had a Chez Nous Night In restaurant trip which was also fun.
  • The more vigorous among you may be interested in yoga or keep fit there’s lots on-line apparently, we’ve the garden to wander and mow so I can dodge that!
  • Otherwise avoid everyone which some may relish and others dread. However, the differences between acting and not are pretty obvious.
Wee man

Made in lovely Gwen’s Art class – painted in lockdown

Stay lovely and safe in equal measure.
John, Susan and Mitzy

back door

PS – Mitzy thinks this is the back door and waits here not on the suntrap that is the front step.

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