Crooked House

A country life in France

Feeling at ease

Day 3 of the lockdown is both warm and sunny. The last of my post-holiday laundry was out on the line before I walked the dog and was taken in when we returned. We have no fire lit again and all of the doors and windows are open to admit the warm air. It is so pleasant to be able to do this with no traffic passing by!

I walked through a carpet of yellow stars when we were out and found it to be most cheering. It might have cheered the Blog too but unfortunately I had no card in my camera!

Mother Nature is running riot out there. She is just getting on with it. I intend to take my cue from her during this very strange period that we must endure.

I was tempted to use that prosaic title for this entry: Keep Calm and Carry On. The fact of the matter is that Keeping Calm is both necessary and helpful but Carrying On may not be entirely possible for all. As I walked today I reflected on our good fortune in being rural dwellers but is not really a good fortune; it’s a deliberate choice. City living, rubbing shoulders with thousands or millions of strangers each day, is not comfortable for either of us. The fact is that we both suffer to some degree from Social Phobia and we are far more at ease in our own company than in that of others. Being isolated works well for us. Not being able to go for long walks or cycle rides together is rather less than ideal however.

I am facing my isolation with equanimity and even a degree of pleasure. I am finding things to look forward to – one of which will be the flowering of the cherry trees across the road and which I can see from my windows and front door. It won’t be long now and will provide a fine view as I sit and knit. Perhaps the Hoopoe will turn up to sit in the cherry tree as he did last year. That would be a fine thing.

All that said, I am becoming increasingly aware that I shall miss the small interactions that I have become used to in and around Maison Celle. For the time being, because we have been away from the area and in a place where the degree of infection is higher, I am very much aware of the need to monitor our state of health and to ensure that we remain out of contact with our neighbours (many of whom are elderly) until we are confident that we have not been incubating Covid-19. I felt uncomfortable indeed when I came across a neighbour outside. I greeted her from what I hope was a distance of greater than three metres (I am a terrible judge of such distances) but would have been happier not to have met her at all until we have been home for at least a week. I enjoy these little encounters with people that I have grown fond of and I know that I shall miss a cheery “Bonjour! Ca va?” and a brief chat as we cross by.

I might say that I look forward to a return to normality but I see little point at this stage. This 15 day lockdown will not be the end of it and life will not return to normal immediately thereafter. We just need to stop dwelling on “getting it over and done with” and focus more on just getting on with things. Life cannot be suspended; it may be short. Best to wring the most out of it whilst we still can… and within those limits currently imposed upon us. Responsibility matters.

A few more weeds bite the dust…

Mother Nature has set the nettles away, so tomorrow I hope to gather some whilst I walk the dog. Nettle soup will provide some excellent nutrients to keep us in the best condition to resist marauding bugs. It’s something positive to be doing, anyway – and more fun for me than pulling weeds is.

Here’s a good, simple, Nettle Soup recipe if you want to have a go yourself.

(I hope to write some more on the subject of living under the threat of Covid-19 over at Scattered Thoughts but the sun is tempting me outside for now.)

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