Crooked House

A country life in France

Not very instant

I spent much of yesterday in trying to automatically post Instagram uploads from lapetitemaisontordue to this blog. My idea was that as I now have to carry my phone (with my digital Attestation upon it) that there is some sense in taking photos with it as I walk around and then not have to sit and sort through a camera card when I come home. I thought that perhaps it might keep this blog more current and a great deal more active. It is the same mechanism that I was deploying whilst away over the winter to keep Two Snails updated as we drove around the Iberian Peninsula.

One that I did earlier…

I am using an applet built at IFTTT.com. It works at Two Snails and I am pretty confident that it used to work here too but the account seems to have gone up in smoke. I made a new account, built the applet, tested it and it checked out. Yet nothing appeared here. There is an Activity trail and messages that say that the applet failed to run: “There was a problem with the Instagram Service.” Not very helpful…

Another of the images that failed to autopost yesterday

I shall keep on trying, if only for the reason that I cannot fit the Nikon in my bum bag when I have my phone in there – so it’s phone pictures or no pictures!

A third: FROGS! At last!

That is all by the by. I had two items of Lockdown News that I was wanting to note down here. Let us begin with the better piece of news, shall we?

When our latest lockdown extension period was announced, it was also announced that there is now a new and additional valid reason for leaving home. We may now venture forth to adopt a rescue animal. I am so pleased about this as I had been concerned about the possible plight of rescue centres and those animals incarcerated with no hope of a new home! It remains a less than ideal situation – animals must be chosen remotely and only one family member may go to collect it – but it does mean that animals may be rehomed and that some people who are alone at this time may now have some company… and a reason to go out and get some fresh air and exercise, perhaps. It is good news.

I asked the Crooked Man whether we should have a dog or a cat, or both. He was not to be drawn on that matter at all 🙂

The other piece of news is less good and is in fact quite traumatic. France seems to have gone to war with Amazon, who are currently keeping their warehouse operations in France closed for five days. The situation appears unclear. First news was that the French government had ordered Amazon to restrict sales for a month to three areas of “essential items” (food, hygiene and pharmacy), the reason being that staff were being placed at risk.

That ruling has already been suspended (pending appeal) but Amazon took the decision to close down delivery operations completely for five days.

We have no idea what will happen next but for now it is a little like having our right arms cut off. Amazon is a lifeline at the best of times, living rurally as we do. Right now, with shops closed, and our movements restricted, we are finding Amazon essential.

On the subject of “essential” I might forward the argument that essential needs vary from household to household, and from person to person. I do not see how it is possible for a government (or anybody else) to deem what might be an essential purchase.

Let’s begin with the obvious: books. Amazon began as a bookseller. People in lockdown need books. Lots of books. They cannot go out to buy them.

Some people might still want to buy music to listen to, in the form of CDs. Movies to watch, from physical DVDs. Not everybody wants to stream. Not every household has the capacity to stream a lot of data.

It goes on. Individual needs are manifold and genuine. Protecting one’s Physical and Mental Health is paramount at this time. For some people that means DIY, for others it means gardening, some others like their exercise more purely physical but whatever people need to do to keep sane and to keep fit, supplies are often necessary and it doesn’t matter one jot to me whether it’s compost, paint, or a jigsaw – if an individual deems it necessary or essential, then it is. Amazon is our lifeline to those essentials that governments fail at this time to recognise. Chocolate? Amazon have got it! Bread flour? Very possibly in stock. Worn out your running shoes? Yes, Decathlon is closed and you wouldn’t be allowed to drive as far as Limoges anyway but… you can get them at Amazon.

Some of us don’t have the luxury of loathing the corporate giant and “shopping locally” at any time. You can play “hunt the shop” but you have to go a long way and then be disappointed that what you need isn’t stocked. Some of us simply hate shopping and don’t want to go to a shop at any time. Amazon has been useful to us personally for many years and is more so than ever here in our little corner of France. We need Amazon at this time.

I hope that the matter is resolved quickly. I need Psyllium Husk Powder and that isn’t going to be sourced at SuperU!

Also, we need a new construction kit because the Marble Run is finished.

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