Crooked House

A country life in France

One, two, three…

We are now well into our third week of confinement. Things appear to be going well for us and the time is passing very quickly, It should get even better now that the weather is set to pick up again. 

We are now fully confident that we have not brought any nasty bugs home with us from Provence and so I am no longer trying to completely avoid everybody by walking Nell at a time when I know the other dog walkers will be back home. It was good today to greet neighbours and have a chat from three metres distance. It’s better than nowt, you know.

Out on the chemin today I found some wild strawberries flowering. The year is moving on quickly.

I finished my Future Learn course on Covid-19 and have begun on a course about Mindfulness – I thought it would be good for helping stress and anxiety as I can’t help but suspect that they await us around the corner. Next up will be Cultures and Identity in Europe. I have also begun to study French with Babbel. (Been putting it off for a while but, like many online learning providers, they are currently offering reduced rates and that tipped me over – I have 12 months on my account now.) On the 13th of this month we will have lived here for two years, which means that in three years time we may apply for Citizenship. As it seems likely that the over-60’s waiver on the language requirement is set to disappear, I really need to get my conversational French up to speed. There’s no time like the present.

Also in support of my “learning to be French” project, I am reading a great little book entitled Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t be Wrong – just one of a clutch of books on French Identity, Culture and History that I plan to read in coming weeks. Yes, I am completely serious about becoming French.

We went online shopping last week and today the parcels began to arrive. On the musical front we now have a Ukulele and a Kalimba to add to our complement of instruments. Also delivered today was a marble run building kit/puzzle. Lego Mindstorms is coming soon. We shall not be short of occupations! In fact, I am struggling to get around to everything that I should like to be doing and am certainly not finding myself at all bored during lockdown. I found two Nuno Felting scarf projects in the wardrobe yesterday – I had completely forgotten that I had them. But why? Why were they in the wardrobe, hiding from me?

A joint project. If it turns out not to be overly disappointing, there are three similar kits that might be added to a collection of toys.

Date Night dining having been instituted last weekend, we have another meal planned for tomorrow (Boeuf Bourguignon.) We shall have Smoked Salmon to start and Flan with Raspberries for dessert – there is cheese (Langres) to intervene ‘twixt Boeuf and Flan (of course… we are French now) – which will be followed by a night at the ballet (Swan Lake). Lidl’s wine fair furnished us with two affordable bottles (one to cook with and one to drink) of suitable Burgundy wine today and we have an Armagnac for after dinner (because Felicity Cloake suggests a little brandy in the Boeuf…)

His Ukulele

The Crooked Man is tuning his Uke whilst I write this. Perhaps we shall have a concert later. I now need to find a video instruction on playing my Kalimba! If any neighbours hear weird and unpleasant sounds emanating from this end of the village, then you will know who to blame.

My Kalimba

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