Livin’ la Vida Lockdown

So, by now, the Coronavirus global pandemic is not news but I’ve finally got round to dusting off the blog and putting pen to paper (or finger to screen in actual fact)!

I thought I’d treat you to a day in the life of lockdown in France chez nous. I should mention that we moved from Vence to Antibes in January 2019 and then to St Rémy de Provence in August 2019 where we now live permanently in our own little house (more news on that in a separate blog post coming soon…).

So the dog (oh yes, and we adopted a dog in November 2019) wakes us at around 7.30am and one of us lets him out and brings a cuppa back to bed. Rich then gets up and makes breakfast and brings mine upstairs (yes folks, I am living the dream with breakfast in bed every day)!

Rich fills out a government form to allow him to leave the house and he takes the dog for his morning walk while I do a 20 minute workout thanks to Gaby Pimentel!

For Gaby’s Quaran-tin workout I only need 2 tin cans and a chair!

After my workout I shower, dress and join Rich downstairs for coffee and a read of the local paper.

That’s Logan, our rescue dog!

If we’re running low on food, Rich fills out another government form and drives to the supermarket or walks to our local shop.

In the early days the toilet rolls were the first items to sell out.

Before you know it, it’s time for some lunch so we have a filled baguette and watch a bit of TV.

After lunch Rich will invariably go into the garden or do some DIY…

Strawberries & dahlias (fingers crossed)!
Trimming the viburnum tinus.

Then, around 4pm we both fill out a government form and take Logan out for his afternoon walk together. We’re only allowed an hour and we must stay within 1km of our house. Luckily we are blessed with some gorgeous walks nearby.

The local canal is just down the road.
We have actual Roman monuments right on our doorstep.
The streets are deserted.
I’ve never seen the town square so empty!
We live a stone’s throw from where Vincent van Gogh spent a year in a mental hospital.
I sometimes turn our walk into a treasure hunt for interesting signs or features.

While we are walking, we discuss what we will have for dinner and, these days, I’ve been researching recipes and trying to expand my culinary repertoire from jacket potatoes and toast to more substantial meals and treats too…

From meatloaf to muffins, cottage pie to cinnamon buns!

The evening invariably sees us settling down to watch something on Netflix but occasionally we join in with a virtual quiz. I recently got together with around 20 ex-colleagues from Hong Kong for a brilliant quiz hosted by my friends Brendan and Krista. We had a couple of hours of fun and laughter and it made the reality of the pandemic recede into the background for a little while.

Photo thanks to May.

I realise how fortunate I am to be in a lovely house, with a garden, a dog and a wonderful husband. I am not home-schooling or working from home and we don’t have the pressures that many are feeling around the world right now. We are both healthy and trying to stay that way until the threat of this virus diminishes. I just wanted to let my family and friends know that we are doing well. I hope whoever is reading this can see a brighter future ahead. Stay healthy, stay at home, take care.

6 thoughts on “Livin’ la Vida Lockdown

  1. Hi Lucy & Rich & Logan!
    Great to read your blog Lucy and so good to have you back on stream! Very pleased to hear you’re all doing so well and from your description of a typical day in quarantine it doesn’t sound too bad, considering the circumstances. Sounds a bit of a pain having to fill in a form every time you need to leave the house though. Our friend Steve, who lives in the French Alps, was telling me about that a few weeks ago. I wish you hadn’t mentioned the daily breakfast in bed though – might give SOME people ideas!!

    It must be about a year since we last saw you, when you had just picked up the keys to the house, so it is great to see you settled in so well and gradually making it your own. We aren’t quite so tied as you; we’re allowed a single daily outing for exercise although there is no specified limit on distance or time, other than that we are expected to use common sense – sadly lacking in many people of course, but the majority seem to be being sensible. At the start of the lockdown it was not clear if you were able to drive out to take a walk and in different areas the police were making different interpretations of the ‘non-essential journey’ rule but they have cleared up the ambiguity and said that it is OK to drive a short distance to take a walk. Still a bit ambiguous as to how far you may travel, but we probably won’t be driving to the Lake District any time soon! Also, thankfully, we’re still allowed to cycle so I have been doing a few short rides, nothing more than 25 miles or so though at the most and more often just 10 miles or so, down to Pagham and back.

    Apart from not being able to socialise, a typical working day here isn’t much different to normal. Deb is still doing her gardening work two mornings a week and I still have drawing work to do, although as most building sites are closed there’s not much new work coming in and it’s not possible to carry out any site visits at the moment of course. Lots to be done in our own garden at this time of year as well of course, and we are gradually catching up with all that – Deb has been busy sowing seeds and now just about every available surface in the conservatory is covered in healthy looking greenery, from tomatoes to peppers to purple sprouting – you name it!

    We’re shopping as little as possible and Deb is braving a trip to Sainsburys every 10 days or so. We had similar shortages here as well: loo roll, bread flour, paracetamols. I paid £3 for a 32-pack of paracetamols a couple of weeks ago so some people are doing OK out of the shortages. I managed to but some bread flour online but it meant getting up at 2:30am to grab a delivery slot!

    As you have probably heard, Glastonbury and many other festivals have been cancelled, as well as all gigs of course. I have actually got a Glastonbury ticket and that carries over to next year’s festival, assuming things will be back to normal by then! It is very worrying about the the long term future of course and who knows when or how it is all going to resolve? I can’t see that it will be safe to have large gatherings for many months to come, even if they start tentatively lifting some of the restrictions. It’s going to continue being very tough for venues, restaurants, pubs etc. for a long time to come I would think.

    Deb’s dad continues to do OK although Deb hasn’t been able to go and see him since March 7th, after which the care home locked down voluntarily, before HM Gov got up to speed on the pandemic. Very sad and frustrating for Deb and especially hard having to miss his birthday this year (92nd!) which is the first time ever that Deb has not seen him or at least contacted him on his birthday. We were lucky enough to spend a couple of days in London with the nephlets in February for my big six oh and then 5 days in Prague, arriving back home on March 6th, just days before the Czech Republic went into lock-down.

    I assume your weather is hotting up down there now? After a record-breaking wet winter we have now had a month or more of drought, so after 7 months of squelching though garden mud, it suddenly, in the space of about three days, turned to rock-hard baked concrete! Looks like that’s about to change again now though, with a return to standard unsettled, cool, showery weather.

    Well we hope you continue to enjoy your runs with Logan and above all manage to stay safe and keep fit and well! Looking forward to your next blog episode! Much love from us all, Pete, Deb & Monty xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rich said your reply was about 5 times longer than my blog! Happy belated 60th btw… don’t know why I don’t have your birthday locked into my database! Thanks for the lovely update. Stay safe & sane in these crazy times. L, R & Lxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a treat to find this hiding in a special folder that my inbox has created but I didn’t know existed! Glad you’re back on your blog – it’s lovely to have a peek into your world. You are in a very beautiful area, lucky you! All manic here with live lessons online in the mornings for me and about twice as much paperwork, emails and calls as usual to try to keep everyone in touch. Return to school date and actually whether it is feasible or not are complete unknowns…what school will really be able to keep kids 2m apart?? We are very lucky that we can drive 10 mins into the New Forest to walk, but the dog is exhausted with her usual walk, plus my after-work escape each day! Love to you and Rich xxx


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