Usually I write about the nice things that happen in the South of France - visits to local markets, restaurants, vineyards, funny experiences etc. Occasionally I write about the ‘not so nice’ things such as accidents, caterpillars and Brexit. I could never have imagined I would be writing about something as shocking as Coronavirus.
Although I was aware of its existence, I certainly didn’t take it seriously enough at first. It was just amusing that the hugely important french custom of a physical greeting (hand-shake or kiss) was no longer permitted and we had to mutually agree which ‘non-skin’ part of our body to ‘bump’ with the other person. Even when it was announced that the schools would be closing, all I felt like doing was putting a picture of a large wine box on Facebook, showing how ‘prepared’ I was.
But that was all one week BC. Before Covid 19. Before Confinement. Who would have believed that we are now in virtual ‘lock-down’, not allowed to leave the house unless for a very valid reason, risking huge fines if we haven’t printed out and filled in the required form justifying our ‘sortie’. Even if we could go out, the beaches are closed, bars and restaurants are closed, so there is no reason to go anywhere except for ‘essential’ food shopping, and only 1 person is allowed to go.
It now seems ironic that just a few weeks ago I wrote a blogpost about the difficulties of working from home, as now I have absolutely no choice, and it is definitely not working! Although much of what I do is for clients at a distance, it is pretty impossible to sell, rent or search for properties without physically being there and with so much uncertainty around, nobody is booking holiday villas for this summer either.
Obviously my main worry at the moment (apart from the lack of work = lack of income situation) is that I have no idea when I’ll be able to see my family in the UK again. But there are definitely some positives to come out of this:
- My filing cabinet and paperwork have never been in such good order!
- The dogs are happy as we are around all day
- I have enough wine
- The french have learned how to form orderly queues
- There is plenty of time to catch up with all the old friends I promised to stay in touch with
- It is really really peaceful outside with hardly any traffic, no noisy microlights and just the occasional jet passing overhead.
I realise that there are considerably worse places to be confined than in a villa with a big garden in the South of France, but despite still being able to enjoy the views, the sunshine and the vineyard walks, I can’t help but feel worried. This is a long way from being over.
Photocredit: Sumanley at Pixabay