Showing posts from April, 2020

Lots to do and sometimes a little fed up

Well confinement has been going OK. In family life we get what we need. Flour has sometimes been an issue, but at Carrefour we sometimes hit rich seams of bread flour (T65), plain flour (T45) and I even got some organic wholemeal spelt flour (spelt f l o u r). The other day they had piles of yeast, so we're set up for a good long while, but the spelt flour will come in useful if and when we decide to make a sourdough starter. Standard recipes now are honey and oatflake bread, slow-cooker bread and turbo no-knead. All recipes from YouTube. For breads that go in the oven here's my top tips. 1) put water in a tin in the base of the oven. Steam helps. 2) preheat the oven to its maximum temperature using the fan if it's a fan-oven. 3) when you put the bread in turn the oven down to the temperature you need and turn the fan off. The extra oven heat at the start really helps the bread to rise. Why have I been a bit fed-up? Well for one thing I miss the city I liv


In March, for our wedding anniversary, which fell just before confinement began, Pat called at a florist near the station. The lady asked Pat if she could give her a hand unloading her van, so Pat spent a happy twenty minutes getting bundles and boxes of flowers and foliage our of the van and into the shop. As a thank you Pat was given three little pinks that we put into one of our troughs. They've brightened the balcony ever since with their profuse, scented blooms.

Another video recorded and sent out

Honestly, with all the video work we're doing, before long they'll be calling us the Sir Anthony Hopkins and Dame Judy Dench of Bordeaux.

A trip to Carrefour

Our nearest supermarket is a small "U", and we like it very much. We like the staff, we like the quality of the products and we like its proximity. But it doesn't stock everything we like to use, so sometimes we shop elsewhere. The big Auchan in the city centre has pretty well everything anyone could ever want, but it's a long way away. Too far to walk. But there is a moderately sized Carrefour about 15 minutes walk away, so this morning I hied me away to pillage Carrefour. We wanted flour. And yeast. But also icing sugar. And specifically self-raising flour. Earlier this week Mrs Davey went there and came back with some T65 bread flour! What a prize! I had high hopes. Anyway last night we had a family quiz night with our son and daughter-in-law and her parents, whome I whimsically call the Texan Outlaws, since her father is from Texas.  I hate quizzes. For some reason they miss the fun zone by a mile and land slap bang wallop in the middle of the termi

Thoughts from confinement

So far so good. We're very blessed in having a clean, dry, modern apartment, and balconies so we can get outside, and also enough rooms to be able to escape from each other. I can get on with work in my office, Catrin works in her room. Pat in the living room or our bedroom. I can't imagine being bored! My list of things to do grows longer every day! I have the usual studies and messages to prepare and people to catch up with, online of course. My reading is not progressing as I would want it to. Meanwhile for diversion there's museum sites that I have not visited, like the Uffizi, the Atelier de Lumières in Paris, the Musée d'Orsay and the British Museum that have wonderful websites. The Metropolitan Opera House and the Opera de Paris are broadcasting operas, and the Arte website also has some corkers. Pat and I watched Manon, by Massenet. Then there are wonderful films available to watch, most of which we have not. I'd like to do some music practic

France and the coronavirus

Here's the situation as I see it. We're entering our third week in confinement. We're lucky, we have a light and airy flat with nice views and a big balcony. Others we are close to are in a variety of situations, some very good and some not so good, but everyone seems OK. The two families in the church with small children have gardens, thankfully. Bordeaux is quiet. Very quiet. The bordelais are staying at home. From our balcony we occasionally see perhaps three or four different folk. People walk their dogs. Brothers kick a ball around. Families loiter while their toddlers totter and puddlejump. The front of our building has lots of balconies opening onto a courtyard and there a DJ runs a "balconnade" two evenings a week - a balcony party. So paradoxically isolation is bringing people together. We can get what we need from our local supermarket. We can't always get everything we want, but one secret of contentment in life is to want what you can get, so


The weekend's cyberpreaching began with a train wreck when livecasting to North Wales. I'd carefully set up my rig by balancing my phone on top of my computer screen, checking I can broadcast via Facebook live in portrait format and so on, as taught by numerous YouTube experts. All was good. Notes were on screen. All ready. Saturday morning comes. I switch on, find the button - and I'm sideways... So I sign off quickly and race off to get my laptop and send the video from that. It's OK, except that the phone was at a good angle, right by my notes, and now I'm gazing down at the slightly rubbish webcam on my laptop. Oh well... For Sunday we use Zoom, and each week we've taken another baby step forward. This week we were planning to sing together, as well as time of prayer, readings, message. I set up a Powerpoint file and learned how to share my screen. On Saturday, in response to criticism over security, Zoom imposed passwords, so I put that on the F

Amazon have delivered printer paper!

Means indefinite sorties because we can print up to 2,500 "attestation de sortie dérogatoire" !

A brief pause

There was a brief pause in the blog. There have been pauses like that before, but this was different. One of our guys has lost his grandmother - in the USA. Another guy has an already sick uncle ill in hospital - in the USA. My elderly cousin died the other day in Hertfordshire. And pastors and conference speakers I know are falling to the virus. Somehow I hadn't realised that I would know people who succumbed, or at least I was concerned for our siblings, all of whom are older than us and some of whom enjoy robust mediocre health. I haven't seen my cousin for at least 30 years, and it may be more like 50, but we quite regularly corresponded by email. I suspected he was poorly because I hadn't heard from him in about two weeks, so when the news came is was half-expected. These are hard days. I have replaced early morning news with good music. I know more or less what's happening. And I'm going to make time to read good things and to watch things that will