Showing posts from April, 2021

Taking a break under confinement and with a curfew

Well that was a long absence. Sorry for the silence. We took holidays. At present in France you can travel only up to 10km unless you have a very good reason or for professional purposes. We wondered about taking a chalet at the lakeside campsite to the north of Bordeaux, but in the end decided it was better to stay at home and spend the holiday in other ways. So my job was to find places to buy lunch. The cafés and restaurants are not open, but many are doing takeaway and anyway Bordeaux has lots of street food. So during the past few weeks we have eaten delicacies like Vietnamese salads, Argentinian empanadas, Italian street food. Pat's job was to find all the parks, ALL the parks, accessible within 10km of our home. So we would walk or take bus, tram or boat to a park and explore. Bordeaux has some awesome parks and we wandered through the forest in Mérignac, climbed the hill in Cenon, watched and listened to the frogs in Lormont, smelt the perfume of the wisteria arch on the ri

Just shows how wrong you can be

 We have three local take-aways.  One is called "Eat Salad". It's a salad bar. Another is called Dubble and it's a salad bar. The third, we thought, is called Chicko'So. It's essentially a chicken lunch bar with a choice of three preparations of chicken - caramelised drumsticks, breaded fillet or half a rotisserie chicken. Yesterday, instead of going out to lunch we decided to sneak out and get it - Catrin was coming round in the afternoon with her washing and a friend - so I decided to order from Chicko'So and Pat from Eat Salad. It meant looking for their websites. That's when we discovered that what we THOUGHT was a terminal "o" in the name of the restaurant was actually a small round chicken. The restaurant is called "Chicko'S" Admittedly, the capital S was confusing. This is good news - it means that we can go out occasionally for "a cheeky chicko's".

Late frosts...

 are a problem for our wine growers because the recent sunny days and high temperatures have encouraged the wines to bud - now a sharp frost could damage the delicate young tissue and then the harsh sunlight finishes off the job, leaving the vines weakened and with several weeks of growth lost. The winegrowers employ various methods to stave off the frost, like "candles" (small braziers) placed up and down the rows of the vines, and windmills to try to manage the cold air. To protect the buds from the sun smoky fires are lit to make a smoke screen. It's not all that rare to have these late frosts, but defending the vines is still difficult.

Holiday snaps

 We’re on holiday and we’re allowed to travel up to 6 miles from our home as long as we’re home by 7pm. We considered going to a local campsite, but it seems wiser to stay where we are and instead to lunch like kings from the wonderful takeaways and street food places of Bordeaux. Today I’m hoping for duckburgers !

O dear, what's happened now ?misc

Pat got a letter from the public transport company. Please arrange to pay the 12 euros you owe which we tried to draw from your bank but there were insufficient funds. It's several years since we had that kind of thing, so I was non-plussed. So I went online to look at the bank accounts. Neither was overdrawn and neither had been recently. What a relief ! Not only that but our transport payments had both been made. So we went to the transport office. "Excuse me, we had this letter, but what's this 12 euros about? We've paid our tickets, and our bank account was never overdrawn." The woman looked on her computer and said, "well, it's for the child." "What child?"  "For Louis." "Who's Louis?" Some numbers have been typed in wrong, I suspect, in setting up poor Louis' ticket.

New restrictions

 Yesterday evening President Macron announced further anti-covid measures. Firstly the conditions that applied to Paris, to the North East and South East of France will now apply everywhere. Essentially this means a 10km restriction on travel and non-essential shops are to close. (Food shops, hairdressers, bookshops, garages and bike shops are regarded as essential.) Secondly schools will go into learning from home next week.  Monday is already a bank holiday and primary schools close on Wednesday anyway, so for many people this means three days of learning from / teaching to home. Then the school holidays are being moved to the next two weeks all over France. This will effectively close schools for three weeks. Return to school buildings will be staggered thereafter. M. Macron is also accelerating further the vaccination programme. Of course, this depends on vaccines being produced and delivered. For us personally and in the church it doesn't make a huge difference to anything muc