15 April 2020


In our French garden last year.
It all seems very odd.
We wait and wait some more, for the signal that the worst is behind us, that we can make plans to move forward with our lives.  It feels like we're freewheeling.

Dreamie time.
Our UK house is a smallish 1960's old folks' bungalow, almost fully renovated*, and it has a nice but tiny garden to sit in while we while away the time.  However, the view of the back of a 1960's bungalow, however nice, does not compare to the view across the fields to the forests all around our house in France.  I try not to think about that too much.

Hugo and Daisy seem ok.  Hugo is happy anywhere as long as he's with us.  We play football and "toss the cushion" in the garden and he's in heaven.  We can't kick the ball or toss the cushion very far because the garden is so small but he still enjoys it.
Daisy has had a few problems.  A new family moved into a house not far away and brought with them their three cats.  There have been a few tussles.  Daisy is not used to other cats as there are currently none near to us in France.

One day while I was out Nick took Hugo for a walk and on his return the tabby was in the kitchen, sitting on the worktop, having eaten all Daisy's food.  Daisy was on top of the kitchen cupboards. 
He ejected the cat firmly but kindly, pointing out that its presence was unwelcome as this is Daisy's house.  We solved the problem of the other cats entering via Daisy's cat flap by buying one with a microchip sensor.  I was sceptical but it works perfectly and was £50 very well spent.
Our UK garden, perfect for leaving unattended over the summer.
Behind the bungalow there is a wood.  There are paths through the wood that are well used by dog walkers and part of one path runs quite close to our fence.  Nick put some steps on the fence so that Daisy could sit and peer over at passers by unnoticed. 
The start of our favourite walk around the château.
I was thinking the other day, not only how lucky we are to have a nice little garden to sit in and wait for the all clear, but also how important the ordinary, mundane things in life can be.  Didn't we all take for granted the ability to just pop to the shops whenever we wanted, or to call in on friends or go out for lunch*?  While others are busy fighting for their lives, fighting to save lives or just worrying about loved ones we feel we just have to do the right thing, stay home as much as possible and sit it out.  And dream about when we can next take Hugo for his favourite walk around the château.
Mind you, the one way system employed by our local Tesco to keep people apart inside the store is simply wonderful.  I'd be very happy if they continued with that, it's so incredibly civilised!
*Update:  the renovation of the upstairs bathroom was abandoned before we had really got started due to lack of materials.  Having bought everything we thought we should need it turns out we are short of things necessary for the job that we now can't get anywhere.
One of our local pubs is doing take away dinners.  Tonight we're having stuffed mushrooms, pork pasta bake and sherry trifle, the first meal we haven't cooked for ourselves for a month!  I'm so looking forward to it!


  1. Hi Jean! I haven't popped over to your blog for a while--nice to be back.
    I've never heard of a chip-sensor animal flap door--that's ingenious!

    1. Hi Judith, it works really well and can store the details of up to ten different cats. You just have to remember to renew the batteries every so often - otherwise your cat will not be able to get in!!

  2. You're so right in saying how lucky we are having gardens to sit in. Fortunately our view is of fields at the back and we can walk several different public footpath routes, straight from the house. The stress of the lock down is getting to me for other reasons but I would feel far worse if I was a single mum in a tower block.
    My wish is that when this lot ends, we don't go back to our life before the lock down, but that we remember how to appreciate the things we now miss so much but once took for granted. It's a wish but you've got to be hopeful!! E xx

    1. Elizabeth, I think many people will find delight in the everyday things that they have missed but wouldn't be surprised if that didn't last long!

  3. the takeaway pub food sounds quite delicious

    1. Michael, it was very ordinary but well cooked and delicious. Such a joy to sit down to a meal that we hadn't cooked ourselves - or had to wash up afterwards!