We were absolutely thrilled when, thanks to a tip off from our friend Gaynor, we managed to get a click and collect slot at our nearest Asda supermarket.
When our illustrious leaders recommended that we should all order our shopping on the internet and have it delivered the whole world and his grandmother fired up their laptops and all the delivery or click and collect slots disappeared in nanoseconds.
We have periodically logged on at the recommended time of day, which seems to be anything from just after midnight until just before midnight. We have been out of pot luck every time until finally, finally, a slot came up with Asda for ten days' hence. We cracked open another bottle of fizz to celebrate.
The appointed day was yesterday morning. I spent longer in the shower than normal and took more trouble than for a long time on deciding what to wear. Oh the joy of a day out!
Off we went, excitement mounting, to a place eight miles away that I haven't been for decades, which is where our nearest Asda is.
It was a good experience. The young people dealing with the click and collect collections were fabulously cheerful, polite and helpful and all the groceries were excellent. Even the substitutions. Well done Asda. Above all, there was an unexpected bonus. See first picture.
We had run out of our favourite coffee and were very much looking forward to a fresh supply of two bags and - woo hoo - they both came in these really smart caddies. Très chic! My first thought, typically, was "one for here, one for there" and I planned to set one of the caddies aside for when, who knows when, we can return to France.
Which brings me to my next point.
The "when can we return to France?" is the one thought that stops me in my tracks, on and off, throughout every day. I had started to become aimless, achieving very little most days, barely managing to complete the everyday tasks. While all around us there are people achieving all kinds of things. Tapestries, paintings, redecorating, rebuilding the house and restoring old vehicles.
The other unexpected bonus is in the second picture. A Christmas gift packed away and out of sight but rediscovered when searching for the coffee grinder. (Because we had accidentally bought a bag of coffee beans instead of ground coffee on the previous shop.) (Shop blindness.)
We didn't find the grinder but we found the chocolates.
So, if you get through this without murdering your spouse or dying of chocolate poisoning, that's all that we need to do. Oh, and stay away from everyone else.