Hooray, the lockdown here in France has moved into a different stage this week. Gone are the dreaded attestation forms we had to complete every-time we wanted to leave the house even for a trip down the road to empty the bins. We can also now travel up to 100km from home as long as we stay in our 'green' zone. This meant that we could drive to Toulouse airport to collect my car that has been sitting forlornly in the long term car park. Who would have thought we would get so excited to be driving to Toulouse ! It was so nice to have a change of scene and to actually see a few other people and cars. The roads were still quiet, but as we reached the outskirts of Toulouse it became a little busier, not at all like the usual traffic around the city. It was rather surreal reaching the airport, hardly a person in sight and only two planes taking off. No airport buses, no passengers, no car hire open, no coffee shops, it all seemed so odd.
There is great debate here in France about the wearing of facemarks. The radio stations are constantly talking about them and it does seem to create a lot of heated debate. We always wear our masks and have noticed that people are generally starting to wear masks more. I do find it rather odd though that more people seem to wear them whilst driving in their cars than in the street. The large supermarkets and stores are being very strict about masks and will not let you enter the shop unless you have one.
The local produce markets have started to re-open and last Sunday we visited our nearest one to get some of the wonderful fresh produce. The market was tightly controlled, barriered off with a gendarme police officer controlling the flow of people allowed in. Only 25 people at one time in the market that was operating a one-way system. The stalls were sealed off to avoid anyone touching the produce, the French do love to pick up the produce and inspect it. It was so difficult to make oneself heard with a mask, especially my dreadful French pronunciation. The stall holders in their usual friendly good humoured way just smiled and were just so pleased to see everyone back. A large bunch of fresh coriander was piled into my basket as a little gift as I paid for my purchases.
The weather is wonderful, finally settling after a week of very heavy rain. The fields of wheat are ripening and the poppies are brightly dotted amongst the crops. This area comes alive now with the farmers starting to gather various crops and the vineyards busy with nurturing the tiny immature grapes that will be picked in September.
I am off now to plant some lavender and roses before the ground gets too hard and the rising tempretures
bake everything in the garden. For us lockdown is very bearable but of course I am still thinking of all of those still having a terrible time.
Keep safe and healthy