What extraordinary times we are living in. There are moments during the day here at Escrimis in South West France that one could almost forget the terrible pandemic that is sweeping the world, but we don't, and we thank our blessings everyday. We are so fortunate to be locked down in such a beautiful place surrounded by quiet countryside.
Today is day 15 of lockdown in France. Surprisingly, the French who are often keen to show their displeasure at being ordered to do something by the State, have been excellent at abiding by the strict regulations. We are allowed to go out occasionally to get food supplies or medication, we need to complete a declaration form each time stating then reason for our journey, these are to be produced to show the police if stopped. You may walk your dog or exercise within 2 km of your home and you must adhere to keeping 2 metres and over away from other people.
We are in one of the most sparsely inhabited part of France, so supplies of food and goods do not seem to be under such pressure as observed back in Surrey just before we departed for France nearly 3 weeks ago.
It is just the two of us here, Alan is still trying to work online and I am keeping myself very busy with the endless jobs that need to be undertaken this time of the year. Spring is bursting out all over. In the past few days the trees and shrubs have fresh green foliage, the cherry blossom has bloomed, the peonies are out and the meadows are full of daisies. The weeds are going mad, the garden centres are all closed so I cannot get my hands on my usual weed killer to spray. Its endless hand weeding! It is very therapeutic and keeps the mind focused.
We kept extremely busy over the weekend, Alan clambered up a ladder to give the palm tree a big hair cut and later we toured the vineyard to collect the old dead vines. They are great for our open fire, not that we will be needing many more of those as the weather is warming up. The vineyard looks dormant and bare at the moment, but within days the buds will start appearing and the magical transformation into green vibrant rows of Colombard grapes will begin.
I have been over in the Chapelle spring cleaning. My mind turns to the art and textile courses that we had hoped to host later this year. Sadly, I think that these will have to be cancelled, I do not see anyone travelling widely around Europe for sometime to come. It's not the end of the world, there are more important things in life at the moment. I have however set up a small website after talking to some of my fellow amateur artists from art classes back in Surrey. Have a look - www.letscreateinlockdown.com. It may offer you some encouragement and inspiration for keeping in touch and hopefully get you painting and drawing throughout the crisis. Please feel free to join in, the more the merrier..
So, for now, chins up, keep active and lets all keep praying for all those struggling so much around the world. I wish you all the very best and please keep safe.