Profitez bien de ces moments de famille

At the beginning of winter when the geese said goodbye to their French summer and flew south for the winter, it was a truly depressing sight. To see the birds spreading their wings and taking flight to new adventures and warmer weather drew obvious contrast to our own situation of very much staying put! Of sticking it out through our first winter in 3 years.

Profitez bien de ces moments de famille

At the beginning of winter when the geese said goodbye to their French summer and flew south for the winter, it was a truly depressing sight. To see the birds spreading their wings and taking flight to new adventures and warmer weather drew obvious contrast to our own situation of very much staying put! Of sticking it out through our first winter in 3 years.

It was a rather different experience to witness them flying in their stunning arrows home! It was an absolute joy to have the skies filled with the unmistakable sound of warmer weather returning, of hundreds of birds flying in droves back home. As we turned our heads to the sun and blue skies to watch them on the last leg of their remarkable journey, one couldn’t help but be filled with joy, hope, and dreams for the sun-filled days that lay ahead.

Little did we know at that time that life as we knew it would be shifted. As the odd article here and there made it’s way to me of this new thing called, “Coronavirus”, the full impact that it would have on my life was never even a fleeting thought. Within days, all that changed. We began to prepare. Prepare our pantry (wine rack) and prepare our attitude. We took solace in the fact that the locals around us did not seem to panicking, if there was anything to know, they would no doubt know before us! But, it became abundantly clear, very quickly, that the reality of the virus was a total side-swipe to the French as well. After Macron’s speech shutting schools and his two subsequent speeches calling for the closure of all non-essential business and then the total lockdown of all residents, the French finally realized they should put down their wine glass, stub out their cigarette, and get to the supermarket!

With total lockdown now in place, the French government have at least given the people a new way to enjoy their favorite national pastime, PAPERWORK! ‘Attestation de Deplacement Derogatoire’ are currently being printed by the carton nation-wide, as any visit outside of your property now requires a signed and dated form explaining why. It was clarified that completing and showing the form on your phone would not be accepted, since, as we all know, ink and paper is god.

Armed with our signed and dated Attestation de Deplacement Derogatoire we took to the streets this afternoon, Toby and kids in tow. It was like discovering a new village! We found out people actually live here! We put faces to the properties. Our village was filled with people; Some, who are normally too busy working, staring at their backyards, (that I wonder if they even knew they had), with the grass up to their knees and their push mower standing meekly at their side. Others, out in their gardens preparing their extremely enviable veggie patches, which will no doubt be even more enviable this season with the extra time they will have spent on them, not to mention the fact they will have fresh food while the rest of us might be surviving on plain pasta and wiping our bottoms on grass clippings.

Well, lets hope it does not come to that and we can quickly return to dreams for the sun-filled days that lie ahead. And in the meantime, now as ever, as my friend, (the mother of one of Vincent’s ‘girlfriends’ at school) messaged me, “Profitez bien de ces moments de famille”, — “Enjoy these family moments.” —

Which I think so beautifully sums up the sentiment of the French.

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