20/03/2020

it's march 2020 and it's REALLY bad news


FINE WORDS BUTTER NO PARSNIPS, I know.

We were all set.

Unless you've been having a protracted off-earth experience or have been co-incidentally ultra-isolating without any form of everyday communication, you'll appreciate the context of this blog.

That's right Covid-19, Coronavirus, that thing.

We saw our plans to ship out to Sabbers just go phut. In a matter of hours… we dithered… then decided not to, then our ferry company cancelled the sailing anyway, then borders started closing — and so on. Our hotels even went on standby as potential emergency wards, so closed to guests anyway. Does not mean they'll refund us of course, but one has offered us the chance to rebook at a later date and a second has refunded our outlay.

You know the form; you are in it too. Our friends heading out all abandoned planned journeys which had become impossible anyway just before their decision, or just after. Only the intrepid Irish have slipped under the wire and got through to where we all wanted to be by the end of the month. So much for our resolve. However I'm not sure we want to be in Sablet right now. Self certifying to go and buy a pain? Housebound by order? Oh dear, I should not have mentioned bread. Madame Pradier's crusty fresh pain, with some runny cheese, tomatoes, a few olives and a glass or three of Sablet CĂ´tes de Village… ah me …

Enough of that. So instead, we are gearing ourselves up to self–isolate, as far as that is possible, for a forecasted twelve weeks. And who knows, perhaps then some. Obviously, Mme Melling et moi might be considered to be in an ideal place here in dirty dark Devon, and at this early stage I might be in agreement with you. What's changed? How much socialising do we do here anyway?

Uncharacteristically, we did have a social here in Cheldon back in February, when Coronavirus was just a distant storm over there in the east. Put on by our neighbours, it was a really most enjoyable coming together of the Cheldonian set but ended in a sudden power cut after lightning flashes and claps of thunder. A premonition? Since then we have hardly seen any of the other residents… and that is how it was before all this kicked off, anyway.

So maybe things will go on mostly the same. But without doing some driving-on-the-right?

I don't need to rehearse all the restrictions, shortages because of panic buying, cancellations, precautions, cessations, job threats and loses, closures and despair, resulting from the chaos of the Coronavirus pandemic.  Let's spare a thought for the increasing numbers of victims, 'underlying conditions' notwithstanding, the deaths. You are in this merde like we are, like everybody is — although you may not be in it so deep, or conversely, much much deeper. As is often chanted from on high, 'we are all in this together'. No. We are not, we are all in this apart.

But for now at least we are OK. Until we run out of food, by which time our first 'in earnest' supermarket home delivery might get through, next month, the earliest slot we could secure. Sadly we have seen the British Public's less attractive side once more, in the ongoing panic-buying tendency (you'd think the election result was bad enough… but this……!). Of course we didn't, chance would have been nice, may be.

We panic-bought some vinyl matt to absorb some of the Sablet absence by doing some overdue interior decorating, here at Bullsmead Towers. There is the garden to despair over but enjoy, (I include some Camellias we think are doing rather well this spring) and we shall see through our first April on the estate for six years or so. I shall press on with my phares sighted blog, finish it even, and then abandon it to the dark recesses of the blog-world where my contributions are doomed to reside, unread and unappreciated by all but a very select few,  I am sure.

And if you are reading this while all the Corona doo-dah is still going on, may we extend our best wishes to you for a safe passage through the crisis to whatever is going to replace what went before. When we shall make it to Sablet again is rather in the lap of the Gods at this minute, so we'll live in hope, yes? Patience is going to be a virtue in high demand, as well as care to avoid this Covid-19 thing in all ways possible…

The roof of Bullsmead Towers is in the background to the right of St Mary's church in the picture below, taken this morning, the spring equinox.

We are very fond of our flowering currants seen in front of the residence (top of this post), where this rather sombre post was put together on the kitchen table…