10 Lockdown Learnings

It’s #deconfinement +1 but very little has changed, largely thanks to the weather. After weeks of largely glorious weather our gradual release from lockdon was heralded by torrential rain and, weather wise, a rather mixed forecast until almost month-end. This, of course, may be fortuitous and ensure that no one oversteps the mark and there are no further outbreaks of COVID-19 warranting a return to lockdown.

Being confined to base for over two months has thrown up some powerful home-truths. Here are ours:-

1. For us it was pretty much same old, same old as we’ve worked from home for 15 years. We have an established routine, particularly during the week and we kept to that. Our daily rides were replaced with a combination of walks around our grounds, cycling on the home trainer, working out and yoga on the terrace. At the weekend,, cocktails on the terrace replaced our regular apéros while I recreated some of our favourite dishes in lieu of meals out. To be honest, it was fine. We’re so much more fortunate than many.

2. We’re both fairly low maintenance and didn’t really miss trips to beauty salons or the hairdressers. Indeed, the local hairdressers can heave a sigh of relief. I am patently not to be trusted with hair clippers. My beloved was in dire need of a hair cut as we went into lockdown. He’s follicly challenged and typically keeps it very short with a cut every three weeks, which includes a trim of his eyebrows.

A couple of weeks in and he was looking pretty disreputable with Dennis Healey eyebrows (former UK politician renowned for his incredibly bushy eyebrows)  – not good for all those Zoom conferences. I attempted to redress the problem and he ended up looking like a dog with mange – cue a hat. Fortunately my technique has improved but not enough that I’m going to make a habit of it! Unlike these boys, 8-time world champion Marc Marquez looks to be as equally adroit with the clippers as on two-wheels.

As an aside, I’ve been much amused at how top sportsmen and women hve been amusing themselves in lockdown from taking part in various challenges, training, working out and playing competitive games. I reckon time has hung more heavily on their hands.

3. We’ve lived here for over 15 years and while we frequently walked through our magnificent grounds, we’d never walked all around them. It was a revelation as we found areas we didn’t know existed and we got to watch Spring in all its glories unfold. Chatting to neighbours, at a responsibly safe distance, we discovered we weren’t the only ones.

4. In trying to keep to one weekly shop, in the last couple of days of the week I would find myself emulating the recently returned British Classic “ Ready, Steady, Cook” where chefs have to come up with meals from an odd assortment of ingredients. I often feel my best dishes are borne out of necessity rather than cookery books. The results can be found in current and future The Musette posts.

5. We’ve been quite content with one another’s company. We’ve checked on friends, neighbours in isolation and family at regular intervals but didn’t feel the need to indulge in virtual aperos, pub quizzes or karaoke sessions with them. Consequently, we now know for sure that my beloved and I will survive retirement and old-age together so long as we have enough room to occasionally get away from one another and, of course, those all important separate bathrooms. I cannot stress enough the importance of the latter though, of course, for the time being I still have to don PPE every couple of days to clean his one.

6. This crisis has strengthened our resolve to remain in France and become French citizens. IMHO Monsieur Macron has excelled by comparison with other world leaders. You know who I mean, I don’t have to mention their names. We have our own company in France and we’ve been inundated with offers of financial assistance to ensure we can keep operating. Luckily for us, that’s not been an issue, but it’s nice to know it’s there should we need it.

7. My beloved husband loves being waited on hand and foot and has resolutely been as busy as possible during the pandemic to ensure that situation persists. His only contribution has been to invent a new cocktail! Our current deal, which expires at the end of the year, is that he shouldn’t make any more mess than usual. Well this has gone out of the window, big time. There’s not a corner of the apartment (except the kitchen) that he hasn’t colonised. He’s taken over my desk in the lounge leaving me to enjoy the office because I couldn’t hear myself think with all his Zoom conferences and webinars. In fact, he’s been so busy that there have been days where I’ve only seen him at mealtimes. Like he’s ever going to miss any of those!

8. I don’t have digits of doom! I wouldn’t claim to have green fingers either but our terrace garden of succulents is flourishing thanks to my regular attention. I’ve even added to our growing collection having successfully propogated a number of cuttings from plants I’ve found in the Domaine’s gardens. Given we’re not going to be straying too far from home this year (and next), I may consider getting some geraniums now the garden centres have re-opened.

9. We’ve watched far less television than we normally do (no sport) but haven’t found time to read any books. We’ve introduced a music only evening where I’ve been encouraging my beloved to make the most of his monthly subscription to Apple music by downloading tracks from lots of new artists aka ones I like. We’ll be doing this in future on a regular basis.

10. We’ll be taking our release from lockdown one step at a time. Firstly, when and if the weather improves, by going out for rides on our bikes. It’ll be so nice to feel with wind in our helmets again and see what’s changed in the past few weeks while we’ve been in our bubble. However, we’re not in any rush to get together with family (all in UK) or friends. There have been no reported incidences of COVID-19 in the Domaine and we’d like to keep it that way. We’ll continue to shop once a week, early on Saturday mornings.

What have you learned while you’ve been in lockdown? Are there any changes you’re going to make as a consequence?

53 thoughts on “10 Lockdown Learnings

  1. I’m so glad you hear you been doing great during the lockdown. What I’ve learned so far is that Someday isn’t an actual day of the week and that time is more precious than ever before. Thanks for sharing your experience and take care 😊 Aiva

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Change? Not really. It is still just me except when my sister comes to the farm to finish cleaning out Mothers house. Only seeing my grands a couple of time has been not so good but now that school is over and the ‘lock-down’ is easing that will change….unless we have to start all over . Ughhh!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Interesting post Sheree. You and your beloved have made the most of the situation and have always managed to stay on the sunny side of the street. Like you, I have kept myself busy and positive and it has not been difficult. We have been very blessed in Australia with our government acting very quickly with less than 100 deaths. Lyn

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, some countries have handled it much better. Macron has admitted France was too slow to act but he’s been pretty decisive since. Post-deconfinement not too much has changed though we’re going out for dinner on Saturday to friends. It’ll be so nice not to have to cook and clean up afterwards. It goes without saying, we’ll be practising social distancing, sanitiser at the ready!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. We are a retired couple already, so the situation was not so difficult for us, especially because we could always leave and go for walks here in the Danish countryside. We only shop once a week anyway, as I found out that making a weekly food plan saves a lot of money, even if we deviate from it at times. We have the garden, our music, we are very lucky indeed …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know what Susie, I have enjoyed it but then my 24/7 caregiving is very different to yours and I can understand you missing the interaction with your friends down the gym.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Like you, our lives are not much changed, as we’ve been working from home for several years. I’ve actually enjoyed hearing less air and car traffic, and more nature sounds like the returning birds. I do miss our occasional trips to restaurants or cafes, but that isn’t such a big adjustment. Unless it changes, we have 10 days to go, until restrictions begin to lift. Time will tell!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Loved reading your post! It is so honest & full of humour!
    I, too, love to create food out of what I have in the cupboard. So the new thing for me this lockdown is to bake from recipes as a way to entertain & spend kitchen time with the girls. Your food looks beautifully delicious!

    Hope you get to ride your bikes soon! Keep safe & well!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rather like you, Sheree, we have been grateful for our stage of life and our location, meaning we haven’t needed to make too many adaptations. Perhaps Dennis Healey eyebrows will help to repel the rain.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was a fun post. We can emerge from lockdown tomorrow and I am looking forward to eating outdoors in a restaurant with a huge patio and stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. They open at 11 and we hope to be in and out before most people get there. I am bummed to have my hair appoint rescheduled for the 4th time. Some day…..

    Liked by 1 person

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