Well, frankly it’s been a funny old week, our first out of strict lockdown. About the only real difference is that we no longer need an attestation (self-certification) stating when and where we’re going. That is unless we’re travelling further than 100km from home, which we’re not.
Last Monday we had our first trip out other than to the bakery and supermarket. We drove into Nice to collect our masks from the cycle club whose HQ is in Place Garibaldi. We’d already obtained some disposable ones from our local town hall but these were reusuable ones with tons of disposable inserts.
Nice was definitely quiet, I don’t think I’ve ever driven in quite so quickly. There were plenty of people milling about of whom half were wearing masks. The mayor of Nice (5th largest city in France) has decreed that everyone should wear a mask when out in Nice, especially on public transport. Of the 50% wearing masks, about half we not wearing them correctly. It’s kinda difficult to smoke and wear a mask!
I didn’t venture out again in the car until Friday, largely due to the inclement weather and where was I going to go? It was around the same time as on Monday, 5 o’clock in the afternoon and the roads, unlike Monday, were really busy. I just nipped into my local organic store where everyone, without exception, was wearing masks and a couple of us also had disposable gloves.
Saturday, joy of joys, a couple of friends had invited us round for dinner. The husband is a professional cyclist who’s been honing his considerable cookery skills during lockdown. So expectations were high. En route we dropped in to see more friends, they have two small boys who usually rush out to hug us enthusiastically. They ran out to greet us and then halted in their tracks, no doubt remembering that this was no longer acceptable or advisable. Their new dog, whom we’d yet to meet, had no such qualms, sensing here was a pair of dog lovers, he jumped all over us. We didn’t mind. It was lovely to catch up with our friends face to face rather than via Zoom, albeit without bises (kisses) and at a suitable distance.
We then drove round for our dinner date which was so lovely. Frankly he could have served me beans on toast and I’d have been more than happy as it meant not having to cook and clear up after a meal. He’d prepared a refreshing fennel, orange, avocado and prawn salad to start, followed by lamb kebabs, ratatouille and spiced rice. Obviously, I just had a large portion of the delicious vegetables. My beloved said the lamb was perfectly cooked and seasoned. Dessert was a moist and very yummy vegan brownie (I have secured the recipe) with carpaccio of pineapple. We were more than happy bunnies.
The meal was well-balanced, very tasty and beautifully presented. The sort of meal you’d have been happy to pay for! If he ever quits professional cycling……… I did ask whether or not there was a Celebrity MasterChef on French television, I don’t recall ever seeing one but thought I’d check. There isn’t, which is a shame as he’d be a shoe in.
My beloved, who has never ever cooked me a meal did not feel moved to emulate our host. Probably just as well as because, unlike our host who was extremely neat and tidy in the kitchen, mine would probably look as is it had been hit by a bomb. I’ve seen the mess he makes when preparing a sandwich. A three-course meal just doesn’t bear thinking about.
As we drove home from our very enjoyable evening out we didn’t pass another car. It was just before midnight. Maybe everyone’s still observing the curfew?
On Sunday afternoon, we popped into our local garden centre which is at the nearby Polygone Riviera shopping centre. This was pretty quiet, only a few shops were open. Suitably distanced markers were outside all of the shops and there were security guards ensuring everyone followed the two-way pedestrian traffic signs. This time everyone was wearing a mask, except the smokers and they had theirs round their chins.
Restrictions on the beach were lifted on Sunday. We can swim, surf, paddleboard or sail in the water on our own, and walk on the beach but we cannot sit there, or hold parties and BBQs. This was possibly less of an issue due to the weekend weather. It wasn’t cold but it was Wet, Wet, Wet. Fortunately, the outlook is for much more sunshine.
Consequently, we were raring to go for a ride this morning, only our third this week. As far as we could tell, cyclists are pretty much abiding by the 10 metre rule or, in our case, at least 500 metres!