Well, to recap... Part II


Going through so many memories, trying to sort them out one year later is a painful process. I have done this several times in my life  so why is it so distressing now? Is it because one whole year went by and yet we see no end to it all? Is it because I went into such a strict personal reclusion that it ends up feeling like life imprisonment? Or is it just proof that I am terribly scarred by the experience?

April 2020

This is not a joke. I wish it were. One thing that really struck me during the string of lockdowns and restrictions and mainly after the first official lockdown was that I was seriously loosing points of reference. SP was teaching (remote) so it helped a little bit but otherwise I would wake up in the morning wondering which day it was and the day would sometimes end without any reassurance. I am still working on the issue, one year later.

I should have started to write about our (rather boring) daily life but I was feeling so terribly exhausted all the time. Sometimes quite unable to get up from the warm embrace of my favorite armchair. It made sense though since my nights were filled with anxiety and nightmares. And anger too, not knowing what was really going on and who/what was managing our daily life. In retrospect, it really felt somehow easier to fight a recurring cancer and its many side effects. At least I was somehow in charge and fighting. Well, yes, I am going mental.

So April was “Waiting for Godot”… (You probably have heard this expression from Samuel Beckett’s eponymous play which describes people waiting for something to happen, which never happens.) 

Days went by. The end of lockdown kept being postponed. We kept Skyping with Rasima. The weather kept being extremely warm and sunny. Our garden kept getting dazzlingly coloured. Birds kept singing, louder and louder because it was nesting time. Our friends kept sending pictures from a very empty Paris. And we were still kept in.

Our gardeners called us one morning. They had bought the small company from Yves in January and not being able to work was a disaster for them. They were allowed to work outside though but nobody was willing to let them into their garden.

Lucky them! In January, a family of coypus had invaded our pond and our garden. Heartless as we were, they had been (lawfully) trapped and disposed of, because of the very real threat of leptospirosis (which at the time sounded like the most dreadful disease ever). The pond needed to be emptied, cleaned up thoroughly, boulder after boulder, and damages fixed up. Coypus saved a business and it was so nice to wave to human beings whenever we’d catch sight of one of them.

May 2020

The fruit trees were rapidly way past their flowering time and had turned leafy. We felt a flutter of excitement when the first butterfly landed on a "paper plant". Our eldest Wollemi pine went through a sudden reproductive boost, a first for us. Lockdown was not totally negative after all. But its efforts were rather unproductive. It did try though and we were fascinated by the cones, female and male.

Day after day, the sea below was a dream for seafaring men and women like me. Not a single wavelet from morning till dusk. Clear blue skies. Warm weather. I, Olive, declare I could have sailed around the world and loved every minute of it.

Our hair was growing so fast and so long… and so unruly.

Early May, a huge military plane flew right by our house, so low that we worried it’d end up crashing on the beach. The next day, we learnt it was coming back from Brest. They had flown intubated Covid patients from Paris because there was still room for them there and none in the Paris area. Impressive and very frightening.

So we were still waiting for the presidential speech that would somehow free us. We had been told to make masks that would be compulsory at the end of lockdown, following official guidelines. One question? How do you make masks when it is quite impossible to buy elastics or fabric even on Amazon… Ordering on line should not have been a problem. We had become used to ordering food and almost everything online. Delivery was efficient and fast.

I started making masks using whatever I could find in what used to be our holiday home… I became a crack seamstress, recycling T-shirts and summer skirts elastics! We needed to be ready!

And then one day, it did happen… May 11th - we were free but not all of France and our activities were still quite restricted. Some beaches opened up on the 16th but only to go on walks. We were getting less confined but still "at war". Our first walk on our beloved beach was very scary… We would have walked extra miles to avoid getting close to other people.

I mean I would have walked miles to avoid people but I couldn’t. Walking again on a regular basis proved rather hard and painful after missing out so many months of physiotherapy. Thank goodness for crutches… But actually it didn’t take too long before the crutches were simply carried around for safety reasons and my leg got stronger and stronger.

 Very soon we started feeling less threatened on the beach. Strong and coldish winds started to blow at the right time, deterring crowds from invading our beach!


And then what?  

...To be continued…

Good Night, and Good Luck