15 June 2020

Lockdown Luck on a Boat in France

France opens its borders today with other European countries. 

For 3 months, everything has been closed down with the virus. 
Restaurants. Bars. Cafés. Schools. Businesses. Post Offices. 

We're still on the boat in the south of France. 
We spent the entire lockdown and quarantine period here. 

Drinking the odd glass of wine. 
Enjoying the excellent wildflowers-!

But: We were in Portugal right before the virus hit. Spent a month there. 
Traveled back from Morocco through Spain by train, just as they recognized the severity of the virus. 

By chance, we returned to France and the boat a week or two early. 

In retrospect, we were super lucky. 
We got back to France just under the wire. 
Before they closed the borders. 

Lockdown was strict here! 

We weren't allowed to leave home (the boat) for 2 months. 
Only to the supermarket or pharmacy. With a signed form.

We took the boat out "for a walk", but - they made us go back. Oh well. Worth a try!

However, we were allowed to take 1 walk a day. 
No further than 1 km from home.  
No longer than 1 hour. 
We made good use of that. 

Also with the proper documentation, of course. 
Fines were hefty and without question. Even prison.

In essence, we had the canal completely to ourselves all spring. 

No boats. No visitors. No fishermen. No hikers. No bicycles.

It really IS a very agricultural village, especially when the visitors aren't here. 

Mostly wine. A few olives.

We got to watch the vineyards leaf out.

Identify unusual birds.
Even saw fish in a much clearer canal. 
(Did you hear they now  have dangerous alligator turtles along the canal?)

It's been a pretty slow existence.

Ducks laid a number of eggs on a few of the empty boats. 

Stan played a lot of guitar. Finished a new CD. 
Here's a link - different from his usual music: 

My art desk stayed busy. 

I also kept a Quarantine Journal - a drawing a day - 
hundreds of little drawings.

Then: coming off the lockdown felt so strange! 

We're out of practice talking to other people. 
No one knows quite how to act. Where to stand. 
We began with canal side visits. 

Now, restaurants and bars are open. 
It feels like life is returning to normal. 

We didn't miss being on the grid. 
Not having a freezer or a microwave. 
(Or a TV or electricity-)

Our small under-the-counter fridge worked fine.

I did miss having a garden - 
But it's surprising how little you really need. 
(Glad we had decent wi-fi-)

We were very lucky - we had a darn good place to enjoy a spring quarantine. 

Hope you were lucky, too -!


  1. Replies
    1. I'm liking these strata sonatas by the way. Does Stan really consider them his "best musical output" ?? That's definitely saying something.

  2. "What a long strange trip its been" Yes, we feel so very lucky the way things have worked out so far. Has turned out to be the right place for the "bad " times. I hope all our USA friends and family turn out as lucky.