In amongst all the disgusting behaviour that I'm reading about I was proud to see that at last checking over 560,000 people in the UK had volunteered to "help the NHS" as of this morning, with 405,000 of them volunteering in the first 24 hours! I always knew there was a good side to people despite the appalling behaviour of some, as highlighted in the rabble-rousing of the gutter press in order to sell papers. Aside from the obvious health care professionals who are so desperately needed, they have a volunteer roster to help with transport, shopping for the quarantined, moving medical supplies around and just social contact. I would love to do something like this but so far I haven't gotten any further than the message from the lady at the Mairie telling me to take care as I live alone! I even have a crate of foodstuffs waiting to go to the food bank but can't take it there as we're not allowed out - or at least I'm not allowed out at 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night to take stuff to the food bank, which is the only time they're open! I'm sure if I got stopped I could reason with the gendarmes but I also don't want to risk a minimum €135 fine if I come across some little jobsworth who is having a bad day!
The French have now issued a new attestation giving more details as to why we are allowed out and about. I guess they're trying to stop the "24 hour a day exercisers" from being out all day long in their sweat pants, rather than the one hour time we are allotted. We now have to give our address (so they can calculate if we are more than 1 km away from home "exercising") and the time at which we left home. I don't mind that at all but it's kind of sad that they have to dot the "i"s and cross the "t"s to this point because a few can't show common sense. It did tickle me a bit though because they have now updated the list of "essential" shops allowed to stay open to include the tabac (tobacconist's) and the off licence (in the UK - where they sell booze). I suppose if booze and ciggies help people get through this then so be it. I reckon in about nine months' time we might also see a sharp increase in the birth rate but … great! Sadly, this also seems to be the kind of situation where the incidence of domestic violence also increases, for obvious reasons. The only thing I can say is I'm so glad to be going through this alone and that someone, somewhere is going through this with my ex - and it ain't me!
I also saw on the local Geneva news this morning that the Swiss have chartered a plane (paid for by an anonymous individual) to send about 100 Roma gypsies back to Romania. This came about because, well, there is nobody in the streets any more to beg from and they want to go back to Romania where they have homes and a livelihood! So the Swiss jumped on the opportunity, an anonymous individual stepped in to pay for it, and voilà!
As for me, I'm just puttering along daily and still doing fine. To be honest, if I have to get quarantined anywhere I could do a lot worse than here, and I know many aren't as lucky. I actually got most of my Kaffe Fassett mystery quilt put together and am ready to start quilting. Now I haven't enjoyed this at all, mainly because I actually don't like the original design (but wasn't to know that at the time, hence the word "mystery" in mystery quilt) and because I can't cut straight to save my life. But after much blood, sweat, swearing and improvisation that thing is laid across my living room floor while I'm crawling over it in shorts and clean socks trying to tack it together by hand until I can get it under the machine to quilt. Kaffe Fassett would probably roll in his grave (if he were dead, which he isn't at time of writing but who knows) at my version of his mystery quilt but hey, what can I say!
|What Kaffe Fasset had in mind|
|My version - I must have read the instructions wrong!|
And in other news, when I was making the brownies for my neighbour the other day my hand-held mixer started playing up. Not surprising really, I suppose, because I reckon my parents gave me that when I first moved to Switzerland in 1980 so it owes me nothing does it. Anyway with my newly-acquired zen attitude I decided to sit outside in the sunshine on my terrace and take that baby apart. Well, I'm not surprised it was playing up! While I obviously clean it after every use, when I took it apart I was amazed at how much dust and muck had accumulated over the years! I got an old toothbrush and cleaned that thing out and put it back together, but seriously! I'm not surprised I feel "bunged up" in the morning (not that I sleep with the mixer of course) and blame it on hay fever!!! I mean, how much dust is hidden from sight in our daily lives even if we consider ourselves "clean"? And talking of dust, I decided to further my zen mindset and have been doing a bit of yoga every day following "Yoga with Adrienne" on YouTube. I can highly recommend her as she's great! Except, that yesterday, as I was lying on the floor doing my bit with Adrienne, all I could focus on was the bloody dust and cobwebs underneath the furniture! Damn! Maybe I'm not quite as laid back as I thought!
And then to add to my stress, I went out grocery shopping today and everything was fine - more than fine actually - at first. No queues, no worries anywhere, except I can't find my teabags! I know!!!! What's a Brit gonna do without her teabags???? I guess that patronising book I gave my kids making fun of the Brits who travel abroad with their emergency supply of teabags is ringing a bit hollow now isn't it!
And finally, my "Walk 1,000 Miles in 2020" walking group is having "technical" issues as you can imagine, with people no longer allowed to go out walking - well maybe within a 1 km radius but that's a helluva lot of "walking round the garden" isn't it. Anyway, yesterday on FB one of the group said that since we were all in the same boat did anyone want to contribute stories about how horrible they/their siblings were to each other when they were growing up. There were a couple that made me laugh. One woman described how their family had gone camping and she and her brother smuggled chocolate fingers (biscuits) into their other sister's sleeping bag and the next morning her sister woke up and thought she'd shat herself!!! And then another one, in a similar, classy vein, mentioned how she'd licked melted Mars bars out of a (clean) nappy to the horror of her siblings. I know, I know, we're a classy lot we Brits aren't we! So I chimed in that when I was about 10, my older sister told me that if I shaved my eyebrows and cut off my eyelashes they would grow back twice as strong! Well guess who did it!! Thankfully they grew back but I walked around looking like a frickin' lizard for about a month and never forgave her! Siblings, don't you just love 'em!