I guess like most places the world over, we're just now getting hit with the second wave of the pandemic. Last week the government imposed a curfew on Paris and eight other major cities and now, as from midnight tonight, it's also being imposed in Haute Savoie. Well actually in another 38 départements (states/counties) affecting 46 million people. As from tonight, and for the next six weeks, there will be a curfew from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. with fines starting at €135 for anyone caught outside during that period without the appropriate exemptions. I already received a message from my gym saying that they have been obliged to close down for the duration (again) and I just feel so sorry for them. They're a new gym that was set up by a group of young people so they're getting hit hard - as are restaurants, bars and pubs etc. If I think I've had enough of bloody covid I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it is for so many others! In fact my neighbour came round for a coffee yesterday and burst into tears. I think that's more to do with her marital situation than anything, but I can't imagine being confined with someone you so obviously detest makes matters any better. I've said it before, but damn I'm glad I'm going through this on my own!
My friend arrived back from a month in Spain on Sunday, and I reckon it's just as well she came when she did because who knows what's going to happen in the upcoming weeks re borders and so on. She and her sister bought a house in southern Spain so that her sister can take up residence there before 31st December. It was an 18 hour drive back for her and I bet she was feeling the cold when she arrived here as it's turned rotten again. Oh the leaves are just stunning but I haven't been able to get any decent shots of the mountains because it's pouring so hard. It was interesting to hear her saying how cheap Spain is (that's why so many Brits move out there - well that and the weather of course) and how you could have an excellent set menu in a restaurant for €5!! And here's André saying how cheap France is because he eats his lunch most days in the restaurant near Jordan's place for €10! I guess that's because he lived the last 10 years in Geneva of course. Then again, Spanish prices reflect Spanish wages also, and not everyone is lucky enough to have a Swiss salary or pension!
In other news, on Wednesday I went out to lunch with Jen's mom and she took me to a relatively new vegan restaurant just 10 minutes up the road from here that served the most fabulous food. They seem to be "all in" with the vegan lifestyle, giving yoga and pilates classes, as well as courses on meditation. I'm thrilled to discover this place because they will also be doing vegan cookery classes come January and it's something I've wanted to get into for a long time. They have vegan restaurants and cookery classes in Geneva of course but then again you're looking at Swiss prices, and the longer I'm away from Geneva the more it's brought home to me how truly expensive it is!
When I stopped in at Jordan and Jen's the other day I saw that she already had a kind of baby walker/baby seat with wheels in the living room. She said she'd been to a local vide grenier which was specifically aimed at selling children's clothes and equipment and picked it up for a couple of euros. There are some things she wouldn't dream of buying second-hand but I'm so glad she's not precious about it and is happy to buy "gently used". Heck, my kids pretty much grew up in hand-me-downs (as did I, having two older sisters) as most of my friends had older sons and I see nothing wrong with it. At least that way they were free to play and get dirty and nobody cared that much!
I had my car at Ford this week too as I wanted to get my snow tyres put on before the inevitable rush when it has already started snowing and everyone gets "taken by surprise". I also had it serviced and the bloody bill came to over €800 (ouch - but that did include new tyres). Crikey, it's a good job I budget for this stuff. While I was there Thiery told me that next spring would be another "ouch" moment as although I don't have the km on my car it will be 10 years old and I will need to get the courroie de distribution changed. Thiery speaks pretty good English and he thought that was called "the timing belt" in English but wasn't sure. Either way, if it goes you can pretty much kiss your car goodbye as (apparently) the pistons will destroy the engine, so there's that to look forward to come the new year!
Since I haven't had much excitement in my life recently I decided to live dangerously and try out the new minibus service that has been set up in the local villages. The "L" bus goes from our village to right outside the Ford garage in town and only costs €1.50. Trouble is it seems to visit just about every little hamlet round here before getting anywhere near town, so although it was cheap it was a bone-shaking 45-minute trip back up home. And I mean bone-shaking. I actually realized that 18 months ago I was all over bumpy little roads in Sri Lanka in a comfortable minibus and here I was having my teeth half rattled out of my head back in France! On the way back to town to pick my car up I thought I would try out the app that goes with this bus service but what a palaver that was. Download the app, put a bus ticket in your cart, input your bank card to pay for it, then take your photo and when you see the bus approaching scan the barcode. But oh my word, what a bloody photo! I reckoned once the driver saw that picture he wouldn't let me on the bus. Talk about looking like a battle axe! Still, I figured it out eventually, managed to scan the barcode on the front of the bus and I was all set for another 25 minute bone-rattling ride!
|My photo looked something like this!|
In other news, did anyone else see the recent comment by the Pope where he stated that he "supports same sex civil unions"? Wow! I know as the Pope he can only do/say so much but apparently this Pope has long voiced his support for same sex civil unions - not marriages of course - but I was very pleased to hear him say this publicly all the same!
And finally, I was getting ready to go into Geneva today to have lunch with some friends when my phone rang. When I answered (I don't always, I usually let it go to the answering machine if I don't recognize the number) the lady called me by my married name, so I knew it was someone who didn't actually know me. So then she asked me if I was Spanish "because you spell your name with 'll' at the end, and 'll' is very common in Spanish???? Say what? I figured she was just making chitchat before moving on to trying to sell me something but nope, that was it. She must have seen my name in the telephone directory and decided to call me and ask if I was Spanish because of the 'll'! So I explained that that was my ex-husband's name and he is American, and in any case I had gone back to my maiden name many years ago. And that was it! She apologized for bothering me and hung up. What was that all about do you think? The odd thing is, my maiden name has "ll" at the end of it too but nope, it still doesn't make me Spanish!