It looks like we're finally in winter right now. Not what I call "February/March winter" of the howling winds and freezing temperatures, but more the "January winter" of the grey skies and constant drizzle. To be honest it isn't always grey skies even if at the moment it's definitely "January winter", with the constant rain, rain, rain! I went over to Jordan and Jen's this afternoon (lasagna and garlic bread for dinner) and driving along the road next to the Giffre river I was amazed to see how fast flowing and how high the water is. It's beautiful fishing and rafting water, of course, but it's kinda frightening how the water levels can rise so quickly!
As I was setting off out this afternoon I noticed that this little red car is still on the island in the middle of our housing lotissement. It's been parked there for a few days now right next to the sign that says "please don't park on the island"! We keep the grass cut and the island tidy as it's a nice place for everyone to meet up (covid permitting), so parking on the island is discouraged, particularly given that there are plenty of parking spaces available. Still, there's always one isn't there!
|The red sign says "please don't park on the island"!|
The French aren't known for being great respecters of rules but I have to say I've been pleasantly surprised at how people have been wearing masks and using the hand sanitizers available at the entrance to every shop. There's a UK blogger who I quite like and who is a tad eccentric (which to me is a good thing), but she is of the opinion that this pandemic is more or less an attempt by governments to "control the plebs" (maybe, maybe not) and that the virus is no more serious than the flu (on that I do not agree with her at all based on first-hand testimony from front line staff). She doesn't like wearing a mask and so goes shopping with a paper she downloaded from the government's website to say that wearing a mask causes her distress (which she is perfectly entitled to do)! She posts about this kind of thing occasionally but I'm beginning to suspect she does it to stir things up as while many people agree with her, a few slap back and tell her how selfish she's being. One lady commented that she presumed she wouldn't be getting the vaccine shot then since it was all a hoax and the whole bloody blog blew up into a fair old handbag fight! I didn't comment as I tend to keep my opinions to myself, but needless to say I don't agree with her stance. She wouldn't get away with not wearing a mask in shops here though because I'm pretty sure you've got to have a paper signed by a doctor in order to exempt you from having to wear a mask on health grounds, and again, to be fair, everywhere I go people seem to be following the mask and the curfew rules! I saw in the paper today a short article on how the Chinese might introduce "anal swabs" to better detect the virus - maybe the French follow the rules because they've also read that article. The "anal swab" visual gives pause for thought though doesn't it!
About an hour ago the French Prime Minister addressed the nation and surprisingly they are not ordering another lockdown. He said the curfew seemed to be working, although maybe not as well as they would like, but as from Sunday they are closing the borders to anyone coming from outside the E.U. (I presume that means also the Schengen area is exempt - i.e. Switzerland for us) unless the travel is essential or the person is a cross-border worker (like André). So the same rules apply: continued curfew, wearing of masks, any non-food shopping centres over 2,000 square metres to be closed (so small businesses can stay open), and mandatory covid tests less than 72 hours old for anyone having to enter France under one of the exceptions above. I guess the ski lifts are still closed, as are gyms, restaurants and the like but what can we do - at least we're not back in bloody lockdown! I do miss my gym and yoga sessions though as I'm starting to creak, but I recognize that those are very definitely first world problems!
After I got home tonight I saw on FB that there was yet another traffic jam on the motorway that I used to take to go to work. People were saying that it had taken them 45 minutes to do 1 km and again, I'm so, so glad I no longer have to do that journey on a daily basis!
In other news André came in the other night and asked me if I had bought a ticket for Saturday's lottery because someone in the local area had won €11 million. Sadly, it wasn't me - well I won €2.20 - but it's nice to see someone local hitting the jackpot isn't it! André has been off this week in order to use up some of his leave and it looks like he might finally have gotten all the paperwork sorted to get his Swiss car plates switched to French. He also made two trips back to the apartment he shared with Lily in Switzerland and emptied out the storage area/bicycle shed, so I leave to your imagination what my basement looks like yet again! In amongst the stuff he brought back was a box of his dad's paperwork that he left on the table when he upped and abandoned his rented farmhouse five years ago. Seriously, he just upped and left everything - even left coffee grounds in the pot and washing in the washer! I know I've mentioned this before but I went over to his place every weekend for two months to empty that and the two-car garage, so yeah, I had a good idea what was in that box as I had packed up and moved most of it! But, what I hadn't seen was some of the crap regarding his last DUI in March 2010. He left me and moved in with someone I affectionately refer to as "the fat-ankled skank with a face like the north end of a camel going south" in January 2010 and in March 2010 he wrecked not only his own car but also the car the garage had lent him while fixing up his car. So two cars in one week! When he had to appear in court he must have got some of his drinking buddies to write "testimonials" for him, saying what a great happy-go-lucky guy he always was, until recently when "he had separated from his wife and appeared very depressed". Well yeah, buddy, maybe the split with your wife had something to do with you shacking up with The Downgrade ("fat-ankled skank with a face like the north end of a camel going south" being way too long to write out every time). But meh, whatever. Well I was meh until I saw The Downgrade's testimonial. She wrote that he was staying with her "as a friend" (a kinda cosy "friendship" in the same bed though don't ya think) and "yes he was depressed by the break-up of his marriage" (not that she had anything to do with it of course, she was just his bar ho/drinking buddy) and "his depression had probably caused him to drink that night, exceptionally" (ha!), "something he very much regretted"! What this didn't explain though were the three or four other DUIs he had before he became "depressed" by the break up of his marriage. But get this, the bitchy cow, she also wrote that he had also "just found out about the high level of "hidden debt" that he and his wife were in, and she (The Downgrade) would like to point out that it was Madame who handled all the finances"! Sub-text, Madame (me) was syphoning off money and hiding debts. Ha!!!!! I wonder whose salary she thought was really paying for all those rounds of drinks in the ho bar, and wasn't it strange that when the assets were documented for the divorce Monsieur was driving a €60,000 car while Madame was driving a car generously valued at €1,000 (not that I cared). Also Madame didn't have 10 guitars and thousands of €€€€ worth of musical equipment lying around, her only "vice" being buying second-hand books off Amazon! Damn, he certainly spun a tale didn't he. Oddly enough, when Madame blocked his access to her salary quite a few of the friends dropped off the horizon as I guess he wasn't buying so many rounds. Indeed The Downgrade didn't last too much longer before she cheated on him! Oh dear, never mind, how sad! It's also telling that his pension is double that of Madame's, but the latest gf has had to get a job after initially thinking she could retire, and Monsieur has been training to become a school bus driver because he wasn't making it on the money he was bringing in! And guess who has a 25 year mortgage aged almost 60 and no money in the bank, and who has no mortgage and a decent amount in savings. Go on, I bet you can't guess! I tell ya I was furious when I read that this afternoon but in the end I just thought who cares, either that's what he was telling them (I know he told them I was violent), or that's what he truly believed in his alcohol-befuddled state. In the end there're no tag backs, I'm no longer his Chaos Manager, nor do I have to adult for a toddler in an adult body! Maybe I should suggest to The Downgrade that she gets her next covid swab in China!
And finally, after this epic rant, Anne in Alabam was saying that she is trying to learn Swedish but was finding it quite difficult as she "keeps getting her words wrong". Nah, learning languages is easy, particularly Swedish. If you don't believe me ...