A year in the Cevennes during the Time of COVID ( Part 1)
As I have now been in the wooded hills of Southern France for over 18 months while still maintaining an active interest in UK and global events as well as from an age friendly perspective, I thought I would try to write a more personal take on how life is progressing as part of this blog and comparing life in France and the UK
So here goes.
After buying a small old ( 1780s) and very basic schoolhouse ( no bathroom or toilet) back in the 80s in the middle of the wild, wooded hills of the Cevennes I dreamt of moving there permanently as soon as possible. So now over 35 years later I managed to actually do it.
This was at a time when there was a lull in the lockdown ( August 2020) so we were able to escape London and move to the country in another country.
I don't know if any of you have watched Stuck Together ( on Netflix in French with subtitles) but it is the first comic drama I have seen which really captured the ambience and mania of that early time. But it was for me both funny and chilling as I watched myself and all my friends and acquaintances' reactions captured on screen while at the same time feeling ( December 21) I was looking at ancient history.
Any way we left a totally paranoid environment ( we did not go ourselves to the shops, always wore masks, had socially distanced door step deliveries and washed everything compulsively ) only to wander into a very relaxed, hippy- like lifestyle ( co-ops, bio food, markets) in the local village and surrounding small towns. This was a curious mix of enforced mask wearing in supermarkets, shops, offices and public transport with people sitting outside restaurants and in the open air market still hugging and cheek kissing each other ( except us who kept our London style social distancing and mask wearing throughout) as well as mixing with one other family at a time at peoples gardens. This was during the period between the first 2 main lock downs, a brief respite. But to be able to go for walk in the country alone, to breathe the fresh air , to enjoy the sounds and smells and colours of a Southern French summer was such a relief and freedom.
We spent a lot of time giving thanks that we had made the move.