Marie Christine


What to say? ... this is all so unreal and surreal - almost makes us feel nostalgic for the good old Brexit days. Was that really just a few weeks ago?

Unreal because London is deserted, like a discarded movie set, just a few late extras in the streets roaming with their dog(s), or with humongous bags full of food and the famous loo rolls. Human kind’s purpose in life seem to be pretty mundane at the moment.
Surreal because since the lockdown (we are only into day 7 or something) the weather has been gorgeous. The most perfect blue sky unspoilt by the trails of aeroplanes, the trees blooming, the birds all atwitterand the air now feels fresh and so much cleaner.

M&I are lucky. The flat is luminous and the terrace enables us to “get out” and sun ourselves in the afternoons.  I have ordered and hope to receive a skipping rope that hopefully we can use on the terrace. We go most days for a brisk walk. Here too we are only allowed to be no more than 2 and of the same household. Police are starting to get strict especially with groups of people who still defy government/medical recommendations and have nothing better to do than organise barbecues in the middle of their streets.(see BBC websites).

Anyway, we are also pleased to be home as we came back from Switzerland just as it was starting to close down, the virus working its way from Italy to Ticino into Valais where we are. We started to get agitated and came back just in time. Was it really only 10 days ago? Time is stretching in strange ways and will to do so even more as the weeks unfold. There is no way of telling what day of the week it is as there is no sound to pace the day and the night. Just the odd alarm or emergency siren.

Our trip to the Lebanon in May is postponed too, until September… not sure if that will happen then.

Last week was characterised by panic. Now I think we have two choices; either panic or be patient. I know which one we are choosing. By being patient we can focus on other treasures that we have, like all those travel diaries that I have always wanted to edit and re-write properly; a pile of books that only strict confinement can help us go through (Hilary Mantel’s  “The Light and the Mirror” is part of it) and a library of photos that also beg for some attention. Oh yes and like you I am doing a weekly diary, thoughts, impressions, colours. The flat has never been so clean and the terrace is blooming. We had a plump little visitor at the weekend that really cheered things up (see pic below). He has not re-appeared, maybe he’s cheering up someone else. I hope so.

It is a difficult time but after difficulty there is always ease - part of a cycle - so let’s be patient and remind ourselves that our purpose in life is more than buying tons of bog rolls.

a french friend, married to a Brit, living central London, that we shared a yurt with in Kyrsyzstan in 2012 -25/3/2020


Just a quick drop in to see how you were, prompted by a note in my diary that says that today was our meeting on the Thames scheduled ( we should have been on the Silver Cloud, moored alongside Tower bridge!) and how sad it is that it cannot happen.

We often walk down to the river as our routine exercise. In fact we now have Borough Market on our list for fresh greens and fruit and fish and many other treats. So glad we can do that as the supermarkets are not the ideal answer beyond bog rolls and washing powder..

epping borough veg
Epping Forest
Borough Market
Her basket of veg


We are benefiting from incredible radiant weather throughout this lockdown and now that it has been eased a little we are able to go further afield like Epping Forest. What a joy! The ancient trees, the ponds, the wild(ish) life, all very restorative. 

I am sure you are following the vicissitudes of our government and quite frankly it all leaves us quite demoralised and scandalised.
Lord knows what the future holds. 

Still we keep our spirits up with walks, Pilates on line with our teacher, and I am doing a course on Spanish Masters, colours and the art of the brushstrokes. A bit of virtual travelling to the beautiful light of Spanish landscapes  that you are familiar with.

Hopefully one day we’ll all  be able to go and see again  those wonderful places that we all miss so much.

- the same friend 19/5/2020

More Tales of lockdown