Chroniques Covid Chronicles Day 31

31 days have passed since I came back incredulously from school one day thinking « great I’m going to have time to read ». As a matter of fact I have read less or just about as much during this break as I usually do in normal circumstances. You don’t know how much it means to me to stay in bed and read and strangely enough I do it less and less as I’m growing… less juvenile.

One thing I am reading with amazement is my agenda. How many celebrations, outings, meetings have I already missed ?!

How many projects have been cancelled opera, theatre, dining with my beloved, trips to Paris… And yesterday the final blow which I had postponed to even discuss with my lovely tenants Pete and Marilyn. We were all heartbroken, yet admitted that it didn’t sound too good for Canada this year.

My stone cottage on Grand Manan.

My little house on my little island full of my great friends fisherman, boat designers, farmers, nurses, islanders and our new neighbours Ken and Barb, my fellow hikers, French bakers or my golden hearted rough chef Laura…and our best buddies Holly and Jerry

All this little world I grew so much accustomed to for the past seven years is not going to materialise for me and Arthur’s bench is probably going to remain very empty this year. Peter and Marilyn told me that they’ve had two cancellations so far so I’m the 3rd to admit this won’t be happening and although I’ve been thinking and discussing it with Marc for a while, I could not come up with this decision. It seems obvious now that there’s no way we are going to be able to even fly, let alone to an island in those circumstances.

Sunset from Arthur’s Bench, Grand Manan, NB, Canada

None of this is really important, I’m being very futile when self-pitifying over my vacations and opera season but I’m thinking of all these marvellous artists who make me dream season after season who get ready two years in advance for each show who give up their own summers and family events to entertain me year after year and who are going to suffer this immense blow. I’m thinking of all these little people doing huge tasks we have only now come to realise, these invisibles who have suddenly become so visible. I know they will be forgotten again and I feel so lucky as a teacher in Switzerland because I am getting a little more recognition than my counterparts in France. I have 17 students in my class my largest class and think about those who have sometimes even more than the double and a quarter of my salary. Things are unfair and I am so lucky for so many things in my life that I can’t even start counting my blessings… and I won’t because I’m superstitious!

Among these blessings, my group of close friends is certainly what makes my life so rich and so much fun. As I did yesterday I will describe

Portrait Gallery (2) : Someone else of my immediate surrounding that counts a lot is Marc, my partner, even though I have already dedicated a post to him.

Marc is a gentle, very gentle man I have come across in the most unbelievable circumstances, playing duel quiz while travelling abroad during my last sabbatical . I didn’t think much of him while we were chatting away, just that he was obviously a charming and very cultured man from North of France and Belgian origins but as French and Parisian as one can be. So, when I came back and met him for what was supposed to be a cup of coffee and became a tea at the café des Deux Magots, and when we met again in the following days, he soon became as indispensable to me as the air I breathe. He is my soulmate, an expert in human resources which to quote him have become for him a heartbreaking job because instead of concentrating on the human he was forced for years to concentrate on the resources. He’s fun, has an amazing culture in almost anything that counts for me, he understands me better than I do and I miss so much this feeling of being finally with my soulmate but during this lockdown, he is in Paris and I’m in Geneva… so we are forced to exchange messages, photos, and about an hour’s conversation every evening before we go to sleep. Much as I am locked down in Geneva with my daughter, he’s locked down with his genius son who is preparing for France’s elite school Polytechnique, one of the most regarded academic achievements in France. He is the reason why I cancelled Venice initially as we wanted to be near him in case he needed a presence during his exams preparations due to take place next week. As it turns out the exams are postponed sine die and we are anyhow looked down. It’s impossible to speak of Mark without mentioning his son, the light in his eyes when he speaks about him was probably what attracted me to him in the first place! Je vous aime mon Marc !

As for my Easter Sunday… after finally preparing all my payments and tidying my cupboards, I managed to go for a walk about one hour .

The day was beautiful as the photos on this post testify. I had a lovely lunch with Clélia

… Followed by a nap and some conversations with single friends, in Paris, Vancouver and Briançon. They’re all doing fine but are extremely happy to discuss with other people as they do feel quite lonely. One of them, the Parisian one, was telling me that the streets presently belong to tramps. We never realised there were so many of them who used to be able to hide away in places which are now closed. They don’t have access to water or shelter and they literally took over the streets in the popular district. When I asked that friend whether she had any recollection of the 1957 flew, she said she did indeed as it cost her her hearing but she was too young to remember anything else.

I listened with amazement to Judith Chemla at Notre Dame, watched this wonderful guided tour of the Da Vinci exhibition and cried over my beloved Italy listening to Andrea Bocelli at the Duomo

Here’s my Vancouver friend Gerri’s account of the lockdown in British Columbia following my suggestion to participate to a recipe group:

Hi Daphne
Thank you for thinking about me but i won’t be participating i have hundreds of recipes that i have collected over the years waiting for me in my recipe file, eventually i will get to them!
How are you doing during this crazy time we are living in. Are you in Suisse or France, i know you have always travelled between the two countries in the past.
I am grateful for my peaceful and somewhat free existence here at the lake, i can get out to the yard, take long walks and i have chats with neighbours from a more than 2 meters away, we are all very careful…but i find even though i have exchanges with people that i am quite unsettled and stressed about all that is going on in the world – i suppose we are all wondering how we will recover from this and what our world will look like in 1,3, 5 years.
One thing that i know for sure is i am so glad that i retired and i don’t have the stress of looking for employment during or after these hard times. I quite frankly cannot imagine how our business tourism industry is going to recover from this, i know many companies will close their doors leaving only the big players in the arena, i hope they change their tune and become more customer centric – who knows what will happen?
I hope that you continue to be safe and healthy,
Gerri

As for the social networks, here are some cuties, first on Easter, then on art, on children, on y TG he lockdownand last but not least some more criticism of the government:

Thank you so much for reading me, as usual my apologies for probable typos and thank you for all your contributions to making my life so rich and colourful. I love you

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