Stay at home, EVERY ONE!

Regarding this COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is getting scarier by the day, isn’t it? Over the night, my sister in Southern California messaged me that there were two colleagues in her office who tested positive for the virus. I will most likely to Skype with her later today so I can find out more about her predicament (I’m 100% sure that she and her husband will have to self-quarantine for two weeks) and offer her my sympathy and support.

The outside of our windows, the sun is shining brightly and the atmosphere is like a long-awaited spring. It isn’t easy for anyone to turn down a temptation, such as having a picnic in a park. However, we all have to realise this government ordered time-off is not a bonus spring break but our fight against a virus which we have no effective way to eliminate so far.

Scenes which have been streamed from a TV screen since Boris declared the national crisis resemble a nightmarish vision of the post-nuclear holocaust or the world-wide zombies domination. The image makes me wonder if the life was like this when the Chernobyl disaster happened. Everything appeared so normal yet life-threatening dangers were larking all over the place.

It is only our third day of the lockdown and I am still not entirely with it. It is not that I want to escape back to my pre-coronavirus life or I am depressed about the situation. It is more like I am still stunned and haven’t processed it properly. Like many people, I feel this whole COVID-19 business is like a really bad nightmare which I am still hoping foolishly to wake up from. I am sure one day I will have this definite resignation in me and I will be in a different place in peace.

In the mean time, let’s stay at home and be safe. Let’s take precautions and ride this crisis out together!

So far, I’m in the clear!

Pom’Alpes

As I promised yesterday, I have restarted a chronicle of my French escapade with my mom.

After leaving behind the dynamic backdrop of Sisteron, we headed to our next destination, Lyon, which was about 260km away.

As you can see from the satellite map, the area we drove through was very close to French Alps and the landscape was mainly occupied by forests and boulders.

Amazing, huh?
I wished if I knew more about geology…

At Laragne-Montéglin, we came across this…

Winking apple!

The area was famous for their delicious apples – Vita-Pom, Saint Pétrus and Altess. Mum and I were especially cheered by the apple because our hometown, Nagano, was also famous for being one of the largest producers of the fruit too. ‘I would have love to taste their apples if the season was right!’, mum uttered.

We also agreed their apple tree blossoming must have been a beautiful sight to behold.

Beautiful Parc National des Écrins. Hope to see you again!

At Monestier-de-Clermont, we took A51 and sped towards Lyon…

Sweet remedy

Are you thinking what I am thinking? Longing for the freedom? Feeling like your wings have been clipped? It is only my first day of the lockdown and I am already suffering from boredom and helplessness. How pathetic is that?

I urged Hubbie to check on our local corner shop and to shop some treats if they were open.

Sweet remedy…

He brought back a few packets of baked treats, a pint of milk and a pack of eggs. Well done, you! At a time like this, a small treat like jam round with tea helps us enormously.

Needless to say it but we intend to eat as healthily as possible during the lockdown. However, having some sweet treats once a day will cheer us up and therefore it will help us to keep our morale high.

Oh, how I long for a day I can stroll in to a bakery and have a pastry with latte without care in the world…

Positive thoughts

Like many people, the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is reaching out to my iPhone on a bedside table and checking my mailbox.

This morning, there was an email from WordPress informing me that they renewed my annual subscription. Oh yeah, my blog!

Isn’t this COVID-19 lockdown a perfect “kick in my bud” to restart my blog with gusto?

Same as my fellow Londoners, I am told to stay at home for unforeseeable future and feeling rather unsettled by this fast moving event. To be honest, I don’t know what to feel.

I am hugely relieved that Boris has decided not to throw us under a bus. The people – apart from builders who are working in the new building across the street. They are huddling, smoking and chatting like they have no care in the world – are listening to the government’s advice and behaving accordingly. And globally, every country seems to be doing the hardest to tackle the pandemic.

I feel safe at home and take a sigh of relief every time I check my body temperature and find it normal. Yet, the anxiety creeps up every now and then which makes my heart skip the beat! Ugh…

So what should I do during a time like this?

Shouldn’t I be digging up happy memories from my “mum and daughter’s road trip”? Remembering how we enjoyed our freedom in France? The idea sounds so appealing, doesn’t it?

So from tomorrow, I shall restart our holiday chronicle! Yay!

One thing breaking my heart the most is…

I won’t be able to play my passion, ice hockey, until the lockdown is lifted. I will miss the ice, the game and my teammates dreadfully. If this is not a nightmare, what is?…😭😭😭

Stroll around Sisteron

Our impression of the town was “quiet”. We saw not many people on the streets, locals or visitors, even though it was the beginning of tourist season. We scratched our heads as we wandered around the town centre.

It was an early Friday afternoon and the weather was fine as you can see on the photo. However, there was hardly any pedestrian in the town! What is going on?

A better view of the amazing ridge was available from the citadel but mum didn’t want to tax her left knee so we decided to walk to a viewing point near the river.

We walked through a short tunnel and came out to the riverside…

Until we visited Sisteron, we never saw anything like it so we were very much impressed by the sight. ‘Isn’t it amazing?’, mum gazed up towards the summit as I read the information board by the handrail.

After admiring the ridge, we walked back towards our hotel, hoping to find a supermarket…

Hmm…, where is everyone and where is a supermarket? Apart from a couple of souvenir shops, there was no shop or cafe opened in our sight.

At one of the souvenir shops, mum came across the exact tea towels, which she bought in Avignon, being sold much cheaper, and she was rightfully disappointed. ‘Oh dear, I seemed to have paid a premium price!’, she huffed irritably.

We tried another part of the town, hoping if there was any grocery shop…

But no, there was no such luck…

A bakery was firmly shut! No croissant or cake was available.

After escorted mum to the hotel, I went out to scout for a grocery shop…

Eventually, I found one shop which sold basic stuffs like milk and bread. The place didn’t look great and the shop mistress was rather grumpy but I was happy to replenish our supplies.

A thunderous rain came down in the early evening after I came back from a shopping expedition.

The sky went dark all the sudden and the rain came down with such ferocity, we were pretty shocked. ‘Aren’t we lucky, mum?’, we nodded in agreement. I said so because during the time we visited France, the weather was pretty awful. With some luck, we had been dodging all the bad spells.

Let’s have our fingers crossed! We nodded and munched on pains au chocolat I brought back from the shop…

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