24. Loosening the chains?

It has to be said that the daily number of visitors to these posts can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Four yesterday was a good day. It’s not the quantity that intrigues me so much as the quality. What would a visitor in Alaska have in common with one in Bulgaria? The visitor from China who used to log in regularly every day has vanished. Where or why? Anyway, to ask the question above might be appreciated in the UK but disrespectful in India, where the health service has buckled under the strain.

Here in France we tend to be sceptical about the official figures. Last Thursday was Ascension Day (Auffahrt in the German speaking part of Switzerland over the border) a religious festival, therefore a public holiday. This means that many French can ‘faire le pont‘, an ‘extended weekend’ in other words. There isn’t an exact translation into English. Google says ‘bridge the gap’ , which is good enough, although it resembles the tinny voice in the London tube stations telling you to mind it. The Germans call it Brückentag, which has a crispness about it. The UK could adopt that alongside angst, rucksack and schadenfreude.

The point being that the published covid figures are the result of testing. This requires people to carry out the checks. You can see where this is leading; a four day weekend will skew the statistics. We tend to ignore Monday’s figures for the same reason.

Do you feel that your chains are being loosened? That depends where you live of course. The UK promises to be close to normality this week, but the number of aircraft from covid hotspots landing at Heathrow may yet muddy the waters. Here we shall be permitted to stay out until 9pm! How will we fill the extra two hours? When invited to stay the weekend at Buckingham Palace Margaret Thatcher, who existed on just a few hours sleep, was told that the staff would go off duty at 11.30pm. Allegedly her reply was ‘what is one going to do?’

Cafes and restaurants are permitted to serve you on their terraces. At the time of writing it is 13 degrees and raining, so wear your winter woollies. Madame’s sister was looking forward to a trip to the local café for a hot dog, the genuine French article of course not a poor cousin that tastes like reconstituted cardboard. Why can’t she? The café is in the precincts of the supermarket, therefore not technically outside.

Bon appétit

Next post 25. Castraters Wanted

Published by johnsblog2021

These posts take a light-hearted look at life, mainly in France, during and after lockdown

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