Lockdown day 29 – Easter Monday

It’s lundi de Pâques, or Easter Monday, which is always a national holiday here in France. Except this year it feels like just another day under lockdown, but we get to enjoy the leftovers from yesterday.

I hope you all had a nice Easter, albeit confined, if you celebrated. Even if you are not Christian or believe in God the event this year seemed to more pertinently symbolise hope, new birth and new beginnings. I was taught that the bunnies were symbols of fertility so that is what I think of at Easter time, hence my effort to dye the boiled eggs. Our family celebrated with parsley-butter covered lamb (very French), polenta (Italian) and roasted courgettes (probably the most popular vegetable in Provence). I washed my meal down with rosé and Thierry drank a Provençal red, the girls were treated to iced tea. Even the pigs were happy because they ate all the left overs bits of fat from the lamb. Thierry taught the girls that pigs actually eat almost anything, even dead humans, if given the opportunity – which might explain why they keep trying to munch his feet, suggested my younger daughter.

It’s overcast but not cold here today. I walked around the garden and took photos of what’s coming up like the daisies, the figs, the roses, all promising signs of hope. It’s a good thing it’s not the dead of winter right now or things would feel really miserable around here.

Yesterday evening I taught everyone how to play Poker. We have been playing cards every night but I was getting tired of the usual “Old Maid” and “Memory” and “Uno.” It was time to graduate to the more serious stuff. This is casino level, I told them, but I was surprised that even I had forgotten which was stronger; a full-house or a flush. Good thing we have the internet to quickly find out. We didn’t bet real money but used Scrabble squares as chips. The most important thing to learn is how to make a poker face. The game is more about how to manipulate other players to give up first, not so much about having the best hand. It’s competition based on impression. I won all the games of course, but probably because of my acting talent, being able to convince them I had the winning hand, a bit like the practice of marketing. This is such a Capitalist notion, I thought. No wonder gambling isn’t big in Socialist France. Still we had a great time and I know that one day when these lockdown days are over, or more precisely when my girls have grown up, I’ll be missing the conviviality of family time.

Tonight we’ll listen to the dashing President of France, Emmanuel Macron, speak on TV. We’ll get to find out how much longer the lockdown will continue for and maybe even when the kids can go back to school. I’m going to bet they won’t go back before September. But I think shops will begin to open up sooner rather than later. Travel will most likely continue to be limited, and with it, tourism. But masks will be worn for a while longer. I, for one, will not be taking any chances.

Hope you have a good week, wherever you may be.