Thursday, 4 June 2020

Living Déconfinement

The process of déconfinement here in Paris was a phased approach. Because we are a Red Zone, meaning a very high number of COVID-19 cases, restrictions here were greater as they were in other Red Zones, primarily in the North and North East. Some departments have experienced no COVID-19 cases and others were overwhelmed.  Those were in the first phases labelled Green Zones. As of June 2 we are all green or at least greenish and many of the restrictions lifted throughout France.

As of May 29, Paris Parks were finally opened, and people did flock to the green grass and who could blame them? However, we have been without the requirement of attestations since May 11 so social distancing and masks have been prevalent throughout the month. Most people are respectful and concerned with transmission but as in any densely & heavily populated city the shock of people on the street was significant. We all rather enjoyed quiet Paris. Many residents had left the city and those left could go about the essentials of our business during lock down with very little contact. Now folks are back at work, the streets are heavily travelled with cyclists as more cycling lanes and streets are accommodating bicycles with no cars. Hurrah for Anne Hidalgo the Mayor as she saw the need since the Metro is overcrowded on the best of days.  Shops are open with strict guidelines, Écoles Maternelles, offices, with employees who can work at home still continuing to do so, and of course all shops with groceries or bakeries, butchers etc. Additionally, as of yesterday June 2 cafes and restaurants with outdoor spaces in terraces or with street space are open. Tables are spaced out at least a metre (not far enough for me).  Masks and hand sanitizer dispensers are everywhere. Masks are a must on all forms of transport and shops.  Hand sanitizer stations are at every bus stop and Metro station and every store entry or payment station. Now it is up to all of us to remember that the virus is around and about us. It did not disappear. We have simply managed to slow the spread through strict adherence to the lockdown rules.  Social distancing and masks and excellent hygiene are the only way to hold it at bay.

We are readying the boat for departure and leave Paris on Sunday June 7. We must fly to Frankfurt from Charles de Gaulle with Lufthansa then on to Toronto direct. We are keeping fingers crossed that all goes according to plan.

In the meantime, our friends are slowly departing from the marina to new summer locations as the VNF has allowed pleasure boat traffic on the canals from June 2 as well. It is bittersweet to see the great exodus of boats depart the écluse and turn right or left on the Seine. We had so looked forward to cruising to Strasbourg in April. However, by the greatest of good fortune our friends Chris and Liz, already onboard their boat in Strasbourg, will arrive in Paris the day after we leave and, after a few days, begin that journey on our behalf aboard Forty Roses. We are so grateful for their help. We hope they enjoy her as much as we do. And coquette Cosette and handsome Hugo will accompany them so the ship will not be without a cat.  

We look forward to our return and the wonderful life we enjoy here.

And right now, we look forward to coming home to family and friends, our beautiful house in the woods, the lake, the clean air and freedom of fewer people, my very late spring planting of the garden, 14 days of Quarantine, and especially Canada Day this year. All of us have been through a very strange time with much more ahead of us. We feel the need to connect with our home turf and surroundings and to count our blessings.


Word Just in This Morning:  Our Verdict From the Dutch Court is in : We won. The Court Rejected All Cornelissen/Euroship Claims for € 100,000 plus " Extra Work". He Owes us Court Costs and €'s for Items not Provided. We are Feeling Pretty Darn Fine!

The Nurse You Want Fighting COVID-19 

Isolation Coming to an End

Missing You was Everywhere with Everyone

And Now We are All a 

Great Deal Closer!

Poignant Pillar Display

Stacked Chairs in Closed Cafes

Fashion Masks with  French Flair

Designer Rodrigue  & Christine in his Atelier



Out for a Walk

Day Before Phase 1


Best Box Cake Ever

Déconfinement Day for Bea's Cats

Oscar on an Ice Pack - It is a Hot Day

Cooled off Cat Sitting on John's Door Cover

My English Class Girls Now Able to Practice their  Music Together

Lucy, Bretonnia, Jeanne (hidden), Lily in Concert on  Helique  (Arielle, another oboist had left)

Empty Park as Gates Were Locked until May 29

Always a Pastry Confinement or Déconfinement

Kelly, First Boat Departing

Friends Gathered to Celebrate the First Departure

Street Art

Oscar's Girlfriend Plume


Jeanne Tending her Garden

Departure of Oribi

Unfurling the Flag

Turning toward the Marne

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Ending Week 7

Today is Sunday and I write this looking out at the park across the canal that we cannot enter. The trellises are loaded with roses where I would simply love to go and cut a bouquet. But , although I see  a guy across there has just done so and actually filled a bucket with them I will forgo. The park has been contentious with the marina office and rightly so. All parks are closed across Paris and if there is one thing Parisians love it is their lovely parks. Usually a sunny day this time of year finds scores of families under gorgeous flowering, towering chestnut trees chatting, picnicking, and just enjoying the spaces. To have that all denied on top of our severe lockdown is pretty trying. However, people are respectful and  abiding by the rules along with more and more masks appearing as purchase of these are now possible at pharmacies and grocery stores across the city. But back to the park, or our park as we like to claim. It is part of the Port de Plaisance which is an enclosed & gated location right now. One side of the canal is green trees, paths, rose arches, flower beds a children’s playground and park benches. We have lilacs, wisteria, flowering crab trees and all sorts of greenery. We must stay out as the street above can look down over the wall and it is not deemed fair to other Parisians that we should have access to a park when they do not. So we are outlawed. Not to say that some have not attempted quick forays onto the paths as the foliage comes out fully and the blossoms beckon. As they apparently did today with my neighbour across the way, who from here on in will be known as the Rose Thief.

May 11, 2020 some restrictions will be lifted. New cases are diminishing each day as are hospitalizations, so the hope is that we can strictly manage social distancing, careful hygiene and masking to avoid a resurgence. Travel will be possible within departments within France for trips of 100 km or less, people who are working at home will continue to do so, crèches  and elementary schools will open but with restricted numbers via alternate days to keep classes small, shops may open but masks will be necessary and only a certain number of customers will be permitted to enter at a time. Many other aspects surround the opening up relative to work place safety and Metro travel where riders will also follow social distancing, and compulsory masking. How that will actually work is yet to be seen.  It is a day we look forward to yet fear. No one in this marina is under any delusion that the world, regardless of “opening up”, is changed. We cannot indulge in mystical thing about the novel coronavirus. It is with us until there is a vaccine and worldwide inoculations have been completed. In reality that may take a minimum of 2 -3 years.  There is a French expression fitting après 11 Mai: avoir peur donc être en sécurité.

The Most Beautiful Blue

Our Closed Park

Sunny Days and Greening Trees

The Reader

Oscar Ennui

Checking Out New Pot Holders Made by Jeanne

On My Way to Greengrocer- Nice Window Decal

Best Mushrooms 

Ready for Pain Perdu

Kitchen Observateur

River Pipit Geraniums

Boat Gardens 

More Geraniums

Blues on Mojito

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Week 5

How strange it was to experience Easter weekend in Paris this year. The silence was loud; only broken by sirens of ambulances  and emergency vehicles.  The sun shone, the wind blew and filtered golden  pollen dust into every crack on the boat. We stayed inside the Port as sunny , warm days bring people outside for their hour of exercise in larger numbers than usual. . Running and jogging have been banned between 10AM and 19:00 hours but walkers and dog walkers and essential shopping trips seem to multiply on such days . Masks are strongly encouraged but have not been made compulsory as they ought in our opinion.  We decided to stay put until Wednesday . Numbers have risen  alarmingly here over the last week although yesterday brought a drop in new cases. Will it hold is the question? Now everyone is doing their Monday morning quarterbacking  and yes, steps could have been taken earlier here and in every country as far as we can see. Companies could have been ramped up to fortify stocks of PPE and masks and hand sanitizer and ventilators in January if everyone had been wise enough to acknowledge the science,  the speed of contagion and the swiftness of death. There was time for the rest of the world to get moving and prepare and get testing organized…but it did not happen unless the country was in east Asia and understood what happens when a highly contagious virus hits dense populations.  

Our week has passed  and Macron has spoken to the nation on Monday night extending the lockdown until May 11. It is proposed that there will be some lifting at that time for workers and child care and schools. Exactly how that will all transpire is in planning stages. One thing seems clear is that older people will be expected to continue the lockdown.  
So we have completed our weekly shopping trip. John goes to a Franprix close by and I head to the greengrocer. The produce is still amazing, people are mostly very careful to keep distance and wear a mask although we do notice some younger people who must feel they are immune, pushing boundaries. But overall we say the population of this dense city is respectful and careful and abiding by the rules. Yes, we must fill out trackable phone attestations but to me it seems to be an excellent way to keep folks minding the reasons, distance and time restrictions, for outings. Frankly it gives us peace of mind that there is an orderly society in this pandemic. Without order and compliance we are all at very grave risk.

 We worry about families in small apartments, people who have nothing in the bank to fall back upon, people waiting for their assistance, not knowing where rent will come from. France has relief packages and plans and we can only hope there are very few who fall between cracks. The expectancy here in this city is that 40% of cafes, bars and restaurants will never reopen.  We are fortunate that France has done so much to  try and flatten the curve and we are grateful to the government for the job they are doing.  After all when one knows that the Marais sector of Paris alone has over 55,000 nights of Airbnb it is a miracle that cases are where they are. That does not count any other arrondissement or include hotel or hostel rooms. It is a heavily visited city with people from all over the world. Right now there are 150,000 cases and over 18,000 deaths with the east of France and the Paris area most affected.

With all the talk of reopening in the USA  and the UK we fear that without orderly testing and tracking there will be second, third and fourth waves of contagion. After all a reopening date is just a date. Without clear plans and testing it is just asking for more cases to develop. None of us are safe from COVID-19 until there is a vaccine;  end of story.

No One but Me 

My Disguise

Trusty Cart

A New Recipe

Escalope of Chicken filled with Garlic, Goat Cheese & Spinach in White Wine Sauce

La Poste Pick Up Line-A Story for Another Time!

Jeanne Rowing Jerome ( her Dad) to Bahamas

Full Moon Over the Port

Muffin Day

Easter Quiche

Avec Salade Verte

Furniture Rearranging

Parasol on Loan

Sheltering in Place


Where We Were Last Spring on this Day