22

August

‘Le Planning’

Saturday August 22, 2020


The French like anglicising words, ‘le shopping’, ‘le week-end’. I wrote many articles on my faithful Olivetti, sitting at a restaurant table waiting for the ferry. This had to be written in my head at lunch-time. Everybody was masked except those eating. Very little in our lives at the moment does not apply in some ways to the virus. But planning my future, and just looking out of the window, generated an awareness of other problems. This restaurant has a lucrative contract to feed all the police from the Mont Saint Michel. They came in groups of six, as they left they donned their bullet-proof vests. I thought ‘Oops’, we are still a major potential target for terrorism, two million tourists in a normal year, people herded together, religious pilgrimage site.

Then a sad, cross thought. The house opposite my window had been occupied by a Second World War hero. He had been with the resistance, helping airmen to escape through Spain and Portugal, back to UK to continue the fight. He was betrayed. After his release, and marriage, his wife had six years coping with his awful nightmares, no help for PTSD then. He and my youngest daughter were great pals. He was due at one of our 14th July parties; he came in earlier, in tears, to say he could not come; his only son had attempted suicide. He doffed his hat to my daughter and me, and then we saw his scalp, horribly scarred from Gestapo torture. There is nothing in this town to remember him by.

My neighbours are leaving; I shall be virtually alone in the street. Any security system would be impractical and very expensive. I’m not scared, but winter will be lonely. I could, with my pensions, just give up, go into a care home and leave the agency to let or sell the house, not on. The really ‘big’ issue is garden planning. We have had 2 minor lots of rain since the beginning of May, with high temperatures and strong winds. Garden maintenance is vital as it is such a necessary part of my existence – varied exercise, somewhere pleasant to sit, and giving pleasure to others. If I let it ‘rip’ for Spring, I will have a sea of blue, forget-me-nots, borage, knapweed. But come mid-May, and summer planting, I will have an impoverished desert. Can I justify the amount of water I am currently using for a garden enjoyed by one person?

We are being endlessly harassed by calls wanting us to insulate our houses for one euro. I know I am not eligible, but cannot stop the calls. The French government is obsessed with energy saving. Now it is special heating systems. I have TWO separate heating systems, one of which does the hot water. Combining them, in theory, is not feasible, but worth an enquiry, will get the engineers to look at it. Life does not stand still, what I really need is a ‘think tank’, a good old fashioned ‘Quango’. Anybody else faced with major decisions?

Bon chance.

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.


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