September 26th 2020

Day 191 – 15 th day of de-confinement phase IV in France

Since 23 September, the departments have been classified into 5 categories:

Departments in the Green Zone
Departments in the Alert zone
Departments in the Enhanced Alert Zone
Departments in Maximum Alert Zone
Departments in a state of territorial health emergency

The Aude Departement is currently classified as Alert Zone

Alert zone: means active circulation of the virus.
In these departments, parties (weddings, raffles, community events, birthday parties, communions, etc.) organised in establishments open to the public will be limited to 30 people. Multi-purpose halls, festival halls and other establishments hosting this type of event will have to comply with this limit.
In addition, the Prefect is authorised to take a certain number of measures to reduce the circulation of the virus.

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In his weekly update on the monitoring of the epidemic, Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health, unveiled the three levels of alert created the same morning in the Defence Council: alert, reinforced alert and maximum alert. A final alert threshold, the state of health emergency, is also available to the authorities in the event of an uncontrollable bounce of Covid-19 in a territory.

These alert thresholds are established according to the following three criteria: the incidence rate (which measures the activity of the virus), the incidence rate among the elderly (+65 years) and finally the proportion of Covid patients in intensive care.

The zones of reinforced alert are those where the incidence rate is higher than 150 and that of the elderly is more than 50 per 100,000 inhabitants.

High alert zones have incidence rates above 250 and 100 among the elderly. In addition, the proportion of Covid patients in resuscitation exceeds 30% of the total capacity.

On this basis, Marseille has one of the most worrying records in France with, at the departmental level, an incidence rate of 209 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, an incidence rate among the elderly of 144 per 100,000 inhabitants and 37% of patients with Covid in the intensive care units of the Bouches-du-Rhône department (*).

These are worrying figures, but they are not necessarily much higher than those in other major French cities. Thus, the Rhône (Lyon) is dangerously close to the situation in the Rhône (202 in tx of incidence, 144 in tx of incidence among the +65 year olds and 31% of Covid in intensive care).

Same trend in Lille in the North (214, 98 and 16%) and Paris (217, 96, 18%) with, however, intensive care units heavily impacted by Covid.

Occitanie

Le Gard ready to tip over?

In the Occitanie region, Haute-Garonne has high data with an incidence rate of 199, with 90 and 15% of resuscitation beds occupied by Covid patients.

In the Hérault, the incidence rate is 97. Elderly people are less affected (45 cases per 100,000 inhabitants) but with 21%, the rate of occupation of resuscitation beds by Covid patients is high.

Do these data indicate whether other departments could be moved to a zone of heightened alert and see more severe restrictions put in place?

The department with the most worrying results is Gard, which seems to have data similar to that of the Montpellier region: 95 incidence, 57 incidence among the elderly and 29% of resuscitation beds occupied by Covid patients.

Unfavourable trend in the Pyrénées-Orientales

Although the Pyrénées-Orientales only has 16% of the resuscitation beds occupied by Covid patients, the incidence rate is 93 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and 58 cases per 100,000 people aged 65 and over. These figures are not very far from those of Montpellier and Nîmes, which should encourage caution.

With the Lot, the Aude departements are the good pupils of the region with an incidence rate of 54, an incidence rate among the elderly of 35 and 13% of Covid patients present in intensive care.

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Dashboards

WORLD

World cumulative numbers of cases as of Sep 25th
World daily numbers of cases as of Sep 25th
Top countries with recorded deaths over 550 per 1 million

FRANCE

France cumulative numbers of cases as of Sep 25th
France daily numbers of cases as of Sep 25th

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Summary of hospitalisations by regions in France

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THE VIRUS IS STILL OUT THERE

Pic of the day

Cathedral Sainte Marie in Bayonne. I was ther a few days ago. Breathtaking.

Information, news and tips

The prefecture of Aude announces this Friday evening that it has taken a decree reinforcing the measures to fight against the propagation of Covid-19 in the department.

In a press release transmitted this Friday evening, the Prefect of Aude took a new decree “prohibiting festive gatherings of more than 30 persons in all establishments receiving the public, from Monday 28 September to 30 October”.

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The prefecture recalls and calls for the respect of the measures already in force in the department:

the obligation to wear a mask in the Cité
obligation to wear a mask at markets, flea markets, fairs and other garage sales
obligation to wear a mask for gatherings of more than 10 people in public spaces, particularly around shops, schools, nurseries, shopping areas with high traffic, waiting areas for public transport, etc. “These are all places of promiscuity that can facilitate the spread of the virus”.

Food and drinks

Is there anything better than a grilled lobster?

Fun

The daily selection

The dreaded statistics

Top countries according to the number of deaths (above 5.000)

Cases by country v population (1.000 Cases upwards)

In work

France follow-up

Occitanie & Aude follow-up

🇫🇷

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Friendship

We went to school together and despite our very different paths in our working life, we have remained best friends. We manage to meet 2 or 3 times a year.

This one was taken a week ago (September 2020) in Biarritz.

Selfie in Biarritz
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Fossil IV

Following the recent exchanges with Fossil, they were very quick sending the new replacement and upgraded watch which arrived safely a couple of days ago.

One little snag which I understand is that the wrist band is far too big. One has to cope for all sizes. So I have to shorten it which is easy enough when you have the right equipment.

It now fits perfectly and I can set it up to receiver infos, messages, emails and apparently calls.

Before I do that, I better install a screen protector which I took the precaution of ordering in advance to prevent scratches on the screen.

Let us hope that this time it lasts more than 2 years

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Les fripouilles en vadrouille (II)

Biarritz

Basque country

The rascals

Last year we met in La Rochelle. We decided there and then that it could be a yearly event. We decided on Biarritz in the South West of the country. Two out of the three do not know the place and area. One owns an apartment there so it seemed obvious we should choose this place for this year’s reunion.

DAY 1

Quite an early start to catch my train to Bordeaux. It is a beautiful day and the 10’ walk to the station is quite pleasant.

Unfortunately, there is a 25 minutes delay for the train. Nothing I can do about it. Once I am on the train, I might as well relax and work on my blog.

Despite the delay, I arrive just in time to see the train from Paris arriving in Bordeaux. My friend CC is on that train and we can have make the rest of the journey to Biarritz together.

We arrive in Biarritz with approximately 20′ delay. The reason “La Canicule” / “Hot Weather”. Apparently the trains have to slow down drastically. I need to investigate this and compare with our neighbour countries how they cope with similar conditions. From the train station we take a bus to the town centre. This is a 20′ minutes ride mostly downhill.

PG is here to greet us at the bus terminal. His apartment is only a couple of minutes away and we settle in rapidly whilst catching up on each other’s news.

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Then we are off for a first tour of the town

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On the way home after this 1st walk, a stop at Le Georges pub is a must for a well deserved refreshing drink.

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The evening apéritif is enjoyed at the terrasse of a bar/restaurant overlooking a small but pleasant beach. That beach is quite interesting because it is where the club of “Les Ours Blancs” / “White Bears” meet. The main activity of the White Bears is of course bathing in all weathers, from January 1st to December 31st. One has to say that the average age of the members is fairly advanced.

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Our first dinner, like last year in La Rochelle, is in a Ragazzi Da Peppone.

It is all fresh, it is 100% Italian.

The wine cellar is great and you go and pick up your own bottles

Negroni for apéritif and a different dish (Pizza, pasta, meat) for each one of us. Excellent.

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Nothing is better after dinner than a digestive walk down the beach (Grande Plage) bare feet in the water.

The casino view from the beach

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This map of Biarritz should gives an idea of the areas visited during these few days.

Day 2

We have a good plan for the day.

After the morning coffee we need to go and get some supplies for lunch. Time to go to Les Halles to get some fresh fish.

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We then embark on a long walk on the beach “Cote des Basques”. The tide is out, it is surfer’s paradise. Apart from a could-have-been-worse fall from myself walking on some rocks all went well. It is indeed a very beautiful place.

The George with the apartment above it

Of course a small pint of bier 🍻 at The George is obligatory before walking up to the apartment and enjoy the cooked salmon that PG prepared very well.

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After a well deserved nap, we go and explore Bayonne town which is only 15′ away by “Electric Bus”.

Really modern and comfortable electric buses with USB charging points at every seat and of course a WIFI connection. The cost of a 1 hour ticket is a mere 1,20€. Half the journey from Biarritz to Bayonne was made on dedicated bus lanes

It is an older town going back to the 1st century. Bayonne is, a municipality of more than 50,000 inhabitants it borders Anglet (to be pronounced Anglette as my friends keep reminding me) and Biarritz. It is now recognised as the main town in the French Basque Country.

The cathedral is more than impressive as far as the interior decorations are concerned. I do not think photos are really giving the real feel for the explosion of colours hitting you when you walk in.

Being in the Pays Basque, I of course must buy a Béret for my collection.

Before returning home, we of course need to have a drink to kill the obvious “Petite Soif”. Plenty of choices but we go for Pantxo Bistro des Halles. Here I have to say that I learned that in the Basque Country, the “X” is pronounced “CH”.

We take the bus back to Biarritz, same comfortable and quick ride.

Dinner is in Saline Restaurant Cevice Bar. Nice food, pleasant service.

A short walk around on the way home, past the old train station which is now a theatre and cinema complex. Fairly early in bed.

Day 3

We decide to explore another part of town and set on foot after coffee towards the light house in the distance.

Back in town, we hurry to les Halles once again to get the ingredients in order for PG to prepare a nice Cevice for lunch.

There is of course time to stop for a drink at the bar next to the apartment

Lunch is great, light and tasty and in my case brought back a lot of memories from my time spent in South America.

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We decide in the afternoon to go further South to the town of St Jean de Luz. Approximately 1 hour bus ride (we missed the train on the way there).

Saint-Jean-de-Luz bay is a natural harbour in the south-east of the Bay of Biscay. It is the only sheltered bay between Arcachon and Spain. Thanks to its strong sea walls or dykes that protect the town from the full savagery of the Atlantic Ocean, it has become a favorite for bathers across the Basque Coast. Although the seaside resort is relatively recent, the port itself is centuries old, with the most prominent point in its history being the marriage in 1660 of Louis XIV and the Spanish princess Maria Teresa.

Here is the Louis XIV house where he stayed the night before his wedding

This is the church where the wedding took place

The town itself is very pleasant with a fishing port, beaches, shopping streets and fairly lively at least in the summer. It apparently dies down a lot in the winter months.

The main shopping street

Time to head back into Biarritz. This time we can catch the train which is much faster. On the platform there is a very old but working phone used by the staff. We cannot but laugh and upload photos in Instagram and link them to an old song from Nino Ferrer.

Back home we brave a very menacing sky to find a restaurant where seafood is served.

DAY 4

Final day. All 3 of us must go home. We have time till lunch time before, in the case of CC and myself, our train leaves. So guess what, let us go for a walk.

It is time for CC and myself to say goodbye to PG and catch a bus to the train station

Biarritz train station

The train is on time and we have a bite of lunch on the way to Bordeaux where we split our ways. CC stays on the train and I have to catch my connection to Carcassonne.

The timing is perfect. I hop on the train a few minutes before the start of the Le Mans 24h race and I am able to set things up so that I can watch it. Normally I would be there but Covid-19 made sure it was not possible this year.

In the meantime I receive a few messages from CC who informs me that their TGV train had to stop due to some suspect noises in the rear wagon. The passengers must transfer to another TGV to continue the journey.

It was a very pleasant few days. Biarritz and area are very nice. We certainly did a lot of walking. A lot of it following this sign which can be seen at regular interval on the roads and paths.

The fitness paths

The question is: Where shall we go next year?

There are a lot more pics, here is the link to the Cloud where they are located

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Samsung quality II

Further to my previous post a couple of months ago as well as a few polite exchanges of of information with Samsung’s head office in France, I have received an email this morning which basically says”

Following the response received from our sales department, I am pleased to announce that Samsung will cover the cost of repairing the device.

I am quite satisfied with this outcome and will write again to their CEO to thank him as well as the person who followed my case.

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September 21st 2020

Day 186 – 10th day of de-confinement phase IV

Monday

France recorded a new daily record of coronavirus contamination cases on Friday, with 13,215 new cases diagnosed in 24 hours, or 428,696 cases since the beginning of the epidemic, according to figures published by Santé Publique France on Friday.

The previous record, set the day before, marked an increase of 10,593 cases in 24 hours.
The number of new hospitalisations over the last seven days is 3,626 against 3,223 on Thursday and 2,976 on Wednesday, and the number of intensive care admissions is 571 against 535 the day before and 508 on Wednesday.

The Aude prefecture has decided to extend the wearing of the compulsory mask at the Cité de Carcassonne, on markets, flea markets, funfairs and garage sales, and for gatherings of more than 10 people in places open to the public, until 30 October 2020.

In a press release issued this Thursday morning, the Prefecture explains its decision by “the incidence rate of Covid-19, which has been increasing sharply since the end of July, has reached the
last week the alert threshold of 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants”. But the Prefect, Sophie Elizéon, wants to be more reassuring “the latest updates do not show an increase in the incidence rate. Similarly, the positivity rate remains around 2.5%. ».

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Summary of hospitalisations by regions in France

Data from September 19th

Occitanie

Data from September 22nd

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THE VIRUS IS STILL OUT THERE

Pic of the day

Biarritz where I have just spent a few days. Plage Côte des Basques (Low tide)

The weekly dash board

World

France

Data from September 20th

Occitanie

Data from September 18th

Information, news and tips

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► COVID 19 Tests. Currently there are 3 places in Carcassone where you can get tested free of charge and without a prescription. These are PCR tests which are more reliable. The list of centres where the test can be done is updated daily and can be found here.

To speed up the process, you need to fill up a form which you can download here.

The alternative is a Home Test as experienced by Mark

Food and drinks

A shop in Biarritz which attracted my attention for 1001 good reasons

Here is the link to a post from our friends Bob and Bill who have discovered a restaurant in Preixan

Fun

The weekly selection

The dreaded statistics

Top countries according to the number of deaths (above 5.000)

Data from September 21st

Cases by country v population (1.000 deaths upwards)

France follow-up


Occitanie & Aude follow-up

Data from September 18th

🇫🇷

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Bon weekend from Annecy

I was stationed in Annecy in my army days.

I hope that you and yours are well. I’ve been in Annecy and the Annecy Mountains for the last week or so and I have to tell you – it is gorgeous. …

Bon weekend from Annecy
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Le chemin des vignerons

Le chemin des vignerons, also known as le sentier des vignerons, translates as the wine growers trail. It is a hiking trail around the vignobles of …

Le chemin des vignerons
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Fossil III

And the saga continues. I reported a few weeks ago that my birthday present from 2 years ago stopped working. I contacted on their web page the Fossil’s service team who replied immediately, it was on a Sunday, that I should sent the watch back. They provided me with a label which I had to print and applied on the package.

They also informed me that it would cost at least 88 Euros but they would do a free of charge diagnostic and get my approval before making any repairs.

The package went off but I was not satisfied that an electronic product two years of age would break down. So I searched and found the name of the CEO of Fossil France and wrote him a letter. I have done this a couple of times lately and I can assure you that a letter, not an email, to a company’s CEO has more chances to accomplish things.

My letters are polite but go straight to the point and ask about the quality policy of the company.

Anyway, a few weeks go by and yesterday (yet again a Sunday) I receive an email from the service department informing me that my watch is not reparable. They agree however to replace it with a new model of similar value and give me a link to their catalogue so I could choose.

I do this immediately and choose a very comparable watch. I sent an email to the service department guy with the reference. Bad luck this model is currently not available says the reply. I choose another model slightly more expensive and they agree to it.

I hope the watch will last more than 2 years. Although I am quite unhappy with the whole episode, I am quite impressed with the service department of the company and the final solution. Is it because I wrote that letter? No one knows but I shall write to the CEO again and thank him.

You never know, I might need him again in 2 years time.

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September 12th 2020

Day 177 – 1st day of de-confinement phase IV

We are entering a new phase in France for the fight against the Coronavirus.

The Prime Minister Jean Castex made a speech yesterday afternoon to announce some new measures which turned out to be not very harsh.

Here follows a summary of the headlines:

The duration of isolation is reduced to 7 days
Initially lasting 14 days (fourteen), the isolation period for people contaminated by Covid-19 has been extended to 7 days (seven), the Prime Minister announced.

He added that it was “essential to respect” this deadline and that “controls” could be put in place.

42 departments in red zone
This Friday, 42 departments are placed in “active circulation zone” of the virus, stressed the head of government.

He notably reported a “worrying” epidemiological situation in two metropolises, Marseille and Bordeaux, as well as in Guadeloupe.

2,000 recruitments to ensure case tracking
2,000 recruitments will be made within the Health Insurance and the Regional Health Agencies. Objective: to ensure the tracing of cases of contamination with the new coronavirus.

Tests: additional slots for priority people
With a million tests carried out every week, “France has become the 3rd most testing country in Europe”, he said. Additional time slots should also be made available to test priority people. Among them are people with symptoms, contact cases and carers.

He also urged older people to be “more cautious” for “a few more months”.

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Dashboards

World cumulative numbers
France daily numbers

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Summary of hospitalisations by regions in France

Data from 12/09/2020

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THE VIRUS IS STILL OUT THERE

Pic of the day

Cap Sizun in Brittany

The weekly dash board

World

Today’s data

France

Data from 12/09/2020

Occitanie

Data from September 12th

Information, news and tips

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Aude is now red

The departement itself is not on the “red” list but because it is surrounded by departements which are “red” it is now classified as “red” as well.

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Participatory budget 2020

In this section, you can consult the 259 projects of the 2020 participatory budget. You can sort them by theme, by location or display them as a list. You can now vote for your favourite projects until 15 September 2020.To vote, you simply have to live in the Aude and be over 16 years old. Each voter has to choose four different projects to validate their ballot. There are no restrictions on the geographical area, theme or cost of the projects chosen.

Food and drinks

Fun

The daily selection

The dreaded statistics

Top countries according to the number of deaths (above 5.000)

Cases by country v population (1.000 deaths upwards)

France follow-up


Occitanie & Aude follow-up

Data from September 12th
Data from September 12th

🇫🇷

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