Living through a pandemic
in the south of France
367 days in Carcassonne since
1st lockdown in March 2020
▫️ DAILY AND WEEKLY STATISTICS HERE .
▫️ No figures from Covid-19 on Friday 19 March. “Following technical incidents detected today in the data transmission chain to Santé Publique France, the daily epidemiological indicators cannot be produced today”, announced Santé Publique France.
As soon as data is available again, I shall update the data page.
The Aude number of new positive cases over one week has reached its highest level since 10 February. The share of variants continues to increase.
▫️ SPRING IS HERE
As I write this post, the sun is crossing over the line of the equator and precisely at 10.37am (CET) this Saturday March 20th. Also known as the March equinox or vernal equinox it marks the beginning of spring.
The current temperature in the area does not really confirm this but it should improve dramaticallyas from early next week.
▫️ TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE EUROPEAN AREA
Since 12 March 2021, the conditions for travelling outside the European area have been relaxed. Travellers, including French nationals, coming from or going to 7 countries outside the European area will no longer have to prove a compelling reason.
A compelling reason is no longer required for travellers coming from and going to the following countries
the United Kingdom
However, travellers arriving from these countries but having stayed in the 14 days prior to their arrival in another country outside the European area are still required to produce a compelling reason.
✒️ The presentation of a negative PCR test less than 72 hours before departure remains mandatory as well as an isolation period to be respected upon arrival in the country.
▫️ THE NEW ECO Winegrowers organise tastings via webcam
Even winegrowers are moving to teleworking. At the major international trade fair “Millesime Bio”, exhibitors let international buyers taste their wine remotely, thanks to their webcams.
Imagine a wine fair without exhibitors, without an audience and without tasting! This would have seemed inconceivable a few years ago. However, the “Millesime Bio” trade fair, the world’s largest meeting place dedicated to organic wine, opened its doors on Thursday 18 March. Usually, the event takes place at the Parc des Expositions in Montpellier. This year, because of the covoranivus, the fair is 100% digital. Whether it’s the 1,000 exhibitors or the international buyers: everyone stays at home behind their computer. And the tastings are done… remotely.
How does a 100% digital salon work? All exchanges are done through a webcam?
Exactly says Lionel Lavail, general manager of Domaine Cazes . We receive requests for meetings from various importers by email. Once the appointment is accepted, we block a time to meet on the show’s digital platform. As far as the tasting is concerned, obviously it’s a bit more complicated! We sent a few samples by parcel so that we could simultaneously, remotely, open the same bottle together and taste it at the same time. This is essential. Because when it comes to wine, it is not enough to talk about it for hours: the truth is at the bottom of the glass.
▫️ INTERNATIONAL PRESS
I scoure the international press headlines from many countries to get different point of views. Earlier this week I went through the front pages of the top South African on-line newspapers and this is the only article I found which even mentioned Covid:
COVID MADE ME A MAGOSHA!
Zamokuhle Mdluli 16 March 2021
MANY people lost their jobs due to Covid-19. Many started their own businesses, and one of these people is a young man from the Eastern Cape. But he started a business unlike any other, which many women love.
This is because he’s a male magosha!
The 34-year-old from Mthatha, Eastern Cape, started his business after he lost his job as a marketing officer in October. “I looked at all the businesses I could do, but realised most were already operational in our area. I needed something unique,” he said. He said the idea to become a male magosha came to him out of nowhere. “I realised I could actually make a lot of money. It doesn’t require me to work hard. All I need to do is satisfy women,” he said.He started the business in December, but only got a few clients through word of mouth.
He charges R350 a round and his clients don’t mind paying.
“Most of my clients are teachers and nurses and are not from Mthatha. I also have divorced women and widows through referrals,” he said. He realised he needed more money and used his marketing experience to find more clients. So he made posters, which read: “Male prostitute in Mthatha. For women only.” “My business boomed after the posters. I used to see at least two or three clients a day and now see three or four. I’m a busy man,” he said.
He said he was building a house when he lost his job, but couldn’t finish it.
“It’s now finished. I’m working on the furniture. When I’m done at home I will work towards buying cars for Uber purposes. Once I’ve bought those cars, I’ll stop what I’m doing and focus on growing that business,” he said. Asked about his love life, he said he didn’t have a girlfriend and didn’t want one. He said he’d think of a stable relationship once he’d done the things he wanted to do.
His brother (30) said he didn’t tell their mum what he did, but only told him. “I didn’t approve at first, but when I saw the money he was making I wanted to help him with other clients,” he said.
One of his clients, a woman (40), said: “I’ve been single for four years. I didn’t want to get into another relationship, but when I heard about his services I thought why not. There are no strings attached. We poke and kiss goodbye.”
Another client (45) said she’s a widow. “I didn’t want to get into another relationship because I didn’t want my kids to suffer. “There are no strings attached. I pay for the service and don’t have to buy him expensive gifts. By the way, he’s good in bed,” said the happy client.
When it comes to extreme weather, it’s safe to say a “space hurricane” qualifies.
Scientists said last week they observed a previously unknown phenomenon — a 620-mile-wide swirling mass of plasma that roiled for hours in Earth’s upper atmosphere, raining electrons instead of water.
The researchers labeled the disturbance a space hurricane because it resembled and behaved like the rotating storm systems that routinely batter coastlines around the world. But until now, they were not known to exist.
▫️ MUSIC OF
I have recently discovered Bruno Mars. I know I am miles behind everyone else. I really like his stuff which reminds me of my earlier life in Philadelphia in the early 70’s.
🎶 / 🎶 / 🎶
▫️ FOOD & DRINKS
Salade au Bleu
Ingredients for 4 people
150g Celery root
1 Slices of celery
1 Green salad
150g Auvergne blue cheese
1 tablespoon Walnut vinegar
3 tablespoons Oil
- Soak the sultanas in a bowl of boiling water.
- Prepare a vinaigrette with the walnut vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Emulsify with a fork and set aside.
- Wash the lettuce and spin-dry. Rinse the carrots and the two celeries, peel them and cut them finely into julienne strips.
- Divide the salad leaves between the bowls, add the julienned vegetables, small pieces of Bleu d’Auvergne cheese and the well-drained sultanas.
- Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve immediately.
▫️ ANCILLARY NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND from our correspondent in Britain
▫️ A truck mounted bar.
UK aerial lift distributor Cumberland Platforms (CPL) – part of the Klubb group – has partnered with Heineken to develop the Wind0.0w Service – a drinks bar mounted on the platform of a truck mounted lift to serve pints through people’s second floor windows during lockdown.
CPL was approached by London based PR agency COW PR late last year who was looking for a suitable platform for the Heineken project. Both companies began working on the design while the vinyl wrap was produced by MadeUp.
CPL said: “This is something new for the access industry so we spent time making sure the project could be done while still promoting full safety for all involved in the project. The eye catching design is a great advert for both CPL and Heineken 0.0. We are proud to get involved in something fun after almost a year without our usual events timetable.”
The bar has been designed to comply with all safety regulations
The 13.1 metre P130A, mounted on a Isuzu D-Max chassis, will tour the UK visiting London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh in April rolling out the Wind0.0w Service deliveries. Lucky winners from a draw will receive a pint of non-alcoholic Heineken 0.0 delivered to their window by singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor as well as other regional celebrities.
Did they say NON-alcoholic!
✏️ ✏️ ✏️
BISCUIT SHORTAGE IN UK!
▫️ Saltash cookie apparently sells on eBay for nearly £8,000
This has to be one of the weirdest eBay listings, ever.
Someone has a serious sweet tooth – after apparently shelling out nearly £8,000 on eBay for a cookie from Cornwall.
The baked delight, which was listed on the auction site as located in Saltash, sparked a supposed bidding war triangle this week.
Either that or people are getting really bored this lockdown.
With a simple listing name of ‘Raspberry Cookie’ the product boasted a description of “occasionally touched” but fortunately not eaten and, if the listing pictures are anything to go by, that would be the truth.
Well, that takes the biscuit!
▫️ NEWS FROM ACROSS THE POND 🇺🇸
▫️ THE FABULOUS FRIDAY (FUNNIES) GROANS from Paul
▸ A few one-liners to start us off…
I’ve just started up a mobile restaurant… It’s got 4 Michelin tyres…
I accidentally rubbed tomato ketchup in my eye, now I have heinzesight
Afterism – A concise, clever statement you don’t think of until too late
Heard on the news that the worlds oldest man died earlier today.
Why does this keep happening?
▸ A young man saw an elderly couple sitting down to lunch. He noticed that they had ordered one meal and an extra drink cup. As he watched, the gentleman carefully divided the Hamburger in half, then counted out the fries, one for him, one for her, until each had half of them.Then he poured half of the soft drink into the extra cup and set that in front of his wife. The old man then began to eat, and his wife sat watching, with her hands folded in her lap.The young man decided to ask if they would allo him to purchase another meal for them so that they didn’t have to split theirs. The old gentleman said: “Oh no. We’ve been married 50 years, and everything has always and will always be shared, 50/50.”Touched by the beautiful display of love, the young man then asked the wife if she was going to eat. She shook her head kindly and replied: “It’s his turn with the teeth.”
▸ Two bachelors sat talking, their conversation drifted from politics to cooking.
“I got a cookbook once,” said one, “but I could never do anything with it.”
“Too much fancy work in it, eh?” asked the other.
“You said it. Every one of the recipes began the same way — “Take a clean dish…”
▸ A big-city lawyer was representing the railroad in a lawsuit filed by an old rancher. The rancher’s prize bull was missing from the section through which the railroad passed. The rancher only wanted to be paid the fair value of the bull.The case was scheduled to be tried before the justice of the peace in the back room of the general store. The attorney for the railroad immediately cornered the rancher and tried to get him to settle out of court.The lawyer did his bestselling job, and finally, the rancher agreed to take half of what he was asking. After the rancher had signed the release and took the check, the young lawyer couldn’t resist gloating a little over his success telling the rancher,“You know, I hate to tell you this, old man, but I put one over on you in there. I couldn’t have won the case. The engineer was asleep and the fireman was in the caboose when the train went through your ranch that morning. I didn’t have one witness to put on the stand. I bluffed to you!” The old replied, “Well, I’ll tell you, young feller, I was a little worried about winning that case myself because that durned bull came home this morning.”
▸ Some bad puns …………….
Our mountains aren’t just funny – they’re hill areas.
Wishing you a happy whatever doesn’t offend you.
Double negatives are a no-no in English.
Irony – the opposite of wrinkly.
The problem with political jokes is that they sometimes get elected.
I’m pining for a good tree pun – I wish they were more poplar.
Afraid of Santa? You may be Claustrophobic.
Just because you are offended – doesn’t mean you are right.
Sweet dreams are made of cheese – who am I to dis a brie?
Electricians have to strip to make ends meet.
Well, to be frank – I’d have to change my name.
Dogs can’t operate MRI scanners – but catscan
▸ A man on his own from the Bush for Christmas walks into a barbershop in the lobby of a posh City hotel and asks for the works. He has a hair cut followed by hot towels and a very close shave with a cutthroat razor. While this is happening a stunning woman kneels down and polishes his shoes.
He says to the woman, ” You are so beautiful, how about you and I go back up to my expensive suite and spend the afternoon there?”
The woman says ” My husband would not like that at all “
The man says ” Well don’t tell him!”
The woman says ” You tell him, he is the person shaving you “
▸ I read a book the other day about the invention of Braille.
Truly a touching story.
▸ Everyone who hates speeding tickets, raise your right foot.
▸ I was born a male. I identify as a male. But according to Tesco’s sticky toffee pudding I’m a family of four.
▸ Apparently Albert Einstein was a real person.
I always thought he was a theoretical physicist.
▸ What do you call the wife of a hippie?
▸ Carrots may be good for your eyes.
But alcohol will double your vision
▸ A policeman pulled me over yesterday and said, “Papers”
“Scissors” I replied and drove off.
▸ An old man dies, leaving behind two sons. In his will, he order his sons to race with their horses, and the one with the slower horse will receive his inheritance.
The two sons race, but since they’re both holding their horses back, the scenario doesn’t really work.
Perplexed, they go to a wise man and ask him what they should do. After that, the brothers race again this time at full speed. What did the wise man tell them?
Answer: That if they switch horses, whoever wins the race will get the inheritance because they still technically own the losing that is, the slower) horse.
▸ Q: Where does a judge eat lunch?
A: At the food court.
▸ Q: Why isn’t your nose 12 inches long?
A: Because then it would be a foot!
▸ Q: What is a horse’s favorite sport?
A: Stable Tennis!
▸ Q: What drink do balloons hate?
▸ Q: Why shouldn’t you tell secrets in a cornfield?
A: There are too many ears!
▸ Q: Why do surgeons wear facemasks?
A: So if they make a mistake, no one will know who did it.
▸ Q: How do you kill a circus troupe?
A: Go for the juggler.
▸ Q: What happens if you get a gigabyte?
A: It megahertz.
▸ A man was dining alone in a fancy restaurant and there was a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table. He had been checking her out since he sat down, but lacked the nerve to talk with her.
Suddenly she sneezed, and her glass eye came flying out of its socket towards the man. He reflexively reached out, grabbed it out of the air, and handed it back.
‘Oh my, I am so sorry,’ the woman said, as she popped her eye back in place. ‘Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you.’
They enjoyed a wonderful dinner together, and afterwards they went to the theatre followed by drinks.. They talked, they laughed, she shared her deepest dreams and he shared his. She listened to him with interest.
After paying for everything, she asked him if he would like to come to her place for a nightcap and stay for breakfast. They had a wonderful, wonderful time.
The next morning, she cooked a gourmet meal with all the trimmings. The guy was amazed. Everything had been so incredible!
‘You know,’ he said, ‘you are the perfect woman. Are you this nice to every guy you meet?’
‘No,’ she replies. she said ………
” You’re just the first man who happened to catch my eye.”
On that note – see y’all next week.
We can expect a very pleasant sring weather as from the middle of the week.
▫️ SOME LINKS I LIKE TO USE