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Screenshot 2020-03-26 at 15.14.23.pngOrdered 2 days ago 2 portions of Choucroute from La Ferme which happens to be one of my favorite shop in Carcassonne.

At 8€ a portion one certainly cannot complain. The quality is excellent with a variety of ingredients. There is lot of it and we actually had 2 meals out of it.

It is all prepared and just needs warming up. To spice it up as one does, we added some Riesling wine.

In the current confinement period, telephone orders are possible as well as deliveries to your home. There is also a drive in option.

Quite impressive


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Confinement – Day 10

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Thursday March 26th

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Not too much to report so far today. President Macron made a TV appearance yesterday evening from the Military Camp Hospital which has been erected in the past few days. His message was very much to thank the medical profession, everyone who  is involved in fighting the virus  and the population in general who is getting fairly disciplined and obverses confinement rules. Much will be done after the crisis to re-evaluate jobs and financial packages in particular to the medical profession.

No news yet on the inevitable extension of the confinement period

This post will be updating during the day if new information is available


►Information: Transport.

Screenshot 2020-03-26 at 16.55.41.pngDue to the recent measures adopted for Covid-19, RTCA  has introduced new timetables on the urban network. The timetables are available on the RTCA website.


►Information: Use of bicycle. Statement (to be verified) from the Sports Ministry.

The use of the bicycle is authorised, provided that the user is the bearer of the duly completed certificate, for journeys between home and work, to make essential purchases, for health reasons, compelling family reasons, legal summons, purchase of supplies or participation in a mission of general interest.

Not for the sole purpose of exercising

Screenshot 2020-03-26 at 15.41.09.pngI have been searching the web page of the Ministry of Sports and cannot yet find any confirmation of the above.


►Information: Exemption certificate latest update As mentioned yesterday evening there are a couple of additional information. Members of the same household can go out together and you can go out to get cash

In application of the state of public health emergency, travel is prohibited except in the following cases and only on the condition that a certificate for :

Travel between home and the place of work, when it is essential for the exercise of activities that cannot be organised in the form of teleworking or business trips that cannot be postponed.

Travel to make purchases of supplies necessary for the professional activity and essential purchases [1] in establishments whose activities remain authorised.

Consultations and care that cannot be provided at a distance and cannot be postponed; care of patients with long-term conditions.

Travel for compelling family reasons, assistance to vulnerable persons or childcare.

Short journeys, within the limit of one hour per day and within a maximum radius of one kilometre around the home, related either to the individual physical activity of persons, excluding any collective sporting activity and any proximity to other persons, or to walking with only the persons grouped together in the same home, or to the needs of pets.

Judicial or administrative summons.

Participation in missions of general interest at the request of the administrative authority.

[1] Including acquisitions free of charge (distribution of foodstuffs, etc.) and travel related to the receipt of social benefits and cash withdrawals.

►Information: Consultation sites dedicated to Covid-19

The ARS Occitanie, in partnership with the departmental medical orders of the Aude, the ARS Occitanie, the Aude Departmental Medical Association and the Aude Regional Medical Association, has been working with the ARS Occitanie for the past two years.

Association départementale de permanence de soins (APSA11), the URPS private practitioners and the primary health insurance fund of the Aude region, is organising the opening of dedicated consultation in the department of Aude.

Relying on multi-professional health centres, but also doctor’s offices, these sites offer dedicated patient care Covid-19 and thus allow :

1. to ensure the care of Covid-19 patients by private physicians.
2. to have an outpatient department run by private doctors for the purpose of
patients with mild symptoms.

This sector will come in complement to the channel dedicated to heavier patients, taken care of by the Hospital Center.

Since Monday, March 23rd, two sites have opened: at the Medical Guard House of
Carcassonne and at the House of Family Associations in Trèbes and thus allow access to as many patients as possible. They welcome patients with symptoms, in order to limit the use of emergencies, thereby helping to curb the spread of the virus. Patient consultations are carried out by appointment based on requests transmitted by the treating physicians and/or the call centre 15.

At the end of the consultation, the doctor determines the most appropriate follow-up according to the following criteria signs presented by the patient.

The consultation site dedicated to Covid19 in Carcassonne is open from 4 pm to 7 pm, Monday to Friday.

The consultation site dedicated to Covid19 on Trèbes is open from 2 to 5 pm, from Monday to Friday.

Other dedicated sites are under study and will open in the next few days.

Stay at home and if you go out, you must respect the barrier gestures in order to avoid
the spread of the virus and social distancing instructions.

►Information: Weekly market

The mayor asked the prefect to authorise the Saturday market, after receiving “dozens” of requests from elderly people in the centre of Carcassonne.

Will the prefecture of Aude authorize, as an exception to the measures to tighten the confinement announced by the Prime Minister on Monday, the holding of the traditional market on Place Carnot, Saturday morning in Carcassonne? It is in any case the request made in this direction by the mayor, Gerard Larrat.

Let us wait and see


Information: Official sites I use to obtain and/or verify information

  • Government information page on Covid-19: (Link)
  • Legifrance :Site where decrees and French law is kept up to date (Link) Translations of French laws are available in English & other languages on this site.
  • Service Public (LinkThis site is extremely useful in normal conditions for all the administrative procedures you might need.
  • La region Occitanie (LinkNot always up to date but worth a look once in a while.
  • Prefecture de l’Aude: (Link)
  • Carcassonne Town: (Link)

Fun: From chocolate to weather report

I see that our friend Brent is now a reporter for Meteo Pyrénées. The complete article can be found here.

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► International Statistics: Top 10 countries according to the deaths count.

Wednesday 25th March

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Spain has now also overtaken China for the number of deaths.

Tuesday 24th March

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► Percentage increase of deaths from one day to the other: 

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USA is again toping the chart for the largest increase in deaths from one day to the other. Belgium is making an appearance in the top league.


► Regional Statistics: Occitanie & Aude  

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There is an alarming increase of new cases in Occitanie in the past 24 hours. +44%

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Thai Red Curry

by Samantha


With just a few ingredients you can make a Thai Red Curry in less than an hour – not that we have many time constraints these days! This is not so much a recipe as a guide to building your own dish.

Instead of Chicken Breasts use Thighs, or even thin strips of beef (is so leave the pineapple out!). Amoy also do a Thai Green Curry Paste as well as Penang Curry Paste so lots of variations with Prawns Pork or just Vegetables!




  • 1 Amoy Thai Red Curry Paste Jar – from Monoprix
  • 2 Chicken Breasts with skin removed and cut into cubes
  • 200 mls Coconut Milk – from Monoprix
  • 1 Pineapple – fresh or tinned cut into chunks
  • 10 – 15 Mange Tout or Green Beans – Gran Frais
  • 10 – 15 Cherry Tomatoes, halved if too big


  • Put the whole contents of the jar in a wide pan together with the chicken pieces and stirfry on a medium heat for 2 minutes before adding the coconut milk.
  • Bring to a simmer and then add the pineapple chunks.
  • Once the chicken is cooked add the tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes before adding the greens for another 3 minutes.
  • Serve with Thai Rice and, if you like, Bok Choi from Gran Frais (see below).

Quarter the Bok Choi and microwave for 2 – 3 minutes or until just done. Then heat 2 tbs of Oyster Sauce with 2 tbs of water for 1 minute in the microwave. Pour a few drops of Sesame Oil into the heated sauce and pour over the Bok Choi.

Recipes Index


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Confinement – Day 9

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Wednesday March 25th

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The Scientific Council has just issued a fourth opinion dated 23 March, but published on 24 at 6 pm (on the quiet) on the Ministry of Health’s website. For the first time, the council takes a clear position on the extension of containment by at least 4 weeks, bringing the total minimum duration to 6 weeks. This would bring us to April 28th. While recalling that it is still impossible to judge the impact of the measure after only one week of application. It is now down to the executive government to decide on the next steps. I suspect there will be another TV announcement from President Macron very soon.

This post will be updating during the day if new information is available


►Information: Exercising together with household members.

This is a question which has not been very clear since the beginning however the latest certificate of exemption has now an additional text which clearly indicates this is permitted.

☐Déplacements brefs, dans la limite d’une heure quotidienne et dans un rayon maximal d’un kilomètre autour du domicile, liés soit à l’activité physique individuelle des personnes, à l’exclusion de toute pratique sportive collective et de toute proximité avec d’autres personnes, soit à la promenade avec les seules personnes regroupées dans un même domicile, soit aux besoins des animaux de compagnie.

☐ Short journeys, within the limit of one hour per day and within a maximum radius of one kilometre around the home, related either to the individual physical activity of the persons, excluding any collective sports practice and any proximity with other persons, or to walk with only the persons grouped together in the same home, or to attends to the needs of pets.

Thank you Bryan for spotting that

11:30 am

►Information: Works, do-it-yourself, weeding, mowing…

For many of us, confinement pushes us to do things we used to put off until tomorrow, sometimes noisy and disturbing activities for the neighbourhood. In order to promote living together and the well-being of all, let us recall that in the department of Aude, noise pollution is regulated by the prefectoral decree # 2000-1681.
Gardening and do-it-yourself work is authorised: during the week from 8.30am to 7.30pm, Saturdays from 9am to 12pm and from 2pm to 7pm, Sundays and public holidays from 10am to 12pm and from 3pm to 6pm.
The public or private building sites are: authorized during the week from 6:30 am to 8 pm, prohibited on Sundays and public holidays.

Not only was I used to something harsher in Germany and also the fact that the rules were observed which is not necessarily the case here. Hence the fact that I did not know there was a rule.

10:00 am

►Information: Drive in

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The following shop keepers in Les Halles are open. They will prepare your telephone order and bring it outside to the newly reserved parking places Place Eggenfelden in front of Les Halles. I am not too sure how it works in detail i:e (1)how do they know you have arrived by car, (2) how does the payment works? But I shall find out.


09:30 am

►Information: Home delivery

Do not forget that the following shops will deliver to your home thus allowing you not to go out. Of course I do not know which shop can speak some English so I could possibly help if you needed it.

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Information:  Social media misinformation. 

First there was the bizarre suggestion that it can be cured with cocaine. After the erroneous idea circulated widely on social media, the French government had to quickly issue a statement saying that it’s definitely pas vrai. Then came the claims that avoiding ice cream could help, prompting Unicef to issue a statement that this is also not true. Finally the – extremely dangerous and also false – idea emerged that it can be prevented by drinking bleach.

Though the coronavirus pandemic started just a few months ago, it has already spawned an abundance of online fables and urban legends about how to evade it. One suggests that drinking water can help to prevent the infection. Here’s why that’s extremely unlikely.

The original posts shared on social media say that we should make sure our mouths and throats are always moist, and drink water every 15 minutes. The logic is that this will help to wash the virus down the oesophagus, so it that it can be killed by our stomach acid.

“This is just so simplistic, I can’t even get my head around it,” says Kalpana Sabapathy, a clinical epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Sabapathy explains that infections often begin after we’ve been exposed to thousands or millions of viral particles, so sweeping a few down the oesophagus is unlikely to have much of an impact. “One gaping hole in it is the likelihood that you managed to flush all of them down into your stomach,” she says. “You would probably have already got them in your nostrils by then, for example – it’s not fool proof,” she says. And here lies another of the main flaws in the idea. Even if the virus hasn’t already managed to find its way inside the cells of your respiratory tract, it can also get into the body in other ways. While some people might become infected by touching their mouth with contaminated fingers, it can also enter the body by touching the nose or eyes.

Information:  Postal service ✉️ 📦

The national post office announced that they will reduce delivery services by:

  • Having a 4 days week only this week
  • Drop down to a 3 days week next week

Some local post offices are going to be closed as well. I guess a list for Carcassonne will be issued shortly. I shall search for it.

We are being asked when ordering online to restrain our purchases to essentials.

Information: Official sites I use to obtain and/or verify information

  • Government information page on Covid-19: (Link)
  • Legifrance :Site where decrees and French law is kept up to date (Link) Translations of French laws are available in English & other languages on this site.
  • Service Public (LinkThis site is extremely useful in normal conditions for all the administrative procedures you might need.
  • La region Occitanie (LinkNot always up to date but worth a look once in a while.
  • Prefecture de l’Aude: (Link)
  • Carcassonne Town: (Link)

Information: Message from the town hall about rubbish

City officials are on the ground every day to ensure the cleanliness of streets and public spaces as a whole and find themselves confronted with too much bulky and green waste thrown on the street, without anyone having first notified the relevant department at the town hall.
These acts of incivility jeopardise the continuity of public service and the health of the

Screenshot 2020-03-24 at 23.05.20

Fines to be expected

municipal agents present on the ground. Moreover, it is important not to add hygiene problems to this health crisis. The City therefore appeals to the responsibility of all, in order to adopt responsible action together by not making things more complicated to manage.
During the period of confinement, please keep your bulky and green waste at home to avoid any uncontrolled dumping on sidewalks, streets or public spaces. Indeed, in the midst of a health crisis, the City’s agents are devoting themselves to priority public service missions and emergency management. The removal of bulky items and green waste is not THE priority of the moment.
In accordance with the by-law in force concerning acts of incivility in the city, any unauthorised dumping will therefore be sanctioned.

► International Statistics: Top 10 countries according to the deaths count.

Tuesday 24th March

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Monday 23rd March

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► Percentage increase of deaths from one day to the other: 

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► Regional Statistics: Occitanie & Aude  

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Asterix lives on


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The cartoonist Albert Uderzo, creator with René Goscinny of the Asterix character, died this Tuesday 24 March at the age of 92. Nothing to do with the Corona Virus.

For those of us who grew up with Asterix & Obelix, this is sad news indeed.


There is however a new cartoonist team who have produced the last couple of albums so there will ensure continuity I hope.

The last album (the 38th) was “La fille de Vercingétorix” and was excellent

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Keep reading

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Confinement – Day 8

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Tuesday March 24th / Wednesday March 25th

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8:00 pm

The government web site has just been updated with information from the announcements made by the Prime Minister last evening. In particular the new official certificate of exemption for going out has been updated. Here is the  link, as shown on the web page, to retrieve it and in this case in PDF format. It is also available in DOC or TXT format.  As mentioned earlier, it now has a field for the time you go out. For the 1st time it is officially said that presenting this document on a digital form (phone, tablet, etc) is not allowed. It can however be hand written.

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There was yesterday evening an intervention on TV by the Prime Minister Mr Edouard Philippe with a few new announcements  as follows:

  • Physical activity is limited to one hour and within a radius of 1 km around the home. You have to be alone and only once a day. Apparently the exemption certificate will have to show the date and the time of going out (to be verified).
  • Markets will be closed unless a special exception is made.
  • Travel for health reasons will only be authorised on medical call or for urgent reasons.
  • Fines are increased to EUR 1 500.

All this needs some further clarifications which are due during the morning with the expected formal decree.

11:00 am I am still trying to verify this information

More to come as the day goes on

Information: You should know that the maximum price for hydro-alcoholic gel is set as follows:

  • 2 € TTC maximum les 50 ml
  • 3 € TTC maximum les 100 ml
  • 5 € TTC maximum les 300 ml
  • 15 € TTC maximum le litre

There has been some abuses by some retailers of late.

Information:  Solidarity

In order to face, collectively, the COVID-19 health crisis, the President of the Republic called on the French to “invent new solidarities”. So that everyone can play their part in this general mobilisation of solidarity, the Government is launching the Civic Reserve-Covid 19 on In order to enable all those who can and wish to do so to get involved and give of their time, so that the poorest and most vulnerable are not the first victims of this crisis.

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Information:  Parking

The Mairie issued a statement yesterday:

Since the beginning of the confinement (and until the end of this period), the City has not issued any fines concerning parking on these surface parking lots located on the boulevards around Bastide St Louis. This is to allow the inhabitants of the city centre to park as close as possible to their homes in case of emergency.

All parking on illegal sites however are punished.

That answers the question Jan had raised about the 7 days parking limit on one location.

International Statistics: Top 10 countries according to the deaths count.

Monday 23rd March

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Sunday 22nd March

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► Percentage increase of deaths from one day to the other: 

It is interesting to see that the USA, despite the lowest number of deaths so far, are holding the number 1 spot for the increase. That could indicate that the USA is the new epi-centre. At the bottom end, China is fairly stable with hardly any new cases nor deaths.

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► Regional Statistics: Occitanie & Aude  

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Souvenir 2009

Bali in October

Not the best holiday ever mainly due to technical reasons. Had to change hotel and ended up in the Hard Rock Hotel. Not the quietest of places as you can imagine but I could log on to the office. Did I mention it was a holiday?


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