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emptiness, sweetness, and silence

We are now halfway through the first period of the lock-down in France.

I must say: quite a few measures are being taken here.

It is only allowed on the street with a certificate stating who you are, where you live and what you are going to do.

This may be to the doctor, hospital, pharmacy or supermarket.

You can also walk outside for an hour to walk the dog but only on your own.

It is only allowed to sit with a maximum of two people in the car (with each such a certificate) and only 1 person is allowed in the supermarket.

You must keep a distance of at least 1 meter.

All catering, shops, markets, schools and events are closed

The borders are closed everywhere.

Nobody can go anywhere anymore and they are also urged to stay at home.

Social life has come to a halt.

In France people like to get together.

It is very important that social life.

I imagine many find this very difficult.

We also had to go to the bakery in our village last Sunday, because we had to pick up our ordered bread there.

I had neatly printed out and completed the certificate, because, even if it is 5 minutes by car (just a bit too far for me to walk, with all the steep roads) you never know ... control may not be there here, but still ...

I felt embarrassed. In our car, together, with a Dutch registration.

Of course you meet people who let their dog out.

What will they think.

Do they also read or hear about the situation in the Netherlands?

There is no Lock-Down (yet) but measures.

Measures that many do not follow ...

Hospitality closed, some shops have already closed by themselves, schools closed, gyms, events canceled and one has to stay 1.5 meters away from each other.

But social life goes on as usual.

With the first spring sunshine, a lot of people went to parks, beach, forests.

A LOT of people.

Completely ignored the 1.5 meters and much more ...

I was ashamed to be Dutch.

Especially now in France.

So today we went to the supermarket.

Two more certificates.

Got some groceries, especially for the cats and the dog.

Some fresh vegetables.

Some (small) stock of other items, so that we can definitely move forward and stay at home in the coming weeks.

I had read the stories, of measures at the supermarkets: 1 person per 1 trolley inside. Wait in line outside.

When we arrived, we found a fairly empty parking lot. Normally it is really packed with cars.

There was no line of people.

You could grab a cart and get in there.

I saw that some people wore gloves and a mask.

Once inside: complete silence.

In the otherwise always lively supermarket, it was quiet.

I think I walked around with a total of 6 or 7 other customers.

It was bizarre: it looked like a cat and mouse game.

Are you going to do this? Then I go there. And tacitly you passed each other at an appropriate distance.

In the supermarket there was also some kind of nice air. I never smelled it there before.

I suspect this was some kind of disinfectant that was spread through the air conditioner in the area. I thought it was pleasant I must say.

Incidentally, not many shelves were empty.

With the dog and cat food, but also the frozen products such as pizzas (which I do not take anyway) and the fresh vegetables were a bit more limited. Fortunately, I was still able to take what I needed.

I passed the same woman more often.

We always seemed to have the same aisles looking for groceries.

We looked at each other with a laugh and an apology. But understanding.

I ended up at the checkout.

There were only two cash registers open: 1 at the beginning and 1 at the end.

But you only had to wait a short time, behind a red line.

I was happy to be able to go outside again.

It was really weird.

To change my mind, I decided to go home, to try a new recipe: dandelion syrup.

We have a lot of fields where the dandelions are now emerging. I had read a recipe somewhere and decided to pick some of the dandelions.

Also included a small (or large half) lemon in slices, some lemon zest, and sugar.

To this half a liter to a whole liter of water depending on the amount of dandelions. I had picked two - three hands full, I thought that was enough at first. So I did about half a liter of water and 200-250 grams of sugar. (I always guess.)

I also added some dried rose petals as a personal touch.

It looked cute in the pan.

When it started to boil and the sugar was dissolved, I removed the pan from the heat. Covered it and left for 24 hours.

After this, I drained in a sieve through a clean thin tea towel. Also squeezed the contents in the tea towel.


I have to say: it really tastes great! Next is the jelly I make with it, great for on toast or biscuit. (Just add some gelatin sheets, amount according to the gelatin description)

We are blessed these days with very nice weather.

The sun is shining, and if you stay out of the wind it is certainly very warm (more than 20 degrees)

It is nice to enjoy nature during this period when you actually do nothing, than to be busy around the houses.

That is enough for us.

If you then sit outside and look up, you will see the blue sky.

All you hear are the birds and the small stream that runs behind our house through the forest.

And nothing but silence ...

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