Sunday 14 June 2020

The past has passed

    We, as a nation, have now gone officially crazy? Never mind locked-down, it appears there are a number of people out there who should be locked-up? When was it that wanton violence and damage to public property stopped being a criminal offence? But instead of doing what our fore-fathers would have done and given these protesters a clip round the ear or a kick up the backside, we pander to their ridicule of trying to erase our past! What nonsense. You can't change the past. That's like trying to un-eat your breakfast! No matter how many times you throw-up, you ate it, plain and simple! You can't even change the present! Only thing we can change is our future, and we do that by learning, planning, and then rolling up our sleeves to make a better life for ourselves.
    So, you thought after last month's sermon, my fire had gone out? Think again. I can just about cope with biased media, corrupt politicians, eco-mentalists, even vegans, but this surely is the last straw - a tale of the tail wagging the dog - when we allow ill-educated numpties to go around defacing and removing statues of those who built and shaped the land we live in, a land of free enterprise. Not only that, but to gather together in thousands, when we are all told to stay home and save lives. People who think they are above the very law they hide behind? My greatest concern is where will this all end? How soon will they pull down the churches citing that religion was built on power and corruption, not to mention invading and colonising half the world? Will they burn down farms, where fat-cat land-owners once profited from cheap labour under poor conditions? My grandfather had a team of Italian prisoners of war, digging drains and picking fruit to feed a nation, and I highly doubt they got paid anything other than board & lodgings. Am I embarrassed by that? No, not at all! It was legal, during a time of war, and thus acceptable. It wouldn’t be now, I agree, but then, it doesn’t happen now, so what's all the complaining about? What's done, is done, so, for dad's sake, move on!
    Right. Deep breath.

   Meanwhile, back in France our lockdown has eased somewhat and we ventured out earlier this week in the camper. No, it wasn’t on a jolly, just to collect some building materials from a depot in a town called Montauban, 150 kilometres away, as we couldn’t source them locally. We stayed overnight by a canal and were there to witness a very nice local restaurant re-opening, which was subsequently crammed with revellers, although we did maintain our discipline and distance. I now have the unenviable task of tiling an entire terrace next week, subject to my knees holding out. Couple that with last week's building work, roof repairs, staircase upgrade and painting, we will shortly be in need of a holiday. All this is ongoing, as this year, for the first time since we have been here at Chauffour, we have some paying guests taking over the house in August. While they are here, we will take-off in said camper and hole up somewhere different and relax in surroundings new for a month, as we have enjoyed doing the past couple of years. Admittedly, we may need to pop back at weekends, to clean the house before the next 14 guests arrive, but we are hoping to canvass some local help on that front. It may be that we get to UK and even to Scotland and view the new extension on our house, dependent on whether this retched Covid has calmed down a bit. Let's just hope that the recent selfish gatherings haven’t re-opened those wounds. 

   On the subject of our house in Scotland, what was a full calendar of holiday bookings over the summer is dwindling fast as many of our guests are from overseas and the cancellations are ramping up. As I write, and quite rightly so in my opinion, anyone visiting the UK from overseas will need to remain in quarantine for 14 days, making a week's holiday rather impossible. If only that law had been implemented in February, but hindsight is purely a thing of the past. We hope we may refill some of the voids with holidaymakers from within UK shores, so if you fancy a few days in a sleepy village on Fife's east coast, give me a call! Take your golf clubs. You may even get to see a local statue of the fictional Robinson Crusoe who allegedly hailed from those parts, before he headed off to collect some slaves, and then got shipwrecked near Trinidad among a tribe of cannibals. If it's still there...

    In fact, if you do get to stay in our house, send photos please, we would love to see it ourselves!