Day 37: All holidayed up with nowhere to go

Wednesday, 22nd April

First police check

It’s really strange being on school holidays and not being able to go anywhere. The kids and I had our first police check today as we tried to find a new place to hang out: a nearby park, where a few people were taking a stroll with their kids or their dogs. The officer kindly asked us to leave as parks are officially closed. He was nearly apologetic, when I said with a smile, “It’s not easy finding stuff to do with the kids during the holidays”. I say that because I find that my kids struggle to fall asleep at night. Like in most families, confinement has led to relaxing the usual bedtime hour somewhat, but some evenings they are still awake at 11.30 pm! They are simply not tired enough because they are not getting enough exercise. I have spoken to other parents who notice the same with their kids. I am determined to exhaust them, and will make them ride up and down the hills to the Croix Rousse if necessary – I did it the other day and it worked!

The upside of lockdown

Ironically, as the school holidays start, I have been getting quite a bit of voice-over work. Which is great news as it means things are picking up again (though I’ve had less time to write). Which has also meant leaving the kids alone. Well, they have coped well, keeping themselves busy with books and drawing, and screens of course. But essentially, it’s a new step as I know I can now trust them to take care of themselves for a couple of hours. It will be important after lockdown as it will mean they can come home from school alone if I need to work a bit later than usual. A relief when I take on freelance jobs at the last minute and can’t always find a babysitter. It’s interesting how this lockdown is opening up new windows of opportunity into our post-confinement world.

Schools re-opening?

And a good thing, too, as it’s far from clear yet how things will start up again for us. It’s not certain schools here will reopen on the 11th of May, and if they do, it’ll probably only be half-time, and probably only one of my two kids (the eldest) will go back to school in the beginning. No point speculating now, we will have to wait and see. The government is under massive pressure to elaborate a de-confinement strategy. Not sure either whether we will be able to travel in France in the beginning, let alone in Europe. I hope it won’t be too long as some of my freelance work involves travel.

Freedom is… a swim

More than anything, I am dying to go for a swim. I normally swim wherever there is water – pools, lakes, the sea. It will be one of the first things I will do after de-confinement, as soon as possible. It is so warm and sunny here – the rain they had promised only fell for one day… Our plants in the shared garden need water, and they will soon get some: we have established that neither the town-hall nor the police put the lock on the gate, so we will get rid of it, and resume tending our flowers and playing basketball. Vigilantes, eat your heart out!

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