Day 48: Back to school

Sunday, 3rd of May


I have been hibernating for a few very rainy days. Today, I emerged from my cave, brushed myself down and got ready to go back to school.

The kids resume homeschooling tomorrow after two weeks Easter holidays.

Camping in the living room

It went ok despite being under lockdown. We played games, went for rides and walks, watched films, played video games, let the kids get bored, and ate lots of good food (and drank quite a bit of good wine). And like everyone else I have spoken to, I finally took the time to do a lot of satisfying tidying up in all those cupboards that badly needed it. The holidays ended with the kids setting up a tent in the living room yesterday to camp for the night. Otherhalf even made tartiflette for dinner – the quintessential scout dinner!

Camping in the living room

Today, the sun was out again so we got on our bikes and went for a ride. A little further than the authorised kilometre, to the Vieux Lyon, where we found an ice-cream shop that was open: what a treat!

Unfortunately tonight the kids went bananas and were super naughty and the tent had to be taken down. Tears were shed but they are now back in their beds getting the sleep they need to start a new week afresh.

Back to school for some

It’s crazy but we have got into the rhythm and the habit of homeschooling now after nearly two months. We finally heard from the government yesterday about dates for the children’s return to school – that is, if parents are willing to send them back. Some parents I know do not trust their children will be kept safe from Covid and will be keeping them home.

We have decided to send our kids back to school. My 10-year old daughter, who is in her last year of primary school, will go back on Thursday 14th of May, in order to allow teachers to prepare for the new system on the Monday and Tuesday when lockdown ends, en principe. En principe, because the government has made it clear this date can be revised at any time if conditions are not right. Health minister Olivier Véran even cautioned people to stick to the safety measures put in place or risk seeing the number of cases of Covid rise again, which will lead to de-confinement being delayed.

As for my 8-year old, he will have to wait quite a bit longer: his return to school isn’t scheduled until the 4th of June! In both cases, they will only go to school two days a week, as their classes will be split up into groups of 10 pupils to allow for stringent social distancing. The rest of the time, they will continue homeschooling. I’m not quite sure how the government imagines parents are going to cope with working at the same time. The children of key workers, including health workers and teachers, will be able to go to school all 4 days (a reminder for anyone reading who doesn’t live in France: Wednesday is no school day in France).

So there we have it. Luckily, the last two months helped us work out that I can actually leave my kids alone when I have an assignment – not all day, but half a day is possible. And Otherhalf isn’t due to resume with a proper working schedule until September, so he will be available on and off.

Back to work for others

As for me, I was delighted to see that Arianespace, for whom I work on a regular basis, are resuming launches from the Guiana Space Centre. That is very good news, and I’m hoping the commentator’s job I do for them will not have suffered from Covid-19 collateral damage – in any case, I shall have to wait and see if travel is at all possible in the coming months.

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