The Lockdown Diary – Day 29

Geneva, Monday 13 April 2020

We are now into our fifth week of lockdown. Whilst I am getting used to it, the background noise of anxiety is just a bit louder each day.

This morning was fine and clear. It seems as though everything turned green overnight. With this spell of unusually warm weather, the pariah kites (a sub-species of black kite – Milvus migrans) have arrived from Africa for their summer hols hereabouts. They’ll be wheeling overhead in great numbers for the next five months before heading south again.

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Black Kite (juvenile) Copyright: Jonathan Guillot

Amid agitated craws and screeches, a newly arrived kite got into one the crows’ nests in the pine tree right in front of our balcony. We couldn’t see if it was able to grab a nestling but it was seen off by the crows with some vim. The same kite with three of his buddies circled over and around the tree for a good half hour afterwards while the crows flew back and forth making a great din. All this during our daily putting competition!

It seems that everyone has gone down the bread-making route. In our local Coop, there is plenty of bread but flour is now as rare as toilet paper was four weeks ago. 

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Fortunately, our stocks are just sufficient to allow my wife to adventure into her first ciabatta. Delicious! All this while Boris the sourdough-starter bides his time in a quiet corner being lovingly fed and watered. The big moment of truth – when we find out if he has got what it takes to make one big sourdough bloomer – will come later this week assuming we can find the flour.

Another moment of truth looms. A number of countries, Spain for example, are moving towards relaxing their self isolation / social distancing measures in the next three weeks. Rest assured, the lifting will be in stages and we will all just have to wait and see whether or not each stage brings a resurgence of cases of COVD-19; if so, re-imposed restrictions are likely. Even though this is light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel stuff, it will be quite the balancing act for those making these decisions. As if to dampen our spirits, China announced today a new rise in cases due to their own nationals returning home. Mr Putin has admitted that Russia has a problem.

I should point out that, whilst I can’t stomach the man’s politics, I was very pleased to hear that the other Boris – the Prime Minister chappy – left hospital yesterday. A headless conservative party in government is a more frightening spectre than one with him in charge. Go, Boris! Back on that horse! After such glowing tributes to the care given to you by NHS staff, you’ll really have to fulfil your election promises to them now.

The putting: Not being as distracted as I was by the kite-crow kerfuffle, my wife beat me 1 – up. Just shows the importance of being able to concentrate! Overall, I’m still up 14 games to 7. At least two weeks to go, though!

Hoping you are all well, safe and calm.

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