Welcome to blog number ten in The Olivia Rose Diaries on May 22nd 2020.
In our modern world there are few questions now to which we cannot obtain an answer. It may not be an unbiased answer, it may not even be true. With such an overload of information at our fingertips it is becoming ever harder to sift out the fundamental facts so that we can use them to understand our situation and act as wisely as we can.
The way the world has reacted to the coronavirus illustrates this point very clearly. There are so many different statistical measures, so many experts, so many people with political influence as well as those who stand to lose or gain financially with their own agendas – so many voices for us to listen to and then to form our own opinion on what should and shouldn’t be done. At times it feels like an impossible task.
I have friends and family back in the UK who think the government is doing a good job of managing our response to Covid 19. I have other friends and family who passionately disagree. Even in the extremely unlikely situation that there were only one set of statistics and they were indisputably correct, our individual responses to that information would probably still be polarised at opposite ends of the spectrum because that is human nature, that is who we are.
Now we are ‘unconfined’ – a new term for our virus age – we have a small number of fellow boaters beginning to return to the marina. I was curious to know what the French community here thought about the way their own government has handled the pandemic and, typically French, they were very happy to share their views! As in the UK, opinions are divided. Several of the people that I talked to quoted a figure of 60% of the population being unsatisfied with the government’s performance, which suggests that there has been a national survey carried out and the results reported in the press. More statistics. Another common view was that there is a lack of faith in politicians generally in France, although this was tempered by an understanding that this pandemic is something our generation has never had to deal with before. People recognise that hard decisions have had to be made and there is no easy way out of this.
In the end I decided that trying to make sense of all that information, and then trying to take on board those widely different opinions of everyone around me was giving me a headache and it was time to go out for a bike ride and forget about it!
France is just over twice the size of the UK, with roughly the same population. Every time I come back here I am struck by the difference, by this sense of space, and nowhere more so than in the countryside. My world literally feels as if it is expanding in front of my eyes, opening up into rolling green fields and distant horizons under big skies. After the last seven weeks of lock-down it has never felt so sweet.
Around every corner we found something to delight and to surprise us as you can see from the following photos.
The power station itself is hardly a thing of beauty but this lake is part of their water supply and is surrounded by forests. There are so many walking and cycling trails here that you could get lost for weeks.
I shall end with two more of Michael’s drawings and an apology for missing out the pictures of the swifts last week. The first one is especially for Polly, the second one is for me.
By the end of next week we should have more news on the next phase of the easing of lock-down. We have begun to make tentative plans of where we might go once the waterways are open again and I am beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, this blog will soon be a record of a life on the move once more. What a strange thought…….
Stay safe everyone. See you next week.