Strange times – the only certainty is uncertainty.

Hello and welcome to the latest blog of the Olivia Rose Diaries on 24th December 2021.

We left our housesit with the menagerie of animals a week ago, had a couple of days back at Le Shack, and are now at another housesit until January 5th. This time round we are looking after two crazy kittens, two cats, one poodle and two chickens.

I am writing this blog sat in front of a blazing fire, with the Christmas tree covered in baubles in one corner of the room. A tiny feline face pokes out from within the branches, eyes fixed upon a silver bauble reflecting in the lights. Out comes a paw, it hooks around the bauble and tosses it into the air and, as it rolls along the ground, the kitten launches itself from the tree and chases it gleefully round the back of the sofa. The tree has one of those ‘shall I/shan’t I?’ moments, decides it might as well accept the inevitable and topples to the ground. I think about pushing it back into an upright position for the third time in the last quarter of an hour and decide it can stay where it is.

This is Doris and she is a ‘standard’ poodle, which means she is a big one. Her name makes us smile as we called our VW campervan Doris as well. No pictures of the kittens yet – they don’t stay still for long enough.

We drove into Bergerac on Wednesday, our first visit to a reportedly pretty town. It was indeed attractive, with old medieval buildings and narrow streets which normally we love to wander around. However, wearing a mask tends to lessen the simplest of pleasures and, whilst I endure them indoors for doing the food shopping, I have a problem wearing them outside. On this particular day it just ruined the whole experience so we didn’t stay long. I detest masks. Nothing will ever feel normal about wearing one, particularly outside in the fresh air, and I hope it never does. If I ever get to the point where I think these things are normal then I have given up on my old life, a much better life.

The cathedral in Bergerac
Christmas decorations.

We decided that we would spend most of our time here away from the towns and tourist attractions, walking and cycling to empty villages where we could breathe in the fresh air without a mask stuck to our faces.

And in the evenings and rainy days I shall push on with writing my next book and Michael has returned to his drawing, as you can see below.

Thinking big.

I’ll leave you with two pictures, the first being my favourite Christmas decoration – a cheery chap if ever there was one, a slightly weird cross between a pirate and Santa.

We found this in a small village a week ago. Each house had one outside their door, all hand painted and individual.

And the second is the answer when life gets tough.

Get yourself the biggest box of chocolates you can find!

I hope you are spending this Christmas with your loved ones and can take a break from all the uncertainty of these difficult times. I am sure next year will be better. As my grandmother used to say ‘I feel it in my water’. Now where on earth did that saying come from? I probably don’t want to know!

The lovely lady who lives here left us a bottle of champagne, and yet more chocolates, so we shall raise a glass to you all on Christmas Day. As you’re not here, we’ll have to eat all the chocolates ourselves. Sorry.

Bon Noel. See you next year.

Mary-Jane and Michael

14 thoughts on “Strange times – the only certainty is uncertainty.

  1. MJ & M – Have a lovely Christmas. Enjoy restoring the tree! Sounds as though you have a lovely comfortable place for Christmas and New Year with some new furry pals. Look forward to reading more next year. With love from BSE L&J xx

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  2. Enjoy this house-sit. How nice of the owner to leave chocolates and champagne! Although we holidayed around Bergerac many years ago, we never actually ventured into the town. Now, as you say, masks are de rigeur and damned awkward things they are, too. I wear glasses, which always mist up. if I leave them on, I can’t see where I’m going. If I take them off, I can’t see where I’m going. Fingers crossed that things improve in 2022.

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  3. Hi Mary Jane and Michael. Happy New Year 🥳 to all. What does 2022 brung fir us boaters in Holland Belgium Germany and France post Brexit, current Covid? Are ther no changes or major changes? Do these euro countries want us back, or value us? Are VNF and their equivalents turning their backs on us or really needing our custom and spend, or is it just euro peak politics?
    We really want to be back on the European waterways but is that door open or closed? We look forward to blog replies, boaters experiences etc over the last two years!

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    1. Hello Gareth. So many questions! And who has the answers – certainly not me! Not sure what is going on in France at the moment – very strange behaviour. Just got to sit tight and hope to come out the other side soon. Take care. MJ

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  4. Sorry haven’t been on for a while. For some strange reason my Apple laptop won’t allow me to link in now (telling me the site isn’t safe) so having now to use my iPhone instead!! Very odd 🤪🤪Anyway it’s been great reading all your blogs over the months and especially your house / pet sitting duties. We hope 2022 will bring us better times, as things should hopefully improve. 🤞🏻🤞🏻Our very best wishes. Stay safe and well.

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