My daily confinement

parisdiaHappy moments18 Comments

The chestnut trees are burgeoning and I watch them everyday from my kitchen window

Since the beginning of the week, I have been watching the chestnut trees burgeoning. It is an unequaled pleasure. Prisoners always mention that they loose track of time. This has happened to me of course and I mix days since I have no appointments. I keep a routine of listening to France Culture and France Musique radio stations which have developed clever ways of transmitting without hardly any staff on duty except for the news. Most reporters speak from their homes thanks to electronic devices. I am also obsessed with smells and cleanliness and make a point of walking everyday around the block. And walking up the five floors!

Prud’hon, Psyché enlevée par les Zéphyrs, XIX th century, collection Prat

I was sad to miss the Christo opening at Beaubourg, a lunch with an 98 year old Princess whom I wanted to ask many questions about my father, another one with two blog followers who were traveling from the US, a great Declan Donnellan play at Théâtre des Gémeaux in Sceaux, and the private opening of drawings “La Force du Dessin“, hosted by Louis-Antoine and Véronique Prat at Petit Palais.

Declan Donnellan’s direction of Thomas Middleton‘s The Revenger’s Tragedy, intrigued me since I am a fan of his. Of course it’s always a torture to drive to Sceaux, a suburb south of Paris, at rush hour. But once you get there, the plays are so wonderful that you forget… The comedians were coming from the Piccolo Teatro de Milano and so even before France was in confinement, we knew hat this would not happen.

Thomas Middleton,1580-1627

So I mostly concentrate on meals. We are asked to fill out an “Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire”  which I will not publish here because it includes my birthdate! this is a safe conduct which allows you to visit a sick relative or pick up your children on alternate custody, go to the chemist or buy food. I visit the butcher (who also sells wonderful cheese) and the bakery, every day on rue de Castellane. They have effectively become my only friends. And thanks to them, I invent a new way of feeding myself. Excellent paté de campagne, delightful oeufs en gelée, roasted quails and blood pudding. Tuiles, chocolate cake and special breads. It is as if we suddenly had time to appreciate…

A very special guinea fowl at Boucherie Congré

At night when the day is over, I indulge in a small glass of Tequila and start watching the Théâtre des Champs Elysées’ special opera, tonight Le Dialogue des Carmélites! a good French series on Netflix, Marseille, with Gérard Depardieu and the delightful Stéphane Caillard who plays his daughter. It is the story of the reelection of the Mayor of Marseille with a strong mafia influence and social unrest in the Projects. With divine views of the Mucem and the harbor on the Mediterranean. Quite exotic. This has kept me fascinated for a few afternoons…

Life could be harder…

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18 Comments on “My daily confinement”

  1. Thank you for this delightful newsletter – I have checked and the rue de Castellane is 650 meters from us so within the perimeter permitted for shopping and exercise.
    Kind regards,
    Meredith

  2. Thanks Laure. I read your post from isolation in Gaberone, Botswana and felt so good imagining Paris as you described it and heard the conversation with your butcher and tasted your exotic meals. Can’t wait for the next post. Carole Charbonnier

  3. we do shopping max twice / week. wearing face-masks. had some from previous profession. bring supplies to my old Dad and Riet, his 2nd wife. Work on the house. Making a stroll in lonely wood. Take photos, and hope to start with new artwork today. And write a post from time to time, as Drager Meurtant, on wordpress dot com.
    Listen a lot to music. Learning about patience…
    all the best.

  4. Laure,
    Great, many thanks ,you are a source of inspiration in how to live in a civilised parisian way through the second of the Plagues, while waiting for the third one, the frogs which should be arriving soon. Do prepare the cooking tips. It is good to know that Moses escaped it all and made a career in law subsequently.

  5. Thank you Laure, as a Parisian, I love your description of the core components of our culture, including – as you say – France Culture and France Musique who are doing an amazing work. Please put my name in your address book. Stay safe! Michele

  6. It’s always a pleasure to read your posts and because I know you I can imagine you there. You fill your Paris quarantine with art , culture and life that make it thrilling and invigorating. A real inspiration! I left New York a week ago to quarantine at the family farm in Pennsylvania. At least I can walk around the land, photograph, work in my darkroom, my garden and watch the daily transformation of spring.

  7. Dear Laure,
    Thanks for your uplifting messages and news. Ed and I are very well and currently on Nevis, West Indies where there is as yet no covid. We are in voluntary quarantine in a lovely area by the beach. I am making nature observations all the time. We have booked an earlier-than planned flight to go back, April 4th, a non-stop to JFK, re-entering the NYC hot spot, where we are supposed to stay indoors all the time.
    Love to you.

  8. Thanks for keeping us current. Here in Connecticut, self isolating, doing farm chores, nature walks. Binge watching. Latest- Netflix “le Dix Percent” (“Call My Agent” ); Outlander; and remarkable Oscar winning documentary, “American Factory”. Stay Safe.

  9. Brava, Laure! Here’s to the smaller pleasures! I recommend virtual cocktails via FaceTime or Zoom! Amities, Jonathan Galassi

  10. Tequila? Aha! Lots of that here…many thanks for continuing with your blog Laure! A big (virtual) abrazo from Mexico City. G

  11. Dear Laure; Meir and I send you warm greetings from Palm Springs. Like all Californians we are now confined to our home. We are thankful to live in an area with mostly very agreeable weather so we spend a lot of time in our yard. Since there is a lot of bloom right now, we also enjoy an abundance of hummingbirds with an array of spectacular colors.
    Very Best wishes !

  12. Chère laure
    Moi je fais mon commentaire en français. Merci de nous réjouir par tes posts et garder ainsi le contact ensemble.
    même si notre confinement n’est pas le pire (à la campagne qui est magnifique en ce moment), nous avons hâte de retrouver nos activités culturelles parisiennes en suivant tes recettes bien sûr!
    Keep safe and see you very soon (I really mean it)
    Catherine

  13. Dear Laure, I just left Paris on Friday to join my husband in Nashville, so that we wouldn’t be separated for months ! Confinement in many ways is easier here, but I do miss the camaraderie of my Paris neighborhood–the daily visits with the butcher, the baker, and of course my dear friends the cavistes ! I also felt uplifted by the applause every evening at eight for all the medical workers, which was particularly moving on a little street near us where someone had set up drums on the balcony to accompany the applause.
    I’m really enjoying your confinement blogs and can well imagine all that you describe.
    And I love the metro-style confinement map !
    Bon courage ! xxx Holli

  14. I am so happy to get your blog posts. It is just like having a coffee with a friend! Here in NYC we are inside — food delivery is hard to schedule and shortages of some products are common. But we will survive! Thank you for an uplifting part of my day.

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