A week ago, my wife Jan and I were having a Skype session with son Michael and daughter-in-law Vanessa in Toronto when the subject of dreams came up. What started the discussion was a news article which said that because the Covid-19 lock-down had changed people’s schedules, many were having more trouble sleeping –and were having more vivid, bizarre dreams.
Mike and Vanessa have two young sons, and so I’m not surprised that their sleep is more disturbed these days. And Jan reported that, yes, she was finding her dreams a bit more disturbing or intense than previously.
As for me, I seem oblivious to the syndrome. I do dream a lot, in general, and my dreams seem pretty “realistic,” if that makes sense. But disturbing? Not so much. Early this morning, for instance, I had a fairly long dream in which I was working in a large office, and was late getting out for lunch. When I did leave the office, I found that all the shops in the building’s food court had already closed. So I had a pretty crummy salmon salad sandwich at a food stand in a street outside the building. Disturbing? Well, not very much.
A touch of normalcy: Before France introduced the lock-down measures to contain the Covid-19 virus, Jan and I each had a series of regular weekly appointments, ranging from exercise sessions to French lessons. Then that was all shut down. But now I’ve had a bit of a break.
Last week I received a phone call from my physiotherapist, David, to say that his clinic has been allowed to re-open. Would I be interested in resuming my program of twice-weekly sessions? Would I!
There are some new rules — we’ll both wear masks; I’ll wait at my car until David waves for me to enter; the waiting room will be closed, so I’ll enter through the large glass siding doors; and we’ll wash our hands before getting started. But at least this bit of normalcy will be a nice change. I start tomorrow.
More take-out magic: Jan and I are continuing to take advantage of the take-out services of local restaurants, which aren’t allowed to open up for seated customers. I wrote about this most recently in “Roast pork? Sweet!”, posted on April 27.
Most recently, on Saturday we enjoyed lunch dishes picked up from Sawadee — the Thai restaurant in nearby Cénac. Today (Sunday), we lunched at least as well with selections from Daglan’s own Le Petit Paris. Here’s a few looks at what we had:
For Saturday’s lunch, I ordered the sauté of chicken with a big assortment of vegetables and fresh cashew nuts, plus a serving of rice, for just 15 euros. It was delicious and so hearty that I almost (that’s almost) had trouble finishing the meal. Here’s my plate:
As it happened, on Saturday Jan had also picked up dishes from Sawadee for two friends in our village, and here’s a note that our friend Vicky emailed back to us: “Just finished our meal — delicious, very fresh, and a lovely change.” I completely agree.
As for today’s lunch, Jan and I each had the Le Petit Paris main course of beef cheeks — that is, joue de bœuf français au vin rouge — slow-cooked, with a few vegetables, and accompanied (for me) by gnocchi and (for Jan, puréed potatoes). Super tender, super flavourful. Divine! Have a look:
For dessert, each of us had the crème brûlée flavoured with orange blossoms. While the topping wasn’t crunchy (since this was take-out, after all), the dessert was sweet and delicious. Here’s mine:
And all of this for just 30 euros in total — 11 euros each for the main courses, and 4 euros for the desserts. Jan’s verdict: “I may never cook again!”
Our new production line: A new venture from the village Mayor and council is a program for resident volunteers to produce face masks, to be used as protection against Covid-19. Ever eager to help, Jan volunteered to make 60 masks — and today the Mayor delivered the necessary supplies to her: 120 pieces of fabric (two per mask) and enough elastic for the 60 masks. Jan has already cut the elastic into the right lengths, and has advised that we will be making the masks in a production line. We haven’t tried it yet (that will come tomorrow) but I understand that Jan will operate the sewing machine, and I will do whatever she tells me.