Easter Sunday 2020

Our last evening in Brittany, Easter Saturday 2020 , with a pink coloured sea.
No retouching or photoshopping!

A pain in the lower right abdomen – first thought: appendicitis. Second thought: what, hospital, now, during the corona crisis? Third thought: PLEASE, NO!

After 24 hours, my daughter’s pain was no better but also no worse. After 36 hours, the decision was made. We packed up in record time, she declared she felt well enough to undertake the 12-hour drive back to Switzerland, and – vital factor – although the service stations on the French autoroutes were reduced to a minimum, there would be the opportunity to refuel and use the toilet facilities.

In fact, apart from a few trucks delivering perishables, the autoroutes were virtually deserted. There were checks by a couple of gendarmes as we entered and left the Parisian region, keeping their distance as they examined our papers, and then, agreeing that we represented a special case as my daughter explained that she didn’t want to be a burden on the already over-loaded French medical system, they waved us on.

The Swiss guards at the border were sympathetic, too. Of course if you feel sick, you prefer to be in the Swiss system! Welcome home and a speedy recovery! Never in the history of keeping to the speed limits have any of us managed the trip so quickly: exactly 11 hours from door to door!

Was it the Ibuprofen she had taken that defeated the inflammation, was it being drenched in adrenaline, or was there really nothing wrong? When she finally made it to the GP, the doctor did blood tests, examined her thoroughly, and found nothing of any concern. The pain had gone. Hallelujah!

My only regret was that, having sacrificed cheese, coffee and wine throughout Lent, and looking forward to a splurge on Easter Sunday, I had to continue waiting for all of these until Monday. But then my darling son-in-law (who knows his mama-in-law so well, even if he doesn’t always follow the labyrinthine workings of my mind!) served me a wonderful breakfast as a reward for my patience, followed later by a cheese platter fit for the gods (including Epoisses!). And he is overjoyed to have his wife back, as he was beginning to get rather lonely.

And so here we are, back in Switzerland. We were enjoying our reclusive life in Brittany, but it’s good to be back with the family even if we do have to maintain a distance. I am certainly in a win-win position here: currently staying with “my children” means a very pampered existence for me as well as very pleasant company. Even the dog seems happy – the more the merrier!

I do have something to show for the enforced idleness, however. I finished my big woolly blanket – a family heirloom that will forever be a reminder of the corona crisis. I interpret the bobbles as the virus itself, the lattice pattern as the lockdown, the arrow lines as the national borders – or possibly the “slings and arrow of outrageous fortune” – and the hearts as all the positive side-effects of this pandemic. Much love has been shown, in spite of everything.

And I also completed the transcription of the German monograph about the mill owned by my son-in-law’s Egg ancestors, copied and pasted the photos, and translated it all into English for the benefit of the distant cousin in California who had the foresight to photograph the original. It was the only copy, and has apparently since been lost, so we’ll make the new German version up into a new book for the present owner who will also be very pleased to have it restored to her.  

As far as the Eggs are concerned, the information in this document completes and expands on that already in our possession, so we now know plenty about the family right back to 1500 AD.

My reading programme was interrupted, but I have no regrets about leaving The Compleat Angler behind. It was ideal bedtime reading and put me to sleep within two pages. Here, I have my daughter’s library at my disposal which also includes some of my own books, lent but not yet returned, that I will be able to take home with me.

Still relaxing in a Swiss garden

And finally, the reason why we needed to take my granddaughter’s big VW people mover with us to Brittany in the first place: we have returned with a prize. A large plywood case, packed up in England in September 2018, which for safety reasons will not be opened until I finally get it back to my own apartment. Hopefully, the contents are undamaged. We’ll see. It passed the customs unchallenged though we had our story all pat: this really is a family treasure, the metre-long pike caught by my father in July 1950, stuffed and mounted in a display case: the one that didn’t get away.

7 thoughts on “Easter Sunday 2020

  1. Glad to hear that your daughter is ok. You two had quite the adventure. As with so many people around the world, you will have many markers to remind you of the “Year of the Coronavirus.” God bless…

  2. Wow! What an event-filled “holiday?”! Glad your daughter is okay and I hope her mystery symptoms don’t return. That pandemic blanket is stunning. I love not just the intriguing patterns and textures but the color, as well. Enjoy being pampered and reading in that beautiful garden.

  3. It’s always better to be home when one is not feeling well. I am glad you were able to get your daughter home without incident or unnecessary hold ups at the border. From all you write, and from some very brief visits years ago, it seems the Swiss are the most understanding people in the world.
    And oh, I love your blanket hereafter to be known as the pandemic blanket.

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