Thursday, October 29, 2020

Regrets and a Long November Ahead

Now I wish I’d gone into the sea. 
The sea was so still yesterday
And Earl was right, I should have taken my water shoes. 
And I wonder if, instead of rushing to the grocery to fill my larder for the coming lockdown this morning, I shouldn’t instead get in the car and drive back to the sea and fling myself in. An October baptism against the November loneliness of lockdown. 
France is going back to confinement - no travel, restaurants and bars closed, one-hour a day for exercise. And papers, don’t forget the papers that say why you have left home during a pandemic. 
I get it. 
But a panic sets in that maybe I don’t remember how to do this. Last time, Grace and Jack were here. We played cards and mah-jong and talked to neighbors as they walked past with their dogs. 
Before we knew that the lockdown was returning, on Wednesday, we had an impromptu girls’ trip to Collioure, a charmant village along the Mediterranean with a strange obsession for the church tower along the coast.
A view of the church and the crescent beach

We decided to eat lunch first and found a place in the sun. It became almost too hot as the sun shone onto us, me with my Aperol Spritz and Tina, Jo and Melissa with their rose wine. 
My empty drink as we came to desert and our goofy poses for the cameras

Lots of laughter

Around us, the world seemed normal, except for the masks that covered everyone's faces. 
After we ate, we walked around the cute shops and oohed and aahed at the quaint streets.
The stairs and plants and colorful painting "The gate of solace."

Then we drove to a more secluded beach. The plan was to swim and then to practice belly dancing on the beach. 
The sun had disappeared behind big flat clouds and a breeze blew. I wore a sweater over my dress. 
Melissa changed right into her "swim costume." That's what the Brits call it. I said I would wander down to feel the water first. 
Tina made it clear she would hold down the towels on the beach, not even considering a swim. 
Melissa had brought swim shoes and I had brushed off Earl's suggestions. The beach was much sandier and smoother than Nice, but close to the water there were more stones. I let my feet sink while Melissa plunged right into the water.
After a few minutes, as the cold water swarmed around my ankles and the clouds hung low over the sky, I decided that I wouldn't swim. I went back to the towel and plopped down. Jo said she would join Melissa, so she changed and headed down to the water. The shrieks she emitted as she walked into the water, made it clear that the water was cold!!!
Two brave souls

Tina and I stayed on the sand, but we enjoyed watching them swim. 

Tina and I on the beach, my bangs shrinking upward already in the moist air

After Jo and Melissa dried off, we did some belly dancing on the beach. It was our promise to ourselves that we would practice since we didn't have belly dancing class on Wednesday. 
Melissa teaches, and she brought along "jingly belts" and scarves. 

The scarves are swoopy in the wind. 

These three with the Sea in the background. What fun we had, even if we scared off many people on the beach. 

Belly dancing with the curve of the Mediterranean behind them. 
We drove home as the sun set and a black cloud hovered above the mountains as we made our way toward them. 

It wasn't until later that night, after we got home, that Macron announced a confinement for all of France that begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday and lasts until December.  
We got a last trip in just under the deadline. 
So, I should have gone for a swim, but maybe in December. 

But still dreaming of the smooth sea


Mystica said...

We are in complete lockdown from the 3rd of October and with no end in sight. It is hard and I cannot even think about Christmas like this. Enjoyed the read and especially the pictures.

Paulita said...

Mystica, I feel for you. Lockdown is difficult, especially as it drags on. The first few days or even week are kind of novel, but then it just gets tiring. Here's hoping we can all get it under control before Christmas.

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