We had a lovely Christmas despite the covid-19. A quiet dinner with Alex and Sarachel. Alex got tested for Covid antibodies before he came – he was curious to see if, after working at the hospital since December in the Covid ward, he’d caught the virus. But he had no antibodies, so it was unlikely. Stef had gotten tested six days ago, and I was tested too (both negative)! I didn’t find the test that disagreeable but Stef found it very painful. The pharmacist said it was because he’d broken his nose and had scar tissue.
Since Sarachel is a vegetarian, we had a vegetarian dinner – chestnut and pumpkin crumble, endive apple salade, creamed mushrooms on toast, and for dessert we had candied chestnut icecream. The next day we had lunch at Julia’s house, and Sebi came. Céline, he said, was feeling poorly. In fact, we found out she was pregnant, so that was a huge and wonderful surprise. I’m still trying to get used to the idea of becoming a grandmother. I suppose it was bound to happen, but it’s too new, the baby isn’t due until summer, and I’m still digesting the news!
Otherwise things have been very boring here. I like my job better now that I’ve managed to conquer the new computer system and program, but the schedule is pretty hectic. I’m still not used to working a full time job and I suppose I’ll never get used to it. Getting up early is not as hard as I feared (athough I still hate it) but at night I’m pretty tired. Three days a week we work from 9 am to 7 pm, and then we do three half days. I only get Thursday and Sunday off, so I tend to want to crawl under the covers and do Nothing on those days.
My writing has been put to the side – I can’t seem to get back into it. I have a book to hand in soon, and I’m not halfway done. It’s making me cranky, because I have it plotted out in my head but I haven’t written an outline yet, and I keep changing it.
On January 7, my book “A Remedy in Time” will be published, and I’ve been organizing a blog tour, writing some articles on my research, and trying to get back into the author mindset. But my job is really taking all my energy and concentration, so I guess I will have to wait until I’ve gotten more used to it, and I can free up more of my brain cells for creative writing.
France is quiet. It’s like we’re all staring across the Atlantic at the US, wondering what is going on, but maybe that’s just my imagination. But France is quiet. The curfew and masks and closed shops and restaurants make Mantes feel like a ghost town. I know things will get better – we’ve gone through other plagues and things far worse than this – so I’m content to wait. But waiting means shutting down, somehow I feel like I’m hibernating. My life has shrunk to work and my apartment. I haven’t even been to Paris in months. Hopefully this spring will bring the vaccine, which will free up a good part of the population to work and travel. Maybe even this summer, when the new member of our family is born, everything will be back to normal again!