Thu:26.Mar.20 Mailly-le-Château.fr

Fully confined for now over 10 days, meaning that I haven't left our cottage since (except for a Sunday stroll around the village). Almost 10 days of working remotely, half-time on my previous full-time job and the other half with Max in the garden. Actually an ideal mix of getting the most pressing things done at work, while dealing with the least pressing ones here in Maupertuis (which is why they're still up for being taken care of...). I probably went through the corona flu without being taken out (for now), a couple of days of physical struggle and here I am, resistant against the world's biggest thread! Tomorrow it will be my turn to face the outside world and to go shopping and experience the locked down country.

  • Fixing the garden bank: check
  • Mowing the lawn: 1 acre done and 1 to go
  • Freeing and attaching the grapevines behind the house: check
  • Cutting back trees: ahead of the plan
  • Planting strawberries: check
  • Bring 3 old bicycles up to speed: spare parts ordered

I guess the confinement can continue another 4 weeks until I start to get bored... I'll sit back and relax and follow the battle online. It looks like the world (or at least Europe) is getting a handle on things, we might get back to normal a bit faster (sometime in May?) than I thought only two weeks ago, when I expected a standstill until summer. Anyway, as opposed to our first longer stay here at our cottage (from Feb '17 to June '18) we are feeling less isolated just because everybody else is too, resulting in more communication and tools (apéro Skype ;) to beat the loneliness. Good luck, and stay safe.

Fri:13.Mar.20 Pantin.fr

Ausnahmezustand an einem Freitag den 13.! Life has been slowed down by the infamous Corona virus, and Monday it'll come to a full stop: no more school until further notice, allowing us to flee to our cottage tonight and stay in Burgundy for a while. I am already working remotely today, we'll see how to handle the school-less next week and hence the Maxbespaßung. A change at the right time: first for me, since routine now kicked in, putting me at risk to make my mind wander; second for the world, which is wandering already way too much and fast, forcing a collective slow-down which might be a finally healthy move. Let's see how things evolve, life as we know it will very likely be very different for the next 6 weeks. Bring it on!

Sun:08.Mar.20 Pantin.fr

I finally signed up for neobank N26, yet another attempt at finding a bank that I can stand. ING, which I joined in 2013, just killed me with their overly complex hurdles to send money to European bank accounts. Adding a new bank can only be done by phone (during limited working hours), after authorizing (obviously) and providing some twenty digits of my passport (remember it's over the phone), as well as the IBAN and BIC (again, still over the phone). A nightmare and inacceptable for me, and so I am switching banks again. It all started with former Tour-de-France-sponsor Crédit Lyonnais (that very quickly turned into LCL) back in 2005, which I quickly replaced by Internet-bank Monabanq in 2008. In 2011 I was forced to follow my mortgage to Société Générale, but quickly got drawn back to a more modern bank, that was ING back then. This is bank number 5 now, not counting my Revolut or TransferWise accounts. Let's see how long I can stand N26 until my bank allergy will make me hate and eventually leave them.

Fri:21.Feb.20 Mailly-le-Château.fr

Back in Burgundy, télétravail today so that I could meet with the craftsman who installed our windows (which don't do too well despite their young age). Internet is strangely slow, 2.99/0.81 Mbps only. The connection has been much better when we moved here almost exactly 3 years ago. Max is currently in Germany with my parents (or Oma and Opa, as we call them these days), where I deposited him last week. One entire week without our little fella, a true life changer. It's been years that I haven't been to the movies, check. Now I'm slowly finishing the work week while listening to some nice tunes (let's call this a professional obligation) before doing some further tweaks to move the construction on the first floor forward. Plastering is still my leitmotif.

Thu:30.Jan.20 Bordeaux.fr

Back in Bordeaux, where I arrived a little over 15 years ago to start my time in France. Different times, simillarly beautiful city. I'm spending two days at the cosy Deezer office in the heart of the city, close to la flêche Saint Michel, and then two more days at Charlie's chocolate factory in Mérignac, pretty close to infamous Rue du Tondu. The always rainy city is now less than 2 hours away from Paris, still south west but brimful of people who ran away from Paris. Still nice, still relaxed (compared to Paris), and still a place to be. That's at least the plan for the next days!