The fridge arrives and changes my life
Monday, April 13
Easter Monday. Absolutely nothing happening, except there are no new coronavirus cases reported, and this not happening is an event in itself.
Tuesday, April 14
The fridge is due to be delivered. I don’t have long to wait. it’s brought up the stairs and into the kitchen by two robust delivery men who should have left it outside the door before eight o’clock in the morning. She looks lovely. Not too big, but elegant. I shall call her Felicity, because all the Felicitys I’ve known have had perfect proportions. Fat Felicities are unheard of.
To the shops, or rather the shop. There seems to be more traffic on blvd. des Moulins, even a sort of low-key bustle. i wonder aloud if this is because it was a long weekend and everyone’s out stocking up on food or whether the fact that there were no new cases reported yesterday has anything to do with it. For the second day in a row, no new cases reported tonight.
Wednesday, April 15
Ordered a mattress that I’m told should arrive by tomorrow. That would be a great relief because my inflatable mattress deflated and when I tried to reinflate it it wouldn’t flate at all. Like Helen the unhappy hydrangea it’s not what it should be. I put the two blankets I have folded over on the floor to make some sort of soft landing, but this means I have a thin sheet to cover myself at night and my bony hips hurt whichever way I turn. However, Felicity is beautiful and still working when I get up at 03:30 because the pain is unbearable and I go to check. I’m becoming very fond of her and she’s very cool about it. A third day without a new case in Monaco.
Thursday, April 16
I have nothing to read. It’s getting desperate. I zoom with my wife and middle son and they are doing fine in England. They have plenty to read, they tell me. Thank goodness. We spend a long time gazing lovingly at each other. I am very touched. I don’t tell my wife about Felicity.
Unfortunately, the death of a Monaco resident is reported this evening. This is the first in Monaco since the start of the outbreak and I pray it’s the last. And one more case announced.
Saturday, April 18
Still no mattress, of course. That means another two nights on the floor over the weekend. Take myself shopping again after putting it off for most of the day. I realise that I’m developing a fear of going outside. At the start of the lockdown I went out to buy a baguette in the morning, bought a newspaper, went shopping, and did as much as I could to be out of the flat and busy. I hope I don’t become agoraphobic. To have a fear of agriculture. No new cases.
President Macron says he’s against older people having to stay in quarantine once the lockdown is lifted. Very sensible. Then I remember that Brigitte is 67 and if she had to stay indoors Emmanuel would have to go out on his own, because he’s only 43. Still, it suits me.
Sunday, April 19
Bought lamb chops yesterday, so I’ll cook them in the oven and eat one and then Felicity can look after one overnight and I’ll have it with pickles and dijon mustard tomorrow. It’s very lonely here, of course, as it is for everyone flying solo through this lockdown, but I’ve never eaten so well, which partly compensates. I try to imagine what it will be like when the cafes and restaurants open again. How could we take them all for granted?
The big news of the day is no new cases, which means that only one new case has happened in seven days. My hopes rise that soon we will all be released from house arrest. I’m looking forward to going out three times a day. To buy a paper. To have a coffee and croissant at Costa. And to have a Desperado or two at McCarthys at Portier. My mouth waters in happy anticipation and I feel that day is getting closer.
to be continued for longer than we would like
Jeff Daniels’ contributions are published in the interests of editorial diversity, and any views expressed are not necessarily those of the publishers.