Life in the Loire on lock-down. 6th May. Day fifty three.

It occurred to me this morning that I have been wearing the same clothes for the past 6 weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been washing them but I seem to have a lock-down uniform.

I’m not floating around in my dressing gown all day or wearing tracksuit bottoms but I have (inadvertently) chosen to wear the same thing day in day out.

First thing, I come downstairs and have a cup of tea (you can’t take the English out of the English) in my dressing gown. Nigel doesn’t possess a dressing gown (probably something to do with being an ex-farmer ‘no time for dressing gowns you get straight up and out to feed the cows’). And he hates my dressing gown (although the cat loves it).

I have to admit it’s the biggest passion killer. A big red fleecey number. It’s warm and cosy and very old. Pesto hops up onto my knee and kneads it for all she’s worth, purring like a mad thing.

When I’ve had my cuppa, I head off upstairs and get dressed. The same pair of jeans, a camisole vest, a t-shirt, the purple jumper that I’m not actually very keen on (doesn’t matter I’m not going anywhere) and finally the brown fleece (which stays on or comes off regularly during the day depending on the temperature in the house or if we are outside). The same pair of blue trainers (they’re the most comfy ones so why not?) and I’m set to go.

I’m sure anyone that catches me on Facetime must think I only have one set of clothes.

We always make a bit of an effort in the evening. A shower, maybe even a bit of make up (for me anyway), a change of clothes (the smarter blue and cream shirt seems to be making a regular appearance).

The hoopoo did a fly past this morning while we were having a coffee outside. Friends yesterday said they have a pair nesting in a wine barrel in their garden. A very logical place. How lovely to be able to observe them so closely. I’m not sure where ours is nesting.

We still have just enough household tasks to keep occupied at the moment. Nigel is busy sanding down the dining table in the garden. It’ll be given a new lease of life and have it’s legs painted to match the other piece of furniture in the salon. That’ll take a few days.

For lunch today I tried out Louisa’s recipe for beetroot ravioli with soft goat’s cheese, basil and pine nuts. This is destined to be paired with the 2019 rosé and it was a great success. It looks stunning on the plate, the bright purple beetroot parcels make a real statement. It’s lovely and light too. The perfect summer starter.

Beetroot ravioli and a glass of rosé? Don’t mind if I do.

And now for some good news (well I think it’s good news).

The on-line booking system on the website went live this afternoon. It’s something we’d been thinking about for a long time. Just wondering when the next booking might come in. I think we might we waiting a while as things stand.

Still, we’re here and can’t wait to get back to sharing our love for the Loire and it’s wines with you as and when we can. Until then you can support the winemakers of the Loire by seeking out their wines at home wherever that is in the world.

Early evening was spent catching up with friends and family.

Our friends Ali and Jos live in Brussels. They used to live in Anjou and we spent many nights together sharing good food and wine. We miss that and have been promising ourselves that we would visit them since they left. It’s now three years. Three years since they moved and we’ve not made it. Hard to believe.

Their lockdown is being eased next week and they’ve been told they can socialise in their home with 4 people. The same 4 people. You have to choose. You need to get that right don’t you? What a dilemma.

Ali is a whizz on Zoom (she teaches English and has been using it to deliver her classes since the lock-down). I on the other hand, am a complete novice. 10 minutes with Ali and all is well. Our tastings will be great!

It’s Nigel’s brother’s birthday today so we caught up with him over an apero. They’d ordered a take-away curry that was delivered while we were talking. Now that would be a treat. We miss a good curry here in France. A good curry and decent bacon.

It was warm enough to have dinner in the garden this evening. Roasted chicken thighs with garlic and lemon with new potatoes and steamed asparagus. We enjoyed a bottle of Gerald Vallée’s St Nicolas de Bourgueil, Les Perruches 2017 alongside. It’s such a lovely wine. Soft and full of ripe fruit, a little savoury, dark fruits and raspberries with a touch of smoke.