With cases rising it’s time to leave Dordogne’s golden glow

We’re finally giving up on our summer holiday. News of “exponential” growth in virus cases “everywhere” in France coupled with speculation about another national lockdown means we’ve decided to cut short our holiday.

Nearly a fifth of France has been designated a “red zone” due to spikes in infection rates across the country.

In new figures released by the French health ministry, the country saw its highest number of infections since lockdown ended with 6,111 cases recorded in 24 hours on Thursday.

It is the second-highest daily record since 7,578 cases were registered on March 30 at the height of the pandemic.

Reassuringly prime minister Jean Castex said the government is still determined to reopen schools next week, get workers back and kick off the Tour de France on Saturday. At the same time though he aldo said: “The epidemic is gaining ground, and now we must intervene,”

Going home early is  a tough decision that goes against the grain but with infection rates taking off and with even the remotest possibility of another national lockdown it’s time to act.

Tomorrow we’ll head north to Tours for a night and then we’ll catch the boat home from Caen to Portsmouth.   This means we’ll be starting our 14 day quarantine a week early which also, of course, means it will finish a week early.

Immediately after our decision was made everything about our stay here in the Dordogne has taken on an even more golden glow.

The little annoyances of our camping holiday have suddenly disappeared as I look around and focus on just the good – the sunshine, the pool, the bar, the food, the wine, the countryside, the relaxed ambiance of holiday life with Mrs Jones.

It’s similar sensation to what sometimes happens at the half-way point of lots of normal, pre-Covid holidays I’ve been on. 

The difficulties of the journey, hassles at arrival and those first-world problems of hotel rooms, restaurant meals, travel and service that sometimes lend themselves to out of proportion frustration – get forgotten and you start to appreciate what you’ve got.

All of a sudden the days that were dragging start to fly by and with the end of your holiday getting ever nearer you start to appreciate every moment.

I often wish I could bottle that feeling and uncork it whenever I need it.   After all the only thing that  changes between the start and the end of your holiday is my mindset.

Not wishing to sound maudlin but isn’t that where I am in life.  The longest recorded lifespan for a man is Jiroemon Kimura (1897–2013) of Japan.  He lived to the age of 116 years, 54 days so there’s not getting round it, at 60 I’ve lived more than half of my life.

Truth is if my life were a two week holiday, I’m now into the final week, more likely the final days. I really need to remember this golden Dordogne glow, hold on to it and appreciate all that the rest of my life has to bring.

Published by brianjonesdiary

Dad, husband, brother and son. Interested in travel, politics, sport, health and much more. Semi-retired and aiming to making the most of life as I approach my sixth decade.

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