Around and About with Tony Goodman
Lockdown restrictions have eased and so Tony is tentatively thinking about getting around and about again, whilst respecting social distancing and hygiene advice, of course!
Black and white
New York Confidential (1955). A fast-talking gangster classic. Plenty of familiar faces, classic cars and classy dames. Anne Bancroft turns a few heads. Lots of ratting out, cigar chomping and snappy hats. Anne then backed up in The Girl In Black Stockings (1957), a classic film noir whodunit set poolside in Utah. Slicked back hair, platinum blonde hair and big Dan Blocker behind the bar.
Lohengrin, son of Parsifal secures employment as personal bodyguard to Elsa, a very glamorous duchess. It’s agreed he’ll take care of business as long she never asks his name nor background. If she does, he must leave immediately. Of course being Wagner, there is a whole lot more: pagan lore, rich symbolism, Germanic mythology and soaring powerful music. English sub-titles. Staged by Werner Herzog at the 1987 Bayruth Festival.
Up early, we found ourselves wandering along the beach at Ste. Marie. The first thing we noticed was the amount of driftwood scattered along the beach. Cords of driftwood including enormous 40 foot long pliny pines had been thrown high up on the rocks. Suitably warmed we then enjoyed a brief refreshing first plunge. The water was crystal clear, it was a delight to see large schools of tiny bright fish in the shallows. No doubt their larger cousins lurked further out waiting for one or two to come by for lunch.
Driving in, it was odd to see all the small restaurants shuttered, no delivery trucks and very few pedestrians. The Mairie has been busy preparing for visitors, plenty of signage explaining the acceptable activities including jogging, cycling and static fishing. Sadly no sign of the small beach club we visit so no post plunge coffee, though signs further up the beach suggest Torreilles is allowing beach clubs to start construction.
It seems summer may be fun after all, just observe the rules.
A gem among gems, if Collioure did not exist Hollywood would have designed it as an ideal coastal town. Being within our 100 km bubble, we took the opportunity to drive down to visit friends and to check the vines, hills and Mediterranean were still there. Plenty of signs the town has taken the opportunity to freshen up ready to welcome well regulated visitors.
My exchange partner and I have started face to face exchange sessions again, 20 mins conversation then 20 minutes of reading, pronunciation and comprehension Thankfully she has quite a large apartment so social distancing is straight forward. Video sessions were quite useful however the technology was not quite up to the task.
It was rather depressing to be honest to see how much I’ve lost, not that there was much to start with. My partner, perhaps due to English lessons in her formative years held on to quite a bit. Its all about practice, repetition and daily use I suppose.
Video meetings with friends and family have been an absolute lifeboat during the confinement. Not just for socialising, many people have discovered a new way of working. While not a perfect substitute, removing the daily commute and allowing us to visit friends and family electronically has to be an overall plus. Good for us and good for the environment.
Other than Zoom, it seems there are quite a few new operators getting on board, the quality is improving, and prices are falling. It will be interesting to see if this new mode of living and working becomes the norm.