The end of winter in the Riviera is celebrated with the arrival of the Mimosa, the bright, yellow, fuzzy pompom that grows on trees in the hills of the region and takes up residence this time of year in every florist shop. You don’t have to actually see it to know it’s there, as its presence is signaled by a pungent scent of honey and citrus. This year, it arrived early along with a preternatural warmth, and in the current Covid gloom it was, even more than usual, a joyful sight.
At the height of the season, I went with a couple of friends for a hike through a Mimosa forest in a park above Mandelieu-La Napoule, the flower’s capital. A mad headache drove me to rest in a shady spot, most likely attributed to an allergic reaction to the flower, which grew on every bush and tree surrounding me. I suppose Mimosa is a pleasure best taken in small doses.
Nevertheless, thank god for that outing. We are in lockdown this weekend and next, to prevent families from indulging in risky group behavior during the spring school holidays. As in the first lockdown last March, the Promenade and the beaches are off-limits. There’s talk from the Prefect of a prolonged lockdown in the départment, one of 20 most highly affected out of a total of 94. The 6pm to 6am curfew is still in force every day.
I’ve had my two doses of the Pfizer vaccine (I was fatigued and felt malaise for one day after the second) and David starts his on Monday. With less than three million vaccinated, France is far behind on its vaccination campaign, and that’s part of the reason ICUs in our départment are at 102.8% capacity compared to 68% nationally. Another is the highly transmissible UK variant, responsible for more than half of all cases in the country.
When this Covid era is finally over, I imagine we’ll be over-indulging in kinds of pleasures, floral and otherwise. Travel, cinemas, restaurants and hugs are recalled nostalgically, but I wonder, outside of the hugs, how fast all those other activities will be taken up again. Personally, I’ve enjoyed enduring the winter without as much as a single cold, which must be due to general mask-wearing. Furthermore, how long will it take post Covid restrictions to feel comfortable in a crowded indoor space, or to even socialize in a small group? How many of the favorite old establishments will return? Rumor has it that various global mafias are buying up closed shops and restaurants to launch money-laundering schemes.
For better or for worse, it’s difficult to believe everything will be as before.
Great post (as usual!)👏
i would have liked to see one of those magical mimosa photos, but nice comments
Magical in many ways, Kathleen. Love the prose and photo, as always.
Glad you and David are well and are helping with the vaccines. Here, in OR, it’s a mess getting vaccinated.
Hugs to you and David,
I hope you get your jab soon, Jim.
I really enjoy your writings, and periodic slices of life from Nice. Wish David well for me. I get my second Moderna shot this week, and like you, don’t plan on dining inside anywhere, anytime soon.
But two weeks after the second jam, I shall still be wearing a mask but thankfully, Spring will have sprung, and restaurant gardens will be opening up here on the Delaware River.
All I can say is thank god for Joe Biden. In a month he’s accomplished what Trump refused to do in a year.
Sent from my iPhone
Ah, a restaurant garden!
Kathleen, a wonderful report as always, and a fine photo too. It’s good to know that you and David are navigating the Covid well and that you are surviving the 1800-0600 curfew. In Vancouver, we do not know anyone who has received even the first jab, let alone two, so you are doing comparatively well in Nice. As we look ahead, the hard truth is that it appears increasingly likely that we will not be seeing, this year, the inside of any cinema, restaurant, or airplane. Nonetheless, we are thankful to have avoided the bug (so far) and to have enough books, TV, and music to keep us going for a while longer. Best wishes to you and David!
I’m glad you and Pat are taking care of yourselves.
I love your writing and your photography.
I posted a link to this blog entry on Facebook.
Connection said our curfew will last at least 4 more weeks. That’s actually not bad. If it works out. The new variants are deeply concerning to me. Did you know that New York has a home grown more contagious more deadly variant of CovID-19?
Brittany has been inn pretty good shape all along but now we are in much better shape (re Covid) than all the rest of France. Of course that doesn’t do you any good but your friends have easier minds for it.
I’m going to join DA Nice for a meeting or two sometime soon. I intend to join you last week but I missed it,
Love to you and Dave. Tell Dave we both say Hi and hope he is doing well.
Thanks, Ruth. I had heard of the NYC variant. One in CA too. Very troubling.