January 2021 in France was all about minus-zero temperatures, learning how Brexit would evolve, and of course the spread of Covid-19.
The jealous bully-boy (and girl) leaders of the EU were soon looking for ever more devious ways to punish the UK over Brexit; especially over fishing, Ireland, and Covid-19 vaccines. They continued to meddle in the UK's affairs by breaking contracts, and 'stealing' around 5 million AZ vaccine doses that were en route from Holland to the UK.
Also in January, over in the USA, Trump retired to Mar-a-Lago and the change-over from 45 to 46 went ahead reasonably smoothly (other than the storming of the Capitol), leaving the elderly Biden in charge. Trump now plays golf, and continues to moan.... I'm not quite sure what Biden and his sidekick are doing.
March saw the infamous Harry, Meghan, Oprah, TV interview. As with Diana Spencer's disastrous 1995 interview with Bashir, such things do no favours for the interviewees. In both examples half-truths were soon uncovered, and accusations made. It doesn't pay to invent tales in front of the world's press, who are only too eager to delve into the dustiest of corners.
Harry and Meghan's search for privacy took a nose-dive, much like their popularity. If this was how they'd planned their new reclusive lifestyle; it ain't working. La Markle is doing her best to trash The Royal Family, and is milking every penny from her marriage to a real live BRITISH PRINCE. I love the above photo; Meghan is centre stage, with Oprah and Harry very much in the background. Yup, that's about it.
After all Macron's anti-British vaccine nonsense, amazingly we received our first jabs on April 7th. They were (of course) of the delicious (stolen) Astra Zeneca variety, and were administered at our local pharmacy. We received our second on June 23rd; we were now both fully jabbed, and invincible.
On the afternoon of April 17th, Prince Philip's funeral took place at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The British, and others, said a final farewell to one of the most respected members of The Royal Family. As was befitting someone of his stature, the ceremony was perfection, and was a faultless tribute to The Queen's husband of 73 years. RIP Prince Philip.
As per usual we opened the pool at the end of May, and the water soon reached a 'swimmable' temperature. One of our few 'lockdown' pleasures.
In July, the barn came one step closer to being finished. The new exterior wooden cladding was completed, and general consensus agrees that it looks very good; Merci Olivier. Now all we need is the second bathroom to be completed, and a few 1st floor doors made.
The beginning of July saw an amazing crop of mushrooms There were more Cepes and Girolles than we have seen in decades. Freezers were filled, appetites were satisfied, and for those who sell them, pockets were overflowing. I doubt if we'll ever see another crop like it.
Sports-wise in 2021, Novak Djokovic won the men's Wimbledon title yet again, Italy beat England in the Euro's final, Slovenia's Tadej Pogačar won the Tour de France, Emma Radacanu won the Ladies' US open tennis, and all sorts of people won medals in Tokyo.
We returned to Blighty in early October, and instantly fell in love with the friendliness, the intelligence, and the culture that our wonderful coastal town has to offer. What a difference!
Even with all the problems that 2021 brought to us, it hasn't been all bad. On a personal level, our tiny French hamlet has become a more pleasant place to live now that some spiteful trouble-makers have moved away, and their house sold to some very pleasant newcomers. The atmosphere has changed 99% for the better, and much of the peace and quiet that we'd enjoyed for 48 years has returned.
There's no place in a tiny hamlet for people who don't know how to behave. I hate conflict, but some seem to thrive on it. When I once mentioned about this to someone of importance in the village, the reply was "Oh, the whole village knows all about him". We shall continue to keep to ourselves.
We end the year with more Covid problems, with Prince Harry and wife totally out of control, and with Russia and China forever taking advantage of the woolly thinking from The West.
So, I wish a happy New Year to you all. In these troubled times, I wish you, above all, prolonged GOOD HEALTH, and a certain amount of financial solvency. What more could you ask for. Cro x