Joan Collins: my face mask fight with the Gendarmerie...
|Joan undercover in St Tropez!|
|Joan with Celia Walden yachting in St Tropez 2020|
France in mid-June seemed normal after London. The sun shone, the restaurants and beaches were open, people visited the markets and shops and strolled along the port. At the start of the pandemic, the French suffered a draconian lockdown. Policemen patrolled the streets and people were heavily fined if they didn’t fill out their safe-conduct form. This obviously worked to control the virus and the French started to live again, not just exist. But now, with the tourist influx, mask-wearing has become obligatory, and cases seem to be on the rise because of the more irresponsible ‘party beaches’ that this hedonistic haven is famous for. Women, in particular, wear these masks in various jaunty ways. It’s a popular look to hang them from the wrist like a bracelet, or off one ear; or pull them down to cover the chin (clever if you have several); or push them on to the hair like an Alice band. On a shopping trip to Ikea I wore a new plastic face visor, which I had seen being worn by London hairdressers. As it’s less stifling than a ‘muzzle’ mask, I could breathe more easily. However, an officious gendarme became deeply offended by it, and while I was mulling over the benefits of Ikea’s gravadlax vs its smoked salmon, he pounced. Gesticulating in Gallic fashion, he yelled at me to put on a proper mask, because visors aren’t legal. Chastised, I slunk away, muttering an Anglo-Saxon expletive under my breath, which, as he glared at me, I feared he might have understood. I then tried wearing a clear plastic facemask, of the sort which all the staff at the Byblos were wearing, but although it was easier to speak and to be understood, it forced my face into a hideous rictus.
|Something is bugging Joan!|
Although it’s idyllic here, we are suffering an invasion of hornets. They descend on the breakfast table — causing our few venturous guests to scramble for safety — and fly around the swimming pool while we’re in it. One particularly vicious bug landed on me while Percy was doing laps. Screaming in terror, I jumped into the pool to get away from it, colliding with Percy and causing both of us nearly to drown.
|Joan with Roger Moore 2001|