It is an interesting thing " The peoples right to demontstrate". It is correct that people should have the freedom to speak, although one always has to be mindful whan doing it in someone elses country that you behave in the appropriate fashion. Those who are speaking freely asume and say they are doing it in the best interest of everyone. But sometimes is it only for themselves?
Gavin was challenged at the road block on his way home from dropping our youngest at her ballet classes, whilst driving our electric car and told that he should be standing with the protestors because they were there for everyone. He suggested that if they had an electric car then the fuel price would not be a problem for them. Which received some blank and less than amused faces. To diffuse the situation he explained that he had 500 animals to feed, fences to move and wood to chop, and if anyone was willing to help him then he would gladly come and stand with them. Funnily enough no one stepped forward and I think they got a little fed up with his African brain and let him proceed. Ours was not the only car that was stopped and Gavin was in the queue for half an hour.... Irritating when you have things to do.
His irritation was compounded when on my arrival home from the market I informed him that we were 2 and a half tank fulls of fuel short of money this market as so many people stayed away, and I was not the only disappointed market trader..... Hmm very helpful and supportive all those blockaders.
I have to admit to being a little on the fence with the fuel price increase. On the one hand our running costs are increased on the other, burning fossil fuel is not good for the planet. Maybe the problem really is lack of forward planning by governments worldwide. If you want people to stop using their cars then you have to give them viable alternatives with regard to public transport.
Living where we are there is a bus from our village 6 km away that can take you all the way to Bordeaux, or to Libourne our closest larger shopping town. I have just been on the Transgironde website and am finding it incredibly difficult to use even though the fare is only 3 euros to Libourne. There are 29 stops on the way to Libourne and it take 44 minutes plus my 9 min car travel time, 20 min by bicycle or 1 hour 10 minute walk to the village. At the beginning it tells me there are 4 buses a day and then I cannot find out when they are.
Or in Montpon there is a railway line that can take you to Bordeaux or Perigueux. There are about 9 trains a day that go to Libourne not bad, however the cost is extortionate as soon as you are more than one person. And the car is once again the cheaper option.
There are also the logistics of carrying all your shopping from A to B. So the obssesion of town planners creating out of town shopping facilities (not sure if anyone read last weeks blog) so that now all the town folk and all the country folk have to drive to get to the points of shopping because the centres no longer have everything people need. Town planners and also discount stores, and in that term I include all major supermarket chains, have successfully managed to increase the quantity of cars on the road, I don't know tenfold, more, in what 50 years?
Not sure what the solution is really. But I think taking responsibility for your own actions is a starting point, and allowing people to earn a living when and where they need to is another.
Change is a difficult one for people to grasp and to act upon. Maybe rather than attacking and forcing people through financial disincentives (not sure if that is a word), one needs to gently cajole and persuade them into it.
Have a lovely day today wherever you are, and however you are travelling.
I wonder if children in general, of this generation, have a different way of looking around themselves, or whether it is just that my children who are so countryfied they don't know any other way of looking at their environment. Alice asked me on the way home tonight what used to be in the field next to Lidl in Montpon. I said, "it was just a field and once a year they grew tulips for everyone to buy to raise money for charity". "Oh" said Alice "that's sad, that it is not a field anymore and that Montpon centre is empty". "Indeed it is", I said.
And we then had a chat about why planning committees don't seem to learn anything about town planning, and still persist in allowing large companies to build on green field sites and then wonder why everyone has to use a car to go shopping. And then are flabbergasted when the city centres become dull and lifeless because nothing happens there anymore, so drugs and crime and angry people become the norm. Remarkable that all that training of supposedly intellectual people to endeavour to improve the lives of ordinary folk turns out to be something that is controlled by money and who know who best.
In other news Gavin took some pictures of tiny mushrooms....
...And yes these are sheep poos and the mushrooms were growing there less than 24 hours after they were pooped! Amazing!
Here is our cat whisperer hard at work taming one wild kitten so we can get her spayed. And then lo and behold Mummy cat who had disappeared before we could spay her has turned up with another 2. (Pictures will follow eventually.) I hasten to add that none of these cats were ours and all of ours are spayed, but all you cat whisperers out there will know that it can be a long-winded process cat training. I do wish more people would get their cats fixed. It is looking like this will be an expensive Christmas, knowing my luck the 2 new ones will be girls as well. Below is a more trained of the species. Although I am sure Peaches would deny that vehemently ;)
I am farming sheep and goats on the Dordogne/Gironde border with my husband and our 3 children. We have an on farm butchery and sell our meat direct to the public via the markets and delivery points in our local area