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 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