Most people will know that here in France we are experiencing a period of some turmoil over reforms to the Pensions Act. Sadly it has been a bad week for the country as a whole, but even sadder is the total disruption to many ordinary lives caused by blocking the supply of motor fuels.
We, like many others, live in a small hamlet several miles from any kind of shops,there is no public transport and we depend totally on our car for shopping,the post office, visits to the doctor and so on. This doesn't mean that we drive every day but our car is not just a luxury.
Out of the 10 families that live in the hamlet we are the 'youngest' and saying that is stretching the imagination somewhat. We chose to live 'rural' and fortunately both DH and I are able to drive. Most of the villiage is not in this situation. They have lived here all their adult lives; they are elderly; most are unable to drive and we have two widowed ladies here also.
Their children have grown up and moved away to find work. As they don't drive, they depend on their children visiting or mobile shops for their day to day needs - they also depend on the doctor calling or the nurse dropping in to check on them All these facilities are about to come to a halt as there is no fuel in our area, all pumps are dry.
As neighbours we do the best we can to help and keep a weather eye on them, but like most of the elderly I have come across, they cherish their independence and sometimes feel that they are putting on you.
I have no strong political opinions and I don't pretend to understand the rights or wrongs of this current situation, but I do wonder how many other hamlets there are like ours facing the same problems - which at the moment look to go on for some time. I do think however that perhaps it is time to consider those who are already pensioners living in rural areas , and put a stop to more of this.