Thursday, 19 March 2009


No, gentle reader, not a case of an infestation of men but a demonstration during a day of national strike action. Pronounced “Manny-fest-ass-eon”. A useful French word to get to know, as is the word for a strike, which is greve, pronounced “grev” and would rhyme with Kev if anyone is moved to express themselves poetically. If you see these words in the French press, note the dates and don’t make any travel plans for those days.
I got to French class reasonably early as I was planning to march shoulder to epaule with the citizenry. The gathering time was 10am outside the post office in the centre of town. I added in European slack time and assembled at 10.30am.

Nothing much happened until just after 11am when someone started their speech, and went, well. On a bit. After 45 minutes the assembled throng began to shuffle along, waving their banners, throwing fire crackers, sounding air klaxons. I think they were going to march on the Prefecture via some circuitous route.
There were 10,000 people in the square. This is close to the entire population of the town, but people had travelled from neighbouring towns and villages to attend. Traffic flow into and out of town was controlled by the boys in blue and was mostly at a standstill.
I took some photos from the post office steps and then decided to climb up to the castle to get more of a bird’s eye view.

The weather was probably in the 70’s by now, but I was prepared to sacrifice my comfort for the greater good.
I reached the castle entrance gates, which were closed, with a notice stating that the castle would be closed all morning due to industrial action…… Bugger!
Bee Boy’s parents have been here for about a week now. They seem to spend all day away. Presumably out mending bees or whatever bee-keepers do. Today however, Mrs B stayed “home” and did the washing and did them a midday meal. She must be fed up with the field work.

1 comment:

  1. yet another reason I love the French.

    GOOOOOOO les greves!!!!


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