Here in strike-torn France…

…the local fuel situation (Mayenne – 53) doesn’t seem very hopeful. We went to Pouance (in the neighbouring departement)  today – a 20km round trip – to get some bits and pieces and we would have filled up at the Super U if they’d had any 95 unleaded but they only had diesel. We found the same situation at the Total garage next door.

We still have over three-quarters of a tank left, but with two more strike days announced (one for next week on the 28th) and the unions obviously heartily pissed off with the retirement legislation, as well as the broader grievances they have with Sarko, it’s anybody’s fucking guess when things are going to settle down here.

The interweb seems curiously short on information as to where you can still find petrol. Although some details are available on the ex–pat forums they’re very sketchy and seem to concentrate on where there isn’t any petrol, which is rather unhelpful.

Where we are – in the arse-end of nowhere – fuel’s important and it’s not as if I can see if there’s any fuel after a 2 minute walk, which is what I could do when we lived where we did in the UK.

That’s not a moan though – I wouldn’t want to be back in the UK. With Halloween coming up there was always the risk that your house or car would get an egging and, with Bonfire Night close behind, fireworks being let off at any hour of the day or night.

Luckily, neither occasions are celebrated here in France and even if they were, stuck out here in a hamlet in one of only 5 houses I don’t think much would be kicking off.

The strikes and industrial action are a nuisance, admittedly, but with careful use of the car we should be OK for a couple of weeks. We’re well stocked-up with wood, food, cat food, booze and other essentials and we can bake our own bread. The only thing we might run out of is cigarettes and the bar-tabac in the village is only a 10 minute walk away.

We’re quite snug here – Mrs Shark has a glass of sparkling wine, I have a beer, the cats are sacked out with us by a blazing log fire, there’s a pot of beef and dumpling stew on the go and the house is clean and tidy. Although there might be more exciting ways to spend a Saturday night – Miss Marple and then Wallender are on TV tonight – it’s a remarkably relaxed and stress-free one which suits us just fine.

Time to crack open another beer methinks.

A votre santé!

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7 Responses

  1. I could contact some people I know who live up your way, one couple she French, he British and a British only couple who both live about 45 kliks from Alencon if they know of anywhere near you with l’essence, I lve 500 kliks further south so I dont think my local knowlege will help….

  2. Last week in Normandy we couldn’t get diesel, essence was available in a couple of places but we had to change our travel arrangement to come home from Caen rather than drive to Calais for the tunnel.
    There are a couple of gallons in our sous sol in Normandy in the lawn mower can, but probably not near enough to help you!

  3. You are quite wrong to say that Halloween is not celebrated in France. Almost exactly like MacDo, it is an American import much frowned on by cultural purists but ethusiastically embraced by the country at large.

    Petrol situation is a real bugger, though.

  4. There’s a temptation to think that the whole of France is in agreement. It’s not. It seems to be, once again, the brainchild of those eternal rabble-rousers, the hard-left agitators.

    Out of the mouths of babes, eh?

  5. Thanks for the help, but Alencon is a fair way from here.
    We’re right down in the SW corner of the Mayenne and so driving up towards Normandy could be quite a trek.
    But thanks again, I appreciate it!

  6. Well, put it this way…
    You can probably buy Halloween condoms in the UK, but I’ve seen very few signs of it in the shops here.
    Either way, we’re not concerned about any accompanying anti-social behaviour here.

  7. Oh, you’re spot on.
    Those who shout the loudest will get their voices heard in the media.
    What worries me is the way the unions are dragging in the high school kids. Manipulative, to say the least.

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