Wednesday 1st July
I lived in the city for years and in a way you get used to traffic, there is barely a moment when cars or lorries aren’t roaring by. You partly put the inconvenience down to living in a busy city, people have to get to work, deliveries must be made to shops and restaurants, and so on. And despite the advances in both the comfort and convenience of public transport the general public are still wedded to their cars and prefer to sit in endless traffic than join the masses on a bus. During my last trip the noise of the traffic seemed even louder, and the worst was the sirens. What is it with the Police that they have to scream along, sirens blaring at all times. And the ambulances too. Of course if it is an emergency we can put up with it, but it is hard to believe that every Police car you see is rushing to stop another terrorist attack or every ambulance is saving someone’s life. I may be wrong but I think this is just another example of power, you have the right to exceed the speed limit, to drive on the wrong side of the road, to ignore red lights and to blare out your siren; and even if these are only supposed to be deployed in an emergency – well, who is to question you.
And even here in peaceful sleepy Eymet one cannot escape le traffic. The old square with it’s arches, which must be over five hundred years old allows cars in, and though almost all the English wish it could be pedestrianised the power of the Boulangerie and the Tabac is such that the French drive in all day long for their twin daily fixes. And walking the dogs this morning I had two huge lorries with trailers roaring past, stirring up dust on the road and crunching through the gears as they negotiated the tight corner and the bridge over the Dropt, me holding the dogs tight ‘till they had passed. I know that commerce must continue but why they feel it necessary to drive these monsters down tiny little streets I have no idea – unless the drivers were lost, of course.