Well, the blockade around the island intensified today and we have been unable to leave our town at all as a result. Correction to my post yesterday - it is actually the professions liberales who are taking action, including transporters such as the bus companies (which makes more sense, as they are the ones hit by the higher fuel prices). Fishermen joined in today too. They are after a reduction in the price of petrol by 40 centimes, but are only being offered 9 centimes by SARA, the petrol people.
For anyone wanting to know more, and to see some pictures of the huge lorries and buses that block all the roads, have a look at rfo (radio france antilles) here. Interestingly, they say that the movement is supported by the majority of the island (which appears to be the case from the phone-in we heard today). Nor are there any traffic jams, as everyone has left their cars at home. Also true! Just about everywhere was closed today: schools, shops, banks, post offices... There is a real holiday atmosphere around as people meander around the empty streets (of cars) and there are a far higher number of cyclists around! Food is also running a bit low (happily we did our shopping on Monday) and there are rumours of someone paying €4 for a baguette (normally 80 centimes...). Strangely, Bertie got ours cheaper today!
As regular readers know, today is usually our beach day. Well, that wasn't happening so if Mohammed can't go to the beach, then the beach must...come to us, of course! We cleaned and filled up the girls' paddling pool and they had a marvellous time with their cousin Stella splashing in the freezing cold water this morning. Then we moved on to a bit of creativity. I had a lovely parcel from London (thank you Judy!) including My Little Red Book, which is part of the Tiddlywinks range by Scripture Union. LissaLou has been enjoying reading through it with me, and today we made an Advent Ring, according to its instructions. This involved cutting up potatoes to put the candles in (Papy whisked one away from me, apparently it was for planting!) although plasticine works well if you have some. We covered everything in tin foil and put on some red tinsel. Aside from our four white candles, we also have a lovely red one in the centre, which was a gift from Yvonne last Christmas - thanks Yve, I knew it would be put to good use! It looks beautiful, and we enjoyed lighting the first two candles this evening during tea - ok, we are a bit behind!
For more creativity, Bertie made a kite out of newspaper (the London metro Mum brought in October!) with the centre part of a coconut tree leaf as the frame. It flew beautifully in the wind and the girls were thrilled with it!
Sad news: Papy went to Pika and discovered the pig has disappeared. We don't know if it just made a bid for freedom or if it has gone to be part of someone's Christmas dinner (pork is traditional for Christmas here) but it is rather frustrating for him either way.
This evening - it is chilly! We are about to have a mint tea to warm up a bit. The rain is bucketing down too, the paddling pool will be full again in no time! I can hear the band practising for the carnival, getting to be a regular occurrence now. And we wait with baited breath to find out whether the blockade continues tomorrow...