The title of this post might conjure up images of the usual roundabout shock in France — someone actually using an indicator at some point. However, my roundabout shock a few days ago didn’t relate to cars at roundabouts at all. The St Jean de Sixt roundabout has changed. It’s become boring. Can you spot what’s missing? Here’s an ‘after’ shot:
Can you see what’s gone? The hut has vanished. I walked past the other day and noticed a man on the roundabout next to some planks of wood that were once the hut. It’s a shock but not just because the hut has gone. The reasons behind it are rather more depressing. But first, let’s reminisce.
Now here is a photo of the roundabout last summer when we had some historical French figures in traditional attire gracing the roundabout. Some garden fence had been placed at the front to make it that extra bit more homely. Without the hut, what use would these mannequins have been, just hanging around on a roundabout? The hut made it.
And just last month, we had the ski instructors in various shapes and forms to celebrate the massive meeting of French Ski School ski instructors. The roundabout was literally the talk of the town…well, amongst my friends anyway. What’s not to love about a white plastic ski slope and some ski instructors complete with goggles and hats and everything else gracing the roundabout?
So, this is all hearsay, but I’ve heard that the hut was removed because the man who puts the mannequins up is no longer allowed to. Apparently, it’s against health and safety for him to continue, so he’s been told he can no longer do this. I guess there’s no point in having the hut without the figures, or perhaps there are new plans ahead for the roundabout. What I find sad is that in a country where health and safety is sometimes alarmingly amiss (who needs a fire staircase on a wooden chalet?), it’s struck at surely the dumbest area possible. Okay, the guy could get run over or cause an accident if he drops one of his mannequins while he’s crossing to the roundabout, but it seems to me that far riskier health and safety issues remain unaddressed. I’m sure it’s for everyone’s good, but I can’t help wondering how less joyful my days will be without the surprise of what the roundabout holds from week to week. RIP St Jean de Sixt roundabout goodness. I miss you already.