Monday, August 2, 2010

Vacations- part two

I know I already spoke a bit about vacation time in France. But it's such a national preoccupation that I have to come back to it. Last Saturday was announced as "black" on the color-coded scale of traffic. Because everybody and their frère was taking the highway to the south of France to splash about in the French Riviera. Frankly you couldn't pay me to go down at this time of year. I don't really relish the idea of spending ten hours or more in a car in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Last night on the news they talked about the difficulty of finding fresh bread in August. It's really serious! So many shops close up because the majority of their customers are on vacation. So it's logical for them to close then, too. But if you have the misfortune to get sick in August, you'll probably find your general practicioner has gone south like all the other folks. In some of the companies my trainees work for there may only be two out of a department that usually bustles with 15 employees. Sometimes production closes for three weeks in August and maintenance crews come in to repair the machines. An American journalist has even written a book about what he deems the French obsession with vacations, Sacrées Vacances, and I have to agree with him a little. He says it can almost be stressful for the French to plan their vacations, especially since some have so many days per year.

So as half of France was driving to the beach, Remi and baby and I just took a brief drive to a nearby mine heap/mountain. Call us anticonformists. Oh, the turquoise blue waters of the Mediterranean have got nothing on this place (smell the sarcasm). So under a brilliantly overcast sky, we walked around this old mine heap which has now been populated by whatever plant species that can survive there. As we climbed up, the views were fairly impressive. We could see surrounding fields and villages starting to grow smaller and smaller. Remi went to the very top, but Juliette and I stayed at a safer distance below.

But in fact I will be off next week, so I shouldn't mock the vacationing bunch so much. We will be enjoying a three-day weekend at a beach here in the North of France with some of Remi's friends. The weather might not get over 75°F but that's ok.

For the moment I'm just hanging out at home this week. Only three classes won't keep me that busy. Juliette will go to the sitter just in the morning for most days. It's a good thing I'm a homebody and can always find things to do here. I've got lots of projects and most of them begin with an "O". Like:

organize the closet,
organize the bookshelf,
organize the totally messy clothes cabinet in the bedroom...

You get the picture. Lately I've been finding myself resembling Monk more and more. Wanting things so tidy and organized. Every thing in its own place. My house is still far from this ideal, and I doubt it will be much cleaner at the end of August. But it's on my list anyway. Plus to do some cooking projects, like make a raspberry charlotte dessert myself (like what my birthday cake was). Oh, and get my Life in Order. That's always on my list but I never seem to be able to tick it off. No matter how many vacation days I could have...

1 comment:

Jenenz said...

What a stunning photograph of the mine heap/mountain. I notice at work that summer is not the time to contact our business partners who live in Europe. Everyone goes on holiday! Not like us U.S. folks who are lucky to get one or two weeks off. They know how to holiday in Europe.