La Fête du Travail

Greetings from the south of France, or the Upper Garonne to be precise. You Say Agency has upped sticks and headed south for a week to work and recharge after an unexpectedly busy & stressful month.

It has not escaped our attention that it is La Fete du Travail or Labor Day here in France - a bank holiday on a Thursday! I have to admit that work life balance and holidays is something I have not yet achieved to a level where I feel I have the balance right, being here where the working day stops from 12 - 2 is rather refreshing - even the supermarket shuts!

Cornwall last month was a great trip and was always meant to be a blend of work & pleasure but work did seep into time nominally assigned to R&R. A client twitter getting hacked when sat having a delicious lazy Sunday lunch at the Old Coastguard being a good example where stress levels rose!

But here in France a week of getting up at 9am, sitting by the log burner with a Cafe au lait, firing off emails when it is 8am in the UK then popping to the stunning local food market before enjoying an hour long lunch of proper baguette and cheese with a small glass of Picpoul de pinet before settling back to working on the 10ft farmhouse table has taught me a lesson. I am my business and my business is me so holidays as I have known them for the previous two decades are probably a thing of the past and I just need to find a new way of working.

I have to say the power cuts and wifi going off by 10pm are helping the evenings be work free!!

I must consider myself lucky too - in the last 6 weeks I have been to Cornwall for a week and France for a week, I just have to learn a new way of resting and not feeling guilt or hard done by if I don't have a whole week off. I must also get into a habit of using my two mobile lines better - one for work and one for play!

So, as it is a bank holiday here and a street seller gave me some Lily of the valley, I am going to grab my book and sit in the garden at the very French wrought iron table and chairs, with the scent of the lily in the breeze and watch the boys try and clean the pool and not fall in.

Au revoir mon ami x