This is my first (and last) advice post. I’d don’t have a lot of lessons to share (unless I’m being paid to teach), but since I love all of you who are reading this, I’ll impart my knowledge of the French to you.
We’ve been to France many times, but haven’t spent as much time in the countryside as we have on this trip in a very long time. Being here now brings back the memories and experiences of previous trips, “lessons” I’d forgotten. As Americans, particularly living in this era, we have a lot to learn.
1. Stop working. Of course you need to make a living, but there are hours of the days for that. From 9 to noon. Then from 4 to 7 PM.
2. Don’t work on Sunday. That means no shopping either, because nothing is open.
3. How can one day off be enough? Close all day Monday, too.
4. Spend at least 1 1/2 half hours eating lunch and consume at least one glass of alcohol. Dinner is 2-3 minimum and consume as much alcohol as responsibly be managed.
5. Start the morning with FRESH carbs that include croissant or other french pastry.
6. Eat massive amounts of jambon (ham) – enough to shame the Italians. And (I’m gagging as I write this) organ meats.
7. Chill out. When you can’t change things or don’t know something, shrug and forget it.
8. Get your priorities straight. Recognize that ME time (as Americans call it) isn’t just a pop psych term. It’s an actual thing. Make time for yourself.
9. Close your shutters on holidays. In addition to the familiar holidays like Xmas or New Year’s Day, enjoy loads of other holidays off like Ascenion Day or the Monopoly inspired “bank holiday”.
10. War presents great opportunities for holidays. Armistice Day and WWII Victory Day. Take them off. WTF! We fought in those wars, too!!! All we get is a Macy’s sale.
11. And who could forget the Assumption of Mary? Whatever she assumed it had to effect the Catholics in the U.S. too! If the French get it off, so should we! And what about Whit Monday? I don’t give a shit or a wit what it is but I say we take that one too. The French don’t work on St. Stephen’s Day so why should we? If some guy named Stephen rose to that status, a lazy sod like you should surely be home relaxing. Definitely we should have a Bastille Day. Who but a Republican would argue against that.
12. If you have not consumed any chocolate by the end of the day, consider yourself a failure.
13. Eat local. If what you put in your mouth wasn’t fresh from that day, don’t eat it.
14. Love dogs.
15. Love yourself and revel in every moment of life.
This is a charming picture somebody’s done of the wonderful Mill House we’ve rented on the Connezac river