Each August every year, Paris suddenly empties. School has been over for a month already, the streets are quiet, restaurants close and most of the residents of Paris pack up and head for the sea. In fact, the whole country seems to take a collective holiday - a big deep breath of relaxation and release.
In previous years, if I'm honest, this concept of shutting down a whole country for a month seemed laughable and at the very least, irritating. If you have administrative tasks or banking to do, doctors visits, house renovations or even need to find a plumber during August - forget about it. It's not happening. Frustrating to say the least, no?
Well this year...no. For the first time since living here we have really embraced this enforced month of national relaxation and three nights ago we returned home from three glorious weeks of holiday to...La Rentrée, my absolute favourite time of year. Despite never having been a fan of the August holiday, I am a die-hard rentrée fan. La Rentrée literally translates as The Return and really is when everyone comes back from their long holiday but it's so much more than that...
It's shiny new school shoes
It's brand new stationery
It's the beginning of a new year, a fresh start, a clean slate
It's resolutions and goals set
It's late summer days turning into chilly evenings, crunchy leaves on the floor, knitting projects picked up again
As we've got a toddler heading back to créche, I'm at work three days a week and my husband works full time, I'm reminded of how important strong routines are for us as a family. It's time to put back into place things that make us stronger, good bedtime and morning routines for all of us, healthy meal plans and more creative outlets.
I'm currently working on a list of resolutions that I'll share with you when finished. I always find that this time of year comes with a huge surge of energy and productiveness and I've found myself with several exciting projects in the pipelines, perhaps at totally the wrong time considering I'm nearly six months pregnant...or totally the right time!