Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Annual days vacation in the US :13. In France :38

The painting of the ceiling in the downstairs hallway has at last been finished. What was once a warren of dark cattle stalls has now been turned into a functional entrance hall and library. Wilf was happy to settle down once again in his key 'guarding' spot between the front door and the office. The perfect place to monitor those who live here as well as all those who wish to enter. A PON's herding work is never done.

The average American takes 13 days holiday a year, the average Brit 26, and the average Frenchman 38. Holidays are of course unknown in this household. No sooner had I moved the last piece of furniture into the downstairs hall than 'the font' in fine Swedish Lutheran style announced we were going off to a concert. Something about too good a day to stay indoors. So much for my plans for spending the afternoon in the wine cellar. In the car and off in the searing heat to the local cathedral - a building of quite unparalleled ugliness. One of those places that makes Grand Central look delicate and beautiful. The facade is home to a series of huge, pigeon crowned, stone prophets. Square jawed, frowning faces, billowing robes . Here the sculptors have made them look less like Charlton Heston in the Ten Commandments and more like a group of angry folk who've just popped out for a pizza and walked into an unexpected blizzard.

Home in time to open a 2005 Margaux and enjoy an hours 'catch the sheep' with Wilf .


  1. I think Australia is close to France on the holiday thing.

    Suppose the law of averages must allow for some ugly cathedrals.

    XXXOOO Daisy, kendra & Bella

  2. Hmm. I hope the music was more beautiful than the concert venue. And if not, then for sure the Margaux and quality Wilf time would have helped erase the memory.
    Cheers, Gail.

  3. You know, the humans are so well trained not to take holidays in the US that sometimes they don't take them even if they have them to take. Alpha Mom takes less than two weeks a year - sometimes less than one week - even though she gets over 30 discretionary days and has hundreds of unused one. Blog Mom always has leftovers, too, and uses most of the ones she's got for things that have to be done. AND feels guilty about taking them. I mention this because if you're lucky enough to have jobs that give you plenty of time off to spend with your dogs, don't you think you should use them?

    lotsa licks, Lola

  4. Before I began freelancing, I had earned four weeks of vacation, plus another week of "summer days," etc. And I took every one! How very French of me! "Delicate as Grand Central," huh? I happen to be quite fond of The Sky Ceiling in the Grand Concourse, not to mention the Old World charms of The Campbell Apartment (the perfect place for a whisky sour or a gimlet!).

  5. My husband has amassed 8 weeks of vacation that we never seem to have time to take -- just sayin'. Sometimes he even has to sell back the days or lose them.


  6. I love the new entryway! It looks beautiful!

    Are you sure you don't want more info on the bicycle trailer? *grin* I'm sure Wilf would love to accompany you on some local bicycle sightseeing!

  7. Wilf clearly loves his sheep! Great smile.

  8. I'm with Lola. Why take a holiday if you're not going to spend your time with your pooch? And, while I'm here, just what ARE those trees growing next to the Cathedral??? Roooooooo Wilf, Stuart

  9. I think there needs to be more 'catch the sheep' and less work! :)

  10. We love the ceiling in your house, Wilf. What year was your house built?

    Love ya lots
    Maggie and Mitch

  11. The entry way looks lovely!
    Mom said that, if given the chance, she would have enjoyed the 2005 Margaux right along with you. :)

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae

  12. I remember several years back, a friend was complaining the company we worked for didn't provide much vacation time. She had earned 30 days off with her years with the company and if she'd continued to work there, she'd eventually earn another 2 weeks for a total of six weeks off per year.

    I told her she should be happy with what she got because a lot of companies I'd worked for in the past only allowed 1 week vacation per year. She still wasn't very appreciative.

  13. My household most definitely is in the upper 1% of the US in terms of vacation days - and I think that's something to be proud of! I'm not sure if we quite meet the French standard though...

    Love the photo of Wilf with his sheep and also the one of Wilf guarding the new entry hall.

    Your commentary on the cathedral had me giggling. I know your blog will make me laugh almost every day!

  14. Indeed, we miss all those holidays we had when we lived in Belgium - there was more days off for religious holidays than we have here in Ireland which always amazed us as not one person we knew in Brussels ever went to a church yet got the benefit of lots of church holidays!

    We hope the music was better than the surroundings and at least the wine soothed the soul afterwards!

    take care
    Clive and Murray

  15. i am all for more vacationing here in the US! now if you could kindly convince my employer, i'd be in business! ;)
    love the completed entry! the beams on the ceiling are gorgeous, and i also really like the big grandfather clock in the back.