Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Holiday May

If you think two Bank Holidays in May as in England is a lot you should try living in France. So far this month we have had "Jours fériés" on May 1st (May Day), May 8th (VE Day) and May 12th (Pentecost). Now, as I understand it, France doesn't normally have Pentecost as a Bank Holiday but because Ascenion Day, which normally is a Bank Holiday, fell on May 1st, already a Holiday, we were given Pentecost in lieu. (Are you following this?) However, the boys have had even more days off school than these three days. They also had the Friday and Saturday morning between VE Day and Pentecost in what is called Le Pont i.e. the bridge. And this year, because Le Pont included the Monday, making it longer than normal, it was dubbed Le Viaduc. Who said the French don't have a sense of humour? And, there is more - the boys have also got this Thursday off because the teachers are on strike!! From September, schools throughout France will cease lessons on Sat mornings resulting in a reduction of 2 hours per week in school time. Various proposals are being mooted by the powers that be to work through this reduction but the teaching unions are not happy with them - hence the strike.

So if I am right the boys have only had 6 1/2 days school this term and 6 days off!! But with good weather and the odd late night not a problem we certainly enjoyed the French way of celebrating May.


  1. sounds ok to me - what sort of hours do the kids do at school in France anyway?

  2. School times vary a lot across France but our boys go to school Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri - 9-4.10 and then 3 out of every 4 saturdays 9-12 (although this is what will be stopping come September). I really like the Wed off as it gives the boys time to recharge their batteries - when our oldest was first at school in England, despite the school days being shorter, by Friday he was dead on his feet and it took all week-end before he really recovered.

  3. see you are enjoying a barbecue in the lovely may sunshine what fuel do you use is it from a sustainable source

  4. In the picture is a camping gas cooker which we use for either camping or as an addition to a barbecue. Whilst in the UK we always used locally produced charcoal from a nearby coppice. I am about to make a barbecue and we will be getting the coals from a sustainable and hopefully local source. I also use timber we have coppiced and cook on the hot embers. Now I ponder - sustainable fuel is obviously the best but is gas better to use than coals from tropical forests?? We also cooked on the wood burner in the colder months.


I love receiving comments and I do read every one but if you are simply here to spam me with a link, guess what ... I won't publish it.