Yesterday was the 1st of May. I tried to call my contacts in France to chat about various business matters, but nobody was answering the phone. I was wondering why. Suddenly, it dawned on me: nobody works in France on the 1st of May and on the 8th of May (another bank holiday). Basically, in France, you can’t count on anyone in May. Unlike in the UK, the bank holidays are not necessarily on Mondays. They are on the exact day they are supposed to be…So, when the first of May falls on a Tuesday, just like yesterday, most people do “the bridge”, which means that they take a day off work the Monday before in order to have a 4-day week-end. And they can do the same the following week, with the 8th of May. Things start to get a tad more complicated when the bank holiday is on a Wednesday. What do you do? Well, you can do “the viaduct”, and take Monday and Tuesday off, which will leave you with a really long weekend. To cut a long story short, if you are doing business in France, don’t do it the first half of May.
I shamefully admit that I had forgotten! Silly old me. As for once I had some time on my hands, I went to run some errands around Bloomsbury, an area of London that I don’t know very well. We are talking about the streets around the British Museum. It is a very eclectic part of London, with old Georgian houses and very modern buildings. But what I liked most was this:
Can you see what it is? Let me help you: it is an umbrella shop. They only sell umbrellas. That’s not entirely true: they sell walking sticks and wooden boxes too. In this shop, you will learn that gent’s umbrellas are not the same than ladies umbrellas. I am sure that you could buy an umbrella that matches your outfit. Obviously, all umbrellas are lovingly manufactured and don’t come cheap (prices start at £20 and can go above £200). I thought that I was travelling back in time and was a bit scared to bump into Mary Poppins. The downpour in London must have been good for the business. A shop like this couldn’t thrive in Saint Tropez.
Well, in short, yesterday certainly wasn’t my most productive day but it felt good to travel back in time in an umbrella shop that had been established almost 200 years ago.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London