What I learnt from the French, part 1.

It is with untold joy that I begin this post sitting in my favourite coffee bar, listening to their LP collection, and drinking my first decent cup of coffee in weeks.

A brief break between Europe and Wellington in a beautiful part of the Coromandel, feet up, watching the waves, and spending time with Very Good People was the perfect end to my travels, and the welcome home that is the lights of Wellington was all the sweeter for it.

So this morning, in my own place, doing the one load of laundry (the joys of a small bag of luggage), I started thinking about how my three weeks overseas (or even 3 weeks of proper holiday) has altered my attitude towards life.

And yes, it has.

I’ve mentioned briefly in a previous post how little is actually needed to live a good life, which I learnt in Spain, and there will be more on that soon, but it’s my aim for a year of living simply that got me thinking as I was hanging up my clothes.

There is going to be quite a bit of de-cluttering over the next few weeks as I part with a good deal of clothes that don’t fit, or aren’t worn, and things I have kept “just in case”. I’m going to need to be brutal. And it will be hard, but life will be better for it.

After this post, I’m going to sit down and re-evaluate my goals for the next 12 months, think about what I want to achieve, and what I want to do with a rested mind. I couldn’t have done this objectively before I left: I was simply too exhausted and too overstimulated by work, injury, and the desire to have a break to really think about the long game.

But now, I can.

So while I gather my thoughts, from a completely sartorial perspective, I give you the first instalment of what I learnt from the French:

1. Do not leave home without a scarf of some description. (men and women).

2. Women wear heels or ballet pumps. The few renegades wear sneakers, but you are either in heels or ballet pumps. Nothing else.

3. You don’t leave home without lipstick on.

4. You wear jackets (trench/peacoat/leather/denim/blazer/etc) with everything, and teamed with a scarf. Turning up the cuffs is also acceptable.

5. Jeans, heels, and a dressy blazer is perfectly acceptable business attire. (this I noted with great interest).

6. People don’t care about body shape, etc, it’s not a big deal: just go to a beach or look at their reaction to the Kate Middleton fiasco for proof of this. As long as you’re well-kempt, that’s all that matters. The only obese people I saw in France and Spain were tourists.

And 7. Dogs go everywhere. Trains, markets, beach, restaurants, hotels. Everywhere.

And so, I will start the clean up once I get home, and my goals ordered. To physio to inspect the damage done first though. Here’s hoping I’ll be back in the gym next week…

Until next time…


1 Comment

  1. Absolutely – heels or ballet flats! I’m with them! Love the dogs going everywhere. I think part of me might be French… (and sort of is)

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