Le temps d’une pause

Versailles gardensHere in France our summer siesta has begun.

This year more than ever, we need a break. I’ve written before about the fact that la pause estivale is sacrosanct in this country, about how they roll up the carpets while just about everyone goes on summer vacation.

Between the bracketed holidays of Bastille Day on July 14th and le 15 août – one of many religious holidays inscribed in the French calendar – not much will move around here. Hopefully, not even the crazy people who want to kill us.

For me, too, it’s a good time for a break. Time to step back from the routine of normal life and breathe a little. Stare at the sky, watch the grass grow. Think about some things, stop thinking about others.

For the past few years, I’ve been working on a memoir about life in France. It’s been slow going as it spans almost thirty years and many different places and experiences. Recently I began work on what I thought was the final edit – and realized I am still in need of some major restructuring. So it’s back to the drawing keyboard.

Sometimes it’s good to take a step back – you see things completely differently. If I hadn’t got some space between me and that draft, I might not have seen the cracks and the flaws.

Like this picture of the formal gardens in Versaille. It took me a moment to see the other, surprising image there.

I’m hoping a blogging break will help me gain perspective and see a lot more happy faces, Including all of yours.

Hope you are heading off somewhere nice or otherwise enjoying life this summer. Please tell me all about it!

Bisous et bonnes vacances!


  1. ourfrenchoasis · July 21, 2016

    Enjoy your break. The school summer holidays are the best time in the year for me, I love them! Until last night I was super busy on a projected had little time to think let alone do things with the children, but now it’s complete, the desk is clear so to speak and I’m looking forward to a lot of fun summer time

    • MELewis · July 22, 2016

      How lovely that you are able to enjoy the holidays with a clear desk! Hope you get a stretch of uninterrupted fun time to enjoy with your kids. Happy summer!

  2. Margo Lestz · July 21, 2016

    Have a great summer holiday. I love the photo – now all I can see is the dog. 🙂

    • MELewis · July 22, 2016

      I loved it too….although I suspect there’s Photoshop in there somewhere! Cheers Margo and happy summer to you, too!

  3. francetaste · July 21, 2016

    Bonnes vacances! I didn’t notice the face in the larger version, but I see it on the small one–kind of like stepping back.

    • MELewis · July 22, 2016

      Interesting….sort of a ‘forest for the trees’ effect? Happy holidays to you, too!

  4. frenchteacherfree · July 21, 2016

    I love your blog! So interesting and cool! Here is mine, it is also french-related:

  5. memoirsofahusk · July 21, 2016

    Enjoy your retreat. My recent our nights communinc wiht the Brontes in Haworth felt like a month floating in a pool of peace and tranquility. Well, not exactlky that, but a pleasant change! Life has just been and continues to be so dispiriting I’m even finding it hard to think about writing let alone writing…

    • MELewis · July 22, 2016

      A change is better than a rest, as they say, but personally I’ll go for both! Let’s hope that the summer break brings a calming of minds at least. May you enjoy more peace and tranquility!

  6. Suzanne et Pierre · July 21, 2016

    Summer is a great time to take a break and it is so short (at least here) that you truly have to make the most of it. Stepping back is always a good idea and does provide with great perspective. See you when you get back! (Suzanne)

    • MELewis · July 22, 2016

      Thanks for your wishes, Suzanne. Even in France summer is very haphazard weather-wise, especially here in Haute Savoie, so we will make hay while the sun shines, as they say. Hope the Canadian sun shines for you and Pierre!

  7. Osyth · July 21, 2016

    I always look forward to seeing you whenever and however you pop up in my life – you are one of the loveliest things I have gained since living in France and doing this blogging thing. Your book deserves your attention and I will be very very happy to meet it when its ready for it’s début. So enjoy the summer, recharge and refocus for a while and we’ll all be here smiling when you are ready to reappear. By the way, I am in Grenoble for 6-9 months from mid-November and rather hoping that we might manage a gossip in person (if that doesn’t sound too stalkerish) xx

    • MELewis · July 22, 2016

      It will be with pleasure to meet in person, Osyth! Not something I’ve done before but a line that I would definitely cross with confidence to meet a kindred spirit. Hopefully my cheeks will have returned to normal by then – for now, they are bright red with your kind words of praise!!! 😉

      • Osyth · July 22, 2016

        Hurrah – and as for the praise – I only ever say what I mean even if it does bring forth blushes!

  8. Lisa @ cheergerm · July 21, 2016

    Enjoy your break and time to ‘just be’ and gather your thoughts and self. Good luck with the memoir!

    • MELewis · July 22, 2016

      Merci, Cheers my dear. I will need more than luck but feel certain it can only help to have the clarity of mind that comes with quiet. Hope you are enjoying a gentle winter in Oz!

  9. acflory · July 25, 2016

    Great photo, however it was made! Happy holidays.:)

  10. midihideaways · July 26, 2016

    Bonnes vacances to you – I’m taking a little blogging break too!

    • MELewis · July 26, 2016

      Must be something in the air – hope you enjoy the time off and catch some pleasant summer days!

      • midihideaways · July 27, 2016

        Definitely something in the air – perhaps it’s the warm weather?? 🙂 Have a good one, and a bientot!

  11. Mél@nie · July 30, 2016

    I’ve always loved les jardins de Versailles… 🙂
    * * *
    bonnes vacances et bonne chance dans tout ce que tu entreprends… amicales pensées toulousaines, Mél B

    • MELewis · August 6, 2016

      Hello Mélanie my dear. Just saw your comment….which shows that indeed my break is going well! Hope you are also enjoying summer, Toulouse-side. Back in the saddle again soon! xo

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