France may have a highly regarded education system, at least in some respects, but they don’t stint when it comes to summer holidays.
Daughter 1 finished her first year at University in April, to start again in October, while daughter 2 finished lycée in the first half of June, to restart at some point in September.
Perhaps I’m getting confused in my old age but I seem to remember my own school holidays were about six weeks long, not 12 weeks, and I don’t remember university summer break lasting almost six months…
Be that as it may, we have them home for the duration, so they need to occupy themselves.
Daughter 1 has a job lined up for the summer months, and we knew we were off to a good start with daughter 2 when Mrs B asked her to hang out some washing – and got the response ‘Where is the washing line?’…
So we were impressed to hear they were going to spend an afternoon painting and decorating for someone, as part of a team that would decorate someone’s house for them in return for a big barbecue afterwards.
They’ve never made the same offer for us and we feed them every day but perhaps that’s not important. It’s just nice to see that community spirit is alive and kicking in this part of France.
This is probably the closest either of them have come to manual work so I was suitably impressed – and curious how it would turn out.
Ever eager they got up (relatively) early and spent the morning making cakes and biscuits for the evening festivities, then set off to do the painting.
I’m not quite sure what happened next, details aren’t clear, but it turns out work was all a bit much for them. The house owner tells me he came home to find both daughters asleep on the sofa, a significant quantity of paint on the floor, rollers and paintbrushes unwashed and covered with paint, and the decorating far from finished.
I’m not sure what happened to the barbecue and the cakes, or the rest of the ‘team’, I can’t ask them because they are still in bed sleeping off their exertions.
But if you need a team of poor quality but very cheap decorators for the summer let me know, I’ll be happy to pass your details on.