The French seem to have got this right. In my post of  4th December  I touched on this when writing about the French lockkeepers and their working hours. Enjoying life appears to be the important bit, and work an inconvenient necessity.
Nevertheless, things seems to get done in France, and the system functions.
Before to going to France for the first time, we read a wonderful book by Stephen Clarke – ‘Talk to the Snail’, in which he gives the 10 commandments for the life in France. One of these was: ‘Thou shalt not work’.
Besides being highly entertaining, the book was pretty well on the mark and provided us with a huge amount of insight into the French way of life.

Boulangerie in Chatel Sensoir

Stocking up with food was not always that simple.

One had to plan quite carefully.

The first picture shows a Boulangerie, or bakery, in the tiny town of Chatel Sensoir.

It was closed.

Reading the sign we discovered it was only open in the mornings and late afternoons, but not at all on Mondays, and also closed on Wednesday

And this was quite an enthusiastic trader.
In some villages we found shops that only operated 3 or 4 days a week.

Bar/Street Cafe in Auxerre

The second picture is a typical bar/street cafe, this one being in Auxerre.

There was something very relaxing about having a coffee or glass of wine, and watching the
people go by.

Of course these type of cafes are to be found all over the world now, but I cant help feeling that they were invented by the French!

Mon Oncle Benjamin – Internet Cafe in Clemecy, France

We spent four nights in the the village of Clemecy, and here we found Mon Oncle Benjamin’s cafe.
(Third picture)

This establishment also provided free Wifi!!! (The French pronounce it ‘wee fee’ – but more on the French language another time.)
Oncle Benjamins appeared to be the centre of it all in Clemecy, with a constant stream of locals passing the time of day, drinking a beer, and/or playing the lotto.
We spent a bit of time there too, taking advantage of the wifi and catching up on emails and staying in touch with the real world. (A necessity, unfortunately)
Clemecy naturally had its own boulangerie, and each morning I joined the locals in popping in and buying either a fresh French loaf or an almond croissant, and take it back to our boat to have with our breakfast and coffee.

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