August is definitely the month of holidays in France: many businesses and shops are closed at that time of the year. Parisians leave the city en masse and tourists arrive in droves. Most of my favourite restaurants close, the cultural life takes a break, it suddenly becomes difficult to find bread, museums are crowded and the central districts are full of visitors fearing boredom in an apartment away from green spaces when the urban Parisian life is virtually dead, we flee the city every year.
Sometimes we travel far, sometimes closer but what remains important for us is to leave Paris. It is true that travelling cost money, sometimes a lot! But it is possible thanks to a fragile financial balance that we are able to manage in part because we don’t have a family nor own a car.
It’s sometimes a delicate thing to juggle as September is the traditional month of taxes is France. While I came back to Paris with my checking account balance dangerously close to zero, we received the documents that require us to pay the last part of our income tax (it is not taken out of our paychecks here, it has to be paid in three instalments), the property tax and the tax I have to pay because we live under a roof (Taxe d’habitation, France loves to invent odd taxes). In all, my part amounts to about two months of pay! Good budgeting is very important in France.
Still, we are lucky to be able to go on an adventure every year. I don’t want to make empty promises, but I look forward to sharing with you all the great things we have done in Florida and in Montreal. I still have more than 2 000 photos to sort through and edit the movie I wrote about before my departure.
I enjoyed my stay in Montreal, even though it was a little short and that it did not include any weekend. Still, I was happy to have the chance to meet with my extended family and go places where I had not been for the longest time.
I met Flavie, my father’s new puppy. She is irresistibly cute, but they should have named her more appropriately, something like Evel Knievel’s or Jaws. Akira will soon be eight years old and I had forgotten how exhausting puppies can be. I enjoyed playing with her, but all the biting was tiring.
In late August, our old dog returned from my in-laws who live in Haute-Savoie. As every year, he was sulky for a few days. He did not want to interact at all: he refused treats and he did not participate in our family life. Hard to know whether he was being moody because we had left him for the holidays or if he was frustrated to be back in Paris. Since Thursday, his mood improved and we all feel better!
Lastly, there are two purchases from August which I am very happy with. First, I bought 10 bracelets for my Fitbit. In the span of a year, I managed to break two bracelets and was repelled by the idea of buying a new pack of three bracelets from the manufacturer for € 20. I found on Amazon a batch of ten bracelets for € 12. They are just like the originals and I like being able to change the colour of my bracelets any time I want.
I also bought a Casio watch at Decathlon to replace my usual watch during the holiday period. I enjoyed travelling with it because it displays the date, its water resistance and the possibility to set an alarm – all very practical! The illuminator reminded me of my youth, at the time that it was a really cool and innovative thing to have a glow in the dark watch. These were the days when we were very impressionable, no smartphones or the internet!
I hope you had a good summer and that you are ready to tackle the coming fall !