Sunday, September 30, 2012

La rentrée

In France la rentrée happens every September.  Literally meaning "the return", it means not only the start of a new academic year for schools and colleges but also returning to work after the holiday period.  Much of France still goes on holiday for the month of August.  La rentrée is heralded in supermarkets and other shops with special promotions of stationery, clothes suitable for work in autumn or whatever promotion they can think of in their case and for us it's always a rather early reminder that we'll be heading back to the UK sometime.  This year, because we were so late in going, la rentrée was already plastered everywhere when we arrived, which seemed an unfair reminder that our visit was so short.  I know, I know, five weeks in France doesn't sound short to most people.  But if you're living somewhere rather than holidaying, it is.  Still, you might like to see the last photo I took as we left and compare it with the photo in my last post as it shows we actually did make an impression on the place.

Back to la rentrée (which may be a tautology, but I don't care.)  I really like the concept, as it fits with my approach to life.  I've always related to time in a physical and unconscious way, which I think I've written about here before.  Times of year have reminders for my whole system which I can be quite unaware of until I realise what is happening.  Some, though, like the start of the academic year, are much more conscious.  Until about five years ago part of my life was always organised around the academic year and as well as often feeling it was a chance to do better work in a new academic year, I've always arranged my life around it.  Even my household finance budget is organised from September to August, a throwback to the time when I first took over organising the joint incomes in my first marriage.

Now I'm only involved in my creative work, la rentrée is still a significant time for me.  It marks the beginning of doing more markets and shows and making work specifically for seasonal shoppers.  (I was going to use another word instead of 'seasonal' but decided that September was too early for it.)

This year, in particular, la rentrée is particularly real for me.  I'm back at work.  Nothing all that startling in that, I suppose, but the notable thing is that I'm back at work and I'm well! Only now do I realise how unwell I was and for how long.  It's great to be back.  I've been working on new textiles pieces.  No, you can't see these until my exhibition in October/November, which I will be telling you more about in due course.  I've also been making new stock of earrings.  First a new design, stripey triangles, designed to go with the triangle scarf design:

And then a new colour range, which I hope will be popular for the autumn.  Black is the new black.

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