With a bit of planning it is all quite manageable, but it still was a bit of a shock when last Friday, following the Ascension holiday on Thursday and just two days before paper tax returns were due (electronic filings are due later), my husband found the local tax offices in Aix closed with a handwritten sign on the door saying Exceptionnellement fermé, which translates to: we are taking the Friday off to make a four-day weekend. Sorry−no tax advice, no tax collection, go home and come back next week.
|Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem|
One person who is not likely to take much time off in May is our Minister of Education, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. She is charged with the sticky project of reforming the national high-school curriculum, but her proposals have met with severe criticism, and a number of teacher unions have called for a nationwide strike on May 19th.
It is undeniable that children from poor and immigrant backgrounds do less well than others, but bringing the overall level of education down to that of the poorest performers is seen as a great disservice to all. The message is read as: in the name of equality we should all be equally poorly educated.
Jewellers like Harry Winston, Cartier, Chopard, or Bulgari are more than happy to showcase their creations on beautiful actresses and models at this film festival with its worldwide television audience.
But perhaps the time has come for actresses to start wearing "fun" jewelry at Cannes. A good fake worn with style and panache on an haute couture dress would fool us all, and Cannes would be a safer place — but perhaps a tad less exciting.