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  1. Wealth
August 21, 2013

The fine art of holidaying well

By Spear's

The August vacation plays a particularly seminal role in the roster of holidays. My feeling has always been September marks the beginning of the year

The last two weeks of August have that leisurely feel, activity dwindles to a languid pace, as if we want to delay the arrival of September and the end of summer, it makes these fourteen days particularly treasured and enjoyed.  

The high-end property world, already sleepy since the end of July, goes into a positively catatonic state. Those few left in London download apps, for distraction, on their iphones to wile away the office hours.  

And it seems that it’s no longer the reserve of this section of the property world, it appears all businesses go quiet during this period.  

I read that the workaholic Simon Cowell packs his entourage onto a yacht and spends the month cruising the Mediterranean. The worlds of commerce, of entertainment and to a lesser degree industry seems to have agreed that there’s not a lot of point of doing much in August.

I’m very happy to join them and have headed to Tuscany for what I’ve come to call the spongers tours; flitting from villa to villa of friends and family who own or rent here.  

There’s something inspiring about the way Italians live life – la dolce vita – the seamless mix of old and young, the enjoyment of good wine and good food, the siesta, the happy and relaxed approach to tutti, the work/life balance that we all struggle so hard with.  I’m not sure if it’s sustainable for 52 weeks a year but they do an awfully good job of making it convincing for these two weeks.

The art of holidaying well is an important one — when executed judiciously they give us a chance to switch off, gain a bit of perspective, regroup and recharge: to divert and entertain, to replenish and reinvigorate.  

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The August vacation plays a particularly seminal role in the roster of holidays. My feeling has always been September marks the beginning of the year. It may be a remembrance of school and university, the academic year kicking off in that month. The resolve and resolutions feel more apt now than they do in the dark nights of early of January.  It all seems possible.

And so as I recline with book in hand, the laps of the infinity pool gently recycling, perched high in the Tuscan hills and overlooking what could be a Quattrocento painting as the peaks and valleys give way to the hilltop town of Cortona in the distance, I let my mind switch off and forget about business.  

I’m lucky to work with those I trust, which is a great luxury.  I drift in and out of sleep at siesta time shaded from the sun but feeling its warmth on my skin.  Let the dolce vita reign for these two weeks, I tell myself, transported somewhere rather magical in my imagination that has nothing to do with work.


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