Letter from the editor: Happy return to work


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Thank you for your feedback on our changes — although I can tell from i’s mailbag, that so many of you have been away.

Apart from the regulars that is — some write more than once a day — even more than I do, and unpaid. Still, I suppose it beats therapy bills.

So, this is it then: no more holidays ’til Christmas, at least not any public ones. If you bought yesterday’s i, you will have seen our p2 feature on odd holidays around the world between now and then. My favourite was physical fitness day, when the whole of Japan closes for a day in October to practise physical and mental wellbeing. If you are going to Tokyo on 10 October, take your gym shoes.

Holidays are so precious (see story p19), but attitudes towards them vary so greatly from country to country. At one end of the scale there are French journalists we know who get 60 (!) days off a year — which is possibly why their famous organisation gets propped up by the French government. It’s enough to make one wish for a standardised EU. Does it really matter if our bananas are straight? It’s a small price to pay.

The other end of the holiday scale I know about personally, from five years in Manhattan. I worked for an ultra-conservative mid-Western publishing company when I first arrived. They were “good people”, but must have dug deep into their innate niceness when a bolshy Brit insisted on more vacation time than his boss’s two weeks! I got it too, but, boy, did they make it hard for me to take it.

Given that at i, Sundays and public holidays all get caught up in the hell that is the editors’ rota, time off is all the more to be cherished when it does come. It doesn’t have to be to fly off anywhere (he says, fibbing) because if there’s one thing I am trying to retain from my almost-forgotten summer sojourn, it is the joy that is the Italian art of bella faniente.

Look it up. Happy return to work.