Thank you for this gorgeous reply! I adore the image of you singing Tina Turner to the highland cows. Babs sends you a big bisous from Paris

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What a joy to read Darling Hannah! And your watercolours are full of energy... Particularly enjoyed Josephine Baker inspired black and pink being my favourite colour combo ( with perhaps a hint of gold)

I was thinking, in a week which saw the passing of a powerhouse and glorious role model , that of course of Tina Turner. The three exquisite performers of that irresistible combination of beauty, humour and talent. All three women similar in looks and vitality . That of Josephine Baker, Tina Turner and Beyonce. Tiny women physically but with Charisma like a lightening bolt. In the words of Matt Berry about John Ham " I cant get enough, the guys like crack!"

Ive been singing right across the Scottish highlands , chanelling my inner Tina... luckily no one can hear the catawalling but the open road and a few dazed Highland cows!

That brought me up to your descriptions of the French and their holiday arrangements and the easy " other ing " we can all practice if we dont blasted well check our attitudes! " The veil " of course in England always meant to become a Nun in aChristian order . The power of words Hannah, two words, " Muslim " and " Women " how did a holy belief and a female covered in esssentially a light material scarf become targets for such appalling anymosity.?

Live and let live, holiday whenever and where ever you will and practice ones holy , sacred faith in peaceable privacy.

Your writing always stirs up big thoughts Hannah .

Whats love got to do with it?


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Jun 3Liked by Hannah Meltzer

Hi Hannah, lovely letter as always.

But first, big news: your postcard arrived a few days ago! :D Thank you so much!

I didn't realise France had so many public holidays, as well as work-mandated holidays. The UK does reasonably well, but we also do really well over here in Australia. I'm not sure whether it's just a unpiversity thing, but we receive emails when we've accrued *too much* annual leave and are essentially forced to take it. I'm edging towards that limit now, which makes me feel less guilt about taking time off.

Your comments on the US system are one of the reasons (along with low science wages, at least early on in career) that I never moved to the US to do a postdoc.

Hope the festival was great. I'm incredibly envious of the weather you're having. My brother messaged me from the UK today to say they've got glorious blue skies there too.

Take care, have a lovely weekend.

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May 31Liked by Hannah Meltzer

The drawing inspired by Josephine Baker is just fabulous!

The astute observation about Christian holidays being a mainstay for time off and yet there is a separation of church and state. Nothing at all wrong with keeping religion out of things but it is quite a paradox that the French love the Christian holidays but they hate the Veil!

My wife would maximize her vacation every year if she lived in France. She used to drive me crazy and still does to a degree over time off and maximizing it.

And I have to say how much I respect the French and the English and most European countries for recognizing that guaranteed time off is a sign of a very civilized nation. We in the States are not so civilized. And in fact we're getting less civilized everyday.

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