Cinq à Sept
Time was that French office workers could make themselves undetectable between the hours of five and seven. Quite the art, in its day. Telephones, far larger than any pocket, were left behind to ring on the desk. Between leaving work and arriving home there was room for manoeuvre: a divine interlude, an invisible space between worlds into which people could slip and not be found. And where better than your favourite bar? Some took the opportunity to enjoy a quiet moment for themselves. Others wound down with colleagues. Old friends caught up, roared with laughter, slapped the counter. Santé! And then there were the daring ones, more risqué than the rest…
Perhaps the others glanced over and dreamed of having their own liaison amoureuse, who can say? What we know is ‘Cinq à sept’ became a euphemism for ‘lover’. What you hold here is a small fantasy, a small revival of the practice of taking some time to call your own, whether liberté or libertin(e). And here, we’re on French Riviera time… so don’t rush. Take an extra hour. Take two. We’ll tell no one.