When I called the dentists to make an appointment I expected to have to take an hour out of the working day in order to reveal my molars to the man in white. Not so.

Okay so they take two and a half hour lunch-breaks, close at 5.30pm on the nose, and bunk off on Friday afternoons (thanks to the 35 hour week) – but the French compensate for these little inconveniences by starting early.

So your morning could run like this – 7.30am wake up – 8am bundle kids into school – 8.15am DENTIST’S APPOINTMENT!! – 8.45am quick breakfast at a nice bistro (espresso & croissant) – 9.00am arrive for work.

What’s more – by the time your UK colleagues have managed to switch their computers on – you’ve already done an hours work (i.e. read the newspaper).