August is traditionally taken to be "Member Recess" at County Hall in Maidstone. The time when any self-respecting County Councillor takes their holiday, spends time on the house, in the garden or swapping County Council papers for the latest Tom Clancy or John le Carre.
However, some of us use at least the first half of August to come in and work in peace and quiet, catching up on all the things that we don't quite have time to read, or writing those 'think piece' papers that we never seem to get around to when the Council is at full speed.
And so it is that I find myself coming in to a County Hall largely devoid of elected politicians, an office without piles of papers for 'urgent signature', and officers with more time to discuss issues.
I will be taking some time away, but to be able to work quietly and uninterrupted, clearing the desk for September is almost as good as a break in itself. I wonder if the Marie Celeste felt like this?