In a blog post on the doldrums currently besetting France, a photo of a "For Sale" sign on a forlorn house might have been more appropriate. But how much more pleasant to contemplate the reflection in the river Aulne (part of the Nantes-Brest Canal) of Chateaulin, a market town at a key crossroad leading to Brittany's Crozon peninsula, where we spent the better part of August.
Chateaulin has its position to thank for its relative economic health - you can't avoid the place with its single bridge across the river. But this past month has revealed many smaller towns and villages in Brittany's scenic central Finistère where it's deadsville - those sales signs have been up for a long time, and people aren't buying.
August is supposed to be deadsville in France: whole companies close down, even government ministers are allowed some time off. But that's exactly when things livened up this year, with a roller coaster ride of ministers and former ministers breaking ranks and criticizing political and economic decisions, leading to yet another government shakeup.
And one of the areas singled out for reform has been a disastrous housing policy.
In Brittany's Finistère, we passed through countless towns where it's hard to see how to counter the decline in the real estate sector. How can young people, even if not among the ranks of the unemployed, afford to buy a house?
There are lots of "fixer uppers," of course, but government policy will have to provide lots of encouragement. Zero percentage loans - so far reserved for new construction - are now also to be extended to older home purchases.
Maybe that's what France, and perhaps the United States, need to help spur economic activity where it's most needed. A kind of national fixer upper campaign, where the laudable goal of home ownership - strong in both countries - would be supported by wise fiscal policies.
The DIY way to economic revival.