'Chillaxing' 危机关头放松冷静

Vocabulary: taking time off 詞匯:休息放鬆

Image copyright PA
Image caption David Cameron playing tennis

In the middle of an economic crisis most people seem to expect their leaders to be stressed out and on an unrelenting search for solutions.

So what happens when we learn that even in this climate they can actually be taking it easy, putting up their feet and enjoying some me-time?

The British PM David Cameron was criticised in the media when it was disclosed he liked to chillax with a few glasses of wine at lunchtime, a karaoke session and watching DVDs with wife Samantha. It has also been said that he spends hours playing a computer game.

However, there's nothing new about prime ministers taking time off from the daily grind of government. Winston Churchill enjoyed a break from work painting watercolours (and he still found the time to defeat the Nazis!).

Running seems to be a particularly favourite way for senior politicians to unwind. White House security officers had to speed up to follow the then US president Bill Clinton on his regular jogging excursions. And his wife, Hillary Clinton, didn't let her position as Obama's Secretary of State prevent her from letting her hair down in April during the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. After several long days of diplomacy, she found time for dancing and drinks at a bar called Cafe Havana.

Many senior politicians or their aides refrain from giving a clear answer when asked what they do to relax. Somehow one is left with the sense that politicians feel it potentially politically damaging to admit that they might have a life outside of politics. But even driven and powerful people might find a way of keeping some level of work-life balance.