As the nights draw in, there seems to be more to do here in Lille – and the arrival of autumn tomorrow has heralded a flurry of requests to visit. Our friends have clearly begun planning their pre-Christmas agendas, and northern France ranks high on their lists.
Last weekend’s video mapping festival in the Grand’ Place is a good example of why it’s fun to be here right now. Professionals and students projected their animations on the Vieille Bourse as part of a video mapping festival.
It was great spectacle.
Things like that are part of what makes Lille is at its best in the colder weather.
Our friends clearly think so too. First to get her request in was our friend Keeley, closely followed by Nick.
Both have visited a couple of times before and both fancy a spot of Christmas shopping here in northern France. Lille has a Christmas market, which is a draw, though it’s certainly not the best I’ve ever been to.
Either way, that’s two weekends in December booked out already.
And last weekend, one of our old lodgers came and visited us. Felix is a very engaging young German guy who went to Brighton a couple of years ago to learn English and who stayed with us for 3 months.
“We enjoyed showing him around the city, taking him to some of our favourite places. OK, bars”
He made us laugh a lot when he lived with us – and we weren’t the only ones to be charmed by him. I’ve written before about one particular young lady who became an unexpected overnight guest.
Felix has been very good about keeping in touch, and usually sends us a WhatsApp once a week or so.
We enjoyed showing him around the city, taking him to some of our favourite places. OK, bars.
Here we are in one we have a particular fondness for, Bar Braz. Because of work, Damon moved here almost two months before me, and one his first day, the bar owner unwittingly helped him feel at home in our new hometown.
(I’m the one in the middle, in case you’re wondering.)
In fairness, it’s not just our friends who are planning their autumn weekends away. We’re back in Brighton this weekend – Damon took an upholstery course in nearby Alfriston yesterday (more about that next week) and we’re celebrating a friend’s 50th birthday in Hove tonight.
And in a few weeks’ time, we’re off to Italy for a truffle-hunting weekend. We’re seeing that as research for our new business (and are hoping the tax man will see it that way too).
All in all, it feels as though autumn has well and truly arrived.