There’s something charming about being in France on 14 July. So much so that this year – unintentionally – I managed to dress in the bleu, blanc and rouge of the national flag.
Central Lille came to a standstill for much of the day and evening while the celebrations took place.
Place de la République, at the bottom of our street, was given over entirely to Bastille Day festivities. There was a parade, a fly-past and, later, over at the Citadel, a lengthy firework display.
Damon and I didn’t do much to mark the day particularly.
We’d spent Saturday going around the DIY stores to get a better sense of what we might do with the en-suite shower rooms in the new property.
This was in response to a request from the builder we approached in the village. Instead of sucking air through his teeth – standard practice the world over, I had thought – he’s asked us to create a ‘mood board’ for him.
Cue trips to DIY stores Leroy Merlin, Castorama and Brico Depot. We picked up various brochures and took lots of photos of things we liked.
We also stopped in at Porcelanosa, where we saw a beautiful sink unit which was a thing of sheer beauty. So was its 4 000€ price tag. We didn’t linger long. (Sigh.)
Bastille Day was then spent with graph paper, a pencil and a ruler, preparing scale drawings of how we’d like to reconfigure the property. We’ve also worked out colour schemes for the bathrooms.
This weekend I’m in England seeing my parents, as it’s my mum’s birthday. While I’m here I’m going to pick up some paint I’ve ordered from B&Q.
You see, although it’s part of the Kingfisher Group – which also includes Castorama – B&Q is decidedly cheaper for paint than any French chain. According to a Facebook group I belong to, it’s also cheaper for bathroom fittings generally.
But, frankly, there’s a limit to how much I can fit into the boot of my car (pictured here on a previous trip to the south west). Sadly, it’s a decidedly small limit.
I’m hoping to squeeze whatever supplies I can into it and head back down to Belvès at the end of September. Time permitting, I may be able to make a start on repainting some of the walls and ceilings.
So, 14 July proved, for us, a day of planning for the future. I reckon that’s worth raising a glass to in itself.
Vive la France!