This weekend is our last in Lille. On Monday, we leave this northern star and head for rural Dordogne – where we plan to open our cheese-and-wine bar and B&B in just five weeks’ time.
Belvès, here we come!
This afternoon, the removal company we’re using will drop off boxes and they’ll be back tomorrow to start packing up our flat.
What they don’t know – yet – is that we’ve been busy in recent weeks and months buying things to take with us. After all, when you live in a city such as Lille, everything is available within a short walk or, at most, a 20-minute drive.
In rural Dordogne, buying even the right tin of paint can be a day out. With a deadline like ours, we don’t have a moment to lose.
In between all that, we’ve been saying our farewells to this terrific city. On Thursday, I gate-crashed Damon’s leaving do (above) from his workplace.
My own leaving do from my job in London was lovely – my colleagues, including the Chief Executive, said some touching things about me – but it was all held virtually. Trust me, it’s not the same.
This afternoon, we’ll stop in at Les Frères Pinard, a delightful cheese and wine bar in the old town. It’s probably the closest model we’ve seen to our plans for Planches et Plonk.
Then tonight, we’re off to a couple of our regular haunts.
First, we’ll have dinner at cheese restaurant Le Broc on Place de Béthune. They treat us like long-lost friends every time we go in.
Afterwards we’ll head to Bar Braz for a nightcap. The treatment we received from its owner, Max, was one of things that convinced us moving to Lille was the right thing to do.
Leaving Lille brings both joy and sadness. We’ve loved living here and it has enabled us to escape the awfulness of Brexit and integrate into the French system.
But it was only ever a stepping stone. Now comes the part where we make our dream a reality.
Lille, thank you… et à bientôt.