3 days in Lille


It’s nice to have a place to escape to on the weekend, only an hour from Paris on the fast train.  I escape the noise, congestion and pollution of Paris for a provincial city in the north where the pace is slower and the people (called Lillois) are friendlier. Here’s a friendly little boy, for example.  He looks shy, but in reality he dominates the household.  We are all at his beck and call.


I sleep like a log in Lille. The air is colder and cleaner, the neighbourhood quieter and calmer.  Listening to the grievances of the children is a great leveller. Their grievances are so very different from mine (thank goodness for that).  Example – Daddy won’t buy me a new PlayStation…my brother is mean to me….why didn’t you bring us any bonbons?….


We walk through the park, go bowling, make Welsh rarebit and oatmeal-raisin cookies.

The eldest boy never fails to remind me – Tata Juliet, don’t forget you promised to take me to New York when I turn 16.  To which I reply – Did I say that??

He also asks me this question – Tata Juliet, what is the difference between “la gauche” (the left) and “la droite” (the right)?  Which illustrates the high level of political discourse in this country.  I give him a crash course in the differences between socialism and capitalism.

IMG_4173This Welsh rarebit doesn’t look very appetizing, but it is delicious. Buy strong cheddar cheese, melt it in a saucepan over a low flame on the stove, add 1 teaspoon of sharp mustard and a small amount of beer.  Pour over toast.  When I was a child in Canada, I made rarebit using Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup.IMG_4242IMG_4240

Waiting for the train back to Paris on Monday afternoon.




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