Current view of our internal courtyard - it's coming along gradually, and has finally evolved slightly beyond the the three primary colours of moss, putty and cement by some orange marigolds and an ornamental kumquat given to us as a housewarming present. Crossing fingers that it doesn't turn up its leaves and die within the first month (considering my criminal track record with nursery plants that are any older than 6 months and retail for anything over 20 euros  - just ask my recently departed ficus). It's only because they load them up with chemicals and grow them in perfect hermetically sealed greenhouses (i.e. their 'ideal growing environment' or some such rubbish), so that the minute you put them into the real growing world (where they might get too over or under enthusiastically watered, the pollution diluted stuff filtering through the dirty window doesn't actually count as light, and there's dust clogging up their stomatas), they just go and die ungratefully on you.

Anyway, phase two will be some hanging wall mosaics. I've even come up with a preliminary sketch and colour design. Now all I need is to learn how to do mosaics. It's called prioritising. Watch and learn. Mostly I'm just looking forward to smashing crockery with intent.

Going to a Dresden Dolls concert tomorrow night. Seeing as they've very courteously decided to play in Lille (well, technically in another town, but it still considered as part of the Greater Lille Metropolitan Region). In fact this entire region seems to spend most of its time trying to be part another region at all levels. First you've got the very defined borders of the town proper, which seem to melt into the Lille Metropole, which in turn blends into the nord - but not just the nord, because they tack on the 'pas de calais' as well. And then Picardie likes to get in on the act. And then there's the whole Flanders business extending off to the north east. And THEN it's part of the larger Belgian-English-French Euroregion. I'll leave it there.

This upcoming weekend will also be a much delayed housewarming party (mostly delayed because we had to wait until we had a decent number of chairs to offer people and a kitchen set up to provide for their culinary entertainment). Speaking of culinary entertainment - despite my 'how do I cook for 6 people in a mini stove' misgivings, a 2kg chicken CAN be made to squeeze into a 12L oven, accompaniments including my dear mamie's delicious coquille st jacques dish, steamed beans, new potatoes, strawberry parfaits and a cheese and cherry platter. Because it's cherry season now. Happy joyful cherry season.

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