Someone has calculated that today - the 23rd of June - is the happiest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere at any rate). And I'll have you know that I spent this allegedly momentously joyous day on active mold duty as this apartment (told you I'd complain about it eventually) tries to pass itself off as The Best Little Sporehouse in Texas.

I have work again, starting in July. So that should keep me out of mischief for the next 6 months or so. It's in the nearby town of Armentières, an interesting little town. Visually. I wouldn't want to live there. It's like a town whose glory days have passed, the grand edifices that marked when it was more vibrant, more active have been boarded up and abandoned, but not torn down. Like they're just waiting for the day they can be opened up, dusted down and live again.

But the run-down look is pretty common in the Nord generally...and actually I don't mind it so much, from a photographic point of view. It used to be a big deal mining and textile region, but coal mining went out of style, and - like many areas in France - good quality locally made textiles became a thing of the past with the outsourcing of pretty much everything and a growing disinterest in accessorising everything with lace. So the factories closed, and the slag heaps grew green and sometimes became little ecological zones of interest.

The Nord has had to branch out in alternative areas to compensate, and health, technology and research have filled in the void to a significant degree. I hope though, that should the region ever rediscover its former prosperity, and a use for some of those old buildings, that they'll be kept as part of history.


  1. A toff is somewhat unlikely to be a scholar, indeed they are usually persons of lesiure—being upper-class an' all.

    BTW if it makes you feel any better the damp on my walls (related to the sea of water that is the floor after it rains) in my room is now growing mould. This is less worrying however than the GIANT roach that FLEW onto my balcony then sauntered in through the door the other day.

  2. ugh, poor chap. I hate giant roaches. India sounds a lot like Darwin sometimes!! (in my old run down uni - before that campus was closed - we had water leaking in through the light fixtures during downpours).
    Thanks for the britspeak lesson though :D