Thursday, 2 September 2010

A Bargain And Some Moulles And I'll Feel Grownup Again


Sonata ;

I'm off to Lille tomorrow and their annual Braderie . The whole city becomes a giant Flea Market , running nonstop from Saturday afternoon till Sunday evening . About a million visitors roll up in town , treasure-hunting their way through thousands of stalls and eating huge quantities of mussels to keep them going .

And Friend and I , not having had a Day Out for a while , thought we'd join them .

We took the precaution of booking an hotel room months ago and checking the booking this week , we've got stout shoes and layers of clothes , umbrellas and spare specs . Our train itinerary , tickets , sandwiches and passports for the journey . Maps and unflagging energy . And I've been before , three years ago with Smitonius , so even know how the Lille Metro works .

So why am I feeling about eleven again , baggy school uniform and all ?

Madame Colette , that's why . A ferocious little nun , who ruled the junior boarders with a rod of iron and no visible liking for children , she came from Lille . When I first went off to school at eleven , she terrified me and , if I'm honest , she'd probably still make me nervous now .

The fact that it's more than fifty years later and she's probably long gone doesn't quite convince me that a knuckle won't come cracking smartly down on my skull when I'm not expecting it !

Never mind , it's nothing that a good meal ( or three) won't cure . And who knows what we'll stagger back with ?

P.S. By the way , that's not me in that photo but some tiny camera-shy dot from a Dutch photo album from the '20s .

16 comments:

Rattling On said...

I am immensely jealous. A whole weekend on flea marketing...heaven.

My husband had a very old Aunt called Lille. Her eyes pointed in different directions. She was an amazingly interesting woman.

rachel said...

And camera? You know we'll want to see what you bring home! Have a great trip. Madame Colette would approve of your preparations.....

Von said...

Hope you had a great time and came back loaded!

Martha said...

Wow! have a wonderful time!!! Can't wait to hear about it!
:o)

Lesley said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. The whole town ... sigh!
I spent a few days at a youth hostel in Lille in 1974. There was a young man from England there, immaculately dressed in suit, tie, navy overcoat (the rest of us were patchouli and tobacco-scented raggle-taggle gypsies and hippie backpackers). He had a sturdy grown-up suitcase and was on his first trip abroad, hitching to the South of France. The girls he worked with had raised some cash to help him get there and he was under orders to return to the office the following week with bags of sand from the beach at St Tropez! So exotic!

Carolina said...

Might I suggest a helmet? Just to be on the safe side? ;-)

Have a wonderful time :-)

Molly said...

Sounds heavenly! Be sure to show us the treasures you haul home!

Friko said...

You are going to have such fun. Lille and a flea market, lots of moules et frits, a girls' outing (? I assume), how I envy you. If only there weren't this blasted channel between me and the real world, ie. le continong!

Planet Penny said...

It sounds wonderful, hope you have fun. I had school teachers like that. I went to a school reunion (only one, never again!) saw my gym teacher and cried! With fright! 30 years later! She obviously blighted my life...so I hope Madame Colette isn't lurking round the corner! Penny x

Tania said...

Madame Colette would certainly have met with her comeuppance. Even if it was a sharp rap on the knuckles at the pearly gates.

Jinksy said...

I do hope you had a lovely time with no crack on the skull!! :)

Jocelyn said...

What a lark! The fact that you're taking along layers blows my very-hot mind...

May you see no nuns.

Lucille said...

Nuns blighted my mother's childhood from the age of 4, so I was spared them. (Apart from Cousin Tressie who was a tiny terrifying nun). Have a wonderful trip. I hope the weather is clement for you.

Liz said...

Some people just have that effect! Never mind: enjoy the moules and the bargain hunting. It sounds great. Actually you'll be back by now so where are the photos?

Deborah said...

Obviously I missed all the bargains, but I bet you didn't!! Was it fun, and exhausting?

I once had an middle-aged adult piano student who sat down at my keyboard and started to shake, the lingering effect of piano lessons at the age of 5 with a person (who I will not call a 'teacher') who rapped her hand with a ruler every time she hit a wrong note.

Despite all the reassurance and encouragement I could offer her, it was all too much for her nerves and she had to quit. Maybe her old bag of a tormentor and your Mme. Collette were put to work digging celestial ditches in retribution.

PS Glad I know about this event now - maybe I'll make it there one day.

lovethosecupcakes said...

Hope you both had a grand time and bagged some bargains.