Packed in quite a lot today - My perfect hosts took me walking around a couple of really interesting (and photogenic) areas of Marseille. We ate pizza in the Arab neighbourhood, bustling with market stalls and colourful characters. Headed out to a calanque just within the city in the pm ... we picked an easy one for Paul and took it quite chill - the view from the top was great, overlooking a little port on one side and various outcrops on the other. On the way back, Francois indulged me with some pretty funky jumping...
François took most of the day off, which is cool. Headed down to a complete find of a restaurant... We were the only people sitting on a little terrace overlooking one of Marseille's beaches munching on super tasty food. Sat there for hours, enjoying the spot and burning! Took a small walk and cruised slowly back to their place. I'm quite sold on the Marseille lifestyle...
Francois met Aurélie and I for lunch on a cool little terrace under a big tree (I can't remember the name now - some wordplay thing, very tasty). The three of us (that means with Paul not François), took the ferry to the Ile de Frioul, which is quite a strange place - lots of abandoned buildings (it used to be used by the military) and big white rocks tumbling into the sea... it feels quite wild which is a happy surprise as I expected it to be far more tourist-friendly (aka - a small disneyland) - there are a couple of lovely beaches and we sat just by one, chatting and enjoying the peace and quiet. I didn't dare swim - the water is a still a little too cold.
Up obscenely early to catch an 8am flight to Marseille from Charleroi... I'm quite proud of myself for making it. Met up with François at the train station and cruised down to the old port to meet Aurélie and little (well, he's young but not so little) Paul who I instantly fell in love with. Had a drink and F cruised back to work. Picked up some lunch which A and I ate on their amazing terrace overlooking the Marseilles rooftops. Aurélie dared to leave me in charge of Paul for an hour while she went shopping. F came home and took me up to Notre Dame de la Garde (otherwise known as la bonne mère) - a famous Marseille landmark just a few minutes up the hill from their house. Chilled there downing a beer and munching on grissini, enjoying the incredible views. BBQ in the evening... I like Marseille. Impasse Lejeune - A and F's street.
Boulevard Anspach inhabitants watching a demo passing by... I don't remember more than that. Off to Marseille in the am.
Easter Monday - N & E kicked off in the early pm and I can't remember what we did, and apparently didn't take any photos so here's a shot of a field in the Hainaut region shot exactly one year ago today.
Easter Sunday - We tried to play good host to Noemi and Eliot and prepared a copious brunch in the garden, complete with a chocolate egg apiece. Headed out to The Tervuren Arboretum - which is quite an exciting discovery... we (Noem, Eliot, Angie, Luc, Marie L, Claire, Babies Melodi and Leonie) took a walk through the whole thing, which ended up taking way longer than planned (I need to learn to factor in babies now they are an integral part of my social life!). I took lots of tree photos of course but I'm not supposed to post any anymore -just one then?
Super delay in posting anything new - I'm 15 days late. I was in Marseille for 5 of those days so that's a little exciting... Anyway, some shots of a weird air conditioning system (part of the lovely view from our terrace) and the shower... which is apparently what inspired me 15 days ago. Noem and Eliot are crashing on our couch and arrived around 12 (just as I finished hoovering and could therefore pretend the house is generally clean). Flip popped by and we headed to l'Ultime Atome for lunch in the sun. Instead of heading out somewhere exciting we spent the rest of the afternoon lounging on the terrace and sofas... and even failed to leave the house in the evening, instead watching a stupid film that put Eliot to sleep.
Easter Friday, the city is emptying, the sun is shining and Noem and Eliot are pitching up tomorrow... all v pleasant! Helped Sophie move her very small amount of possessions and drank a couple of beers at Café Miko to celebrate her being up the road. The skies broke briefly this evening and it smelt of summer.
Lunch/project meeting with Tom at De Markten - which used to serve a whole variety of lasagnas which were v tasty and v cheap - I don't know why they stopped and would boycott in protest if the outdoor hangout in a small square under the trees wasn't so appealing. There are worse places to while away the time on a sunny day! On a sadder note, thoughts for the two photographers killed in a mortar attack in Libya yesterday: Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros.
I met Nina today, she's a 2,5 month old yellow lab and already knows how to fetch, sit, lie down and stay - little genius. Nora crashed at ours and had to put up with Arsenal vs Tottenham and my grumps after another shit result.
Meeting and then another meeting. Canan is crashing at ours again this week so cracked a beer on the terrace, in short sleeves! Headed over to Samah's for a Palestinian dinner with Angie, Flora and Amer. I'm feeling quite spoilt these days - I keep being fed incredible dishes. I tend to invite people over for frozen pizza and football, so I should probably refine that a little in the future. Samah and Amer broke some Palestinian dance moves and shisha for us. Good stuff. Oh, and happy birthday to Marie T!
VERY lazy sunday morning. Nora dropped by in the pm and we drove over to the Bois de la Cambre, picking up Marie H on the way. Cruised around the lakes, ate a waffle and waited for Sophie, Christian, Claire, Flip, Emeline, Alex, two babies and a couple of pushchairs to show up. Had to head back shortly after so Marie could be home for her sister's visit. Watched my prerecorded Arsenal vs Liverpool which sucked away my good mood and spent the rest of my evening editing in anger. (UPDATE: 30/11/2011 - I DELETED THIS PHOTO BECAUSE I NEVER LIKED IT :))
Biking back from the shop when Sophie randomly called out from the window of her new flat - so checked that out (and her man, who I hadn't met before - both get the nod) before rushing home to prepare a mega brunch for Bettina, who's in town from Vienna. Marie H over for coffee and chocolate eggs later on (we're pretending to care a little about the upcoming easter thing). Worked all evening :(