Some British toff (that's Brit slang for scholar type person innit) has calculated that today - the 23rd of June - is the happiest day of the year (based on a bunch of factors including sunlight, and only applicable in the Northern Hemisphere I imagine), but then the reverse 'sad day' wouldn't necessarily apply for every Southern Hemisphere country because it's set at January 23rd, but then January 26th is a public holiday in Australia, so Australia Day could well be put forward as that nations happiest day, right? Anyway, if anyone else comes up with the idea, remember that you heard it here first* and that should give me the right to sue them or something.
And I'll have you know that I spent this allegedly monumentously joyous day on active mould duty as this apartment (told you I'd complain about it eventually) tries to pass itself off as The Best Little Sporehouse in Texas. Ugh.
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. In other words, it's a shithole.
But the run-down look is pretty common in the Nord generally I guess. It used to be a mining and textile region, but coal mining went out of style, and - like many areas in France - good quality textiles became a thing of the past. 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 the local patrimony.
*Austalia Day, Australia's Happiest Day TM