A Life I Love in Lovely Lille

12 Dec
Christmas Lights outside our hotel. Photo by Jess B

Christmas Lights outside our hotel. Photo by Jess B

We’re back from our winter weekend away in lovely Lille in Northern France. We had such a nice weekend. Eurostar London to Lille is a breeze, our hotel was amazing and wandering around the Christmas market and the little cobbled streets of the old city was just wonderful. Yes wandering about – no being pushed in a wheelchair around here, yippeeee! We did lots of Christmas shopping, lots of eating, rode the Ferris wheel and made time for lots of relaxing in our gorgeous hotel room too. Overall a perfect weekend.

I even spoke French, I’m a little rusty to say the least – it is ten years since I lived in France during my Gap Year and ten years since I used French regularly. But I did manage to explain to the pompous French waiter that I couldn’t eat ‘farine de blΓ©’ (wheat flour) when his English failed him – even though I spoke in French he insisted on responding in pigeon English – just let me speak French for goodness sake! Jess 1 pompous waiter 0. Tho when I then asked for the steak to not be cooked in butter and for it to be well done I got a horrified look from said waiter and the comment ‘it is not recommended’. Well that may be Mr French waiter man and I would love to eat a butter laden steak but my arteries wouldn’t thank me and more to the point, nor would my pesky digestive system. I compromised on the cooking of the meat to be ‘en pointe’ (medium: the max meat cooking level in France it would seem) in exchange for avoiding ‘le beurre’. French culinary hurdles navigated we enjoyed a very nice meal and my steak was perfectly cooked; it really was medium by both French and English redness levels. Parfait!

My first time on a ferris wheel! Photo by Jess B.

My first time on a ferris wheel! Photo by Jess B.

I did good energy and stamina all weekend. I am particularly proud of how much walking I managed. I did some myalgia towards the end of each day but in light of how much walking, shopping and sight seeing we did, I am very happy. I was careful not to do ‘busy busy busy’ manic Jess wanting to do everything all at once. On Friday after travelling and arriving in Lille we had a relaxing afternoon in our hotel room, me doing a Yoga Nidra relaxation and having a little nap and then a quiet evening of a hotel room picnic of lots of lovely French charcuterie meats (for us both) and cheeses (for Mr B) and a drink in the hotel bar. Both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, after a morning of market visiting, present shopping and people watching from the terraces of cafes in picturesque French squares, we relaxed back at the hotel making the most of the spa facilities and me making time for a relaxation track.

View of the Christmas Market up high on the Ferris Wheel. Photo by Jess B.

View of the Christmas Market from up high on the Ferris Wheel. Photo by Jess B.

I am especially happy in light of the fact I was fighting off a cold virus all weekend. I had a sore throat off and on all weekend and was a bit sniffly. That’s nothing new for an ME/CFS pro like myself, but there is a difference between the constant ache of an ME/CFS sore throat and the acute sharp pain of a viral sore throat and this was definitely the latter. So not only did I go away for lovely long weekend and do everything that a ‘normal’ well person would do, I did it all whilst being a bit under the weather. The virus seems to have passed now. Thank Goodness. Monday and Tuesday I felt pretty rough. But again I could differentiate the achy muscles, hot/cold temperature swings and tiredness from ME/CFS exhaustion. The tiredness was more in my head and behind my eyes, you know the kind when you’re full of cold. But now I’m feeling much better, pretty much back to ‘normal’ – and not ME/CFS normal but the new doing wellness Jess normal.

Mr B queued outside the shop to buy one of these chocolate meringue balls of deliciousness! Full of cream not Jess friendly but Mr B wolfed it down! Photo by Jess B.

Mr B queued outside the shop to buy one of these chocolate meringue balls of deliciousness! Full of cream not Jess friendly but Mr B wolfed it down! Photo by Jess B.

And today I’m doing far better than my other half. Mr B is monumentally hungover today. It was his firm’s Christmas party last night and boy did he look rough this morning! He thinks he got home at 4 am, ish, but was none too sure, nor how he got home – Β which evokes a cosy warm safe feeling inside me…not! As I type this he is no doubt slumped in a steaming drunken / hungover state on his desk at work. And no doubt he is not the only one in that state with the Christmas party season in full swing! One advantage of being in recovery and rehabilitation from a chronic illness and intolerant to alcohol – no hangovers! Well no alcohol induced hangovers at any rate. If I’m not painstakingly careful with what food passes my lips then I do a pretty mean ‘food hangover’ the next day – hence the aforementioned French waiter showdown.

Merry Christmas Mr Snowman! Photo by Jess B.

Merry Christmas Mr Snowman! Photo by Jess B.

I was pretty sad to leave Lille when it became time on Monday to board our return Eurostar back to London. But no post holiday blues lingered for long as Christmas is nearly upon us and I LOVE CHRISTMAS! My sister will be home from the US in 6 days, that’s just 5 more sleeps!! I haven’t seen her since August and literally can not wait to see her and envelope her in a giant energy filled hug! And this year I especially LOVE CHRISTMAS cos I have the energy and wellness to fully take part and enjoy it for the first time in 3 years. It is going to be extra special simply for that reason. It is true what they say – that health should never be taken for granted, I didn’t realize its importance until I had lost it. Now I am on the road to full health and wellness I’m going to be sure to remember the value of good health and energy each and everyday. I am eternally grateful that I am doing better.

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17 Responses to “A Life I Love in Lovely Lille”

  1. thehomeschoolingdoctor December 12, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Congrats! Keep it up! The trip sounded wonderful! Funny story about eating in France, though!

  2. averyfranksenior December 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    Great photographs Jess! You have a good eye and should be a photographer.

    • myjourneythrume December 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

      Oh thank you so much Frank, that’s very kind of you to say. I’m trying with my photography, trying to not just point and shoot but to think about framing, rule of thirds etc.

  3. currankentucky December 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    Sounds like a fab weekend, poor Mr B tough, and poor you too having to nurture!! Wishing lots more great days. xx

    • myjourneythrume December 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

      Mr B would probs dispute how much nurturing I did! Thank you for your lovely kind wishes, hope you’re doing well and nearly ready for Christmas xx

  4. cttbbelliott December 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Oh I envy your weekend in Lille. I would love to see it, especially old town Lille, as that is where my novel revealed the city under siege by the German Gestapo during the Halocause and WWI & WWII. I am sure you would enjoy my book knowing the city. Sooooo happy you are feeling well. Sooooooooo happy!!!! May the Grace of God almighty stay with you forever and may you and your husband enjoy endless days of happiness and good health my dear friend. My novel, “Courage Times Three” is available on Amazon.UK and I know you would enjoy it now that you are feeling so much better. Godspeed to you dear…..

    • myjourneythrume December 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

      Thank you so much. You definitely should visit Lille if you make it to Europe, it’s a lovely place.

  5. hayley-eszti December 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Seems like a very lovely time was had. I am so glad you were able to go and enjoy it without too much bother from your body. Enjoy seeing your sister! Happy Christmas to you ! x Hayley-Eszti

    • myjourneythrume December 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      Happy Christmas to you too Hayley-Eszti and a very hopeful and healthy new year I hope xx

  6. The Chronic Situation December 14, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    Really happy you are doing better, Jess, it must be a huge relief.
    I’m sure like a lot of people I am interested to hear how exactly the Lightning process has helped you, and how you have managed to get out of the worst stages of your illness. I am particularly interested in this emphasis on “doing ME”, “doing good energy,”, etc, which seems to be a key point in the LP. The use of language seems to be important in the Process, and for some reason they constantly use this term “doing ME”. Maybe you could explain it a little?

    • myjourneythrume December 17, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

      Thank you, it is an amazing relief. I plan to post more about how I’m using the process and how it’s helped me get this far. I intended to have already done this but somehow time seems to have run away with me and so I think it will have to wait until the new year.

      But in the meantime if you’re interested there are two LP books by Phil Parker (the LP founder), An Introduction to the Lightning Process (the science and background to the course’s methods as well as lots of case studies that I found really encouraging) and also the book Get The Life You Love Now (which is a very abridged potted step by step version of the process and the course itself).

      There is a real emphasis on positive and active language in LP hence me saying doing ME (Active) as opposed to having ME (passive / stuck). If we’re active in doing ME then we can be active in not doing ME and doing wellness instead. The process is full of little nuances and this emphasis on language and use of the verb ‘do’ (spelt du in the LP books and given a precise meaning of doing without any blame attached, ie. it is very much not saying that it is our own fault / choice that we are doing ME) is just one of them.

      Hope that helps.If you do want to learn more, both the books are available on Amazon and are a really good starting point (I will make this next point generally on my blog in an upcoming post but I don’t want you to feel I am pushing the LP on you, all I want to do is share my own experience).

  7. rachelmeeks December 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    So fun! I LOOOOVE the pictures, i wish I could jump into them.

    • myjourneythrume December 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

      I love this comment! It made me smile so much. Glad you liked them πŸ™‚

  8. Lindsay December 31, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    great post! your encounter with the French waiter reminded me very much of a trip to France years and years ago where I asked for a steak to be cooked medium-well, and it came out blood red.

    • myjourneythrume January 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      That’s exactly what I was trying to avoid! Happy new year!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My Journey Thru M.E. Part 3: 2013 Turning the Corner | my journey thru M.E. - December 5, 2014

    […] B and I went to Lille on Eurostar for a celebratory weekend without any lasting ill effects on my […]

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