It seems long ago. The city on lockdown, the raids, the cat tweets. Vestiges remain, some of them new. A green army lorry was parked at the weekly market across the street. It hadn’t been there the Monday before, and the Monday before that was the lockdown and the market was cancelled. The Saint-Gilles town hall overshadows the market. One of the mayor’s eight deputies told me he’d stepped onto the balcony for a morning smoke and found himself practically standing on top of the lorry. ‘I thought: “What the fuck is that?” I had no idea. Why now and not before, I don’t know.’ He laughed. ‘Bruxelles, quoi.’
The full text of this diary is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.