This word dates back to the Middle Ages and is formed of "ban" (the authority of a lord) and "lieue" (a distance of around 2.5 miles): it used to be the area around a town which was submitted to the lord’s power. Nowadays, it means the area and communities which surround a big town. The centre of a town is called "intra-muros", a latin locution meaning "inside the walls". It is particularly fitting in these days, where the centres of big French towns seem to be hiding away behind these imaginary walls, which protect them from the sound and the fury coming from their underpriviledged areas.
On a more positive note, this site has been shortlisted for an award in the Brighton & Hove Web Awards 2005! Ok, it’s in the "searchability" category, which means that Jemima, my web designer, and not me, deserves all the credit for it. However, searchability is a hugely important criteria for any website, so it’s great to hear that mine has been deemed successful in that respect. Thanks Jemima!
NaNoWriMo wordcount: 19,211