Thursday, 31 March 2011

Paris and I ~ 'Welcome To Hell'

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Welcome To Hell ~

Welcome To Hell, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

When it's 4 o'clock in the morning and you've got your bedfellow's breathing, the birds blethering, your bladder bursting and your brain bludgeoning, you can hardly say you're getting a good night's kip. I would have added 'the baby's bawling' but that would have been an artistic alliteration too far - he's sleeping like an angel, not that I've ever met one, but I've been led to believe that when they're out, it's for the count.

This all reminds me of Gilbert and Sullivan's Nightmare Song from Iolanthe (vaguely reasonable You Tube version here to give you an idea), although love unrequited is about the only thing that isn't robbing me of me rest right now, would that it were...

Unfortunately I'm too old for that now I reckon, and as I was harrumphing and hallucinating to myself in bed just now I got to wondering what on earth I would use as a picture to go with this little nocturnal rant (it's daytime now, and I ain't feeling much better).

Well how about this: another major reason for losing sleep for practically all Parisian school children and students: the dreaded Maison des Examens. It makes Gellert Grindelwald's Nurmengard seem like Euro Disney, doesn't it? For this is the place... (did you guess...?) where all Paris and a few surrounding areas converge for a few hours of pure hell.

Also known cheerfully as the Service Interacadémique des Examens et Concours (SIEC), the acronym of which must be pronounced sardonically close to 'sick' I assume, this shudder-inducing citadel was just around the corner from where I lived in Arcueil for a few years and I passed it often.

Seeing the fingernail devouring, fag-fuming masses mingling nervously outside always made me thankful that with age also comes a great reduction in the number of tests to be sat, although the odd one does still creep up now and then, and it's never pleasant.

My greatest challenge these days though is to try and put a smile on my face when Sab Junior's two-tooth grin appears next to my pillow at 6 am with a nappy full of digestive byproducts just heaving to be changed. But that needn't concern us here... (it's still miles better than SIEC, any day).

© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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