So there I was, wandering past Notre Dame - yes, that one - on a wild and wintery December evening, just a couple of days after old George of Shakespeare and Company fame passed away, as it happens, with that thought very much in mind.
When what should spring to mind but an idea for a new Sab's Paris Top Ten (because I do Paris Top Tens, y'know).
George certainly had a view to die for, looking across to this symbol of the city every day, far far more entrenched than the trashy Eiffel trinket (sorry Lady E!) and infinitely more solid.
A top ten Wily Notre Dame Winks, now that would be a thing, I thought. And so it was. (Whatever next, my Top Ten AwfulAwesome Paris Eiffels? - hey, don't give me ideas!).
So here I humbly present my top ten collection (and maybe more, you know me) of strange Notre Dame sightings from around the city of ladies and light. As I write, I have this one, and this one only. But I know there will be others, because I know, you see! BCNU (and the Lady).
Sab's Top Ten Notre Dame Paris Nods No.7) ~ "On A Carousel"
Now, while you might think that this is an innocent little pretty picture of a twirly-whirly round-about, it is not.
Well, it is, but not in the sense I’m meaning.
And while you might not see the relationship with Paris, yes, but Ah-Hah… coz this is exactly Paris, you see… what I’m meaning?
This charming caroussel is currently stationed in front of the Hôtel de Ville, one of two (carousels) – lucky Hôtel de Ville! – no less.
And now here comes the sleight of hand. This post is neither about caroussels or Hôtels de Ville. It’s about (did you guess?)…
Well, not my lady, but someone’s lady, I presume. Our Lady of Notre Dame. Well, Our Lady of Paris, to be precise.
Notre Dame de Paris.
Because while you were being cunning and unwittingly drawn in to my ‘cute pic of a carousel’ trap, what I was really doing was setting you up for the Big News.
I have a new series. The Hidden Notre Dames (Notres Dames? Notres Dames?) of Paris. The subtle representations of Our Lady which crop up in the most unexpected places. Here’s the first. It was almost the idea for the whole thing, if I hadn’t just passed by the Sacred Dame herself and said to myself, so I did, so I did, I bet I could do a Sab’s Top Ten Paris Notre Dame Sightings, and so it began.
And, as so often happens, as soon as you put your mind to something, all of a sudden, up it pops, all over the sacred place. And Notre Dame was no exception.
Where this new adventure will lead, only time will tell; but you were there at the beginning, that you can tell your grandchildren, over and over, and for that they will, by the beard of their good old granddad, no doubt, give you hell.
* Sab Will runsPhoto and Curios Tours in Paris, and also manages a variety of Paris and photography-themed sites and blogs. He writes an illustrated Paris Chronicle every day, runs a Meetup group for Paris lovers, interviews Paris personalities and reviews Paris books (on this blog), and even contributes to the city's street art (shh), so feel free to browse some of the links below and in the right-hand column to find out more about what he gets up to out there...