15th July 2012

Yesterday was Bastille Day. Fireworks all night frightening the dog, and for what? To celebrate when Madame Guillotine cut people's heads off.
Back in 1889 there was even a proposal to erect a 900 feet high guillotine in Paris in its honour. Fortunately, the organisers of the Paris Exhibition back then plumped instead for a monstrous tower designed by a nobody called Alexandre Gustave Boenickhausen-Eiffel. Even so, people were just as alarmed as our dog. What? A giant iron structure that has absolutely no function at all?  Madness. And yet today, there it stands - possibly the most famous city icon of all. (Even the Statue of Liberty has the same internal iron structure). But, in today's super-tech world, queuing and ticketing problems have led the Parisians to tinker with the famous design. Because the Champs de Mars is a protected site, another two floors are to be added but below street level. So, the existing barriers and ticket offices can be removed, freeing up more space under the tower.
However, as in 1889, Parisians say it's all madness.  The giant iron legs will fall in and crush whole neighbourhoods below. And Him indoors:  I always said Parisians are in-Seine....

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