We were in Paris back on this day in 2009. I was working in London and my wife was working in Paris. I was lucky enough to spend every weekend that October with her using the convenience of train travel on Eurostar.
Paris is all about art, food, architecture, culture and so much more more. Sometimes, the more interesting story is about the daily grind of city living. On street parking is such a story and it was very restricted, even then. So limited were the opportunities that I snapped several solutions with my small Sony camera. Here are two that I stumbled over earlier.
Imagine a policeman bringing a pint of Guinness to a gunman who had just shot a doctor in his surgery. The gunman had fled the scene, taking his rifle and himself to an open field in a public park. The policeman wasn’t the only one who thought he needed something to calm the nerves.
As they say on IMDb, ‘Dr. Andrew Rynne, known as Ireland’s first vasectomist, became famous when a man walked into his surgery with a rifle.’ We watched the 11 minute short movie The Vasectomy Doctor a couple of nights ago on recommendation. And recommended it to others since. It’s truly worth travelling back to 1990, a journey informed by the doctor’s memoir-made-movie in 2018. The IFI website is slightly more erudite. ‘Dr Andrew Rynne was the first doctor to perform vasectomies in Ireland, estimating that he has performed over 35,000. Persevering in the face of opposition from the Church and State in Ireland during the 1970s and 1980s, Dr Rynne continued to challenge the laws governing sexuality, eventually forcing the government to change policy.’ No mention of the disgruntled patient who returned after eight years and training in a gun club.
Imagine there are two million dust mites in bed with you every night. Not to be confused with blood sucking bed bugs, the millions of dust mites also thrive in those luxurious, warm and humid environments. Think mattress. Bedding. Covered furnishings. Carpets. Curtains. Woollen clothes. The dust mite is an eight legged microscopic relative of the spider, though they diverged some 300 million years ago. They feed on the flakes of skin that people and pets shed daily. Not bad for arachnid beasties that were only discovered in 1965.
We removed all carpets and coverings when we remodelled our home twenty years ago this month. I had read that dust mites are a common trigger of allergies and asthma and since we were five plus dog and cat, I expected there was a lot of dust mite faeces in the air. That’s because I read that they make twenty pellets each per day and the pellets float in air. We were rewarded with a massive reduction in the use of inhalers in our household. Our floors are still wooden throughout the house and no inhalers are needed. Good luck finding a copy of David Bodanis’ 1986 book The Secret House: The Extraordinary Science of an Ordinary Day but persevere, it’s still worth a read thirty four years later. I say this as I’m half way through another re-read. Even the scanning electron micro-photos remain impressive today.