‘Tis the eye of childhood fears a painted devil : my selective memory

My daughter’s currently visiting Paris on a school trip.  Before she went my mother said to her  “Make sure you don’t have your purse stolen when you go up the Eiffel Tower, like your Dad did”.

I did go on a school trip to Paris too, when I was roughly my daughter’s age (a little younger perhaps), but, until my mother mentioned it, I had no memory of having had money stolen up the Eiffel Tower.   This must have been a significant event at the time, but now – nothing.

What I do remember is being mortally scared by the depictions of devils and judgements in Notre Dame, having nightmares about them, sleepwalking (for the first and only time in my life) and waking up in the hotel bathroom.

‘Tis the eye of childhood fears a painted devil – Shakespeare, I think, might have been old enough to remember brightly painted dooms on the walls of his parish church when he was a child?


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