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© Rob McGibbon, 2013

Notes on Paris

A lovely + very interesting city. some of the buildings simply beautiful.
One can see for miles down the Ca Champs Élysée, a beautiful road with trees each side + magnificent buildings.
In driving through the Bois de Boulogne, a kind of large park corresponding to our Hyde Park, one sees the Elite of Paris! The dresses on the women, or, in many cases, the scarcity of dresses! are wonderful, they seem to live for nothing else.
The magnificent tombs at Père Lachaise appear more like tiny chapels, the carving, wreaths + statuary is simply to beautiful for one to explain about.
The wreaths on some tombs at not of real flowers, OF but imitatious ones made in most beautiful colored beads measuring some six feet in diameter.
The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris is the most beautiful I have ever entered,
The windows of stained glass, painted such magnificent colors that are indescribable.
On sundays mass starts at 5am + continues, in different sections till the next morning.
Another beautiful walk one can take through the Luxembourg Gardens, which, in spring, must look truly wonderful with its quantities of trees + flowers in fl blossom.
The Louvre, another place of note, containing some of the most beautiful pictures in the world, as well as the famous “La Jocunde” [La Joconde]

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with her very ordinary smile + unintelligent expression! the crowds flocking chiefly to see her vacant looking head, some paintings are so realistic that one feels almost as though they are living beings.
In the famous latin-quarter one finds the Pantheon, a kind of museum, at the extreme top is a cross, that from the road looks no more than 4 feet high + 2 3 feet broad, where taken down to be over-hauled some little time ago it measured a whole street in length with the to arms reaching from wall to wall.
The apache that one hears such a lot about, live mostly on the outskirts of the city, venturing in on fête days, when often a lot of harm is done by them, one gentleman being shot dead near the opéra for attempting to put an end to a quarrel between two of them.
Another place of great interest is the Opéra Comique, the theatre itself, the auto (auditorium + stage) is nothing wonderful, but the terraces outside where one walks between the acts, are beautiful, the carving + sculpture a sight, + the most magnificent paintings adorn some of the walls.
A very interesting + beautiful archway is built at the Étoile, Champs-Elysées, by order of th Napolean, his victories + other battle[s] are said to be carved on it, with sculptures of his great generals also, it is immense, + the workmanship, when examined closely, is truly magnificent.
The gardens of the Tuilleries are also very beautiful, + the Place de la Concorde another interesting + pretty spot.
Some of the shops are very beautiful although the only one that comes up to any of our London

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shops, I think, is the Gallerie Lafayette, a tremendous store which seems always to be positively mobbed!!!
There is a magnificent Cinema near the Étoile, more like a large theatre, splendid pictures + variety turns in between, although I cannot say much for the latter, the pictures are well worth going to see. All along the streets, from the most swellest down to the very poorest, are crowds of cafes were where one sits out on the pavement + has coffee or chocolate, sometimes one comes across 5 or 6 such places next to each other, the competition being tremendous, but not too great for them all to do a fine trade.
The show-rooms of some of the most expensive motors one can buy, are beautiful, the shop windows are brilliantly lighted with all different colored lights + decorated like a drawing-room, while one beautiful Rolls-Royce, or Mercedes stands in the centre, along the Avenue Champs Elysées are all the chief companies seem to have a showroom, + at night it is a sight to see the places lighted up!! The Palais de Justice, situated in the latin-quarter the oldest part of Paris, is a very large and interesting building, over looking the Seine.
The “Metro” or underground Metropolitan railways is a very convenient way (+ only one unless one is a millionaire to take taxis everywhere) of getting about, each street of any importance has a station underneath named after it, unfortunately, they have no lifts, + the stairs up + down are awful, the trains are so full that the people coming off + getting on the trains literally fight to get in + out, the weakest side either loosing their train or going on to the next station as they barely wait by two minutes to let you on!!

Notes on School

Never been in such a large school before. Everything very nice. continually loosing myself along the passages. In a very nice class-room, each class has its own colors, mine is “one of many colors.”
Tremendous hall for study, but rather uncomfortable desks, at least, for “long-legged Liz:”! [?]
Very nice food, am fellu got use to it after a time, the refectory a tremendous room, leading out into the playground, at least one of them.
The practising rooms right at the top of the house, one could get quite thin climbing the stair if one were not so well fed!! some pianos very nice, others flat in the bass + in tune in the treble! sounds ensuing, to say the least of it, somewhat weird!!
Very nice studio on same floor, some of the things done bu by the girls simply beautiful!
Fête days seem to be the most weird affairs, one class gives it to another, the “it” being a kind of glorified mother’s meeting with an ounce of sweets divided between some 40 girls.
Notice of the school’s removerel [?] has been given out, should think a few carpets in the next place would not be unacceptable!!
The food is splendid but takes one a little while to get use to, also comfortable beds that do not take one long to get use to!!
The building is built in a square with a large court-yard in the middle, owing to the scarcity of ground, this way of building, for some unknown

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reason is more satisfactory, most of the large buildings such as offices, museums etc are built after this style.
The gymnasium somewhat resembles a hen-coop! I don’t think they’ve much idea of this kind of thing.
The chapel is very pretty, but frightfully overheated, + the benches none to comfortable, a small organ, worked in the old-fashioned-style, by the feet, sends out weird sounds assisted by the old fat french woman al Mdlle who puffs and blows in time to the music + makes one feel quite hot!!!
On account of the government + this school belonging to the Convent next door, as far as I can make out it has had “orders to quit” otherwise the nuns from next door will fair badly, the new school is neal nearer civilisation (ie: it takes a good half an hour from here to any decent shops + people) + is to be much smaller, only taking day-girls at present, I don’t know whats going to become of me! I only hope + trust I am at home!!!!
On fête days we go to mass twice or once a day wearing long white veils (on other days we wear black veils) + all looking most bridal-like, I only go to mass, Sundays + fête -days.
They seem to have a good many holidays here. I mean 1 day holidays + 3 days holidays, there are 3 days. the beginning of lent, nearly everyone goes out to sleep, + the first Thursday in every month we have the whole day holiday, not as usual, from 11.30, many go Wednesday night + return Friday morning, also Saturday night + return Monday morning.

21st January

frightfully tired this morning! have an extra quarter of an hour in bed, +, in consequence, terrible rush to be down. feel much livlier to-day, near thursday, that is the reason, I suppose, usual lessons, music lesson with music-murderer, lesson with the little ones for French! some of them very nice, preferable to many of the big ones!!! find out about the zoo, would rather like to go there with Lily to-morrow. Can’t think whats come over “old Beery nozzle”, trying to be quite polite all of a sudden. just noticed a little girl exactly like Eileen, wonder if she ever feels like me I, pity her if she does, quite expected Father MacCarty to-day, evidently too busy to come, wish he had, usual evening. Bed.

22nd January

feel quite gay on waking, looking forward to going out. very cold but feel warmed after hot cup of coffee. practice piano + work till 11.30. get ready then to go out with Lily, go to Cheâteau Briand + have a lovely déjeuner, can’t decide where to go, at last arrange to go to the Louvre, on way home buy some cakes for tea, look longingly in Rumplemayers but pass on, meet two priests from the college, have tea + return to school with them as Lily is going to the opera. usual evening. Bed. exit 16th day

23rd January

get up usual hour, suppose nothing fresh will turn-up today, days get very monotinaus, however, “everything has an end”. quite a coincidence, have picked up three different books + read in each those words, quite cheering! this week has gone quite quickly, 10 weeks to-day my Peggs arrives! (DV) Usual day, french classes practising, go for a walk in Luxembourg gdns because it is too cold to play in the chicken-run, very nice, people skating on the pond, lucky beggars, “never mind your times coming, Ol: old girl,” work quite hard before dinner, rec. bed

24th January

wake up quite early, rotten sore throat + had nightmare, funny, always dream of black cats when I have nightmare, sign of enemies, too, keep your eyes open, Ol, you might be murdered in your sleep!!! 10 weeks to-day my Peggs arrives (D.V) Oh! the joy, I think I shall go mad. Looking forward to going out with Lily to-morrow, don’t know what I’d do without her! Had a lovely letter from Peggs yesterday, have been reading it all day, its such a cheering one. One from Molly also made me laugh to myself! usual day. bed.

25th January

Got up feeling very gay, sure something nice is going to happen! yes it does happen, I hear of a holiday of 4 days end of February, how lovely, do hope Dad + Peggs let me go to Lily, also going to move to other dormitory with nice Mlle [teacher] who speaks English! Have a lovely day with Lily, go to a lovely cinema, best one have ever been to, pictures splendid, never seen such crowds in the Metro before! lose 2 trains in the crush, lovely dinner at 10 No.10, return feeling very gay, 5 minutes late, but beery nose quite nice!! to-day’s indeed been lucky!!

26th January

Wake up feeling extremely gay, could not sleep early for thinking, go through usual day!, why can’t I speak French!? Oh it does seem so hard! draw some “Fairies” to send home, can’t wait, must w write home about holiday, am getting so excited, receive letter from Auntie + 5/=, very good indeed of her, especially useful at present. nothing special happens, day seems to drag! news that I cannot change the dormitory to-night, what a fag! never mind, am very tired, could sleep on a mat!

27th January

Had a very comfortable night although not in new dormitory, hear I’m going to sleep there to-night. write a long letter to Dad + ask about holiday, do hope he lets me go to do Lily’s! Go for a walk in Luxembourg Gds, quite a change, how I loathe mucking about in the fowl-run, receive a letter from Peggs + one from Frank [her brother, six years older], feeling a bit homesick, wish to goodness I didn’t get these fits!! usual lessons, one with the old girl (for piano) who has a rotten cold which she f very kindly puffs at me! usual evening, bed in new dor’

28th January

had a lovely night in the “Petit dortoire” much prefer it to upstairs, learn also that the old girl Peggs + I christened “Aunt Sally” is the super-directrice, however she seems very nice, Hurrah! going out with Lily to-morrow, that is, if everything is alright. have painting all the afternoon, fruit, never done it from models before, very difficult + prefer the other, have frightfully bad chillblains! wish I could find some stuff to cure them! weather suddenly turned quite warm, no more skating in the Bois or Luxembourg now, I can’t say that I sorry, the cold was getting unbearable. Mend some of Peggs gloves to wear to-morrow, they smell so Peggsyfied – make me feel quite miserable! usual evening. bed! 66 days more.