Grumpy Group Organiser gives his thoughts on the devastating blaze in Paris.
Don’t take anything for granted
You just expect things to always be there, don’t you? I have visited Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris only once, on a group trip to this wonderful city many years ago. I have always wanted to return.
Now it will never be the same after the tragic fire that destroyed so much of the building last month. I have read various reports citing different reasons why the fire started. What is certain is not enough care and attention has been taken as this magnificent cathedral was being restored and renovated. Discarded cigarette butts have been found on site, even on the roof where the fire broke out. Renovators have confessed to police that they have smoked illegally around the cathedral - even after this, armed French police guarding the site have been seen smoking. It honestly beggars belief.
Lessons learned: never take anything for granted; go and visit those special places on your bucket list, do not wait; and those responsible for the care and protection of the world’s precious places should realise that taking a casual approach can lead to tragedy and loss that cannot be replaced.