I know you'll find this difficult to believe, but it's true; Cro did spend some time in a French Lunatic asylum. Or should I say a Hospital for the Perplexed.
It was probably around 1975. We had driven down to a quarry near Aix-en-Provence to pick up some stone. We were cutting some poolside furniture for a client who wanted a particular stone that was filled with shells.
Overnight we were to stay with my friend's family, but no mention had been made of where; nor did I know that his father was the chief psychiatrist at Marseilles' main Mental Institution.
My first indication of being somewhere 'unusual' was when one of the domestics (a trusted female inmate) returned from a shopping trip, and she had bought everything RED. That evening we ate an entirely RED meal. Potatoes, Bananas, Oranges; you name it, it was RED. All cooked and served, of course, by more domestics (more trusted female inmates) who left me feeling distinctly uneasy.
The family's apartment was not big, and I was bedded down on a sofa in the sitting room. All night I could hear strange noises; some directly outside the door. I didn't sleep a wink.
As soon as it was light I started drawing. The view from the sitting room window was staggering; it looked straight across Marseilles' rooftops, and up to the hilltop Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde. My friend's father took a shine to my finished drawing, so a photo of the Basilica will have to suffice.
I'm sure I was in no danger; but it certainly didn't feel like that at the time!
I love the notion of an all-red meal!ReplyDelete
When I was nine years old, I stayed in a Connecticut convent for a week with my mother and four sisters. BORING. Your asylum sounds considerably more entertaining.
Ahhhh! The insane are the smartest of us all - they, at least, are getting treated for their madness where we continue to live with ours in blissful denial! LoL!ReplyDelete
Rhonda and I were married in an Insane Asylum - at least, we were married in the Chapel of the asylum where we both worked at that time!
You should have taken time out to get to know the inmates when you had the chance - most of them are now running Europe from Brussels.ReplyDelete
no, I don't think I would have slept well, either. Though I myself can be crazy at times, as least it's a crazy I know. Gawd only knows what kind of things were going on that night....ReplyDelete
Plotting; I suspect!Delete
The best part is Cro they let you leave....sorry...could not help it..ReplyDelete
When I was a Psychology student I 'lived in' for a while. There was only one public telephone (long before the days of the mobile phone) and it was in the centre of the long corridor that ran right through the institution.ReplyDelete
While I rang home, inmates often had their noses pressed against the glass of the phone box.
You've just broken my dream; I was lost in, what started out as, a regular hospital, running through theatres, trying hard not to look at the grotesque goings on . . . The rooms became smaller and filled with "freaks" and weird behaviour. The only way across the rooms was to climb over the beds . . . OK, I'll stop. How bizarre.ReplyDelete
I was going to make some crack about all of France being a lunatic asylum, but I restrained myself. Wait, apparently I didn't! ;)ReplyDelete
What an adventure!
The good thing is that you got to leave before blue food day.ReplyDelete
What an experience. Beautiful building and landsccape. Now I'm off to have a purple breakfast...ReplyDelete
I did volunteer work at an asylum and in the psych ward of the hospital where I worked, but I was never brave enough to spend an overnight. Outrageous behavior and bizarre sounds are much easier to shrug off in the daylight.ReplyDelete
It's the hole in each earDelete
that lets in the fear.
That, and the absence of light!
Comments left here from people who enjoy you are laugh out loud funny.ReplyDelete
Keep up the good work, Cro..spreading sunshine.
Best to Monty and Bok.
Perhaps it was a good thing that you didn't feel right at home!ReplyDelete
So you spent some time in a home for the perennially discombobulated......they sound like my kind of people.ReplyDelete
or as Edna Everage used to sayDelete
" a high security home for the mentally bewildered!"
after so long visiting cro
could I ask your christian name>?
I'll put it to the committee.Delete
The atmosphere of a place will always dominate one's senses. I spent a week in Cornwall in a converted chapel...didn't sleep a wink there. Obviously not good things going on in either place!ReplyDelete