Rain Fell Mainly In France this Week

foodchain / grocery

Instant Weather Centre Shows Unpromising Prospects

by Ric Erickson

Metropole Paris:- Monday, 12. May 1997:- I have probably mentioned the weather elsewhere in this issue somewhere, but if you regularly read this column first every week, you may as well know that it will be a good idea to bring some sort of raincoat to Paris if you are expecting to arrive in the next day or two.

One farmer was quoted last week as saying, "We've just had four seasons in 24 hours." That about sums it up, although it did not snow weather report in the city. For the first time in many weeks, I did not notice any articles about the current 'drought' in France.

Metropole's own weather forecasting centre, cannot see Montmartre.

I don't really mind it if the weather gets a little changeable for a while - it gives the place different 'looks.' During the week there was a reported 'low' over the United Kingdom; no doubt on account of the pinkos there pulling an unsurprising election victory out of a top hat.

This 'low' must be really deep, because it is sending near summer and mid-spring weather over Paris in 30-minute intervals. Into every hour a little rain must fall.

The Great Famine Story

In this issue there is a feature with the title of 'When the French Ate Grass.' With nightly TV-news showing French farmers looking rain - rue Royal at the sky and their soil in disgust, drought was driven in like a nail to the collective consciousness of everybody here.

When, by chance early this week, I came across the statement that France had long suffered famines, and that for centuries the French had eaten only grain - bread - I was astounded. I always thought the Irish with their potatoes had a monopoly on this sort of thing.

The rue Royal, last Wednesday.

I should have known better. I have been taking all this food I see around for granted. The near drought - if it is now over - was a reminder that taking food for granted is silly. Now that I think of it, it has been a long time since I was really hungry, and I hope it is a long time before it happens again.

Eating grass. Yuk.

Some Current Events

Raoul Dufy, Les Années 30

Works that prefigure the fresco 'La Fée Electricité,' assembled by themes: flowers, horses, boats - which result in a visual ambiance of the decade.

Espace Electra
until 13. July; from 11:30 to 18:30 daily except Mondays. 6. Rue Récamier, Paris 7. Métro: Sévres-Babylone Info Tel.: 01 42 84 23 60.

Arts du Nigeria

Exposition of the Barbier-Müller collection, recently arts du nigeria acquired by the state and added to the collection of the Musée National des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie. This addition includes 300 pieces and objects; statuettes, bronzes and terra cotta figures.

Musée National des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie
Until 18. August. Open weekdays from 10:00 to 17:30 and until 18:00 on weekends. Closed Tuesdays. Info Tel.: 01 44 74 84 80.
293, avenue Daumesnil, Paris 12.
Métro: Porte Dorée.

Soudan, Royaumes Sur le Nil

From the opposite side of Africa, this exhibition also features statues and ceramics, showing the influences of Pharaonic Egypt, Greco-Roman, and Byzantine, which have marked the Sudan.

Institut du Monde Arabe
Until 31. August, daily from 10:00 to 18:00, except Mondays. Niveaux 1 and 2 - 1. Rue des Fossés-St-Bernard, Paris 5. Métro: Cardinal Lemoine or Jussieu. Info Tel.: 01 40 51 38 38.

Coming Event:

Le Temps des Hélices

Annual Air Show at Cerny- La Ferté Alais, will feature the usual collection of antique flying machines - 'Le Grand Cirque,' plus special aircraft present for this year's display.

The 'stars' this year will be the tri-motor JU 52, of WWII fame; a OV-10 Bronco, which is a strange two-motor twin-tail spotter aircraft; plus a B-17 'Flying Fortress,' a Spitfire, a ME109, and a P-51 Mustang, among others. A few jet planes are featured, but most planes are slow enough to see.

A special feature will be a flying exhibition by the 'Diamond Nine,' a group on nine 50-year old British biplanes, to be seen for the first time in France. The entire two-day show also features fireworks, music, and booths with aeronautical items.

A poster for this airshow is featured on this week's poster page.

Airport (Aérodrome) Cerny - La Ferté Alais
47 kms south of Paris, after Orly and Brétigny, via autoroute A6, exit Mennecy. Watch for special signposting. By Line 'C' of the RER, to the station 'La Ferté Alais.' Parking, restaurants, and camping possibilities.

Saturday, 17. May and Sunday, 18. May.
Entry: 85 francs Saturday, 120 on Sunday; or 160 for both. 60 francs extra for a place in the stands. Children, 6-14 years, 35 francs each day. Access to the camping area, 100 francs per vehicle; opens Friday.

Info Tel.: 01 41 40 31 41, or fax: 01 41 40 32 55. Make reservations by calling 01 42 31 31 31.

Regards, Ric
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