Really, I'm Not the Weatherman

Cafe Le Traleyant
A warm port on a wet day in Paris.

Shameless Plug for Dream Island

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 15. December 1997:- Before I tell you how mixed up I'm getting, first the weather report. My 'snow' report a couple of weeks ago startled some readers into thinking they'd have to wear woollies and hide in their hotel rooms night and day.

I don't know if my leg was being pulled by the readers who wanted to know how they would be able to get through the snow drifts. Have no fear! Or nearly none.

Last time I looked out the window and it was daylight, it was thinking of raining outside. The weather around the Ile-de-France thinks about raining more often than it does it. In addition to little rain last week, the temperatures were in the 'no-scarf' zone. That is, was, about seven to ten degrees.

For all my expertise in looking out the window, I do not make Mairie 11th hyper-accurate seven-day forecasts. For all I know General Winter is gathering his troops in central Siberia just as the Azores High is about to collapse or move towards the Gulf of Mexico and away from its habitual station - where it protects Europe from the really nasty effects of Greenland and General Winter.

All of Paris' 20 city halls have some sort of illumination - this is the Mairie of the 11th.

However right or wrong I may be, I gleaned one bit of crucial information for ski nuts from TV-news last week. The ski stations, somewhere far from Paris in alpine regions - are open.

TV-news even showed mountain crews pushing snow out of the way - for some technical reason I know not what. It is never good enough for them it seems. What it does mean; there is enough snow at the ski stations.

It is probably wet snow, or 'unstable' snow, or there is fog, or even, it is snowing too heavily! That got me.

Snowing too heavily to ski - the lady from Paris wailed. Look, she said, look at all my nice spiffy new this season winter ski resort gear, and I can't keep up my tanning salon tan because the snowflakes are too big.

Some of those places are so spiffy they probably have tanning salons too. But, I wonder, where do they get all the photos in the brochures, taken in bright sunlight, with people dressed like upscale spacemen from 'Star Wars' zooming downhill, throwing up roostertails of fine, white, fluffy, powered snow?

Is it flour maybe?

Shameless Plug for Dream Island

CD title HarmonieAs unlikely as it may seem, this is about a place that used to be an island in the stream. It is still in the stream, but it no longer an island. The stream is the Elbe and the island's name is Finkenwerder.

I am writing about this unlikely place for a simple reason: I received an audio-CD from there on Saturday. Until now I was unaware that Finkenwerder had a recording industry, but I guess I was wrong.

This is the title of Kurt's CD 'Die Harmonie.'

I first saw this place where Heinz lives in June of 1969, just after getting off the Alexandr Pushkin in Bremerhaven. It didn't look promising, so I moved to Munich. Munich was gaudy but unpromising too so I was back in Finkenwerder the following summer.

The only idea I had was maybe I could get a job on the docks in Hamburg. Heinz took the month off to help me out and he showed me all the best places to drink outside around Hamburg in July.

One fine day he was grumpier than usual. When I asked him what was bothering him he said he had agreed to fix his brother-in-law's dirt patch, so it could be planted with grass.

I looked at this and it looked about the size of two 20-bottle beer crates. I figured Heinz would mope around all day, putting this thing off. It looked like an hour's work if there was two of us, so I said let's do it - so we can take the ferry over book title Finkenwerder to Oth-something-marschen and watch the girls getting off the S-Bahn afer work, at the beer-kiosk on the platform.

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