Weather and Lucky Valentines

Bistro a Vins L'Escale
In a lot of sun, on the Ile Saint Louis on Friday.

Short News This Week On Account of Too Much Fresh Air

Paris:- Saturday, 14. February 1998:- I won't say everybody is talking about the weather but I suspect somebody is doing something about it.

On Thursday, France broke a record set in 1873 by having a official temperature of 17.6 degrees centigrade. The precise location in France of this recorded temperature is unknown.

According to Mr. Weatherman, an Azores high has been covering most of Europe since Tuesday, 10. February. In addition, dry air is being puffed at us from Africa.

The weatherman also says we are not to worry too much about this being part of global warming or one of El Nino's tricks; this sort of weather turns up about once in every three years. It is expected to last until Tuesday.

Air Pollution

The other side of the warm weather coin is air pollution, caused in part by a relative lack of wind. Paris had a couple of 'level two' alerts last week.

At the moment, when they are called the main restriction is a reduction in the speed limits. I think we had a 'level two' on Wednesday and for a short time on Thursday - which was officially extended to all day.

terrace of the OasisThis enabled the subject to return to news forums, so that the authorities could roll out a new plan. This involves sticking a green dot on 'clean' late-model cars and the ones with the green dot will be allowed to roll on days when there is odd-even restrictions.

On the terrace of the 'Oasis.'

Another report complained that a lot of French cars are too old - my own for example - and these are, of course, cars that could not get a green dot. The tone of the report suggested that we are driving old cars in order to be perverse, rather than what we really are - poor.

Just as there are all sorts of people angling for exemptions from the odd-even regulations, some 'dirty' vehicles will not be subject to the green dot rules. These include motorcycles, motor bikes and scooters, the cleanest of which are more than four times dirtier than a car.

Drivers running car pools will be able to get a green dot so presumably I'll be able to continue hauling kids across the ridge in the mornings. I think walking would do them good, but the highways department has decided the route can do without sidewalks.

Friday, 13. February: Crazy Day!

Some French people don't care for Friday the 13th but they are outnumbered by those who think 13 is an especially lucky number.

Yesterday, I had strange reports from Paris. What with it being the eve of Saint Valentine's day as well as a Friday, people were reported to be behaving oddly - although I didn't notice anything in particular myself.

On the last occasion, Friday, 13. June 1997, the Loto took in 84 percent more money than normal. This belief in the luckiness of the 13 goes back a long way, as does the opposite belief. Clovis was apparently a pro-13 type as was Louis XIV...

Robert De Niro is More Than Just Annoyed

The American actor who is making a film in France with John Frankenheimer, returned as planned to Paris Monday evening from a weekend in the United States.

Early on Tuesday morning around 8:45 he was picked up by six to eight policemen from where he is entry Bibliotheque Historique staying at the Hotel Bristol, and taken to the quai des Orfèvres and questioned for two and a half hours.

Mr. De Niro was held all day Tuesday, and he had another three-hour session to 'answer three questions' on Tuesday evening at the Palais de Justice with the judge, Frédéric N'Guyen. He was finally freed about 21:00.

Mr. De Niro is not happy about this and has instructe his lawyer to file a civil complaint against the judge, for unlawful detention and for violating the rules of confidentiality relating to a criminal case.

The entry to the Bibliothèque Historique in the Marais.
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