Frankfurt Sends Its 'Bong' By Radio

Cafe - Brasserie
If every bus stop had a café in front of it,
more people would wait for buses.

Whatever Happened to Tick-Tock?

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 9. March 1998:- This isn't going to about anything important. Well, it is going to be about time, but I don't know if this is important to you. I've been pretty sloppy about it and it's bothered me for years.

If your house is like mine you house has a lot of clocks. In addition to power cuts, the powers whoever they might be, decide that we should change all our clocks twice a year.

When the cable-TV used to show the time on one of their spare channels, every time I had to re-set the clocks I would sit down in front of the TV with my best watch. I would set it to 'zero' and wait for the TV-clock to hit "zero' and if no kids of bill collectors happened by at the wrong moment, on 'zero' I would hit the 'go' button - and have the correct time again, for at least a couple of seconds before it all started to unravel.

But cable-TV, in its endless wisdom, fired their TV clock. For the last couple of years I've been getting the time by hearsay. I tried getting it from the SNCF's railroad clocks, but they showed so much difference between here and Paris, that I guessed they use them for running the trains.

Every six months rolls around with its 'set the clock forward, back, sideways' like the waters over Niagara. I gave up on the video-recorder clock entirely - and this has proved a boon and saved a lot of money on buying blank tapes, because without the clock, it can't be programmed to record good movies.

Luckily, abandoning this clock coincided with the cable-TV's decision not to show good movies anymore. The oven's clock has always been a mystery to me too, and I usually get by using an egg-timer for it despite the nuisance of remembering to turn it over every three minutes. Since M-R lost the egg-timer, werue Bailleul haven't used the oven much if there was nobody to stare through the glass in the door at things burning.

For about the last three years the car pool has been running fine on three-minute-fast clocks, and catching the half-hourly train is a snap with them too if you get to the station 28 minutes early.

But you know, this clock business, it niggles - somewhere is the back. It was grandmas's day in France recently and my family got it wrong and gave me a radio clock.

No, that's not quite right. There is no radio. It's a radio signal from Frankfurt. It sends the right time to my new clock, once every hour. It gives me perfect European Central Time. It has moon phases on it too, in case I'm into voodoo, but I haven't figured out how this part works yet - but it is a nice display.

The best thing about the new clock is that it also says what day it is. Here, working on the Internet, time goes on non-stop - well often it goes on past midnight. For most people this is just late the same day, but for us Internetters it is another new day.

Quite often I wake up and I don't know if it is today, yesterday or tomorrow. This is a bit worse than having three-minute-fast clocks. Right now the time is 06:18 on Monday, 9. March 1998. Metropole might be online by noon. Sometime around then.

From Friday's The Toqueville Connection:

The latest issue leads with 'Jospin Balances Rigor and Compassion' With good economic news bolstering it, the Socialist government has announced it will fulfill a campaign pledge to help the poor. On March 4, Lionel Jospin's government unveiled a 51.4 billion-franc (8.5 billion dollars) plan to fight on poverty deprivation in a country where one household in 10 lives below the poverty line.

From the food front: Alain Ducasse now holds six Michelin stars for his two restaurants, and Pierre Gangaire is back in the game. The Michelin Guide, awaited each year by chefs and gourmets the world over and treated as the Epicurean's Bible, appeared in Paris bookstores on 2. March.

Danses - Festival en Yvelines

From Saturday, 14. March until Saturday, 4. April, a Yvelines Dance Festival takes place - from Achères to Versailles, with a different program at each. Some dates overlap, so get full information from this number: Info. Tel.: 01 39 07 85 45.

Cinéma du Réel

Because the Pompidou Centre is being renovated, itscinema du reel Cinema du Réel moves to the Cinéma des Cinéastes from Friday, 13. March until Sunday, 22. March. On the program are 30 films from throughout the world, a competition for French films, and a retrospective of documentaries made in Japan.

Japanese directors represented by their films will be Shohei Imamura, Nagisa Oshima, Shinsuke Ogawa, Naomi Kawase, Noriaki Tsuchimoto and Kazuo Hara among ohers.


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