...Continued from page 1

The Last Issue: - of this magazine was an 'iffy' thing, as I thought it might be. I really intended to try for some sort of Bastille Eve/Day coverage - even if it was a local fête in Boullay-les-Holes - but in the event I went to sleep at 22:30 both days. I suppose I was a little tired.

It was generous of the server-lady, Linda Thalman, to invite me to her Cadillac Ranch at Boullay-les-Holes for the week. Luckily, the weather was pretty good to excellent and I would have been reluctant to leave if I had not seen how much work there was still to do - like pulling out nasty, vicious weeds.

Linda's place is not called 'Cadillac Ranch' by her; it is a name I borrowed from long ago, for another place. She actually has another name for the layout, but I have been sworn to secrecy about it because she thinks it is veryphoto: my new market silly. So while I maintain my pledge, it will remain 'Cadillac Ranch.'

Its location is known as France's 'Silicon Valley' but Boullay-les-Holes is not in the actual valley. It is up on a plateau, beside a prairie of wheat fields. For you the view shown in a photo in this issue's feature 'Paris Looks Good' may look dull, but to me it was refreshing because it didn't look like the wall of trees I've had my nose pressed against for 12 years.

The nearest street marché is two blocks away. Daily, except Sundays, I think.

Apparently, the residents of this French 'Silicon Valley' are not the type of people to gather at the local village 'place' for important fêtes. They are all away in southern New Zealand or other remote places. So I had a big yawn and a good sleep instead of wearing my reporter's hat.

Now, about Bastille Day 2000, I've been thinking about it really hard for 17 seconds. Here is what I've decided: you tell me about it and that's what we'll do. Okay? Date: Thursday, 13. July and Friday, 14. July 2000. It'll be the 'pont' to end all 'ponts' - a four-day long weekend millennium-launch fête!

The weather is worth mentioning because the forecast for today and tomorrow is one huge sunball for all France, with the high temperatures in Paris ranging from 28 to 32 C. Wednesday might be cooler and unsettled, but the big yellow ball is supposed to return to cover all over France on Thursday.

A Final Note: - Thanks to all of you who took the trouble to write encouraging messages while I was in limbo and offline. Because some of you wrote for the first time, I also want to thank all who intended to write too, but didn't get around to it on account of going to bed at 22:30 for a change.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 3.29 - 20. July 1998 - This issue featured - very little, actually - Café Metropole - 'They Shoot Tourists?' and the 'Au Bistro' column had 'France Has a Big Party and Shuts Down.' This issue had only count down Eiffel Tower one feature, entitled 'As Normal As Paris Gets After the Party.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Ca Va, Eddie!'

Issue 3.30 - 27. July 1998 - This issue featured - a bit more - Café Metropole - 'The Escargot Races' and the 'Au Bistro' column had 'Tour fe France Bikers Go On Strike.' This issue had two features, entitled 'An Unstructured Flash-Visit To the Marais' and 'Ups and Downs of Paris Nannydom ' by Tracy Turner. Also, there was a page of emails about the World Cup. There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Metro's Tour de France Entry.'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 164 more gloriously sunny and sometimes very hot Ile-de-France summer days to go until the next really big depressing weather front comes along..
signature, regards, ric

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