Only a Day Late

photo: cafe l'horizon, rue de rennes

The Rue de Rennes, with a needle of sunlight in its centre.

Monday's Forecast Lost In Time

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 4. February 2002:- Regular readers - and there are more than two of you - will realize that this week's column is a day late, and is being written on Tuesday. This is not a good idea because Tuesday is my weekly 'weekend' but it will work okay this time because I couldn't think of what to write yesterday.

The 'Au Bistro' column has the same situation this week too, but with the difference that there is always more than enough to write about. With this out of the way, we can start the issue's two lead columns a day late with the -

The Silly Weather Report

Today, which I expect you to remember is Tuesday, it is raining lightly in Paris. During the past week the temperatures remained 'high for the season' and there were more mostly cloudless days than there usually are in any given week in July.

This caused a great deal of 'going out.' Doing this causes many photos to be taken whichphoto: orangerie, luxembourg results in much time selecting them and straightening them out for possible use, and for saving for the archive. But this is not the reason part of this issue is late.

Baskers at the Orangerie in the Luxembourg on Saturday.

The coming weather will not be as pleasant as the past's has been, starting with today's feeble rain. Temperatures will continue their downward slide from last week's highs of 14-15, to a more seasonal but still 'above normal' level in the range of 10-13. Overnight lows are not expected to go below 4 degrees. Do not expect much sunshine.

All of this is great for Paris, but rotten for those who seek their thrills on heights such as the Alps. Lower mountains do not have much snow below 1000 metres and mid-alpine enthusiasts are reacquainting themselves with long games of Scrabble.

'Café Life'

Dining Out

If I am invited to somebody's place for dinner I consider it unwise to decline the invitation, regardless of it possibly making the issue late, because invitations are rare - and I might overhear some choice conversation that I can reasonably pass off as 'Café Life.'

But when I am slogging away on the end-game of an issue and the clock is speeding towards 03:00 on Tuesday morning, I can usually look back and pinpoint the three hours that went missing - but so what? It could just as easily have been a ten or 15-year old movie on TV - worth nothing for 'Café Life' - where I 'lost' the time.

During the preliminary introductions on Friday night we turned out to be two, unknown to three others - making us six in all, with only the hostess knowing everybody.

This type of evening out can be less than a total success because of the time it takes to establish rudimentary identities - if they are ever nailed down at all.

Getting this done is not always necessary if, by lucky fluke, the conversation lands on somethingphoto: steaming cafe of common interest to everybody present. Then it could be possible to say, it would be good to have another dinner with those 'interesting' people.

The other night it was looking very good right from the beginning. Early on, one lady said her job was studying 'The Arabian Nights Entertainments.' As most know, these tales by Scheherazade went on for '1001 nights,' and the lady said she had been on this job for 23 years.

My Thursday club meeting café was sorely lacking on Friday evening.

But before I could ask any one of 47 questions, the last lady to arrive felt a need to tell all of us about every play and movie she had seen within the past six weeks, and this tended to dominate the table's conversation because it seemed as if she had been out to see six events per week.

As usually happens during the average dinner, the entire thing takes place in one spot - sitting at the table - and usually lasts no less than three hours. There is no preliminary standing around and no 'retiring to the drawing room' afterwards.

I couldn't find a hole in the conversation big enough to slip in any of my 47 questions, so I took my leave, prematurely, at the three-hour mark. I do not doubt this rash action will lose me some invitations.

With dining out there is an element of chance. The previous week's 'Buffalo grass' party was long on amusement and being short on 'interesting facts' did not subtract from it.

I wonder, I really do, how long it will be - if ever - it will take for me to find out everything about Scheherazade's '1001 nights.' For one thing, I have no idea about what happens on the 1002th night.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

Readers and club members can catch up with the most recent club non-affairs by reading about last week's meeting. See this report which includes the club's most outstanding non-member, 'Victor Hugo.'

Before anybody takes this as being extremely unlikely, the club's secretary merely reports what happens - or doesn't - at club meetings. Members who have already read the report have expressed their approval, and have added their comments elsewhere in this issue.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 7. February. It will be a Thursday again, because every week has one of these. The meeting will be held at the Café-Tabac La Corona.

It will be another ordinary Thursday-type day, but one called Sainte-Eugénie, which we might not have had before even though it is never any kind of holiday in France like Easter. The day after will be an ordinary-type Friday again.

Metropole readers and those wishing to become real club members can get all the details about this free club by and committing to memory the large-sized fine-print on the 'About the Club' page.

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