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Fleeting Heat

photo: food for the fleamarket, montmartre

Pots kept hot for treaure hunters on Montmartre.

The Double-Issue That Isn't

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 13. October 2003:- Readers who were concerned about the 'big chill' I was having last week will be relieved to know that it ended as soon as I closed last week's issue, somewhat late, but somewhat early last Tuesday.

However, after being toasty for 6.5 days, I chanced to notice earlier - this morning - that my radiators are no longer warm. I fear that it was merely a test, carried out while the outside temperatures were elevated, and now that they are not - not predicted to be - the test is over. It proved that the radiators work if they have warm water in them.

And now that they don't, it has been proved that radiators don't radiate much if they do have cold water in them. The obvious solution to the 'test' situation is to stay in bed, under piles of blankets, and send out scouts every couple of days to 'test' the radiators to find out if they are still undergoing tests.

Before you take this to heart, you need to know that yesterday was an unusually warm and brightphoto: plaque, le senat en hommage de la commune day in October. I think everybody who wasn't testing their radiators in any way was outside, enjoying Paris.

Plaque seen in the Luxembourg garden on Sunday.

Last night's TV-weather news forecast for today wasn't brillant, but it turned out to be like Sunday. Tonight's TV-weather news prediction for tomorrow seemed to be less than what we had today, but it called for mostly sunny skies and temperatures around the 20 degree mark.

As the week goes on, mostly sunny is supposed to turn into nearly all sunny. This pleasant state of meterological affairs has its downside, and it will translate into lower temperatures. Not drastic, but inching down to 17, then 16, then 15, and so on. I know we don't have 'inches' here, but there is no appropriately similar metric verb. We never go 'millimetring' anywhere.

Café Life

I had an odd week. The outside temperatures warming up at the same time as the inside radiators coming to life might have has something to do with it. But I think I started off the week with a deficit and I never caught up.

One of the signs of this was having a short Tuesday. For no reason known to me I thought it was worth starting a 'Parislog' and got one going at a good clip, but I think it was a sort of diesel-effect. If I came close to the keyboard, my fingers tapped the keys. I think it used to be called auto-typing.

Then I decided to do nothing. Right - I decided to do no separate issue this week. Just do one of the double-week issues - add a 'Café Life' and a couple of posters and call it a day.

I always watch the weather, and my subconscious says that we are going to have one beautiful day in autumn, and thatphoto: cafe, puces, abbesses will be it. This week's nearest thing to it was yesterday. Normally I work on Metropole all day on Sunday, but I thought if I worked on it on some other all-days, then this week's feature would be about Sunday in Paris in the fall.

More fleamarket near Métro Abbesses.

So, while waiting for the weekend I decided to bring the Café Metropole Club member's list up-to-date. I think I spent three or four hours on this last Wednesday, and at the end I'd done a quarter year's-worth of meetings. I should say I did this much in two sessions.

But I actually did some other administrative chore on Wednesday too, and that was something gotten out of the way. In the evening I had a short 'Café Life' session and then spent all day Thursday with the club meeting and its report. This is what Thursdays are.

Friday was a day of bits - looking without luck for posters to photograph, and not, when I think of it, doing much else. Oh sure, I go shopping, wash clothes, take care of routine chores, and I forget that these add up even if they aren't worth mentioning.

But every night the TV-weather news forecast was telling me that Sunday was going to be 'the day.' By Friday I knew that it could tie in nicely with this week's iMail feature, but I wanted to get the season's perfect autumn day too if Sunday was to be its day.

Even if it wasn't, I was getting worried about the weekly posters. There didn't seem to be any good, new ones around. The city sometimes uses its weekly poster allotment to advertise city services, like the 'Week of the Associations.' The poster for it wasn't brillant.

Yesterday arrived, and it was close to its prediction. So, of course, Dennis of the Daguerreotypistas calledphoto: passage abbesses and we went and have some 'Café Life.' He'd just returned from California - on election day - and that was a topic, but minor compared to other ones.

There was still a lot of day left when I left the Métro at Abbesses. I was fairly aware that it was the weekend of the grape harvest up there, but I didn't realize that it was also the weekend of the 'puces' on the hill too. I think a quarter of Paris was up on the Butte.

One street possibly too steep for Napoléon.

Montmartre is great if the weather is good, no matter how crowded it is. I guess I'm used to it, considering that I wanted to get a photo of the church right in the middle of the mob. And this is all I wanted, so I kept on going north, and went down by the vineyard and past the 'Lapin,' and all the way down to the Métro.

This I took towards La Chapelle, to hook up to the Porte d'Orléans line, to ride back to Odéon. But the correspondence didn't work, so I had to look around for an alternate station in the Rue Ornano. At Odéon I got a couple of posters and then I went up to the Luxembourg.

There I was disappointed. A bright fall day in October, but the leaves were not cooperating by changing their colors. Everything else was okay - everything but getting the photos I was hoping for.

I hoofed it through the park, past Montparnasse and up the Boulevard Raspail and along between the two parts of the cemetery, to Dennis' place to pick up the loaf of bread I'd left with him earlier. We continued our conversation, right down the five flights of stairs, until where we parted - with him set up to get the Métro for Trocadéro, andphoto: snack kiosk, luxembourg me to go home and unravel a week's worth of photos, mostly taken on one day.

People sometimes ask me how I do issues like last week's. I used to do issues that had more in them than last week's, but that has been getting less likely these days.

Everywhere on Sunday - hungry Parisians.

This explains, I hope, why this issue wouldn't be what it is without Laurel Avery's contribution, and the material added by Benigne de Vilmorin to the question of the birth of the telegraph, which is really a weeks-long plug for the book, 'Van Gogh Walks... Paris.'

Without these two contributions this issue would be simply a 'faux'-double issue, which is probably what it is supposed to be. I think I should just let the last good weather go and reconcile myself to doing the winter numbers, bright or cloudy, rain or shine.

Metropole's 'Partners'

Metropole's .COM area is handily gathered on the relatively new 'Partner' page. Check out this page every week, if for no other reason than the 'Photo of the Week,' which it will only be on view for one week.

Metropole's long-time affiliates are on this page too. The Café Metropole sparkling wine is also on it, with a link to its own permanent About Wine page. Both pages can be accessed from the blurbs on the left, and sometimes right-hand columns, on many pages.

Metropole's 'mailto:' Change

The formerly new email address for 'Ric,' 'Ed,' and the Café Metropole Club's secretary remains ericksonr@wanadoo.fr. But if you still have the old 'Worldnet.fr' address in your email address book, it is time to replace it with the new one.

Café Metropole Club 'Reports'

Tap this link to have a look at last week's ''Ozone Doesn't Help''photo: fiat 500 of the week club 'report.' There was a modest turnout of members, some new, mostly because the club never changes its time or location, and Patrick wasn't the 'Waiter of the Week.'

Long time not seen - the 'Fiat 500 of the Week.'

An few details concerning the club can be found neatly grouped on the 'About the Club' page, because there are no more than a few. The virtual club membership card on this page is still available for free, so long as you print your own. The card is valid worldwide 24 hours a day.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 16. October. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Sainte-Edwige. Probably nobody knows the story of this saint, and neither do I. She is not in the 'Saint's Book, nor anywhere else in the 'Nouveau Petit Larousse,' and not in the big red dictionary, and not in 'Der Sprach Brockhaus.' Despite all these lacks, I actually knew an Edwige once, but she emigrated to, I think, Ohio.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 7.42 - 14. Oct 2002 - For rhis week the Café Metropole column was headlined 'Fabulous Fictional Fall Weather.' The feature of the week was about the future with 'Le Mois de la Photo 2002' is Coming.' The Scene's column'stitled was ' Constable and Jimi Hendrix.' The club's update on 17. October had the 'Five Buckphoto: sign, rue ravignan Water' report. There were four stunning new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon was captioned, 'Nobel Peace Prize for Peanuts.' Quoi?

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 6.42 - 15. Oct 2001 - This issue started off with the Café Metropole column's blunt 'Not Sweet, Not Short.' The 'Au Bistro' column was headlined, 'Old, 'Frozen,' News.' A feature was titled, 'Light' From Hungary Is Brighter Than You Think.' The update for the Café Metropole Club's meeting on 18. October was titled the 'No Rules' report. The 'Scene' column was headlined, 'Christmas Starts Early.' Not this year. There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's 'Cartoon of the Week' was captioned, 'Our Illuminated Lion.'

In the Corner of the Countdowns

Hector Berlioz, formerly known as the face and baton on France's last 50-franc note, is having the 200th anniversary of his birth on Thursday, 11. December. After not having found fame in France for his music, he died 69 years later, 131 years ago.

Jim Auman wrote, 'Hector remains an outstanding figure in French romantic music. He was typical of the period, particularly in his literary interests. Beginning as a medical student, hephoto: sign, pelouze authorisee eventually entered the Paris Conservatoire. During musical slumps he earned his living as a critic and writer, which won him few friends.' The anniversary is 60 days from now.

Also, Jim's other 'countdown' was for last Saturday, 11. October, marking the 40th anniversary of the death of Edith Piaf. This was appropriately remembered in Paris - there is a modest expo for her at the Salon d'Acceuil in the Hôtel de Ville - and radio France-Info also mentioned that Jean Cocteau died on the same day. His expo is at the Pompidou Centre.

The number of days left this year is 79 - now a lot less than three months. Soon we'll be standing elbow to elbow in front of cheery department store windows gaily illuminated for Christmas, counting the months until next summer.
signature, regards, ric

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