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A Household Hint

photo: cafe le rallye

Ordinary café in an ordinary quarter of Paris.

Fluff Follows Weather

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 22. March 2004:– Tonight's TV–news – after a vital but long report about the first round of yesterday's regional election results – had a report about how France–Météo's service will feature better forecasts starting in the summer.

The problem with France is it is too near a big ocean – the unpredictable Atlantic. If we want better weather, France should switch places with Austria. But the weather boys have been working on their problems, for years, and they think they'll be able to give better, longer–range predictions, next summer.

Meanwhile in the here are now, tonight's election news has taken so much time that the weather–news reduced its forecast from the usual three days – to tomorrow, Tuesday. This is supposed to be a day with partly sunny skies in the morning, getting less and less 'partly' as the day goes on.

Tomorrow's high of eight degrees may seem like less due to winds of 70 kph batting the northwest of the country. Whether these winds will penetrate as far as Paris is unknown, because winds are seldom taken into account in popular weather reports.

Today's Le Parisien managed to hit the streets with 15 extra pages with detailed voting results from Sunday'sphoto: poster hanger, gaite election. The paper's weather feature suffered a bit too with an absence of color, but managed to run its predictions out to the future as distant as next Friday.

Poster–hanging is not everybody's idea of paradise.

For Wednesday the paper says everything will be cold, but the high is still predicted to be eight degrees. Winds are indicated as being less, mostly blowing at 50 kph towards Cherbourg.

Thursday will be a day of total rain, I think. The temperature may hop up to ten degrees, and the wind will pick up 10 kph, but it is expected to blow out of the Channel towards the Atlantic. While I'm at this, I'll toss in Friday as well, with its party sunny–cloudy skies, its 12 degrees, and winds still blowing towards the Azores.

In text, Le Parisien says it will be all gray, but that we should be happy with the temperature. It concludes with a suggestion to be 'patient.'

Café Life

Toilet Seat Replacement Tips

In our modern age, in the 21st century no less, there are thousands of things that can go wrong within a household without warning. Along with light bulbs burning out for no reason, there is no way to prepare adequately for a busted toilet seat.

What are they made of? How, exactly, it is possible to break one without trying? Short of taking an axe to one – who, excepting the insane, would do such a thing? – a modern toilet seat should last a long long time, even if it is a cheap one.

Even though it is not my own toilet seat and I only rent it along with the apartment – there are, no doubt, apartments without toilet seats – it is a tenant's duty to maintain an apartment's accessories in good repair.

At first I considered repairing the toilet seat with superglue. I would have tried this if I had any. I went to Monoprix and was not too surprised that there were no toilet seats. Easter chocolates have displaced a lot of vital items. The bigger Montparnasse Inno didn't have any either.

The ones downtown at the BHV were too expensive. Samaritaine didn't seem to have any. Maybe there is a rash ofphoto: new toilet seat broken toilet seats going around. But BHV is having a sale, and there's one for 15€ in its catalogue, which includes a toilet paper roll holder and a toilet brush unit. The entire set would make a nice birthday gift so long as the birthday person likes white

A new, plain white toilet seat, origin unknown.

Finally, at Leroy Merlin, which has opened a big hardware store near Beaubourg, I found a classic model in white for 17.80€. The box it came in neglected to say where it was made, or what it is made of. It looks exactly the same as the one it replaces. It might be hard white goat cheese.

Editorial Notice

This column has become much longer than usual, so the remainder of it can be found on this week's unique 'Café 2' page, which is actually in this issue.

Headline of the Week

Today's 'LA SANCTION' on Le Parisien's front page is in type four millimetres taller than last week's 'BOULEVERSÉS,' measuring almost 40 millimetres. French voters turned out in force yesterday and gave the government's UMP party a sharp slap in the face in nationwide regional elections. The showdown comes next Sunday when voters return to the polls to separate the runners–up from the winners.

The 4th Semi–Repeat of Regular Plugs in March

Pop this link to a recent issue's 'Café' page, where the usual plugs encouraging 'support for this magazine' and its 'Lodging' page are impatiently waiting for you to visit them.

The Recent Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Have a look at the last meeting's text and photo version of the "Hi Mac!" club report. There was a fine time for somephoto: hotel de ville, expo commune new members and some existing members, who would have totalled 15 if all had been there at the same time.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 25. March. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Saint–Announciation. This one is not in the Saint's book. The big red dictionary says it is, 'The festival, on 25. March, in celebration of this event.'

The Commune didn't last forever and neither does its expo at the Hôtel de Ville.

Some minor details about the club can all be found on the 'About the Club' page. The virtual club membership card on this page is as free as standard air and valid for your whole lifetime, everywhere in the world.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.13/14 – 24/31. Mar 2003 – a Café Life column opened this double issue with 'A Fresh Air Weekend,' preceeding the Café Metropole column's own 'Limited Indestructible Sunshine.' The Scène column's title was 'Surreal René Magritte.' Thephoto: sign, pharmacy, 16 degrees first Café Metropole Club update for 27. March was titled the 'Red Dirt' Arrives In Paris!' report, followed by the update for 3. April, headlined the "Je ne suis pas content!" report. There were the usual four 'Posters of the Week' times two and Ric's cartoon of the week was captioned 'Springtime for Some.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 7.13/14 – 25. March 2002 – in another double issue the Café Metropole column began with 'Taking Another Powder To New York.' This smallish issue had one feature titled 'Do–It–Yourselfers at the Salon du Livre.' There were two Café Metropole Club updates, for 28. March and 4. April, but the 'report' for them was in issue 7.15. The Scène column's title was 'Brava At the Café de Flore.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's cartoon caption of the week was captioned 'Easter Recycled.' 'Ed' must have been in a hurry to get out of town.

Countdowns – Why a Come–Back?

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Frédéric–August Bartholdi, the designer of the Stature of Liberty. His death occurred on Tuesday, 4. October. This is 197 days from now. Learn more about Bartholdi's life and works by visiting the virtual Musée–Bartholdi, plus the real one as well if you happen to be in France.

For a major literary dude, we can also be 'counting–down' to the 150th anniversary of the birthdate of Jean– Nicolas–Arthur Rimbaud, which is on Wednesday, 20. October, 213 days from now.

An even bigger literary razzle–dazzle will be made this year for George Sand, who was born 200 years ago on Sunday, 1. July 1804. This year will officially be the 'Année George Sand' all year long. For lots more, Cécile Pichot's Web site is worth a visit as is the one run by Marc Nadaux. This 'countdown' lasts 102 days, until 1. July.

The date of the Normandy landings in WWII was on Tuesday, 6. June 1944. The 60th anniversary of this fateful day for 2,846,439 allied liberators is 77 days from now, on a Sunday this year.

Another WWII event 60 years ago to note is the Liberation of Paris. Its official date is Friday, 25. August 1944, which will be celebrated is 157 days from now. The 'Liberation' started on Tuesday, 15. August, with a strike – by the Métro and the police – followed by more strikes until the shooting was over. Some sporadic strikes still continue.

Some Olympic Fans may be out of their heads with joy to learn that the Olympic flame will be hustled through Paris by a series of torch–bearers on Friday, 25 June – as part of its journey back to Athens for the summer Olympics – which are called 'JO' here. This is only 96 days from today.

Many Paris Commune fans may wish to change their travel plans because Les Amis de la Commune of 1871 will be presenting an exhibitionphoto: sign, rue pierre au lard about the Commune until Thursday, 8. April in the Hôtel de Ville, one of the prime locations of the original show – which featured burning the Hôtel de Ville to the ground.

After getting the Tribune to vote in favor of inventing the title of Emperor for Napoleon on 3. May 1804, the Senat passed the measure on 18. May. A plebiscite was held and 3,572,329 French voted for the measure, while 2569 reckless souls voted against it. The results were announced six days before the coronation that took place on Sunday, 2. December.

Pope Puis VII was to place the new crown on Napoleon's head, but balked until the First Consul made an honest man of himself by marrying Josephine in a church, which he did just in time on 1. December. The way was then clear for the big show at Notre Dame the following day, when Napoleon crowed himself which was a serious display of bad manners.

Part of the official record is David's painting of it. But slighted by getting only two entry tickets for the ceremony, the artist depicted Napoleon crowning Josephine instead. David also added his own inlaws who were not invited, and Napoleon's mom, who was sulking in Italy at the time. The 200th anniversary of this dubious event is 263 days from now.

Sail Away, 2004

There are still about 284 days left this year. But nothing is lost. Everything in Paris is still getting older by the minute, just as it has been doing ever day for over 2000 years.

There was no formal 'Ric's Day Off' last week in spite of its success the week before. However I clearly recall that there was very good weather for 'Ric's Day Off' and some of it was spent in a small park sitting in the sunshine watching some sort of strange bird build a nest out of common twigs.
signature, regards, ric

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