horz line

'Unpredictable' Indianapolis

photo: group, lyndee, tomoko, larry, kathryn, heather, phil, kellsey

Today's group, from left, Lyndee, Tomoko, Larry, Kathryn,
Heather, Phil and Kellsey.

Is 'City of the Week' Anyway

Paris:– Thursday, 1. April 2004:– 'The weather, what's it doing?' This is the question at the top of each day's weather and astrology page in Le Parisien. Usually, unless it's the middle of the night, you can look out most windows and see the answer.

As for astrology, if you were born today, your sign is 'Belier' – which is some sort of goat – and you can expect some bo–bos with your girlfriend, but not grave ones – you should try domination as a solution. With everybody else, try to maintain good relations. Finally, try to relax. If it was tomorrow, you should take a walk.

The reason there are usually weather forecasts, predictions and soothsaying here instead of astrology, is because my view of what's coming could be out of my bathroom window, but all I can see is either up, or the backs of sad buildings in the Rue Cels.

If I look out my main window, it looks north over the Montparnasse cemetery, but I can't look west because leaning out could be dangerous, and there's some high buildings at Montparnasse in the way. All I knowphoto: champagne cork about the weather is what's happening right in front right now, except at night. This is the lame reason I have for passing on the ultra– accurate forecasts and predictions from Le Parisien and the TV–weather news.

First off – spring is here. The regression back to winter is still ten days off, to be at Easter. Tomorrow will be semi–cloudy in the morning and semi–sunny in the afternoon. Breezes from the south will bring the temperature up to 15 degrees, down from a glorious 20 today.

Today's orphan of a Champagne cork.

Saturday is expected to be half–hearted sunny if the weather front being blown in from the Atlantic doesn't get here too soon. One degree will fall off the highest temperature. Wrinkled prunes are in the cards for Sunday, with mostly cloudy–partly sunny and maybe some rain in between. The temperature is expected to hold steady at 14 degrees.

Le Parisien has a more optimistic forecast with slightly higher temperatures, but is unlikely to be true because I'm supposed to be 'resplendissant' today, astrology-wise.

The April Fool's 'Club Report of the Week'

Don't let today's 'report' title put you off. It is not the club's fault that today is Thursday, 1. April 2004 – it is just one of these celestial things that happen somewhat less often than Caesar crossing the Rubicon in 49 BC on his way to visit Paris, three years later.

It is in sunshine, not under Monday's predicted cloudy skies, that I proceed to the club, early enough to leave the Métro and walk part of the way. I will say there are some strange breezes blowing around unpredictably.

But in the Place Dauphine there are none. This place has an unusual shape and a wind–unfriendly geographical axis, making it one of the city's real oasis, right on western part of the Ile de la Cité. Youphoto: before chocolat can come in here expecting the pétanque World Championships year after year, and they are never happening. Maybe at night, sometimes. Boules don't make much noise.

A hot chocolate as it looks 'before.'

Ah, yes, here I am crossing from the Quartier Latin to the right bank by way of the Pont Neuf, which far from being Paris' newest bridge. It is sturdy though, being made out of good old stones – some of which are being slowly fixed up. Even stone wears out a bit after a couple of centuries.

In the club's café, La Corona, Monsieur Naudan says the French equivalent of 'Hey! when we meet. It actually sounds quite a bit like 'Hey!' – but I can't help him out at all with a prediction of the numbers of new members and club members who will attend the meeting today.

I have no sooner scooped up a left–over orphaned Champagne cork and straightened out the club's tables into a military line than club member number one, Heather Stimmler–Hall, arrives.

Heather says we should hold the meeting outside on the café's terrace, which is fully sunlit. On the road, right beside the terrace, there are thousands of cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles waiting for the lights to change at Pont Neuf. There are more than usual for the time of day, so they are worse than usual.

We discuss the bumper–sticker contest. It is cruising along nicely, but it may be that I am getting more entries. Heather's Internet connection is a bit fragmentary on account of moving.

Either at 15:00 or shortly after, we are joined by new members from Indianapolis, Indiana. These are Phil Yager and his daughter Kathryn, and Kathryn's schoolfriend, Kellsey James. They are in Paris for a short visit, because of a short break in the school year in Indianapolis – which is the 'City of the Week.' It is, for all of them, their first visit to Paris.

Heather, who notices these thing, notices Kellsey's cat badge, which she identifies as an 'Emilie.' It gets photographed, with the intention of finding out about it later – but Heather is cataloguing every other accessory being worn by Kellsey, and it's not a short list.

My attention wanders away from accessories because the next to arrive are last week's new members, Lyndee and Larry Mann, from last week's 'City of the Week,' Portland, Oregon.

Lyndee says she had a dental adventure during the week. Unfortunately it was unresolved, because the dentistphoto: drinks, tray, patrick decided it could wait until the Manns return to Portland later this month. Obviously the dentist wasn't thinking clearly – being in Paris with a toothache is worse than being at home.

On the other hand, Lyndee says the dental cabinet was full of the noise of concrete destruction hammers rattling away, so it was a relief to get out of it.

Patrick, with overloaded tray of drinks, omits the secretary's café.

To ease the pressure, Heather produces a photo of club members Pedro and Lena, and asks Kathryn and Kellsey if they've seen the horses at Chantilly, where they have fancy stables. But no, their visit will be too short for this excursion.

There seem to be quite a few thirsty club members by 15:30 when Patrick, the 'Waiter of the Week,' shows up with a fully laden tray of drinks for everybody. Phil, Kathryn and Kellsey all have big bowls of – I smell not café, but chocolate.

At first I'm not sure. It has been such a long time since I've smelled any hot chocolate at a club meeting or anywhere else, that it takes mea few seconds to identify it. Even if 'out of season' for the time of the year, I am pleased to be able to declare something other than water as the 'Drink of the Week.'

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