...Continued from page 1

'LES REVOILÀ!' – in letters 37 mm high, is last Thursday's Le Parisien headline, announcing that Prime Minister Jean–Pierre Raffarin's third government contains more than a couple of familiar faces, recycled from what is called here simply, 'Raffarin II.' Many voters were also surprised to find a recycled Prime Minister. Jacques Chirac went on TV to tell the nation that 'he got the message,' but it's hard to tell what difference it has made. From last Webesday's Le Parisien, the 40 mm high headline 'RISQUÉ!' sums up the situation.

The First Bi–Weekly Repeat of Plugs in April

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

Last Thursday's Café Metropole Club 'Report'

To keep up to date take look at the last meeting's version of the 'Unpredictable' Indianapolis is a 'Cityphoto: blossums, sq st lambert of the Week' club report. The 'unpredictable' about Indianapolis was never explained but nobody other than 'Ed' seemed to notice.

Despite a spring's recession, blossums are already out.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club is on Thursday, 8. April. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Sainte–Julie. Frankly, I am starting to doubt that my calendar has real French saints. The only Julie that was a saint – martyred in the 5th century – is supposed to have Saturday, 22. May for a day, but this is occupied by Saint–Emile. Then there was Julie, Augustus' daughter, who was said to have 'deregulated' morals, who died in the year 14 but not as a saint.

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 8.15 – 7. April 2003 – for this tiny issue the Café Metropole column's headline was 'Dozy in Paris, More Air, More Fresh,' which was followed by the brief 'Au Bistro' column's 'In Only 22 Words.' The Scène column's title was 'From Gauguin to Ming.' The Café Metropole Club update for 10. April was titled, 'The Return of Bongo' report. The four new 'Postersphoto: sign, rue du theatre of the Week' were on view and Ric's cartoon of the week was captioned 'Only Smoking is Legal.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 7.15 – 8. April 2002 – this week's Café Metropole column's was titled 'A Smaller, Return–to–Work Issue,' because of 'Ed' having been in New York. The 'Au Bistro' column was omitted in favor of a rare baseball report, titled 'Big–Time Baseball As Seen from a High Place.' The Café Metropole Club updates on 28. March and 4. April were ably handled by Linda Thalman. The 11. April club update was titled, "The Only Shopping This Time" report. There were four colorful 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's cartoon caption of the week was captioned, 'Happy Landings.'

Paris Fêtes the Queen

To the delight of all secret royalists in France, Queen Elizabeth II – not to be confused with a boat – arrived in France today for a three–day blitz– visit. The reason for the visit is the 100th anniversary of the 'Entente Cordiale,' which has nothing to do with something you add to ultra–dry white wine to make it drinkable.

After about 874 years of intense rivalry between France and Britain, the two countries discovered that peace had broken out and decided about 24 years later – in 1904 – to divide the colonial world between themselves and quit bickering. This 'gentlemen's agreement' – which excluded colonial power Germany – could be seen as one of the historical issues that caused World Wars One and Two, but nobody in France is quibbling today because Germany is a €–land and Britain is not.

After the horrendous traffic jams caused by the Paris visit of China's president in January, the Queen's itinerary has been modified so that only the areas of the Elysée Palace and the Champs–Elysées will be affected today. The Queen arrived about 15:00 via the Eurostar at Gare du Nord, and that sector was affected too.

The Queen expressed a desire for a stroll in the Rue du Faubourg–Saint– Honoré later this afternoon – in a breezy drizzle, from the Elysée Palace tophoto: sign, vdep, les pelouses sont en repos hivernal the British Embassy. Parisians who may wish to see the Queen have been advised to use public transport, even if selected Métro stations are closed, and 21 bus lines have been disrupted.

'The grass in this garden is in winter sleep until 15. April.'

For Tuesday, motorists have been advised by the prefecture to avoid the Bastille area, followed by the Hôtel de Ville, and Montorgueil which is near enough to Les Halles to cause total havoc on Sébasto. In a charged schedule, the Queen and Prince Phil are also supposed to pay lightening visits to the British art section in the Louvre, and the Queen is supposed to address deputies and senators at the Senat in French.

Luckily, the Queen's schedule for Wednesday is programmed for a visit to Toulouse to visit the Airbus works. By noon her passage out of Paris via Invalides, Denfert–Rochereau and the Porte d'Orléans, should be history.

This is the Queen's fourth state visit to Paris since 1957. According to Le Parisien, the Queen is on a PR visit to Paris and Toulouse because of some tense moments between Jacques and Tony, even though the 'Entente Cordiale' is still in effect.

While Germany's Gerhard hasn't been invited, and the British and the French are expected to co–operate on building aircraft carriers, other Europeans are a bit worried about a possible new–version Germano–Franco–Brito 'Entente Cordiale.'

'Non' au Countdowns

On account of the extraordinary 'Fête' above, the tedious countdowns usually found in this space have been banished to last week's issue. If you care to read them again, do not forget to subtract about seven days from all dates, except the original ones that the countdowns are based on. So sorry!

2004 Won't Last Forever

It is too soon to say whether this year will be worth remembering or not. The least we can do is keep track of its disappearance. As of today there are about 270 days left in this year. In Paris nothing is getting any younger by the minute, just as it has been not doing so every day for over 2052 years – which amounts to, very roughly, about 749,000 days.

'Ric's Day Off' last week was another good–weather day but none of it was spent in a small park sitting in the sunshine watching some sort of strange bird building a nest. After proof–reading last week's issue, no time was left for idle pursuits of any kind.
signature, regards, ric

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