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The 'Geopolitical' Meeting

photo: group, tomoko, heather, doug, karen, ike, kathy, jo verne

The 'Group of the Week,' from left – Tomoko, Heather, Doug,
Karen, Ike, Kathy and Jo Verne.

Memory On Holiday

Paris:– Thursday, 20. May 2004:– The prediction for the high to be replaced by a low today hasn't worked out. Instead the weather is like it was yesterday, very very sunny and warm – especially for May, and most other months too.

Some people are mildly complaining about the warm temperatures. These people are crazy. They don't know a good thing when they see it, or they are working in boulangeries right beside the oven. Well, it's just too bad if they don't like Paris to have a California climate.

Of course, they need to remember that this kind of weather doesn't happen often in Paris even in the right season. I asked my peanut and olive guy on the marché what he thought about the weather so far this year, and he said he thought it had been exceptionally cold.

I guess eating olives isn't any good for improving memory. He cracked his leg just before Christmas, leaving his wife to handle the outdoor stand through the worst of the winter while he stayed home eating olives and watching Mediterranean–type video movies.

By the time he got back to the job there was rare January heat wave. Then we got a taste of spring weather while it was still winter, and then we had several bouts of spring weather during spring, which almost never happens here.

Now we are having very respectable weather for July. Rack my memory with a nail file, but I don't remember summerphoto: joker water weather here in spring before. Mind you, if you aren't here to enjoy it don't think you can simply show up here a year from now and hope you are going to get the same treatment. Hah! What a hope! We can't expect it either.

Enough crowing. A thuggish and depressing low was predicted for today, and it's still predicted for tomorrow. I half–doubted today's forecasted weather on Monday, so I'll tell you what they're saying, with only a quarter of my heart in it.

It might stay sunny for the morning, but this may turn into partly sunny in the afternoon. The big change will be a temperature dump from today's 26 or more, to 18 degrees. There may also be a 50 kph wind from the north.

This muck is supposed to clear away for Saturday, when it should be partly sunny, but kind of cool with a high of only 16 degrees. Nearly the same thing for Sunday, but with more sun and one degree more celsius. The ultra long–range forecast for next Monday sees it being mostly sunny and a couple of degrees warmer.

A Sunny 'Club Report of the Week'

When I did the coming 'saints' thing on Monday, I forgot to mention that today is the holiday of Ascension. This kind of holiday is totally harmless unless you've got an appointment at a bank to ask for a mortgage. Banks are closed today.

Everything else is open, except for some small shops whose owners have taken the day off. In fact, many employees have taken the day off because they can make it into this May's only four–day weekend. In most years, May is usually good for a couple of four–day weekends and a couple of long ones but this year has been miserly on account of the crucial days falling on useless Saturdays.

Anyhow, with it being a day–off for everybody except your club's secretary, there are a lot of Parisians around not going anywhere very fast – including on the Seine–sidephoto: doug, karen, ike, kathy, jo verne speedways. It is like a day in summer, except for 95 percent of the tourists being Parisians. I never knew so many of them spoke Russian or German though.

Bonus photo of members – Doug, Karen, Ike, Kathy and Jo Verne.

In honor of the day, I go to the club using a new route. I take the Métro to the Cité stop and take a peek at the justice headquarters before taking the Quai de l'Horloge west beside the Seine. The Conciergerie looks like it is great shape, with very shiny new–looking stuff on its spires.

The clear sky does its part in making everything look clean and new even though just about everything is several centuries old. Tidy stone underfoot, the Pont Neuf being tidied up – a multi–year job – and the sand in the Place Dauphine looks cleaner than the floor of most birdcages.

On the Quai du Louvre most of the café terraces are fully stocked with folks hanging out on café terraces. The club's café, La Corona, has even extended its terrace and army of parasols to in front of the next–door souvenir shop.

All of the café's doors and windows are open. After the brightness outside, the red and yellow interior is dim but seems warm on account of the colors and the plants. The 'grande salle' is pretty empty, so I have no trouble at all to take over the secretary's place at the rear of it.

The only speck on this clean sheet is the traffic outside the café. Instead of being below on the speedway, it isphoto: sunglasses, coke stalled right in front of the café's terrace. Sun flashes off windshields, and blitzes the café's interior like a battery of electronic flashes.

I put my head down to enter in the date and meeting number – 238 – and get everything squared away so I can read the Métro's newspaper. I get half of the writing done before new member Karen Scott joins the club.

One of the member's cocktails today.

Karen says she has come from the 'Metropolitan part of New Jersey.' I think this is a new one, even if it isn't 'City of the Week.' But wait, there's more. This 'Metropolitan' part includes Lodi, in Bergen County.

What a co–incidence! Readers and members with acute memories will recall that the club had several meetings in the Café Lodi in late 2001 while La Corona was getting renovated. Which reminds me – the banquette fabric never did get changed, from it's deathly red to soothing buffalo beige. The Café Lodi, is, moreover, no longer. La Corona is forever.

Never no matter – Lodi in Nw Jersey can be this meeting's 'City of the Week' even if it is 'Metropolitan.' Karen also says she works in Manhattan, and was born in the Bronx, and she lived in Kingston, which was once New York State's first capital.

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