...Continued from page 1

We started early, but we got going late. We all kept out coats on because there wasn't any heat. In the thirdphoto: la coupole hour I started to think we should finish early. I started to think it might be warmer outside, and certainly warmer sitting here typing because I could put more on, or run around a bit.

I didn't leave first, but I did leave before the majority. I guess I shouldn't have gone without fresh movies to talk about, or odd experiences to relate. But I enjoyed listening. Every dinner party should have at least one guest who listens well. I like to think this even if I know it isn't true.

I think I understand now why I got invited to another dinner on 21. August. I think this amount of advance notice is supposed to allow me to catch up with a couple of movies, read a lot of Le Monde and Libération, have a holiday in Ireland, see my psychiatrist a few times, write two chapters of my autobiography and repaint my bathroom.

Right now 21. August seems the same as next year. By then all of tonight's guests will have had their holidays and seen the movies, and done the other things. But not me. I might clean my bathroom, but I'm not going to discuss it. Nothing I intend to do will be worth talking about. Only the things that I don't intend might be worth it.

Soldes d'Eté

The only official date for the summer sales – 'les soldes d'été' – that could concern anybody now is the last day of discount shopping on Saturday, 24. July. If you miss this deadline, you'll have to wait for the 'soldes d'hiver,' coming next January.

Headline of the Week

"PLUIE, VENT, FROID" was followed on the front page of Saturday's Le Parisien withphoto: fiat 500 "Jusqu'a Quand?" After having frightened everybody into buying air conditioning or a fan to combat the 'heat wave,' the paper now says we have the worst weather since 1941.

This week's 'Fiat 500 of the Week.'

Everybody else says this too. For once Parisians agree about something, but the downside to this is listening to everybody saying the same thing over and over. The paper says it is a winter depression, totally out of place in July. Today the paper sums it up with, 'Calamiteux!'

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

If your life seems hectic at the moment take a peek at the latest 'Talk of the Tour' report. The alternate title was 'My First Macaroon.' A club member wrote to deplore my deprived childhood, which was kind if unnecessary.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 15. July. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Saint–Donald. This is an obscure saint who apparently lived at Ogilvy in Forfarshire in the 8th century, and had nine beautiful daughters for helpers. Saint Donald was also good at finding hills and wells. But the Clan Donald is the main reason so many are named 'Donald' in Scotland. How this saint came to be on a French calendar remains unknown.

Some few minor and totally unimportant details about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The virtual club membership card on this page is still as free as canned fresh air and remains worth as much. Do not expect much if you want your money back.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.29 – 14. July 2003 – the headline for the Café Metropole column was, 'In the Tropics.' The 'Au Bistro' column's headline was, 'A New Six–Word 'News' Report.' This feature in this issue was titled 'A Bastille Day with No Score.' Laurel Avery contributed 'Weekend 'Jaw Cramp' Yum!' There were links to the two current Scène columns. The Café Metropole Club update for 17. July was titled, the 'Coincidental Meeting' report. There were four new 'Posters of the Week' andphoto: sign, rue sivel Ric's cartoon of the week was captioned, "You're too heavy!" Nothing against weight, but it was true.

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 7.29 – 15. July 2002 – The Café Metropole column was headlined, 'A Strange Thing Happened On Bastille Day.' The 'Au Bistro' column was 'Is Not Here This Week.' The issue's only feature was titled 'The 14th of July Surprise Party.' The Café Metropole Club update on 18. July was titled as the 'No Rules' Rule Kicks In' report. The two Scènes were titled 'There were two Scène columns, with the first titled 'Paris' Long Summer has More than a Short One.' The summer version was, ' A Lot of It Is Outdoors.' There were four summer–type 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'Beached Parisians.'

'Countdowns' – Suspension Continues

Find the exciting 'countdowns,' if you really miss them, in a recent issue by clicking here. Do not, I remind you yet again, forget to subtract 28 days from all count–down dates. All other expired 'countdowns' should be rolled over into the trash.

150 Years Ago

Today is, of all things, the birthday of Julius Caesar and another famous Italian who lived in France, Amedeo Modigliani. It is not certain whether this month was named after Julius or he was named after the month, but if he were alive today he would be circa 2104 years old. Amedeo would be 120 years old if he hadn't croaked in Montparnasse in 1920.

What was 150 years ago was the birth of George Eastman, who was born in Waterville, New York in 1854. Before George died leaving $100 million for good works to Rochester, he invented Kodak. This was pretty good for a guy who dropped out of school to go to work when he was 14.

George invented Kodak – dry film and a simple, cheap camera – because he didn't want to lug aroundphoto: sign, voie reservee, rue roger a 'horse–load' of a huge plate camera, its glass plates, jugs of chemicals, and a tent as a portable darkroom. George decided he could dream up something better, working at night in his mom's kitchen. In 1880 he shouted 'Eureka!' – and rented a loft in Rochester for making dry plates.

'Street reserved for cyclcists and pedestrians,' on Sundays.

The plates were still too heavy so George invented the Kodak camera in 1888 and the slogan that went with it, 'you press the button, we do the rest.' 'Kodak' was registered as a trademark the same year. The word means about as much as the Saint's Days in this column but the 'Kodak' name is still a great asset. Starting in 1889, George began profit sharing with his employees, and went on to donate a lot of money to schools, dental clinics and hospitals.

Despite making several fortunes out of photography; George Eastman did not like having his photo taken. He didn't like being ill either, and assisted himself out of this world when be was 77.

This Year Becomes Much Less, Even Quicker

After a week there are only 172 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left' as at this time in July of 44 BC. We probably have had the best 194 days of any year in our lives so far, if we stop to think of it. Regardless of your choice of days left, if not this year, make sure its 12. July has weather better than we have here.
signature, regards, ric

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