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Snook of the Week

photo: group, tom, barbara, diana, kathy, lucky

The 'Group of the Week,' with Tom, Barbara, Diana,
Kathy and Lucky.

Another True 'First'

Paris:– Thursday, 22. July 2004:– It's official – we have Paris Plage and weather to suit, since yesterday. 'Suitable' weather is of course, tropical, to match the palms.

This means it is sunny in the morning and sunny for most of the afternoon, and then there is a storm, with lightning and thunder, and a lot of rain at night. It is also quite warm, maybe up to 30 degrees today, and the closer it gets to rain, the more humid it feels.

If it wasn't happening, I wouldn't say it is normal for Paris. Since it is happening I still say it isn't normal for Paris. This isn't Florida after all.

In other parts of France there were hailstones the size of hardballs, and in one town, all the roof tiles were smashed to pieces. Out in the country some vineyards were flattened too. Weather in France is becoming crazy.

During tonight's TV– weather news I stared hard at the screen but it didn't make a lot of sense. The trough I mentioned on Monday will still be around tomorrow, and it will be full of mixed pudding. No, make that stew. It'll be full of all kinds of weather except good weather.

The temperature should be a bit lower at 25, and it'll stay around this during the weekend. It might stay 25 next Monday, but this is beyond today's long–range area.

Saturday may be showing more sunshine. This may mean that the sky is half covered by clouds, and thephoto: swimming pool, paris plage other half may be sunny if the sun isn't behind any clouds. It may be a day with no storms at all. If so, it will be a boring weather day, but fairly nice, especially for people who like their weather to be there without being in their faces.

Real swimming pool, really beside the Seine, opened yesterday.

Sunday is confidently marked with my own hand as '1/2 sunny.' This is totally at odds with this morning's weather map in Le Parisien, but what the heck. Twenty–four and sunny for Paris and half–sunny everywhere else except the Côte d'Azur, where it'll be as brightly sunny as it has been for weeks.

A Significant 'Club Report of the Week'

Your club's secretary, wearing his 'Ed's' hat yesterday, took in the premiere of this year's Paris Plage before it got humid and the evening storm plopped on the city. On the way to the club today the secretary, not wearing any notional hat, inspected the rest of Paris Plage, from the Pont au Change almost to the Pont des Arts. Verdict – the 2004 model is more comfortable than the 2003 model.

The city discovered that it is hard to keep sand trapped to where it belongs, so some grass was substituted for it. Many people would rather have green stains on their feet bottoms than sand in their shoes. All the same I think they said they dumped 2000 tons of sand where commuters used to race their cars with abandon.

For beach fans who like it hot the location of Paris Plage in the gulch that contains the Seine is a perfect cooker if there's little wind. The coolest places are in the shade of bridges, where some of the public toilets are located, allowing two forms of relief at once.

On arrival at the club's café La Corona I was good and cooked. The shade on the terrace was deep, and the interiorphoto: sorbet of the week of the café's 'grande salle' was dim. Kathy Bahri of Nutley, New Jersey was waiting for me.

While taking off my cotton jacket and getting out the club's booklets, Kathy tells me how pickpockets operate at the Saint–Germain Métro station.

Bi–flavored 'Sorbet of the Week.'

They jam the ticket slot somehow and when your ticket is rejected they act impatient to fluster you into inattention. When you get through with the second try you find you've lost your stuff and to get back outside you have to go a long way around – and Monsieur Lightfingers is long gone. The Porte d'Orléans direction is where this is most likely to happen.

Too late to hear this vital information, Lucky Checkley arrives from Astoria, Queens, New York City. If the Tour de France is happening, you can almost bet on seeing Lucky in Paris. After 'hello' and handshakes, he says, "How do you pronounce Reims?"

'Rrrems,' I say, adding, 'Not to be confused with Rennnns,' for Rennes. Explaining where Rennes is, is not easy either and after several tries, I give up. Nobody needs to know where it is except people who live there.

New member Diana Goggin arrives from San Diego, California, at about the same time as Barbara and Tom Cooley arrive from Sanibel, Florida. Since we are all hot it is quickly established that Sanibel is more humid that San Diego, except for when Diana left it was melting out there too. Ditto, according to Lucky, for New York. Paris makes it four for four.

It is Diana's second time in Paris. Thephoto: pelforth of the week first time, last year, she broke a leg and spent ten days in the American Hospital in Neuilly. Besides being 'wonderful' she says most of the nurses were men and the food was good too. Despite it all, she is giving Paris a second chance – on account of what she missed last year.

Strong Pelforth 'Beer of the Week.'

The club has already booked a couple of members from Sanibel, Florida. Due to a usual fluke of a club mixup, Sanibel didn't become 'City of the Week' in August of 2001, so it does today.

For one thing, it is snook season now. Even though this fish is a protected type and seldom more than 50 centimetres long, and has to be thrown back if caught by snook–fans, it becomes the club's 'Fish of the Week.' It's been a fair number of weeks since we've had one.

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