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Headline of the Week

"LE CHOC" was on Le Parisien's front page last Thursday. The big news as all return to work after holidays often spent in crummy weather is that the 35–hour work week is in danger of being tossed out in favor of employers who like nothing more than getting extra work for less.

For the moment the governmentphoto: liberation crowd has put the '35–hours' up for discussion. Even the most moderate union thought it was a settled issue, but the employers' confederation is just as hostile to the measure as ever.

A small part of the crowd at the Mairie of the 14th arrondissement.

Below LE CHOC headline Le Parisien ran a half–page color photo of Wednesday's 'Libération' festivities. With flags flying, military uniforms and helmets and a lot of happy people, it kind of looked like the successful end of a popular revolution.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

Even though August is almost gone you can find the latest 'Bring Your Own Bottle' report still online. Members Nancy Macklin and Tony Wall entertained each other with Nancy giving Tony all her tips about where to find take–away wine and three–course meals for 7€.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 2. September. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Sainte–Ingrid. She was the granddaughter of King Knut of Sweden. On becoming a widow she went on a tour to the holy land and on her return via Rome gained the Pope's authorization to found a Dominican convent. She died a year after the convent was inaugurated in 1282, possibly in Skänninge.

More minor facts about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The graphic of the virtual club membership card on this page looks a thousand times better online than printed, but is free. The club membership itself is worthwhile, even if it's free too.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.36 – 1. Sept 2003 – this 'rentrée' issue had the Café Metropole column's 'Ne Ratez Pas Mars!' The 'Au Bistro' column news was shorter than the headline, with '3–Word News – RAIN in Paris!' This issue's feature was titled 'Plucky Henri IV – France's First, Best Bourbon.' Laurel Avery's 'Paris Life' was titled 'Jam Goo and Garden Dirt.' The Scène column was a carryover. The Café Metropole Club update for 4. September wasphoto: signs, denfert, tanguy rol called, "It's a Two Dog Day" report. There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and the caption of Ric's cartoon of the week was "We're Taking the Train!"

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 7.36 – 2. Sept 2002 – The title for the Café Metropole column was 'Resigned From Weather.' The headline for the 'Au Bistro' column was 'Amélie's Café Changes Hands.' The Scène column's lame title was also a carryover, of 'Issue 7.34's Repeats.' The Café Metropole Club update for 5. September ran with the headline of 'Illegal Parking Is Back' report. There were four back–to–school type 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, "Still Here!?!"

A Countdown Minus 7 Days

Only 10 days from today will be the occasion of the 500th birthday of the erection of Michelangelo's colossal statue of the biblical David in the Piazza Signoria, in the centre of Florence.

On that Thursday, 8. September in long–ago 1504 all was not rosy because Florentines took a violent exception to the monumental work, and threw rocks at it. In just over a week there will be a big birthday party, from Friday, 10. to Tuesday,14. September, to celebrate the statue's survival. Florentines are looking forward to seeing the latest results of the umpteenth restoration, because they've changed their minds about it.

Today's 'Birthday of the Week'

Actually there are several important birthdays to celebrate today. Jacques Necker was born on this day in 1732. Antoine Bourdelle in 1861 and Paul Valéry in 1871, were both born on 30. October. If we want to wait until 30. November, we can celebrate Grégoire de Tours' birthday. He was born in 539. His 'Saint's day' would be 17. November, if he hadn't been usurped by Sainte–Elizabeth.

This idea isn't turning out so well. This is the 19th anniversary of the death of Simone Signoret as well as the day, inphoto: sign, mosiac, pont des arts 1399, when Henry Tudor became King of England. He was also known as Henry Bolingbroke because he was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire. It is also a birthday for Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who was born in 1797. We can thank her for giving us 'Frankenstein.' Now that I've found my lost notes for Simone Signoret, I see they are too long.

Her first film seems to have been 'Boléro,' which was released in 1942. Her last films were both from 1982, and they were 'Guy de Maupassant' and 'L'Etoile du Nord.' In all, Simone Signoret played in 64 films. She won an Academy Award in 1960 for 'Room At the Top.'

What Is This?

There are only 123 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left' as at this time in August of 1748, when Jacques–Louis David was born somewhere in France, I think. This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 243 days, the same number that 420 had when Saint–Jérôme finished a very busy life. It is, however, not his 'Saint's Day' today.
signature, regards, ric

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