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''Who Had Tea?''

photo, group, walter, shirley, sherry, susan, joanne, paul

From left, today's Walter, Shirley, Sherry, Susan,
Joanne and Paul.

Big Weekend Coming Up

Paris:– Thursday, 30. September 2004:– The autumnal equinox passed by just over a week ago but we still have quite a way to go until the winter solstice. With my use of these terms you are supposed to believe the rest of this weather forecast.

In the mornings it has been gray and damp, and it has been the same way some afternoons too. But today's afternoon was considerably kinder, with periods of sunshine and temperatures that may have reached 22 or 23 degrees.

Tonight's TV–weather news lady said tonight that the coming days will be 'correct' for this season. Tomorrow will start like today and the afternoon may be like today too, but the temperature probably won't get above 20 degrees.

The outlook for Saturday foresees more sunny periods but less temperature. With a high of 18 degrees forecast, I would hardly call it 'correct.' As they might say on TV, 'Sortez les muffles!' if you are going to be flinging yourself into the 'Nuit Blanche' throughout the wee hours of the night.

Sunday is racing day at Longchamp, so the forecast is on the edge of bad weather coming from the west and fairly sunny skies in the east. Plus or minus three hours or 200 kilometres will make all the difference, but we're supposed to be able to count on a high temperature of 21 degrees – which will be almost 'correct' for 3. October.

The Only New Club Report of the Week

I leave my humble abode in the 14th dressed for cool and damp fall weather and get into the damp andphoto, paul, joanne warm Métro for the ride to Châtelet, which I leave at the Cité station to search for the cooler outside. I am not as annoyed as you may think because my radiators were a bit warm before noon. They may be blazing by tonight.

Paul and Joanne.

As soon as I am in the sunlight on the Pont Neuf I feel very warm. It is a naturally warm bridge, even if it is pretty old. The five lines of traffic in front of Samaritaine are pretty warm too with all their motors running.

At the club's café La Corona there are even some people populating the terrace. It looks like a fine place to be with the bouquinistes across the street, some leaves falling off the trees and the dome of the Institut de France glinting golden across the Seine.

But there is nobody in the café's 'grande salle.' Installed in the club's area I enter the vital stats into the members' and reports' booklets.

Joanne Fischer and Paul Smith arrive from Houston. Joanne says, "We never come to Paris at this time, so I've left Gumby and Pokey at home!"

These club members have never been at a meeting before without Gumby and Pokey. Paul sneezes three times. Joanne says they were going to go down south to help with the harvest but the house there isn't finished. "It isn't even started," she says.

So they rented an apartment here and because it isn't their usual one, it was full of fleurs. For the first time in his life, Paul discovered that he is allergic to French fleurs. He couldn't figure it out, why he was sneezing.

The only fleurs in the club's area are some green leaves over by the club's Our Lady of the Madonna statue. Theyphoto, paul eating ice cream might be plastic. Paul says he didn't sneeze at all in Lyon, where they've just passed a few days.

Look closely to see Paul with a big ice cream cone.

"Lyon is so steep that your toes gets squished going downhill," Joanne says. I ask where the TGV station is. It is at the bottom of town, but Joanne says there is a funicular for going up. Neither mentions any sideways directions in Lyon, which is otherwise a pretty cool place to visit, and full of Lyonnais.

Paul asks me if I know the Italian ice cream place named Amoino near Buci. Since it is news to me he pulls out his camera and shows me a postage– stamp sized photo of himself with a great big ice cream cone. Through the telephoto lens I see it is Paul alright.

Shirley and Walter Pappas come in and sit down, shake hands, trade hometowns, and order drinks while Joanne is saying their toilet is so tiny that they have to back into it. And adds, "Our bus line 63 is going to be on strike tomorrow."

I don't know it yet, but I am writing today's report notes in the members' booklet. "Making groceries," is what you say when you are going shopping in New Orleans, according to Joanne.

Paul remembers having a French conversation in Lyon. "She gargled her 'r's – I said, 'Oh yeah, I can't say that.'"

The next to arrive is Susan Chaney from Fairfax, California. Susan's arrival is a slow process becausephoto, walter, shirley she has a broken foot. She found herself of the wrong end of a 'Jones Fracture' in Amsterdam. Various medical services in Paris are taking care of it.

Walter and Shirley.

We are talking about airport security, museum security, and getting frisked in general, when Sherry Quayle arrives from Atlanta. It is only 14 months since Sherry was last at a meeting, but I can't remember how to spell her last name.

I don't know who brings it up, but Joanne, Paul, Sherry, Shirley and Walter all say they have had great times going 'camping in the woods,' as Walter puts it. In fact, all the members go to other places besides Paris. Places like Utah.

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