horz line

No Mucho Ado

photo, grocery shop, alimentation

Nothing 'hyper' about this corner grocery.

Headline Even Worse

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 8. November 2004:– The TV–weatherman has been warning me and I've been warning you and now both of us need to take it seriously. After years' worth of Nelly–mild Novembers, we have one of the old–fashioned kinds here.

This is what it means – there are winds cruising down from Lapland or Iceland and they are washing over northern France as if it was Belgium here. Le Parisien is still printing its weather maps in color, but it looks like a lost cause.

There are black clouds all over their wretched maps. They look like little muttons, black sheep, damp woolmice or all three. The country is pocked with them. It looks like the Orient Express has just choo–chooed past and every puff of smoke contains half a day's rain.

What did the man actually say? Well, he said, 'snow above 400 metres,' a couple of times. This means no snow on Montmartre because it is 299 metres above sea level, a 100 metres short. But all the same! It's only the beginning of November.

Most of the west of France is going to be very overcast tomorrow. Some of the rest of France will have doubtful skies, with maybe some sun peeps. It'll probably matter not at all because the overnight low here is supposed to be 5 degrees, and the freaking high has been forecast as 8 degrees.

On Wednesday, while winds pummel the north, the west will lighten up. This will leave the whole centre of the country covered with Tuesday's overcast. Snow may fall on heights above 300 metres. However the temperature will not be too bad because it is supposed to drop another degree, to 7. 'Not bad' because I thought the 7 was a 9.

Bad news for Thursday though. The whole country is expected to be cloudy all over, except for around Marseille. Winds will be howling down the Channel at 60 kph, which will drive the temperature down to a high of 6 degrees. This is not a nice outlook at all. Even if we haven't had any November weather like this for years, I don't know why we need it this year.

Café Life

No Mucho Ado

It turned out to be a week that got a pin stuck in it and the air came out slowly. The deflation was so soft it was hardly noticed. After so long a build–up here we are with empty hands and nothing to do.

So it was that I spent a completely non–political election night. We were summoned to Unclephoto, ghost house Den–Den's to assist Dimitri with his birthday, although I was totally unaware of it. It wasn't his birthday anyway – just a Tuesday that substituted for it.

Or maybe it was his birthday because it was election night in America. The truth of it will probably never be known now. As it was, Dimitri was late. Uncle Den–Den discovered he was out of mustard and he couldn't reach Dimitri to ask him to bring a pot.

This is a brilliant photo of a house that is not here.

At one point I had my coat on and five euros in hand, but Dimitri answered the phone and Yo'd the mustard. When he arrived it turned out to be used mustard, a half–full pot. Any mustard in a storm. All's well that ends with mustard.

We started off with salad. I got half of the big green hot thing, and I kept it. I've been in training to eat these hot things, and everybody else complained that there wasn't enough. I could have eaten another one too.

Then Dennis came in with the big pot full of sausages and potatoes. It had a sinful lot of sausages in it. In a restaurantphoto, temps des cerises, shop if you order these things you might get one, or two if they are chipolatas, but you never get three and ones stuffed with nuts and smoked ones. It was the hydrogen bomb pot of sausages. It explained the need for more mustard.

This is a shop not open.

Uncle Den–Den drank vodka with the Buffalo grass in it. He said it was medicinal, utterly necessary for combatting jet–lag picked up in San Francisco. There was some Greek wine too, and he kept asking about it. I think it was meant for the salad and was supposed to be finished before the sausages.

Hours later we were still eating sausages. I remember being surprised to see Dimitri about to blow out five candles on a birthday cake, with oranges on it. All I can remember is the sausages. I don't remember any cheese, but I might be wrong.

There were songs of course. Nigel sang the Maori song that Line sang last year. There's no program for these things, anybody can sing whenever they like. Somebody always does too. Just like Uncle Den–Den always gets a book to read. Last Thursday it was a big book full of the complete Alan Ginzberg. Somebody read 'America.'

Always the perfect host Uncle Den–Den wanted to know if anybody wanted to watch TV. He said Oleg had left a black–and–white set in a closet. He didn't know if it worked. Nobody suggested he find out.

It's hard to remember what happened after the sausages. It's hard to rememberhow the sausages ended. I think they were all eaten. I didn't bring any home with me so they must have all been eaten. Or maybe Dennis intended having one for breakfast.


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