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Frozen Weather

photo, winter in paris

Winter in Paris.

Brrrr, Cold Toes

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 28. February 2005:– Now they tell us. They say it gets extra cold like this 'about once every ten years.' If so, this will make it about my third time and I don't remember the last two. Of course it's probably my fault – I haven't been eating the right stuff that would help me survive a winter in the Arctic.

If you think I am just whining because my toes are cold you should know that Le Parisien agrees with me. Tomorrow is 'superbrrrr!' Wednesday is 'moinsbrrrr!' Thursday, uh–oh, 're–brrrr!' Finally, Friday has 'encore brrrr! waiting for us.

Tonight for example, the thermometre is supposed to dip down to minus 5 degrees. On Tuesday, while it is being cloudy all day, it will warm up to 2 degrees, possibly on account of aphoto, snow peugeot southwest wind of 60 kph.

Wednesday, the 'moins brrrr!' day, the high is still supposed to be 2 degrees, and the skies may be all bad too. Maybe there will be snow falling as well. But there may not be much wind, making it feel like a heatwave.

Not much snow didn't last long.

For Thursday I gave up trying to figure out a detailed analysis of the scrambled mess, and simply wrote 'all bad' on the paper's weather map. Along with this sketch of a description I noted the temperature predicted as one degree. If you are out in it, think positively and walk fast.

Café Life

9 Yards

The anniversary of this magazine has come around again. I had my mind focused on my cold toes sophoto, saxophone player this momentous occasion has snuck up without warning. I have no party planned. There's no cake, no candles, no Champagne, no funny hats and no surprise party. Well, if there is, it hasn't surprised me yet.

It means, dear readers, that Metropole Paris has just finished – last issue – its 9th year and with this issue is beginning its 10th year. Right. I'm so bad with numbers that I've just added it up. It's nine years alright.

Even in winter – saxophonist at practise.

I'm a little stunned. If I had been asked in 1996 whether I'd be writing this in 2005 I might have said, "Oh no, when the dot–com boom comes along, I'll cash out and move to the Canaries." I not only missed the boat, it bypassed the harbor. It didn't stop anywhere on this continent.

You know, this isn't exactly the first time I've been writing Metropole with cold toes. Nobody asked me in 1996 if my toes would be cold in 2005. If you ask me now, am I supposed to reply that my toes will be cold on 2011? I don't think so. I hope not.

To hell with this. I'm going to make my toes warm. If I think of anything else I'll just blog it in here.


These were a disappointment to me last week. Each and every one of them went out once a day, all at different times, so we didn't do any standing around on street corners shooting the breeze together. We spent all our times slithering around side streets trying to keep out of the bad winds. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't.photo, quai, ile de la cite

Headline of the Week

The week's super headline from Le Parisien on Saturday whispered "Visitez la plus grande ferme" seductively. Jacques, our leader, was at the Salon de l'Agriculture on Saturday because he always goes on the first day to pat the Blondes d'Aquitaine, or any one of eight breeds of pigs. TV–news has a field day too with endless scenes of Parisians 'visiting the farm' and sometimes shows brave farmers visiting Paris. All in all, it's welcome a change from our usual diet of sex, money, corruption, fame, strife and wretched excess.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The last club meeting's 'The Red Mugs' club report is more real than it sounds because the meeting really had some red coffee mugs. Members Berta and Scoop Maginniss brought some prototype mugs, red ones, with 'Café Metropole' onphoto, tuileries, concorde them. The idea is that you'll want a set of these so you can dream about being at the club in Paris no matter where you are. More details to come, soon I hope.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club is always on a Thursday still. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Saint–Gwenolé. This 'Saint of the Day' was a popular Breton monk who founded the abbey of Landévennec, in the harbor of Brest, late in the 5th century, and was a saint for a couple of very good reasons at the time.

More, largely true facts about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page. The informal design of the extra edgy club membership card on this page looks as much like brown paper art online as the Monoprix's brown paper bags, if it had brown paper. It is well enough to be true that the club membership itself is free too, which few should doubt.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.09 – 23. February – the Café Metropole column hailed its birthday with, 'Only Eight Once.' The news in the 'Au Bistro' column was headlined, 'Le Pen Taps Out – Fly the Friendly Skies of the TGV.' Laurel Avery's 'Paris Life detailed ' Getting Away from It All.' The update for the 26. February meeting of the Café Metropolephoto, sign, rue godot de mauroy Club was headlined, the "Café or Computer Mogul?" report. There were four wonderful 'Posters of the Week' and the caption for Ric's weekly cartoon asked, "Five fingers and three fingers makes..."

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 7.09/10 – 25. Feb 2002 – this week's Café Metropole column opened the issue with 'Surprise – We Are Seven!' The Au Bistro column's headline was, 'Chunnel Rocky Horror Hungry Trip' – a repeat from seven years earlier. The Scène column's headline was 'Much, Much, Way Much More.' The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 28. February was titled, the 'No Sausage of the Week' report. The next report on 7. March was headlined 'The Club Mutiny. Another first! There were six, encore average, 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was merely apt with,'7 Bougies At Last.'

Sweden's Calendar

For the second time, this is not about a saint. In 1700 Sweden decided that 1. March should follow, except inphoto, sign, fountain leap years, 28. February. Twelve years later Sweden tired of the novelty and reverted to the Julian calendar. It wasn't until 1753 that Sweden tried the Gregorian calendar again. Since then there has been no further updates and Sweden may have a calendar like the rest of us, but with its own saints, no doubt.

Club member, Jules Verne fan and New Jersey snow expert, Jim Auman has emailed more news about Christo's 7500 saffron gates in New York's Central Park. Since today these are being dismantled, regardless of the impending blizzard of snow expected to hit the region late today.

Today is also the 472nd birthday of Michel Eyquem de Montaigne. This French writer is well–known as the father of bloggers, being generally considered the inventor of the personal essay. First published in 1580 when he was retired, the 'Essais' stamped their author as a skeptic and a humanist. We can also thank Montaigne for inventing travel writing which he picked up while travelling around Europe looking for a cure for painful kidney stones.

So we'll take today's 'Quote of the Week' from him too. "Of all our infirmities, the most savage is to despise our being."

Today's 'Countdown' Under the Sea

The 100th anniversary of Jules Verne's death on 24. March 1905 is a mere 32 days from now. Prototype space machines and other gadgets for travelling to the centre of the earth, plus solar–powered submarines foreseen by neither Verne nor Da Vinci, are currently being tested by Richard Branson.

Interesting Anniversary of Note

This date, in 1683, is remembered in France's history for being the birth date of René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur. Some people got good educations in those days, and little René studiedphoto, sign, poubelle philosophy, civil law and mathematics, and physics, and at only 24 and in Paris, he was elected to the Académie des Sciences. Thereafter, for the next 50 years, he gave them a new paper every year almost. But he is fondly remembered here for having invented the Réaumur scale thermometre, in 1731.

Today's Other 'Nobel Dates of the Week'

There are only 306 days left of this year. This is exactly the same number of 'days left,' as at this time in 1712 when Louis–Joseph de Saint–Véran, marquis de Montcalm, seigneur de Candiac, Tournemine, Vestric, Saint–Julien et Arpaon, baron de Gabriac, was born. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 59 days, the same number that 1946 had when the sports daily 'L'Equipe' succeeded 'L'Auto–Vélo,' which had a bad name from the occupation. 'L'Equipe' switched from three times a week to daily in 1948.
signature, regards, ric

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