horz line

Sans Culottes

photo, cafe d'orleans

Something new – cafés blast spray over the terrace.

Wild Water Music

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 20. June 2005:– The weather hint for this week is as follows – I have down–shifted from sans manches to the extreme condition of sans culottes. Mind you, this is in the privacy of the Metropole suite of offices. You won't see me on the street like this. Put quite simply, on the day before summer, it is hot hot hot.

Early this afternoon the official blinking green–cross pharmacy sign registered 33 degrees and the air was like warm toast. I went out, bought some liquid, came back and took my pants off and turned on the fan. My humble quarters in Montparnasse are as air conditioned as they are able to get.

About tomorrow, according to tonight's TV–weather news, it is supposed to be a high we're under, but it will start with thin cloud cover but which will give way to blue skies and blazing sun. The high temperature is only expected to be 27 degrees, but this is above normal.

Oops – correction. I have just re–done last Monday's weather by looking at the wrong weather maps in a week–old paper, instead of today's where I scribbled the new score. I thought something seemed familiar.

Tuesday will start out cloudy but it will get more sunny as the day goes on – no, it will be cloudy here, with sunny skies out west and to the east. I think it is going to be humid and the high will be 29 degrees.

On Wednesday the outlook is pretty simple with one big sunball over the whole country except for two clouds hovering over Alsace. The forecast temperature is expected to be 30 degrees. The same holds for Thursday, but with the clouds lying to the west and hanging over the Channel coast, and sunshine everywhere else. The thermometre takes another little popdown blip, down to 28 degrees.

Hmm, I could have left as it was. But the weather must be about to change because the scribbles have completely defaced Le Parisien's maps.

From the other side of the Atlantic Météo Jim sends an meltdown versionphoto, hot, drink, water of baked apples in the guise of a forecast. Caught without oven mitts here in weather central, here is Jim's report with the forecast this week:–

Midsummer's Day

The weather in Pommeland for the beginning of last week was in the loo. Thermidor arrived, bringing with it the first canicule of the season. Temperatures were in the mid to upper 90's anglograd – 35+ eurograd. The weather began to cool off on Wednesday with the arrival of Vendémiaire temperatures. Sunday, la Fête des Pères, was cloudy with un–Messidor temperatures of 70 anglograd – 21 eurograd. The rest of the week, including Midsummer's Day, will be partly cloudy with temperatures in the mid 80's anglograd – 26 eurograd.

Café Life

Wild Water Music

This didn't start out to be much of an issue, and it is turning out to be even less than I thought it would be this morning. I have let the Scène columns slide by a week or two and when I came to do them I was surprised to find that there are a lot of new items. This is in addition to all the standard summer items that come along every year at this time. Anyhow, these are two columns that I worked on but haven't finished yet.

And, as I mention above, it is warm here. So long as it doesn't go above 40 degrees I am not going to say it's hot. But it does nothing to keep me from feeling like I've been sitting in a puddle all day long, with my glasses slipping down my nose.

Yeah, well, it isn't much of a nose and the glasses are old and loose. I should get a rubber band and rig up some sort of support. But I should really lie down and maybe they'll stay where they are.

On Saturday it was a couple of degrees less and I went over to the Parc Andre Citroën in the 15th arrondissement to see how the kids were making out in the water jets there. In my kid days there were lawn sprinklers and on hot days we used to go nuts running around on the grass and through the water spraying from the sprinklers. It was good cheap fun.

When they landscaped the Citroën park they put up two very big greenhouses and on a concrete platform between them water jets were installed, along with signs saying 'don't mess with the jets.'

Don't do this, don't do that, don't walk on the grass, keep out of the fountain, are all little pea–brained European no–nos. When I first came here everybody used to read these signs and do what they were told. We were allowed to look at the grass but not to touch.

But these days there just doesn't seem to be the manpower or the determination to enforce all the 'interdictions.' Whenphoto, car, cafe daguerre the sun comes out and the temperature gets above freezing a couple of thousand folks and their kids, their grannies and their babies, all bop over to the site of the old Citroën factory and lie on the grass, and leap around like lunatics in the water jets.

All the terraces are full night and day.

Oh, it must be fun. The water jets upwards with varying force, according to some program that runs the pumps. At times there is no water and sometimes it just bubbles up, and then it shoots up in three–metre high gobs, drops back to a spray of one metre, gushing in random spurts.

Surrounding there is lots of terrace where moms can watch their offspring caper about, water flies everywhere, and there doesn't seem to be any management around. There isn't a pool around without its water police, but here it looks like total anarchy. Best of all, it's open all the time and it's free.

That's it. This goes online and I go to nodland, maybe to get back here and get those Scène columns online. One item – when you read this, if it's tomorrow, it's the Fête de la Musique all day. Because it's the first day of summer. At last.

Soldes d'Ete Soon

Usual or not, the summer sales announced to begin next Friday, 24. June and continue until about Saturday, 23. July, are still scheduled. It just goes to show that if you can't afford the full price for a tiny bikini there must be less to it for more than meets the eye.

Rio de Bastille II

Wednesday, 13 July, is the eve of 'Bastille Day' and the star guest at big fête at the Bastille will be Gilberto Gil, Brazil's musical ambassador and current Minister of Culture.


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