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Honolulu 'First'

photo, group, dan, doug, tomoko, lennie, sandor, olga

Today's group of Dan, Doug, Tomoko, Lennie, Sandor and Olga.

Everglades Weather

Paris:– Thursday, 23. June 2005:– Last week residents and club members were making remarks about the good weather. This week they are making remarks about these good weather forecasts you read here.

I have never tried to present myself as a bona–fide weather dude. I have done my best to make you disbelieve in weather 'facts.' Everything is relative – to absolutely nothing! Today's weather has no relation to yesterday's, or last year's on the same date. It's all a random lottery. Not even the house has fair odds in the global weather poker.

Take today for example. Forget whatever I forecast on Monday for starters. Today was sunny and it was hot and gradually it got cloudier and hotter, and more humid, and hotter. The streets became deserted. Dogs sought cover, and all Englishmen disappeared into the officer's mess to drench themselves with gin.

At 17:00 precisely it began to rain and one minute later the wind began to blow and a minute afterwards lightening slashed the dirty sky over the Institut de France like a fiery icepick slicing the Opéra's curtains to shreds, and 90 seconds later thunder crashed like an empty Airbus landing in the path of a speeding TGV. Then five centimetres of rain flooded Paris in 20 minutes. None of this was in anybody's program!

And summer had such a nice beginning only two days ago on 21. June. It was clear and warm to hot and all of Paris had its windows open and its sleeves rolled up. On Tuesday we all went out and had about the best Fête de la Musique in its 24–yearphoto, orange juice history. We voted for swing.

In case anybody slept through today's heavenly spectacular, I have good news for you. The forecast is for more of the same tonight and more of the same tomorrow. Storms will be moving east, where the sun will be shining, and the pressure will drop as the moisture in the air rises, and you will think – if you can – that we have a Brazilian kind of tropical whatsit here. Friday's high has been forecast to be 34 degrees.

Oranges mixed with oranges makes a yummy orange cocktail.

On Saturday all of this circus is supposed to have passed to the east, leaving this area either partly or mostly sunny, with a high of a reasonable 26 degrees. The same is predicted for Sunday, perhaps a bit cloudier, but with the same temperature. Now, I want you to remember the opening above, and do not fail to take an umbrella.

The 'Honolulu 'First' Report of the Week

When I get to the bakery today the ladies who work in it are out on the sidewalk waiting for customers because it's a bit warm inside on account of the oven. In winter it's the opposite – people go in the bakery just to get warm and buy a loaf as a thank–you. Now you know why there are so many bakeries in Paris.

I do not turn on my fan when I get back to Metropole world headquarters because I left it on when I went out. It's a good fan but it's so small it only moves a cubic metre of air around in circles. It is more like a psycho–fan.

Soon there isn't any excuse for not going to the club meeting today so I heft my heavy black bag and trudge off to the Métro at Raspail, which of course is like a sauna underground. Soon I know what 'exhausted' means. Too many people are breathing out. I hold my breath until Odéon and then jump the train.

The sidewalks are nearly deserted on the way to the bridge. The sidewalks are also more narrow than usual because the few pedestrians are trying to keep to the shade. At the bridge there is no shade unless you jump off. It's a long way across today.

Samaritaine is very closed. A sign on the display window says the closing is temporary, and employees should check in somewhere around the corner. The old lady is still in the newspaper kiosk so I get Le Parisien from her. The tiny place is like an oven.

At the club's café, La Corona, waiters are looking like they are in shock. Patrick, the 'Waiter of the Week,' says there are no customers on the terrace because it's too hot and there'sphoto, water, cafe cup too much pollution. The Quai du Louvre is solidly clogged with cars, scooters, trucks and buses, about like, normal.

I stand for a while to dry off. The windows are closed in the club's area, but I decide not to sit by the open window and door. Of the two I decide the other is the lesser, and sit in my usual secretary spot and fill in the meeting's data with the 'space' pen Dan gave me.

Not gin, not vodka, but pure H2O, cold and good.

Olga and Dan arrive shortly after. They look hot. They are hot. Dan orders two small cafés and an orange juice for me. They nearly missed the Fête de la Musique because they forgot about it, until late in the afternoon when they kept stumbling on musicians on every corner. About going to see Tomoko and her 'Beatles Story' they forgot completely, not just because it was out of town in some place like Courbevoie.

They found themselves listening to classical music in a cellar at the Czech cultural centre. "It was really good, but it was really hot!" Dan says. Then they came across an old guitarist who does 'American jazz.' But first, "It all started out in the café," Dan explains, telling me about the circuit of cafés he's made into a daily route on this visit.

Then there's this member, in trekking gear, and I remember his first name because it's Sandor Brent, from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sandor sets my misconception about Santa Fe's desert climate straight by pointing out that the altitude is 7200 feet. I don't remember anybody mentioning this before.

Well, in this town we have Everglades weather today. This is when new members Lennie and Doug Carlson walk in, not quite directly from Honolulu, Hawaii. In fact they are coming from Lyon, and its pollution alert. No, they were up some mountain near Megève – was it Mont lanc?

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