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Fun With Hexagons

photo, group, dan, olga, sharon, elliot, lucy, doug, lennie

Today's 'Group of the Week.' Who else could it be?.

Buy this Fishing Rod!

Paris:– Thursday, 30. June 2005:– I knew it would happen. No sooner does somebody write here that the sun is shining and the air is warm than many readers think they can read between the lines and translate a rare and freak occurrence into a generalization about Paris being hot and uncomfortable in the summer.

For the past couple of weeks the temperatures have been warm – between 25 and 30 degrees. The sun has also been shining a lot, but it has been humid and these bright times have turned over and dropped tropical showers with lightning and thunder on us. None of this is 'normal,' not at all!photo, schnapps of the year

Here is a true and real forecast for summer weather in Paris. Tomorrow is supposed to be gray, not sunny. I wrote down 'partly cloudy' while watching the opening of the TV–news weather forecast, and then downgraded it to 'gray.' The overnight low could be 14 degrees and tomorrow's high may be 22 degrees. This is absolutely 'normal' for 1. July.

Saturday might be a bit cheerier, maybe working up to being partly sunny, with a high predicted of 24 degrees. We can only hope that some mucky old clouds sitting further north don't lose their suspension and fall lower.

Sunday might be a very nice day with lots of sunshine, if the cloud front hanging around the Channel isn't here by then. With a forecast temperature of 26 degrees, you could say this will be an ideal summer day, if it comes true.

The 'Plum Schnapps of the Year.' See below if curious.

This is a honest weather forecast, meant to give you an idea of the range from 'normal' weather to exceptional weather. 'Normal' is called normal because it is what happens here most of the time if we are lucky. Although France is the birthplace of exceptions, exceptional weather around Paris is extremely rare. If it could be put on a shelf, we would treasure it.

The 'Buy this Fishing Rod' Report of the Week

To start the day around noon with pleasant weather is a relief but I am not unhappy to leave my paradise in Montparnasse because some working stiffs are upstairs hacking away with sledgehammers, concrete–piercing drills, hacksaws, powersaws, pneumatic chisels and, I think, banging on old pots for the sheer hell of it. They are exuberant and I've got a headache.

So it's whee and off to the club because it's Thursday again, down under the trees that I think are limes because whenphoto, dan, olga it gets hot they give off a scent, and past the aubergiste where folks eat hearty meals fit for starving loggers, and through the cool shade from the plane trees along by the cemetery, to the Métro at Raspail.

Dan and Olga are only taking half of their holidays.

After Odéon when I am shortcutting through the Cours du Commerce Saint–André I see the Joe collecting signatures in the same place as last week. We are old pals now and he waves me past.

For an old bridge the Pont Neuf is holding up well today, and its renovations are coming along fine even if the stoneworkers are taking siestas on the scaffolding under the bridge where nobody can see them. On the other side the old lady in the paper kiosk is still holding on and I buy her last copy of Le Parisien.

Outside the club's café Monsieur Ferrat tells me that people are mean by not hanging around on thephoto, cream pot of the day terrace. I suggest that none of the horde of passing girls can afford a drink and he shrugs. Maybe they shouldn't walk around in Paris if they can't afford to sit down.

Across the street there are a fleet of trucks parked inside a fenced area adjacent to the Louvre, all the way from the quay back to Rivoli. There must be 30 trunks and caravans in there. Monsieur Ferrat says they're part of the support for the filming of the movie, the Da Vinci Code.

I let them get on with it, and get set up in the club's area in the café's 'grande salle.' Before long, within four minutes, Olga and Dan Ciupitu, join me and I put away the paper after reading that the first scene was shot at the Ritz.

Close behind are Sharon Page and Elliot Medrich, from Oakland, California, with Lucy. It is a first for Lucy, who has brought a book to read, and it is a first for Sharon and Elliot to be here in a month that is not December.

Olga and Dan were in Saarbrüken on the weekend and give a report about a colony of Russians who have settled there because the unemployment benefits are good. Otherwise Saarbrükenphoto, sharon, elliot, lucy is interesting because it is almost in three other countries. As Dan says, you might go through four frontiers just to have a meal.

While a first time for Lucy, Sharon and Elliot are usually here in December.

This brings on a discussion of geography, after someone mentions that France is nicknamed the hexagon. Again this is an exception because I claim there are only six sides, two short of... moment mal! How long has 'hex' been short for six? Ah, I see, it's Greek. Means for a long time. That's why they laughed.

So we switch to literature, and specifically to Jack London, who apparently could not get his books published – who wrote 'Martin Eden,' about a writer who couldn't get published until he changed his name and became a best–selling author.

Then Dan has a story about a Russian writer who really did this. He claimed he was the French translator of his book, and it was a huge success. Then they found out he wrote it, in French, and then everybody got sore.

To Sharon's, or Elliot's question, Dan says that he and Olga are in Europe 'seeking answers.' Most people comephoto, wine of the week to Paris to look at it or hang out, so it is not usual being philosophical. Dan doesn't think I should note this, and I haven't really.

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