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A World of Warm Airs

photo, sundown, seine, pont neuf, tour eiffel

On the beach in Paris last Friday.

Fun With Animals

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 15. August 2005:– Unlike last week's weather forecast that you were lucky to get, this week we are featuring weather that we will be lucky to have. While the rest of France suffers drought of varying intensities, Paris and the Ile–de–France has at least one day a week of some rain.

Do not misunderstand. The so–called rain is not tropical – it doesn't rain every day at 16:15 – and it is not British – it doesn't rain every day from 00:00 to 23:59. Our rain is random and apparently accidental. It happens now and then for 15 minutes, sometimes as mist, sometimes as serious rain, but never for more than 20 minutes. It can hardly be called rain, even if it is only wet sometimes.

Since it has become mid–August, today, we are expecting some rotten October weather at anyphoto, drinking fountain, paris plage minute. Therefore I am pleased with tonight's TV–weather news forecast, which foresees no rain, no cold, few clouds, hardly any wind, and lots of sunshine. In short, too good to be true.

You will have to get up before noon to see the clouds tomorrow, because the afternoon should be sunny with a high of 25 degrees. The same is expected for Wednesday but with three extra degrees and Friday is supposed to repeat – the impossible? – with a high expected of 29 degrees.

Free, zoomy, water on the beach.

Ever fearless, Météo Jim this week sends a near repeat weather note about terrible summer weather in and around New York City, not at all fit for woofers or other astro–meteo fans–

Major Sweat Repeats

This coming week will be a repeat of last week's forecast. Sirius and his lousy friends are woofing louder than ever. Yesterday La Grosse Pomme had an all time high temperature of 99 anglograd and Newark, in the eastern part of western Pommeland had a record of 102 anglograd – 37 and 39.5 eurograd, respectively. Tropical storm Irene, which had the potential of coming to Pommeland is now turning eastward into the North Atlantic. Good riddance.

Café Life

This is another incomplete semi–partial issue because of a rare malady often identified as 'no–holiday–blues.' I am willing enough to work but my body keeps lying down and having siestas. Even the go–go minister of the interior Nicolas Sarkozy managed to keep himself out of the news, so who am I to waste our time digging out what isn't there? Pretend this week isn't happening either, starting with the national holiday today.

A World of Warm Airs

It's August, time to leave the wars behind, leave the bitter words and thoughts behind, and forget about thephoto, plage theatre people being killed by hate or knives or guns or in their own cars, and leave the nothingness of television off. It's time to go out into the world of warm airs under a soft sky with a slice of moon floating past, following the sun drifting west to morning in the new world. –

Free, wild, theatre on the beach.

On most nights in August, Parisians are out solo and in groups, families, bands of friends, in short sleeves and shorts, in jeans and flowered dresses, bare arms and legs, mostly hatless and without umbrellas, gloves, scarves, because it is as mild at sundown as on a beach at Antibes.

The blue of the sky gets deeper, darker, with wisps of stray clouds looking like randomly sprayed paint. The sails along the river and the silhouettes of the palms add exotic black shapes to the skylight, contrasting with clouds of dark green leaves as the lights come on, mostly warm yellow, but depending on what they are shining through or on.

Odd how it seems quieter at night, with passing cruise boats powering downstream faster than the quick current, light laughter coming from the open decks followed by the murmur of exhaust burble. Cars and buses whisper along the quays and glide across the bridges floating in the blue river. Except for the drummers who may be Brazilians being percussive, voices are lost, wrapped inside the calm air. Even several hundred sitting on the boards of the Pont des Arts with their guitars, paintings and picnics, are so soft that they are secret.

Between the Institut and Saint–Germain the old streets are deserted and brown, with nothing on them other than lines of abandoned metal cars. The galleries that aren't closed for August are dark, whole streets are lifeless. The big café at the corner of Bonaparte has its lights dimmed and the people on its terrace are in the dark. The rest of the place is empty and only a few brave soldiers are camping on the terrace on the boulevard. If they don't know why they are there they don't know where to go either.

A waiter leaves the café with a small coffee and takes it to a clochard sitting on the sidewalk at the corner, across the street from the other café. The waiters across the street arephoto, ice cream kiosk, paris plage dressed in their black costumes with the long, white aprons, and their terrace is nearly empty too. They probably wished they had closed for the month like they used to.

Not so free ice cream, but on the beach.

There is one lone, lady guitarist playing for nobody by the church, next to the popcorn kiosque. It has one customer too, stepping up for a crêpe with Nutella, for a snack with strings. The lights make it look like a village party for one, on a night in August when everybody is in some other town somewhere else in the warm world.

Fun with Animals

TV–news has been scraping the summer barrel's bottom for two weeks now, stooping to showing us how holidayers are doing stuck up Alps, skiing in slush. At least there's been few stories about climbers falling off. There are usually a rash of them.

Dax down in the southwest has been getting a fair play for its feria. Tonight they showed little kids getting knocked over by really small calves, but they also showed some older kids getting into their suits of lights. Everybody else down there is dressed in white with a red scarf around their necks. It looks like fun and maybe not so rough as in Spain, especially with everybody in town playing in the colorful 'Bandas.'

Then TV–news says it's goingphoto, brasserie lipp to tell me about the Equiblues festival and I get ready to watch yet another army of fans camped out in a damp field somewhere listening to Celtic fiddles in the rain, and instead they show French cowboys not having their way riding bulls bareback for a whole eight seconds. France has gotten further out west than I realized.

Further afield, in the Quartier Latin.

This little shindig began in 1996 and now is an almost week–long annual affair in Saint–Agrève with barrel racing, roping, bronco riding, bull riding, and even 'cow–milking,' whatever that may be. Along with daily programs of cowboy sports, there's a lot of music too and western dancing – whole halls full of it. All the cowboys wear 15–litre Stetsons and the cute cowgirls wear the 10–gallon models. Yippee!

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The report about last Thursday's club meeting was not about 'Some Remote Places.' Heather, the club's number one member, the first to join it, walked into a no–member meeting and transformed it into being a meeting with member number one, a vast improvement over one without. The 'remote place' was somewhere in Indiana, unnamed, and thus failed to become a 'City of the Week.'

The weekly Thursday meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on a Thursday again, amazingly like most Thursdays. The Saint's 'Day of the Week' will be Sainte–Hélène. This 'Saint of the Week' was the wife of Constantius Chlorous – the pale one – a deputy co–emperor who was promoted to caesar in 293, and upped to 'august' in 305. Appointed by Diocletian, Constantius Chlorous was mild towards Christians, and was the father of Constantine the Great. Hélènephoto, popcorn, st germain might not have been the mother, for she was off in Jerusalem looking for relics of the 'true cross,' which were transferred to the abbey of Hautvillers in 845. If Diocletian, who retired in 305, knew of this, he probably didn't approve.

And here's popcorn, for no taste is overlooked.

Equally likely real notions about the club can be found on the 'About the Club' page should you happen to be in the area. The skillful sketch of the club membership card on the page looks as much like a membership card as horsewhip. Practically priceless, the club membership itself is worth quite a bit without actually being anything you would want to pawn.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 9.33/34 – 9/16. Aug. 2004 – this double issue's other Café Metropole' column asked, 'Work In August?' The 1st Café Metropole column headlined 'Spiderman's Summer.' The issue's Au Bistro column spoke of 'Nights In August, Smoke In Delambre.' The Scène columns detailed 'Many Photographers Coming Up' and kept up with 'Libération 1944' plus reminded all of '4 More Days of Paris Plage.' The update for the 12. August meeting of the Café Metropole Club was hardly credible as the 'Maybe Next Year' report and true to form on 19. August with the 'Tchaikovsky Rolled Over' report. There were sixphoto, sign, x-rue ferou old 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's weekly cartoon was snarky with the caption, "Go back if you want to."

This Was Metropole Three Years Ago

Issue 7.34 – 19. Aug 2002 – this issue's Café Metropole column was blistering with, 'Two Heatwaves.' The Au Bistro column was scrapped in favor of 'A Ranch Holiday with a Cat Named Tiger.' There were cool links to new Scène columns, titled 'Summer Is Not Over' and 'Coming Ultra Soon in September.' The report for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 22. August was headlined as the "You Need To Speak Antarctican!" report. There were four fantastic 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was less upbeat than a week earlier, with the caption "Nawwwwwwww... I'm staying here..."

Shining Moment 49

For the 23rd time almost in a row, this is not about some musty old saint, but instead is a pithy 'Quote of the Week.' Gilbert Keith Chesterton said, whispered, or may have written, "There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect." Yes, perhaps it goes through the nose.

If the Past Is Any Indication

Today marks the date in 1969 that the Woodstock Festival began, and it probably hasn'tphoto, sign, passage montbrun been forgotten by anybody who was awake at the time, including Joe Cocker. It happened on a cool and rainy three–day weekend with a planned attendance of 50,000. Advertised as a weekend of peace and love, 400,000 turned up to wallow in the mud, and most lived to buy the resulting video, so they could actually see and hear Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, Santana, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and the unforgettable Joe Cocker.

Very Old Patapsphysics

It was on this date in 1914 that the United States officially opened the Panama Canal. Europe was two weeks into a new war at the time and did not notice the event which took decades to achieve. There must have been something wrong with 15. August becausephoto, pont des arts many overlooked the forerunner of iTunes, when in 1877 Thomas Edison made the world's first recording of the popular hit single, Mary Had a Little Lamb. Then, just three days after the beginning of the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, Vopo Conrad Schumann jumped over the barbed wire and moved to Bavaria.

Cri du Cochon

This isn't an anniversary because it only happened yesterday. In front of 500 enthusiasts, the son and father team of Yohann and Olivier Roussel beat out six competitors to win the all–France championship of the cri du cochon. It was only Saturday that Roussel senior decided to enter the prestigious contest, and the team's sole training session was on Sunday morning. With a 'why not?' of true sportsmen, the duo managed to mimic the sounds of pigs in love most convincingly, to win the prize pig. The town of Trie–sur–Baïse organizes its fête du cochon annually and also gives a prize to whomever eats the most boudin.

Other, 'Unusual Dates of the Week'

There are only 138 days left of this year, which means this year has nearly expired. This is exactly the samephoto, sign, mosiac 1 number of 'days left,' as at this time in the year 30 BC when Cleopatra checked out. The 39 year–old Egyptian queen had a basket of figs delivered with a concealed asp and she stuck a finger in its deadly mouth. This is completely unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 227 days, the same number that 1769 had when Napoleone Buonaparte was born on the island of Corsica, far too early by 460 years and on the wrong island if he wanted to grow up to be one of the Knights of Saint–John of Rhodes, who share the date as an anniversary.
signature, regards, ric

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