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'Not Any Fringe'

photo, group, edna, bob bradley

The 'Group of the Week' is Edna and Bob.

Your Mainstream Club

Paris:– Thursday, 18. August 2005:– Looking back, something I'm not supposed to do, I see that my forecast on Monday was sufficiently vague to cover today's temperature of 31 degrees. I seem to have left off a prediction for Thursday and put in a high temperature for Friday instead. Well, it came a day early.

Today's paper went out on a greased pole and forecast a high of 30 for today. There were some nice little breezes too and the humidity was low at 45 percent. It was, yet again, weather Paris never gets – so don't bother to remember it.

For tomorrow the weather will be fantastic and completely normal. A sort of storm is predicted for the morningphoto, palm, paris plage and there may be some light rain, and then it is supposed to become mixed with lots of clouds and a little bit of sun sometimes. Tonight's TV–weather news forecast a high of only 21 degrees, but Arte's number was 26, and Yahoo's was 23. One of these is probably somewhat right.

On Saturday things will be much better even if they are still normal, with clouds, maybe some showers and peeps of sunshine. All of this variety to be spiced with a high of 19 low degrees.

Typical summer flora in Paris.

But not to worry because Sunday will be a day with fine weather for April, featuring sunrays, clouds and more sunshine, but never total or all at once. For those overcome by the heat this week Sunday should be a delight with a high of 21 degrees. As today's Le Parisien says, 'plus chaud.' Rejoice.

The 'Not Any Fringe' Report of the Week

The earlier that I intend to leave for the club, to mooch around on Paris–Plage, the later it gets. Luckily the Métro was made for procrastinators, and it always arrives within two minutes at Raspail to whisk me away on its whizzy rails, rumble, bam, and charge into Odéon where I have the wagon's door opening before the train stops.

This particular station is curious because there is always a small crowd waiting to get on the train which has to be parted on the fly because they are so eager to board the train that they have no patience with anyone getting off while the train is still in motion. One of these days this is going to turn out badly.

But not today and I bound up the stairs and around the corner and up the tunnel to the escalator, which brings me upwards to the Quartier Latin. A quick scan of the boulevard shows traffic just getting the green, allowing me time to cross without running but being careful not to fall down, because that would be certain death.

Paris drivers may launch slowly from green but once rolling 'man down' has no effect on them. Heading east on the Boulevard Saint–Germain, they might not stop until getting to Champagne.

After surviving my cheap thrill of the week, I take my time the rest of the way and do not push anybody off Dauphine's narrow sidewalk. Instead it is I who walk in the gutter in order to keep myphoto, wine of the week average speed average, and before you know it – almost before I know it – walking on auto–pilot – I am on Pont Neuf for the thousandth time this year, and it is as fine as it always is, on this bright and sunny day that is very warm.

Typical club drink of any season.

The Quai du Louvre is as it always is too so I'll skip its details. Arriving at the club's café nobody greets me because Monsieur Ferrat is working the bar today, the 'grande salle' is nearly empty as usual, with windows open – hardly as usual – and there's a horrible stench of burnt cheese.

I do not mean a smell of toast. I do not mean a smell of a hot croque monsieur. I mean the stink of cheap cheese, burnt. I cannot see where it's coming from. There are smells in Paris and some are frequent and some are revolting, but burnt cheese has no place in this country and I wish whoever is doing it would stop right now.

My mood is not improved by Le Parisien's front page, which I spy as soon as I've finished the boring club business of writing down the meeting number and the date. France played its first soccer game on the way to the next World Cup – when? in 2025? – and they pulled Zidane out of retirement, and he helped them squash the Côte d'Ivoire last night, so the World Cup is as good as in the bag, already. Crikey! It's still August.

At this exact instant I am saved from premature football championships by members Edna and Bob Bradley, whophoto, empty cafe cup of the week come from Costa Mesa, California. Edna, even before she is sitting down, tells me that they are staying in the flat of other club members. Yoohoo – Edna and Bob say the key works, everything is cool. They like it a lot!

Typical empty midget café cup.

It should, because the Bradleys got hung up in that anniversary strike they pulled off at Heathrow. In case you didn't hear about it, the Brits forgot there was such as thing as strikes. They had a little one of no account at all and thought some catering folks were coal miners so they chucked them out. Other workers didn't like it much and before you knew it, the whole caboodle were out on strike. It was like the good old days. Gave 'em a taste of what we have all the time. Serve 'em right!

The Bradleys got their luggage back from Bombay in only a week. Bob says it's been some time since he's travelled so light, living out of an itty bitty carry–on bag for a week. Getting to know coin laundries and other adventures.

Hmm. Only two club members in front of me and here I see that the first 'Quote of the Week' I've noted is senseless. "You notice that we're not in London?" Bob says. Well yes, when I think it over. The Bradleys are in Paris in the Caf&eacut; Corona at a club meeting and so am I. In London none of us are.

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