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This Club Is In VO

photo, group, patrick, sheila, renaud, tomoko, fran, m ferrat

The 'Group of the Week,' with Patrick, Sheila, Renaud,
Tomoko, Fran and Monsieur Ferrat.

Start With Breakfast

Paris:– Thursday, 6. October 2005:– I should have never let my fingers touch this weather business. According to people and club members everything that's wrong with the weather in Paris is my fault. I was just trying to be helpful. It's not fair to dump on the messenger.

What is the problem anyway? This is a place with average weather most of the time, a temperate climate, nothing to get excited about, practically boring. If we have 25 days without rain and I happen to mention it in passing, then it's supposed to never rain. Never no rain, and if a drop falls I'm a crumbum.

It is supposed to rain! It is a part of being temperate. In fall it is supposed to get cool. It's not my fault we had a good September – for a rare change! – it was as much as surprise to me as anybody else. Normal is gray skies and a little rain, and now that it's October it's trying to be normal. I mean, September was a fluke. There's never no two fluke months in a row.

For the first Friday in October expect a foggy Friday. This fog, as predicted by tonight's TV–weather news, might be in the form of mist, or low clouds, or haze near the ground, or something else murky, vague or unclear – because, basically, there just isn'tphoto, teapot of the week going to be any blue sky. Well, maybe not. They, the TV–lady said, there might be timid sun beams, but she didn't pinpoint where or when. Her guess is as good as mine or yours. Expect a high temperature of 19 degrees if you like risks.

This week only – the 'Pot of the Week.'

Saturday and Sunday are supposed to be kind of sunny. On the first day clouds will hang around the northeast, far from Paris. Then on Sunday completely different clouds will hang around the northwest, maybe far from Paris, but I mention them because if anything goes wrong then I'm covered. High temperatures with be 21 and 20 degrees respectively, as well as being respectable if they happen.

The 'VO of the Week' Report

The only preconceived notion I start out with today is breakfast, which is interrupted by a telephone Joe telling me to catch the wife and bring her along to see some genuine plates and pick up a free gift for absolutely nothing. Instead of hanging up on this Joe I muttered affirmative mumbles into the microphone part of the telephone and agreed to everything. I will regret this. They will hound me now.

Look at Nicolas Sarkozy. Yesterday he had a headache and now all of France can talk of nothing else. He skipped a cabinet meeting in the morning and then met Brigitte Bardot at 11:30, to discuss the terrible situation of dogs in France. As minister of the interior he probably wishes be could deport them, but Brigitte is a voter with 50 million 'friends.'

In comparison I have a easy life. Except that I note that I made a mistake buying breakfast jam yesterday, and now have two strawberries and no blackberry. This means I have to divide fivephoto, green drink of the week bread slices by three different jams, something nobody with a Nobel should try on a club day.

Of course it's going better today. Better than yesterday, when I put the coffee in the machine and then forgot a vital step and ended up with a perfect pot of hot water instead of my morning café. Home is where accidents roost, according to Mark Twain.

Practically every week – the 'Green Drink of the Week.'

None of this has anything to do with today's club meeting, but I am hoping you will 'read between the lines' and agree that if I actually get to the meeting it is against all odds and just because I may 'beat the devil' and actually make it doesn't mean I will be in tip–top shape if I do.

In fact I am sitting in the club's area in the café's 'grande salle' just beginning to read about Nicolas Sarkozy's headache – photo of himself pinching his nose and wincing – wow! he's saying that his headache is not news – when member Fran Griffin from Neptune, New Jersey, arrives.

What do you say – how about Neptune for 'City of the Week?' It makes me think of bubbles, salt and vinegar. Fran says she chose an apartment location where street bubbles make too much noise. Ordinarily it wouldn't matter but Fran brought her work with her, and with the time–zone thing the late street bubbles are unwelcome.

An unusual 'first' is the early arrival of Willy the Bird, to try and pick up some nearby frites. Willy is looking a bit thin, but is as perky as ever, unless it's not 'our' Willy. When member Sheila Archer from Brooklyn, New York, arrives there's a bit of touch–and–go for Willy until he hops up into one of the light pots overhead.

Sheila joined the club at its meeting held in New York City on 27. December 2001, and then she attended a meeting in Paris in January 2003. But before I can learn Brooklyn's latest news we are joined by Tomoko Yokomitsu and Renaud Siry, who is a member and spends part of the time being Ringo Star onstage, in his 'Beatles Story.'

Tomoko immediately orders her green drink of the week while everybody else mostly orders less colorful stuff, with Patrick the 'Waiter of the Week' handling the liquids. Fran says she couldn't not workphoto, teacup of the week for an entire month, but she is still having a holiday while juggling presentations and live–phone real–time intercontinental phone hookups. It sounds very complicated.

Small tea leaves – for adroit speed– readers.

Sheila tells us that she took immune training before coming so that she wouldn't be spending all her time here at the American Hospital in Neuilly. Last time a bug on the plane attacked her, before the Paris bugs got a proper chance.

To give an idea of how peaceful Paris is Sheila managed to arrive for her visit on Tuesday, and was completely unaware that everybody and his brother was on strike that day. Other members noticed that they didn't notice anything too.

Continued on page 2...
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