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Days To Remember

photo, brasserie du metro

A shopping pit stop, near Rue de Rivoli.

But Not Regret, Not

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 28. November 2005:– Last week I was putting up a brave front because I truly believed that I was coping with the winter conditions here, but during the week with the temperatures mostly hanging below the 5 degree mark the last traces of residual warmth fled from the Paris area, sucked down a drain right through the middle of the planet, probably turning up as I write this, on a white sandy beach in Tahiti where a bunch of out–of–work layabouts in grass skirts are worried that it'll be too warm to watch beach movies outside tonight.

The TV–weather news guy came on and apologized for what's to come on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I almost turned the TV off on the spot. He was standing in front of the map and on the right I could see '6' for the high, and I'm thinking 'what else can it be?' The temperature is up so it must be something else horrible.

Then he stands aside and all there is is variable muck with clouds and peeps of sometime sun, no winds mentioned, golly! It's like this isn't bad at all, or at least, it's better than what we've been having. Imagine – having November weather in November! It's been years since this happened.

Why it was only yesterday I was in the Luxembourg with hundreds of other strollers and my fingers and feet didn't fall off, frozen. And tomorrow will be better. Okay, maybe not Wednesday, when therephoto, smarts on rivoli will be winds from the southwest batting around offshore, breezing along the Channel. While here we may be under a rope of cloud covering all of western France, but if we aren't then it will be not so bad – as well as being 6 degrees.

A pair of Smarts on Rivoli last Thursday.

Thursday looks like it will be pretty great too if you don't mind a pretty cloudy day, with maybe puffs of air rolling though here at around 60 kph, or 50 kph offshore, but with a forecast high of 8 cooking degrees why complain? It may be below average for November but its intentions are strictly honorable

This week our pedagogic weather essayist in and around New York City, Météo Jim, tosses in geography, parade balloons not suitable for forecasting, and racy nautical terms like 'Nor'easter.'

Winged by an Alberta Clipper

One unfortunate result of the 'Alberta' clipper on le jour du dindon was an accident during the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. The wind blew a balloon into a lamp post and the balloon's guide lines became entangled in the post. Another gust of wind blew the balloon clear but the guide lines brought down the lamps themselves injuring two spectators. Then the clipper sailed east into the Atlantic leaving cloudy and warm weather. Temperatures for the first part of the post–dindon celebration are expected to rise into the low 60's a–grad accompanied by rain. On Wednesday a cold front will arrive with the possibility of snow flurries on Friday and temperatures about 40 a–grad. On tap this week in La Grosse Pomme is the tree lighting ceremony in Rockefeller Center on Wednesday, November 30, an event that merits a detour, as a guide book would say.

*Disclaimer – by 'Ed' rather than Météo Jim – an 'Alberta Clipper,' characterized as a fast moving cold front with wind that originates in the province of Alberta, is a figment of Manhattan imaginations. Any schoolboy knows that these originate in deepest Alaska, a non–Canadian perpetually sub–polar province. On the other hand there's good news for hurricane fans. Jim reports that the Greek 'D' has been achieved, perhaps to be followed by epsilon, or 'E.'

Café Life

Failure of the Week

This week I was supposed to have had Metropole's new Scène column and the seasonal Noël column ready for you, but I have failed. That I have failed with just about everything else this week is neither here nor there, but mainly, none of it is here, except for this disgraceful note. I would say that I will whip me to get this, that, and the other things, done, but I won't whip me. I may be a bad boss but I am not cruel. Anyway, coming soon – the annual Noël column, then Scène, and then the New Years update.

Nicolas to the Rescue

A week ago Le Parisien had an exciting headline. 'The Incredible History of a Forbidden Book' spread over five columns, followed by, 'Nicolas to the Rescue of Cécilia' in 96–point bold, equally over five columns, with two very poor photos of these lovely people flanking the essential of the story.

Since we were having no riots last Friday two weeks ago, the front page scoop continued on pages 2 and 3, fillingphoto, luxembourg loo, dog fountain them with everything we needed to know about the private relations between the short minister of the interior, Nicolas Sarkozy, and his wife, Cécilia Sarkozy, his apparently former right–hand man.

Handy loo in Luxembourg, with drink for dogs.

According to Cécilia she spoke to the journalist, Valérie Domain, for a half hour, 'not more.' She admits that she liked the journalist's earlier book, Femmes de, filles de, which also includes a brief portrait of her.

But after the new book, 'Cécilia Sarkozy, entre le coeur et la raison, rolled off the presses to the tune of 25,000 copies and was headed to bookstores for its debut on 24. November, Cécilia freaked out.

Although apparently separated from Nicolas since a late June trip to Disneyworld, when Cécilia discovered the book's sale was imminent she phoned the ultra busy minister, told him her worries and asked him to take care of it.

Sarkozy had the editor visit him at the ministry of the interior, for, as Le Parisien puts it, a 'muscular' discussion. The following day the publisher called the author and told her the book wouldn't go on sale.

Then there was public silence for a week, except for quite a bit of talk that is imagined to have gone on within the cabinets of several lawyers.

Books don't get banned all that often in France but it happens. A book about President Mitterrand's health was stopped before finally appearing eight years later. Alain Delon banned a book about himself before it was written, but it might have come out two years later with a different publisher.

The author, Valérie Domain, former 'grand' reporter for France Soir and head of the information department at Prisma magazine's Gala, is not an amateur. She has given her lawyer a CD–ROM containing two hours and forty minutes of recorded conversations between the author and her subject.

Note of this has turned up on page six of Friday's Le Parisien, which goes on to mention thatphoto, pata sandwichs the lawyer for the author will go after the publisher, and that the publisher's lawyer will counter–sue the author for damages. Meanwhile the book was supposed to appear Thursday, and 25,000 copies of it are collecting fresh dust in some cool warehouse.

Home of Patasandwiches, just off Rivoli.

Le Monde noted on 18. November, talking to other publishers, that Sarkozy seemed to be unaware that there are legal methods for suppressing a book, which in turn raised questions about the courage of the book's publisher. Another pointed out that books used to be banned for 'state reasons,' but the level is lower now.

At this point the publisher isn't talking so it is impossible to know exactly what arguments Sarkozy used to prevent the book from going on sale. In France everybody is guilty of something so the poor guy probably expected to spend Christmas in the Santé prison if he didn't do as he was told.


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