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photo, group of the week, nigel, dennis

Nigel, empty space, and Dennis form the 'Group of Only
Two of the Week' on this Thursday.

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Paris:– Thursday, 1. December 2005:– This week the club's secretary is not going to claim it never snows in Paris just because it hasn't snowed since a week ago Wednesday, but instead wishes to draw your attention to the fact that he is cold on account of exceptionally cold weather – even for November – and now it is December when it could get seriously cold, and I'm worried.

For, everybody like Nigel and Dennis say that it is certainly warmer today, and it is in principle, but there's this here wind blowing around. If you get it in the face your tootsies fall off.

But before spreading too much alarm I had better give you the forecast from the TV–weather news tonight. I saw the tail–end first and thought it wasn't so bad, but then I learned that the beginning features an Orange Alert!' Ding–a–ling, wake up!

Eeeh–yes. There's an Alert Orange for south Brittany and whatever regions are below, and it bulges into the interior of France, perhaps all the way here. The cause is mad winds in the Bay of Biscay, ripping north at 100 kph with other winds from the westphoto, cafe of the week blasting at Brittany at... 130 kph, with winds in the centre hurtling north at 90 kph – as well as slashing up the Channel at 110 kph. It's gonna be right breezy. So much so that you might not notice that the temperature is supposed to be 8 degrees.

Café of the Week is full of 'noise.'

On Saturday, although it might be breezy, there will not be an Alert Orange unless Méteo France changes its mind. But the sky will be rotten, murky, variable and chaotic, again with a temperate of 8 and 90 kph for the winds in the Channel, heading west.

Than she says, a new front will arrive on Sunday, with southwest winds all over, here and there 70 kph, more chaos in the heavens, but all okay here on earth because its supposed to be 9 degrees, and, of course, sunshine on the Riviera, nowhere near here.

The 'Good Ukrainian Joke' Report of the Week

Each day that the cold persists I get more and more used to it, or I would if the wind didn't pick up and huff and puff continually at my bathroom window – which is not at all tight – and then as soon as I get out of there with icicles dripping off my nose, the wind switches 13 degrees so that it can rattle my super huge artistic–style window overlooking the cemetery, which I can see again now that the leaves have been ripped away.

In this condition it is understandable that I look forward to an afternoon at the Café Metropole Club in the centrally–heated café La Corona. Nigel, who is in town again, becausephoto, club table, cafe, book, glass perhaps his new home in Washington has seen the magnolia leaves fall, or were ripped off. He phones from the Bouquet where he and Dimitri are eating food – it is fooding week in Paris – and says something backwards.

Not 'Lit Day at the Club,' but bargain basement 6€ bonanza.

So he shows up to help me on my way and off we go and get on the Métro at Raspail and ride down to Odéon, you know this, and he consults his map to find the 'lost' Rue de Seine, that was lost the other day after he was at Orsay. But we find the Pont Neuf where I left it last week, and see that there will be a Marché de Noël in front of Samaritaine, but the Quai du Louvre is windswept and empty.

The café's grande salle is empty too when we arrive, but it fills up fast with the few unhardy people who are wandering around, looking for the Onion Soup of the Day. Pretty soon it seems like a garlic soup kitchen with all the slurping.

Nigel has lived in Washington for about a generation and now he's moved back there, so I ask him a few questions, like, if there are any real people living there, what do they do?

He says, "But you don't drink." Then he rattles off the names of some bars that are really restaurants, like The Child Harold, The Guards, and Cramer's Bookstore, where you can go and look at books for free and drink coffee for mucho dollars.

It's a town of fashion and style, he says, quite unlike the way you can go around dressed as a Balkan taxi driver in New York or Paris. He would say folks dress in 49 shades of gray suits, but he forgets, but it explains why Washingtonians want to know what is appropriate attire in Paris. "Same as New York," he says.

Then of course we discuss America's answer to the TGV – the wonderful Chinatown Bus. Twentyphoto, cd, boris vian bucks Washington to New York and no fooling around at airports. All you need to watch out for is not getting hit–and–run in DC when the doubleparked bus is loading.

Then is when member Dennis Moyer shows up, saying, "Professor Henri is right!" Apparently the good Professor Henri says that the best used French books for the best prices are found at the bouquinistes located along both sides if the Seine. Uncle Den–Den is wearing his grand dad's great benny, so he has not noticed the wind along the river;

He shows us his treasures. There's a hardcover 'Ulysses' – only read once by an anthropologist auditingphoto, cd, django a humanities course at the Sorbonne – and there are some audio CDs, still sealed, hardly played at all, and a guide book – six euros – only three years old. "I regret not getting Josephine Baker – surely worth four euros!" he says.

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