Tropics of the Week

photo, sundown, saturday, paris plage Palms are like salad to the castles of Paris.

All Summer Needs Is Love

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 24. July:–  I'm afraid I've lost track of normal. This year it's been summer since summer began on Wednesday, 21. June and it is still summer. I remember it being summer like this in 1976 and I oozed through it until September when I went down south to the Mediterranean near Marseille for the first time, when it got cool and rained the whole time, and that was the last time for that.

In these times one expects at least one burst of brillant weather, a couple of plus–30 days, surrounded by a lot of so–so partly cloudy, partly sunny days, with temperatures from 19 to 26. So when we had 37 degrees in Montparnasse one afternoon last week it was easy to bear because it was almost certain to be an unique 'high' for the year.

However it doesn't seem to be turning out this way. The TV–weather news forecasts clouds, storms, rain, thunder and so on and this happens, but very briefly, and then here we are watching the thermometre easily cresting the 30–mark again, again and again.

Even though it does not seem to be humid if you go out and do a little big–city walking, as soon as you stop you cook up, like a pot ready to boil. At night the lowest the temperature has gotten was 19 degrees and it hasn't gone below 20 now for several days. Again we have a heatwave Alert Orange for Paris tonight.

TV–news showed a very blue sky for here on Tuesday, and predicted a high of 36 degrees along with poor air quality. Météo France is keeping its Alert Orange active until Thursday morning. They advise watching at least one three–hour movie in an air–conditioned cinéma during the hottest part of the day.

photo, sign, pharmacy, 37 degrees

The TV–weather news did not bother with forecasts for Wednesday and Thursday, so I checked on Météo France for the following. There is a big low pressure whirly thing out in the Atlantic and it is headed this way, and is expected to reach around here about news time on Wednesday.

Until then it will stay very warm. Then at 20:00 it will become cloudy, the wind will pinwheel around, there will be thunder, lightning, animation, maybe rain, darkness, a whole suitcase of exciting effects. By Thursday the high should dump to 24, about 10 degrees lower than expected for tomorrow.

Today's Le Parisien weather maps indicate something like this coming, so I add it to the Météo France forecast, put it all down here, and cross my fingers for it to actually happen even though I know when it happened recently it was over in 30 minutes. And I always dreamed of living in the tropics – now I know why they are called tropics.

Pommeland Partly Powerless, Completely Perplexed

Météo Jim returns with his ever trusty, ready and teddy – and by now electric – Bic pen to scribe the Weakly Weather Report, based on true facts.

Pommeland, or parts of it, survived the first canicule of the summer. Temperatures began warming up over the past weekend so by Tuesday the temperature was in the upper 90's a–grad. The thermometer came close to, but did not exceed the fabled century mark. By Thursday, a cool front from the west began to bring relief and by Friday, the warm front and cool front were locked in battle which caused thunder–donner–blitzen–boomer–tonnere–foudres to be thrown about in vast profusion Friday afternoon. Some areas of Pommeland were under such severe attack from the special effects, rain and mini–hurricane force winds that one person was quoted as saying, "It's raining trees!" as the winds knocked down stately and leafy reminders of an earlier time. Some of the casualties were but mere saplings when the Pommelanders were still loyal subjects of King George III.

photo, sunset, boat, bridge Not a movie set, it's real and free.

But bad as that was, some parts of La Grosse Pomme were – and still are – under wartime conditions. A silly power failure over the weekend of July 15 is still going on. Damage is far worse than imagined, and how the storm caused so much mangelment to the power infrastructure is still unknown. Visitors from Paris–Plages to Queens should bring plenty of 3000–mile extension cords and a spare generator.

As for the weather for the final week of July, see last week's forecast and subtract 5 degrees. Or don't. Or add 5 degrees. Or disclaim all claimers or claim all disclaimers. Or don't. In the meantime, a suburb of Los Angeles that was not Hollywood recorded an all time high yesterday of 119 a–grad.

Café Life


Doing blog–like updates during the week leaves me little to write more about for the weekly edition of Metropole. Mainly I am getting too lazy to chase the 25 new items a week worth some treatment. This week I reckon you know that Paris–Plages is back in business. You know the new pool is open and the new bridge jiggles. The new museum opened too, and an old museum re–opened. Floyd Landis won this year's Tour de France and everybody is happy for him.

Today Le Parisien has a headline on its front page saying, Vive les amours d'été! This means that, in addition to seeing all the sights, eating all the food, and drinking all that good wine, you are supposed to have a good smooch and a bunch of cuddles too.

In case you might think this is pure French propaganda, the paper spells it out. Party nights, nude in the sunshine, meeting travellers, the summer is best for strikes of lightning – and not just for kids. Not all the connections survive until tomorrow but they leave some wonderful souvenirs.

photo, seine, bateau, pontneuf, eiffel tower For all true sunset fans.

It goes on in similar words on page two and three with some suggestive photos for those unused to reading, and the paper's usual four men on the street, and one lady – oops, she says she never believed in it. She says her mom told here there was no Prince Charming. What a bummer! The guys did better. Tells you who is romantic.

It doesn't have to be Paris but it helps, especially in this weather. The paper's resident neurobiologist says the sun wakes us up. W are bipolar, meaning depressed in winter with hibernating hormones, happy as larks under the sultry sunshine. Maybe it's not sunshine at all – on vacation we are... available. Hah! She says, the brain is full of good juice, ready for action. Sunshine helps you to flip out. So do it.

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