How Many Firsts?

photo, terrie, yoko, sandy, group of the week The group of the week, Terrie, Yoko and Sandy.

Over the Fence, Every One

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 5. October:–  Tomorrow the weather will be anything but wistful. Mark the date – Friday, 6. October, 2006 – for it will be windy, from the southwest, and it will be cloudy and there will be precious little sunshine, and the temperature will not rise above 18 degrees. Herewith, I wrap myself in old furs, crawl into my cave and prepare to snooze until next May or June.

Don't you wish? Meanwhile the chipper TV–weather news lady gets to the end of her description of heavenly activities for tomorrow, and almost as an afterthought, she added that it will rain tomorrow night. "Nearly everywhere," she said. It has been a long time since nearly everywhere happened in France.

photo, teapot of the week The teapot of the week.

The TV's map of France for Saturday was pretty confusing. Before I could absorb it I noted the forecast temperature as 17 before returning to puzzling it out. The closest I can get is to say that it will be cloudy for most of the day, perhaps for most of France, but near the end there may be some twinkles of sunshine here or there. Just maybe. Remember that this is how our Nuit Blanche will commence.

Then on Sunday, with a 50 kph wind from the south, it may be somewhat sunny if the clouds part enough. It means that your final impression of the Nuit Blanche may be one of hope and optimism, hope that there's a croissant left, and optimism that they've saved a café for you. If you stick it out you may notice a high temperature of 18 degrees. This may carry over into Monday if you have continued to think positively.

The 'How Many Firsts?' Report

Everybody knows by now that I flubbed last week's club report. The club meeting took place with two members assisting the club's secretary, but they didn't get their write–up. Thus have Terrie Blazek and Larry Mann been part of another fantastic club first, worthy of joining all the other momentous firsts that together compose the official legend.

photo, cafe, double espresso The swampy double–espresso.

I do not know why Larry was not at today's club meeting but Terrie certainly was, and she wasn't shy about letting me know what she thinks about club secretaries who mess up. What could I say? Instead of concocting some lame excuses that no one would credit, I propose to let bygones be bygones and proceed directly to today's club report.

About this, Terrie had other comments. She said she skips the weekly weather report. She says that if she isn't here the weather report for Paris is useless for Chicago. She said the sub–report of my weekly trip to the club is boring, so she skips it too.

photo, terrie's guide  architecture, paris Terrie's Paris guide.

I did not point out that Chicago may have terrible weather while here it is merely crummy. I did not point out that my weekly trip to the club is boring for me too. Why not share it? As for the weather, as crummy as it is, I share it freely. Many readers only turn to these pages for the weather – they say – probably thinking that reading about crummy weather is a lot better than being in it.

Whichever it is, the sky was not sunny today and the temperature was not high. Many people were in the club's café pretending to be having lunch when I arrived, although Monsieur Ferrat said it was very calm. My take was that they were tired of the crumminess and hadn't yet decided to go shopping instead.

Into the calm came Sandy Hague from Seal Beach, California to start out today's meeting with a City of the Week right at the beginning. Sandy arrived on Saturday right in the middle of thunder and lightning and gushers of rain – none of it forecast – and it knocked her lights out. At least she wasn't flooded like the people out east around Metz. They got a month's worth of rain in 30 minutes yesterday.

Then I learned that Seal Beach is 90 miles north of San Diego. After wondering if it is around Hollywood Sandy told me it is nearer Long Beach, where the Queen Mary is resting in peace. Seal Beach has a small beach and a pier in case you are interested.

photo, the secretary, sandy's canon The secretary, captured by Sandy's Canon.

Sandy has been in town long enough to take a tour on a Segway. People come to Europe and right way they do things they would never do at home. Other club members have taken these things out and have claimed they had a good time. Not Sandy. She said it scare her. She said that when you get off if you don't lean it against a tree or a stone monument, it will fall over. Well, em, so will a bicycle.

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