Trapped In the Etoile

photo, fran and terry, group of the week Fran and Terry, a group from the Ukraine, Poland and Canada.

Phones that Use Coins

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 26. April:–  Not a great deal has changed since I did this last. In Paris it was the Hottest Day of the Year yesterday. Today was not so fine. There were some kind of clouds and it felt a bit heavy, as the French say. Yes, so today's Le Parisien says it was 28.3 on Wednesday. To me it felt like 27.4 but I won't quibble.

The bad news is that we are supposed to see more clouds, a bit of mild chaos and some more heaviness. As for temperature it is like heavy on wire, wire–guided, starting with tomorrow's 27 degrees. This is from the hot winds from the south that Africa is sending this way. Thank you, Africa! It's not the only good thing I've gotten from Africa today.

photo, orange of the weekEvery drop darn good.

On Saturday, according to tonight's TV–news and weather, it will probably be semi–cloudy. The sun will be shining but there will be high clouds between it and us – some more of that old chaos I guess. Expect it to hit 25 in the mid–afternoon.

But with shopping over for the week, Sunday is supposed to deal us some more sunshine around here, except for the Atlantic coast south of Brittany. The good news is about the temperature which is supposed to hit 25 degrees again. For long–term fanatics the outlook for Monday seems to be more sunbeams, but with the high reduced to 22 degrees.

Technically we are still far off from summer. Since it is summer–like now we should consider it as summer, and if the real summer doesn't stand up we can say, "We had ours!" With the sunrise about 06:40 and sundown happening around 21:00, the days already have summer–length. Meanwhile, plan to sit on a terrace and enjoy the 25 degrees all weekend long.

The Phones that Use Coins Report

A white night is one when you can't sleep for some reason. It is a French phrase, used later in the year for a cultural event, and it is based on the idea that sleeping in the daytime is taboo – like having a disturbing white light all over – slothful, and un–French, like something Nicolas Sarkozy would never do.

I had a white night the other night and slept right through the radio–alarm, right until Josef phoned to ask me why I was still asleep. So last night I behaved myself and went to bed carefully at a reasonable hour and the radio–alarm did its work and I got up with lots of time to spare before going to the club. This has no bearing on anything. It is just something to write instead of putting down that I walked past the cemetery and caught the métro at Raspail, which everybody has already read about 250 times.

photo, fran, terry, map of the weekTerry wields the Map of the Week.

But the trees are up and their leaves are dropping their dappled shadows on this particular walk, and it is warm and it really does feel like summer. It's hard to believe that it will be three full months before Paris Plage opens this year. Usually it waits until two weeks before to be sunny, and the day it opens is when autumn begins.

When I got to the café La Corona on the very sunny right bank next to the Louvre long–time Waiter of the Week Patrick hurriedly said there were members waiting. It was 14:53, a bit early, but I went through anyway and found member Terry along with to–be member Fran Hillier waiting, camped on their luggage.

Terry became a member at a January 2003 meeting that was hosted by the server–lady Linda Thalman when I was in New York getting one of my ears fixed. I am still being hounded to pay that bill again. I mean, I paid it in full at the time. They waited until I left the country to send me another bill – I don't know for what because I didn't go back and have something else done.

Anyhow, Linda sent me her notes about the meeting and I edited them in New York, and because Terry lives in Port Moody, BC, it was named the City of the Week. Which is a shame this week, because it is such a rare place that I would dearly like to name it City of the Week, but it already is.

photo, fran, waiter of the week Waiter of the Week and Fran.

Fran and Terry have been travelling around, to the Ukraine and Poland and they are whizzing through Paris, in fact leaving straight from the club meeting to get on the Eurostar for a ride to London, where Fran is not sure she is going to see a musical because she hasn't made up her mind yet.

Terry said he came to Paris the first time when he was 11. That was in 1952, the sae year that television was invented in the colonies so that everybody living in pink countries all around the world could watch the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London. Significantly, Terry remembers visiting the aquarium at Trocadéro. It has since reopened after being closed for a quarter century.

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