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photo, rue daguerre, bistro 48, saturday Saturday night and all's quiet.

Solidarity Day Tuesday

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 30. April:–  One set of farmers cheered last night's storm because it dropped a bit of welcome rain on thirsty plants. Another set of farmers worried about the massive clots of hail that battered their innocent thirsty plants back into the ground. Around here there was lots of lightning, thunder, and the heavens poured like drunken watering can for several hours. Is our premature summer over?

April Sets Record Never Before Set

Regardless of what Météo Jim writes below, the predicted NO WEATHER that I expected for tomorrow, the day of combat for workers, soldiers and sailors, 1. May, has been superseded by a forecast on tonight's TV–news that calls for near–perfect skies to present a clement dome over the parades that will be taking place in eastern Paris on Tuesday.

For the past two days the outlook was dodgy. However the latest dope from the météo boffins led the TV folks to believe that it will be mostly sunny tomorrow, with a comfortable high of 24 degrees. South of the Seine there might be some weak clouds, unless you go a long way south where there will likely be serious clouds.

photo, metro alesia, gaumont cinema Bright lights, even in the 14th.

The story has to do with some sort of low in Spain. Tomorrow this affects the southwest, on Wednesday the centre, and ditto for Thursday. Up here it will be mostly sunny, except maybe for a few clouds over Montparnasse. But the temperature will fall to 22 on Wednesday and a dip to 20 was foreseen for Thursday.

Since this is the last day of the month the weather Joes came out on a limb to state that this April has been 4 degrees warmer than any other April in recorded history. If this sounds reasonable to you, it is the average for all France. Here in the frozen north the temperatures that were recorded were 7 degrees higher than normal for any April on record. This will affect the Soldes d'Eté. We bought it all, setting another record.

Over there on the east coast way west of here, the situation is unsettled and confused. Send good wishes, pass the umbrellas, put out life rafts, because here's Météo Jim with another depressing forecast, like the ones we used to have before we set records.

Weather for Yo–Yos

Last Monday the high was 35 degrees a–grad, windy, with swirling snow showers. One week later, the temperature set new record highs along the East Coast with La Grosse Pomme reaching 85 degrees.

photo, musee du montparnasse This leafy alley is home to the
Musée de Montparnasse.

Vegetation that had barely thought about blooming suddenly exploded in torrents of white, green and pollen. Even the Groundhog was at a loss for this bipolar weather. In addition, his email box was flooding out his burrow with hundreds and hundreds of messages from Metropole's readers asking him to explain the vagaries of the weather. Unfortunately, he misread the messages and thought he was talking about the other pole, the one in the south.

The final Thursday night into the final Friday of April saw a mini–repeat of the storm from two weeks ago. Minor flooding occurred again, but it was nowhere near the level of the Ides of April.

By the time Metropole's readers see this, it will be May. Not only May, but May 1, Labour Day – not to be confused with Labor Day in Pommeland – and everyone will be on strike. As a result, there will not be any weather for that day. Not weather reports, absolutely NO WEATHER.

photo, sign, neon cafe

As for Pommeland where it is not a strike day, there will be weather and Metropole's readers are invited to come to Pommeland to experience it. Temperatures will be in the upper 60s to around 70, all in a–grad and with a chance of rain on Tuesday and sun for the rest of the week. The first 50 readers who write will receive a guided tour of Queens.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

Ed's Note:– Summer is still on over here.

Café Life

Solidarity Day

It is highly appropriate, in this period between elections, to have May Day. After a very intense election campaign when we had 12 candidates and then they got whittled down to 2, and now we have two candidates who are filling up all the TV time and big halls and zipping around the country relentlessly – ah – the time has come for ordinary folks to get out and march in the streets of Paris.

For years I have been mistakenly calling this event a fête. It is, as one crusty old union dude pointed out, supposed to be a day when workers show off their power, parade their force, demonstrate their determination to have control over their lives. It is a day of pride and combat.

photo, bar express 14, rue daguerre A local watering hole.

According to today's Le Parisien there will be 5 parades tomorrow. Four of them will take place in eastern Paris, starting at different times and going in different directions. The hub is the place de la République. All four will start from it, or end at it, or pass through it. Two groups will start at 10:30, going towards République. One group leaves République at 11:00, to go northwest. The CGT and allies plan to start at République at 14:30, and head towards Nation, going along the Boulevard Voltaire.

It should go without saying that the staggered starting times will allow most everybody to join the last parade. The unions have been fairly quiet throughout the election campaign, so this will be their sole effort to "hoist a message." More about this tomorrow in GoodBlogWeek.

This story is very likely to be continued.

The Café Metropole Club

99.8 percent of club members did not make it to last week's club meeting so they missed hearing about all the good stuff. Next Thursday there will be another opportunity to attend a Café Metropole Club meeting, and the secretary promises to be there in person, but promises little else.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on 3. May, another kind of inter–election day. The Saint of the Day is not obscure at all. Please greet Saint–Philip, martyred by means of crucifixion in the year 80, in the town of Hierapolis, an ancient city on top of the famous Pamukkale spa which is located in Turkey near Denizli. The date was 1. May, then switched to 11. May, but now it is 3. May, next Thursday.

photo, nigel and maivan, camels, chinaClub members Nigel and Maivan,
posted from China.

After this meeting the club secretary will disappear for four weeks, to check out a bicycle race in Queens on Sunday. Meetings will resume on Thursday, 7. June at 15:00, which is 3 pm.

This is related to Paris because it is in Europe. You can continue to read all about the club and its two facts on a page called the About the Club Webpage. Readers who actually understand words, and all of you surely do, will not fail to understand the mysterious but easy to credit true myths about it, and should endeavor to download the club's official scrap of a membership card. Thanks all.

photo, sign, villa du mont tonnerre

This Was Metropole Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago was 1997 and although obvious it can't be amiss to mention that the whole ball of wax is online, accessible by merely tapping your mouse, or clicking it on an appropriate thingee. Other Internet magazines have come and gone but this one is online. There are more than facts about Ten Years Later but who cares?

Café Life Légère 89.8

Boris Was Golden

The Quote of the Week returns to the earth of cultural heritage, guided by Ed who has nothing else to do every Monday. Today's quote runs, "It is especially important to encourage unorthodox thinking when the situation is critical – at such moments every new word and fresh thought is more precious than gold." This is attributed to Boris Yeltsin, who checked out recently, as you may have noticed if you were watching TV.

photo, sign, artisan cordonnier

Wobble–Mooling Goths

There are as many as 245 days left of this year, the same number that 642 had when Chindasuinth became the head Visigoth in Spain. He was 79. He ruled somewhat ruthlessly by nipping off revolts even before they were budding. He had 200 nobles and 500 lesser Goths bumped off, and this was nothing compared to what he did to his enemies.

Seesaw Over 7 Centuries

This is totally unconnected to the fact that this year has used up 120 days, the same number that 711 had when Tariq ibn–Ziyad, leading Moslem troops landed at Gibraltar to begin the conquest of Spain. By 732 the Moors had crossed the Pyrenees and advanced as far as Tours where they were defeated by Charles Martel. It took until 975 before the Moors were pushed out of France, but in Spain the Reconquista began with a victory by Pelayo in 722, but wasn't completed until 1492.

Pata–Pluto Day

It's unnecessary to thank Metropole for reminding you of orbital calculations made today in 1483 suggested that Pluto sometimes came closer to the Earth than Neptune. I don't know if I believe this. Was the sky really that clear in 1483? Could folks see further? Apparently Pluto was only discovered in 1930, when it became our solar system's 9th planet. Last August some techno folks decided that Pluto isn't really a full–fledged planet. It was kicked out of the club. Its other pals, like the somewhat larger clump of rock named Eris, are in the same fix.

photo, sign, jewel box

The Ex–Question of Schleswig–Holstein

Many folks have probably been reminded that today is the anniversary of the terrible 1900 train wreck that made its engineer Casey Jones famous but dead. The wreck happened near Vaughn, Mississippi when Casey was driving the Cannonball Express, a little bit behind time on the Illinois Central. Some freight trains that were pulled over to let the Cannonball by weren't pulled over far enough. Casey told his fireman to jump but stayed aboard, with his hands on the whistle cord and brake lever. He was the only fatality. This is also a reminder of this day in 1988 when French–Canadian singer Céline Dion won the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin while a TV audience estimated to be 600 million watched. It's called Eurovision because Céline was the entry for Switzerland, singing Ne partez pas sans moi in French. This is also the first I have ever heard about it. Good luck Céline!

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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