Very Peaceful People

photo, group of the week, marion and stephan Marion and Stephan, knitter and wool carrier.

Are People Who Knit

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 7. June:–  The weather was supposed to be better than warm with a hazy overcast but I am not complaining. I saw enough blue sky in New York in May to last me for a whole week. Tuesday, what little I remember of it, was pretty good in Paris too and so was Wednesday, so today's feeble effort can almost be excused. But wait! There's more...

The forecast for around here has tipped from Saturday being a brilliant day to an Orange warning for tomorrow morning. Several departments in northwest France are supposed to be on the lookout for heavy rain and maybe lightning. These things hit parts of France yesterday and today. This warning area is on the edge of the Ile de France. It may slop over and cause wet feet on the north side of Montmartre.

Or it may not. It might happen while everybody is asleep. It might be mainly sunny instead. We get all these maybes when we are on the edge between two kinds of weather. All the same, the high forecast for Friday is only 21 degrees, somewhat less than today.

photo, beer of the week Beer of the Week returns.

On Saturday, according to tonight's TV–weather forecast, we can expect to be on the edge again but this time between sunny and unstable. A random whiff of air in one direction or the other could make a difference. It's a tricky situation, made trickier by my failure to note the temperature. My guess is 23.5 degrees.

Sunday presents France with a diagonal nice–weather swath from the northwest to the southeast, with Paris in the middle of the nice part. To the southwest it will be crummy. To the northeast is – unknown, but it doesn't matter because it isn't around here. Expect a temperature of 27 degrees. This is darn good for June, just like March and April were darn good for a change.

The Very Peaceful People of the Week Report

Last night I went to bed congratulating myself for outwitting jetlag after returning from New York. Imagine my surprise when I woke up nearly 11 hours later, just as today's club meeting was to begin. Imagine me flipping a coin, heads or tails between taking emergency measures or turning over for some more winks. But the winks lost and I was out the door, huffing and puffing down past the cemetery as usual.

photo, marion knitsMarion knits...

Arriving at the club's café, tired and late but alive, I tried to ignore Patrick the Waiter of the Week and his down–his–nose about the weeks I've been away and the club members who turned up anyway. He said, Il y eu du monde but that could have meant anything between one boy scout and the entire glee club from Barmbek.

Nobody gets to be an Internet magnat by having a thin skin so I took up my customary place at the rear of the café's grande salle and fell to reading today's Le Parisien. The first thing I noted was Cécilia's photo on the front page. I guessed that Mr. Cécilia must have won the election. But wait! The French go to the polls again on Sunday, for the first round election of candidates for the legislature.

photo, marion knits ...and knits and knits...

Then, before I could get to the exclusive report about the terrible level of pollution in Paris 2.20 metres above the surface – but not so bad as at 1.50 metres of altitude, which isn't measured – I was startled by the arrival of two members who turned out to be Marion and Stephan Nowak, who hail from Cologne when they aren't in town fixing up the apartment they bought last year.

I'll just skip my note saying bodyguard without any reference to anything I noted, and begin with Stephan saying they were filthy. This is a come–as–you–are club so I looked them over to see if it could possibly be a thing–of–the–week worth noting but they looked no worse than some other people you see walking around filthy in Paris.

There are two kinds of apartments you can buy in this town. There are new apartments nobody can afford and there are fixer–ups. The first you can move into until they get used and then other folks come along and fix them up so they can live in them.

photo, marion knits...and knits some more.

The Nowaks have one with a window feature that prevents defenestration, but it is all rusty. They were worried they might get dirty if they fell out of the window. So there was, as Stephan said, there he was hanging out of the window sanding several centuries of crumbling paint off this grill thing, and it was a really dirty job.

Other improvements included replacing the lousy shower curtain with a snazzy shower door – "The curtains stick!" Stephan said. "We have already rented the apartment a couple of times," he added. I guess he's read other club reports about readers' bathroom paradises.

All of which brings up the hotly debated subject of the Polish plumbers, who are invading western Europe with their low wages and Polish–styl plumbing. All except Germany, Marion said. "In Germany they are fleisenlegers."

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