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–style plumbing. All except Germany, Marion said. "In Germany they are fleisenlegers."

Germany has a law that says all plumbers must have doctorates, but any Joe from Podunk can lay carpets without so much as a certificate from the Red Cross. No matter what expertise the Poles have they advertise themselves as carpet layers, just like the Nowaks who do have high–class papers, but not for fixing window grills or disinstalling shower curtains.

During this penetrating discussion Marion was knitting. Needles were flashing and some kind of colored wool was being artfully woven into – a scarf? – a pants–leg? Whatever she was knitting at the last club meeting, she said, it was finished. Bonnets for her nieces.

I neglected to note the details of what makes German goats so special for their wool. Marion told me that Saturday is WWKIP Day. This stands for Worldwide Knit In Public Day and Marion was very surprised I didn't hear about it in Queens. She said she will be doing it outside Brentano's and inside the Bon Marché on Saturday.

photo, empty cafe of the weekCafé of the Week goes.

"People who are knitting are very peaceful people," she said.

"Knitting does not emit carbon dioxide," Stephan said. "Sheep that give their wool..."

Which led, somehow, to safe Easter egg colors. This was not the same subject as Stephan's tales of using Florida to test paint, which we have heard before, but I forgot. Marion said that all her nieces can paint the eggs any color, any safe color, but Marion reserves the right to paint the red ones – which are also safe.

As you may have guessed by now, Stephan is in the paint research business, when he isn't in Paris sanding dirty safety grills in his apartment. He doesn't care what the paint goes on just so long as a lot of it is needed. As things stand there is a lot of underused paint capacity in the world, and especially in Germany.

photo, food of the week, in plhiladelphia

For example, many Germans are annoyed with their neighbors who have SUVs because Germany is thoroughly paved. Stephan thinks that making some paint that looks like off–road mud could be a big seller to nervous SUV owners who want folks to think they were off–road over the weekend instead of playing the slots and drinking sekt in Baden–Baden.

Unofficially, any ideas that can help Stephan lay off some paint in novel ways, should be sent here first so that I can patent them. Then it was after 17:00 so we paid off Patrick and the Nowaks went off to brico heaven to get some more nuts and bolts.

Soldes d'Eté in Paris

For all those who never remember to carry their Macy's card on Wednesdays, the annual summer sales in Paris begin on Wednesday, 27. June at 8:00 and continue until Saturday, 4. August. Unlike the winter sales when there was lots of winter gear available on account of the mild weather, the summer sales are shaping up as a season–bis on account of the mild weather which has allowed Parisians to trot around in shorts and sandals for months already. On your marks!

About the Café Metropole Club

Left click your mouse and read about your club via the meeting reports located in the galaxy of the Internet. Speed reading reports is faster than being at whole club meetings but only a fraction of the fun. The only explanation of what we might have been doing here, can be found on the About the Café Metropole Club webpage.

graphic, club location map

What Is This?

Nearly spontaneous as usual, half unrehearsed, partly out of control and less than 110 percent loopy. The club meetings are actually only from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 14. June. These times are identical to 3 pm to 5 pm around some other places, while meetings are held around here. Whatever you feel like saying will be truly appreciated by the other members present if they are listening, and sometimes they are, but not always – and if it was by spontaneous combustion, inscribed here.* Your other, completely true, stories are all welcome too. A good laugh will be had by all.

Caution – should you have a personal desire to remain unfindable via the Web, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be 404 – not found by Web search engines before becoming found. Not being a club member gets you found last if never.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last month because of the peaceful nature of member's knitting despite the distress it causes sheep in Germany when they are shorn in tandem with sheep in New Zealand.

The café's location is:

Café–Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny – or – 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre–Rivoli, Pont–Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday, from 15:00 to 17:00.
Next club meeting on Thursday, 14. June.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini