Les Visiteurs

photo, louvre pyramid, tuileries ferris wheel Deserved pause from touring.

Cheeseburgers Galore

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 2. July:–  I feel that I've let my skepticism slide the last while and haven't been treating the weather with the contempt it deserves. There were a lot of nice skies around here and it got easy to believe in them. No matter how many clouds were predicted the sky stayed blue. Well, that is history. This is the new now, and it's got a lot of gloom and very little blue in it.

Somebody's Fault

It just goes to show that blaming the weather on the new president, Nicolas Sarkozy, isn't sustainable. Last week I blamed him for chickens, cows, junkyard dogs, and the rotten low hovering over the British Isles. Like he said he would, Tony Blair quit so he could start riding around the Middle East with Condoleezza Rice. Sarkozy shrugged it off and Vladi Putin went fishing with G.W. Bush off the rocky coast of Texas.

According to Isabelle on tonight's TV–weather news on France–2, the weather tomorrow is going to be a very low class of terrible. There will be three winds pushing this way, from the southwest, the west and northwest, at 70, 50 and 60 kph, spreading many dark clouds over our heads, some high, some low, and some raining. It was the worst weather map I have ever seen. High of 19 degrees is forecast.

photo, arch, cour carree, institut de france Arches and passages.

Of course, being so close to a big ocean, means that change comes often and even more often than that, but not on Wednesday. No, it's the same winds, it's the same clouds and the same low high temperature. Okay, there may be a lightening in the west – of benefit to Brittany – but around here the best to hope for is less horrible than Tuesday.

On Thursday there is a ray of hope and lett's hope that it gets here while it's light enough to see it. Tuesday and Wednesday's utter muck is pushed to the east – where so much of our discarded weather ends up – leaving behind faint glimmerings of – can it be? – sunbeams? Perhaps filtered between the lingering clouds, but at least not rainbeams. The temperature refuses to budge, staying at 19, hardly warm enough for drying socks. It's a dismal outlook.

Readers, friends, Romans, should welcome a factual history and weather bulletin from the west, proving that Metropole's reach is wider than Montparnasse. The original in Greece burnt down a couple of days ago. Here's our intrepid professor Météo Jim with another prediction, like the ones we used to have when summers were in summer.

Revolution Better Than Ever

Cana–du–land just finished their holiday, July 1, Dominion Day. No reports have come in as to the number of fireworks or meetings and conferences – this is how Cana–du–landers solve problems and disputes – that occurred over the weekend.

Pommeland is getting ready for Independence Day on Wednesday. Since this is in the middle of the week, Pommelanders are looking for ways to make Wednesday last all week long. However, this will cause panic to the stock market if Pommelanders aren't working 28 hours a day 10 days a week. To use an old French expression, Tant pis.

photo, durians, tang freres Durians, to delights and detested.

Also to note is La Grosse Pomme's role in the revolution. It really didn't have an active one. It was invaded and occupied in 1776 by General Howe who ruthlessly enforced his iron clad law of Toujours de la gaité. He was so hell bent on enforcing this law that he overlooked a few minor details such as fighting the American rebels and helping his fellow soldier, General John Burgoyne, at the Battle of Saratoga where he was soundly defeated by the Americans. This defeat convinced France, who, at that time had no fête nationale, to help the rebels. Although France and the rebels were victorious, France was bankrupt. It limped along until 1789 when it convened Les Etats Généraux. One of the first things the assembly did was to attack and overthrow the Bastille so France, too, could have une fête nationale.

One other thing that Le Pays de Paris–Plage has that Pommeland and Cana–du–land don't have is les vacances nationaux. This is when the Paris–Plagers depart Paris–Plage in mass, enduring 5,000 km–long traffic jams and three–day waits in order to go on vacation. This process is reversed on August 31 when they put up with 5,000 km–long traffic nightmares and three day waits so they can return to Paris Plage to start la rentrée, usually before October.

As for the weather, temperatures in Pommeland yesterday were in the low 70s a–grad – 22 e–grad. The weather will remain cool and sunny until Wednesday when Mother Nature will add her thunder donnergeboomersundearsplitters and lightning to the man–made fireworks along with a chance of rain. The weather will warm up into the 80s but along with the 1812 Overtures and cool down slightly by the weekend.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

Café Life

Les Visiteurs

When I returned here after Thursday's club meeting I had a phone call from Nigel to say that he washed up at the Savoy. He said he was going to meet the Daguerréotypistas in the café Le Bouquet. I would have liked to have gone but club meetings are not an item to be treated frivolously. I told him not to worry if they took him to the Afghan place.

So a day later when I met him at the Bouquet he said the lamb at the Afghan place was the best he's had outside New Zealand. Valerie was there too and was very interested to hear that Communism was hatched less than a block away. The reason it has always been blamed on Russians is because it was Russians that hatched it, in Paris. Where else could they have gotten the inspiration?

photo, petit palaisThe Petit Palais in Sunday sunshine.

Uncle Den–Den was there, agreeing about the Marx Brothers, like he always does. We all went up the street to a newish place called the Quinze because Nigel needs to eat hamburger in Paris before he can think right. Usually we go to the Rendez–Vous which is an ordinary brasserie. I probably haven't been there since the last time Nigel was in town.

Nigel had a cheeseburger without cheese. So did I, but with cheese. I don't remember what Valerie had, but she liked the wne. We were in the back room and we had it to ourselves with just its cool décor and Soviet posters. They weren't, believe me, planned.

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