"A Sort of Controlled Riot!"

photo, pamela campbell and corona's monsieur ferrat Pamela and Monsieur Ferrat, the Group of the Week.

Grass Juice – Try Some!

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 5. July:–  It might be premature but maybe the weather has stopped getting worse. The thermometre has been bouncing between 19 and 24 degrees and the sky has been shifting between occasional blue and frequent downpours. It is typical for July. It is familiar, the usual, we've seen it before. Nothing to write about.

But mainly, it is deplorable and disgraceful, an insult directed at folks who just want to have fun. On behalf of some of Paris' 25 million visitors, a good number who are in town right now, I reject this weather. Bah! Humbug!

The Tour de France starts on Saturday. That it starts in London makes no difference. London is in Europe! History says that the Tour de France runs in sunshine so everybody in France can go out and stand by the road with a hanky on the head, a warm beer in the hand, and a roast chicken in every pot. It's in the French constitution in black and white.

photo, beer of the weekThe, uh, Beer of the Week.

And it looks like the nick of time starts tomorrow. According to Isabelle on tonight's France–2 TV–news and weather we are not out of the woods yet. There will be winds on Friday but the clouds that may be covering the sky here will shift towards the southeast – hey, it's snowing up on some of those Alps! – ah, letting us dry out. It might even be semi–sunny and the temperature might break out of its lock–in on 21 and achieve 22 degrees.

Then on Saturday with the winds still active but only at 50 kph, around here it is supposed to be mostly sunny. Clouds there will be but you'll be able to count them. Better yet will be the temperature which is supposed to leap up to 22. Well, poised for a leap. On Sunday it happens, with mostly sunny and the big leap, yes, up to 24 degrees. You read it here. A semi–good weekend, coming right up.

The "Sort of controlled riot!" Report

This afternoon, after the usual rigamarole of getting out of my flat with a view of the cemetery and the exciting ride on the métro, I was sitting in the club's café La Corona this afternoon reading a story in Le Parisien about the loneliness of Ségolène Royal. Her former friends, those Socialists, are ignoring her because she didn't become president and give them cabinet jobs. They should have tried harder.

photo, cafe of the week The café of the week again.

I was just about to read about how Cécilia Sarkozy was asked to give back the bank card that let her buy stuff for the Elysée Palace – where Nicolas Sarkozy lives – when Pamela Campbell asked me if I was the club.

Pamela, from Portland, Oregon, said her husband read all the club reports and he would have come too but he was out of the country, but he had told her all about it. I immediately offered Pamela one of three or five chairs and she sat down and together we cooked up that the City of the Week should be Beaverton, Oregon because she works there as a teacher, teaching English to kids whose parents think they should learn it.

photo, neon corona

Not that it's any of my business, but I asked if anyone was teaching them Spanish. But that's not the issue here – Pamela was representing Mr. Campbell, who she called Igor. She said they were both in France a lot because he has a house in Montmorillon, wherever that is.

And this had nothing to do with us discussing Russia's bid for the Winter Olympics, in the news today, nor with the fact that Igor is Russian. No, none of that. Pamela said she came to the meeting – noting that not many other members were present – to ask some questions.

What about the summer sales? My favorite museum or gallery? What is Zinedine Zidane doing these days? How much will Thierry Henry earn at Barcelona? All worthy questions. Answers, if any, less so.

photo, sofa on the pont des artsA city that knows how to relax...

Pamela noticed the Fête de la Musique here. "A sort of controlled riot!" Or, was she thinking of last weekend's ultra–noisy Gai Pride parade? That I overlooked completely while in Chinatown.

Pamela also wondered about the art fans in the museums, holding up their phones or little cameras to take photos of everything instead of looking at the stuff. Would Picasso be amused? Too cheap to buy the perfectly photographed postcards?

Popular culture – are there monthly bike randos like the Critical Mass events? I missed this one, thinking it's about the phone–organized mobbing that I've heard about, but discounted because I have no phone. Or was Pamela thinking of the Friday night Roller Rando? I had to look them up. Yoohoo! No roller rando scheduled for Friday, 13. July on account of Bastille eve fêtes!

All that culture. I almost forget that we needed to have a Group Photo of the Week and out on the café's terrace Pamela was good about being the centre of attention. Luckily, the café's Monsieur Ferrat saw that we could use some assistance. He joined in, as you can see above. And that was, as we say, that.

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