Monsieur Ferrat's Bird Problem

photo, sandra, steve, group of the week Sandra and Steve, out of the rain.

On Another Blowy, Gloomy Day

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 16. August:–  The weather is getting worse and worse and the TV–weather news is becoming less and less, with just a forecast for tomorrow, and then I had to go online and check out all these dubious weather sources. Well, maybe Météo France isn't so dubious. But if it's free can it be any good?

Last week's big spin around the low that was pushing the clouds here from the Alps seems to have spun itself out. Now we have the standard blast from the south–southwest, which means waves of clouds and rain washing across Paris like a big windshieldwiper. Whish, whish, flip flop, drip, drop, splish splash in the inky puddles. It's getting so that a mini umbrella is an extension of your hand.

The result is that I am not only displeased with the weather but also with those fine folks at France–2 TV–news that are responsible for it. Yes. It is they who are providing this lousy March we are having. Shame! Shame on them.

photo, hard rain on thursday Rain caught me here.

Tomorrow there will be murky skies in Alsace and a new wave will be pushing at Brittany's nose. For a slight time, from maybe 10:48 until 15:03 it might be semi–sunny around here. Fine–tune this by giving or taking, or plain losing, plus–minus three hours. If the temperature department ever turns on, it will produce 21 degrees.

The official word for Saturday could lead us to expect more sunshine than clouds. I guess that means with clouds and sunshine. If you sleep until noon you might miss the sunshine part. Expect also, if you will, temperatures to touch 21 degrees, slightly cooled by 20 km breezes from the south. Sunday should be exactly the same, temperature, breezes, but instead of more sunshine than clouds, we are to get all clouds with rain falling from them. If you can find a heated church, they are often dry.

Somewhere In Pommeland

Tropical Storm Erin is threatening to drown a rain drenched Texas with even more liquid sunshine. And even as the summer passeth, Mr. and Mrs. Météo Jim will take their annual sojourn away from Pommeland. They have turned down an attractive vacation deal in Upper Major Hoochikoochistan at the country's outstanding 5 star hotel – in that country, equal to about one birthday candle – with a stunning view of Les Dentsd'unevache Mountain Range, visible at least 6 days of the year. Instead, they are going to the country of the tall, pointed firs to attend a long planned meeting of short sighted and narrow minded people. Thrills await. As for the stuff that goes on in the sky and sometimes falls to earth, a cool front will visit Pommeland and bestow the land with temperatures in the upper 70s a–grad for the weekend. It will depart, as cool fronts must, and be replaced by warmer and muggier fronts.

A la prochaine, someday, Météo Jim

The Monsieur Ferrat's Bird Problem Report

You can tell it is August because yesterday we had an obscure holiday called Assomption. It is a national holiday that many folks ignore because they are on holidays. Shops that are closed are closed for holidays, not necessarily for Assomption. It's hard to tell the difference. In summer some shops are closed because they've gone out of business, or a new business hasn't moved in yet. A lot of other folks also spend their holidays moving house. For the rest of the year these folks can be pretty grumpy.

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

But really, Assomption marks the end of total holidays – the dead–low period when the most folks are away somewhere lolling around in oyster restaurants drinking pink wines or sloshing around in gumboots on wet sand with their faces into that southwest wind, with their hands deep in their pockets. France's only happy camper was the president, Nicolas Sarkozy. He went to America and had lunch with the George Bushes and harassed the hardworking paparazzis.

As far as I know the patron is back. Residents got their tax returns recently, and today's Le Parisien explained why some will be paying less than anticipated and why some will be paying a whopping lot more than campaign promises led them to expect. Of course many taxpayers are still away on holidays – which means that the paper might have spoiled the good feelings folks were getting from those all–oyster lunches.

Well, the patron is the boss, and he changed the tax return from happening before the holidays, to during. Add the rotten weather, the overfilled campsites, the ripoff prices on the Riviera, the skyhigh numbers they are putting on fresh fruit and veggies, and the passing of the minimum service law for transport workers – well, France is going to be an interesting country this coming fall.

photo, wine of the weekGood Wine of the Week.

Meanwhile, at the club today, where I arrived after taking some photos of chaotic skies filled with heavenly drama, I read today's paper and found little cheer in it. Vergogna a certi. However, somehow, I should be more positive. For those who breathe, air quality in Paris is excellent.

And if you are paying attention you will be aware that it is Elvis' birthday today. Or is it some other anniversary concerning Elvis? I found this – "To the world parade of pilgrimage destinations, Graceland has a good position between Disneyland and Lourdes."

I got to the end of the paper and was idly sliding my eyes over the TV listings – G.I. Blues on Arte tonight – when a pair of folks showed up, expressing a desire to join the club.

Our mutual greetings were somewhat lumpy on account of a wild sparrow – no relation to Willy the Bird I am certain – who refused to leave the café. Monsieur Ferrat was extremely annoyed and was waving a glass towel at the interloper, who would merely fly to another of the hanging lampshades – and fly blithely past the open door. And back again, when M. Ferrat went over there.

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