It's Never Too Late

photo, maire and yoko, the group of the week Marie and Yoko, having a theatrical club meeting.

"I Want to Hold Your Hand"

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 6. December:–  So much for looking around and noticing that it's November. That month is gone and good riddance. Now we are afflicted with December. Today it was gusty as well as windy and it kept up with a steady rain that fell from the sky, or was pushed, or it dropped off awnings and seeped down my collar. It was a watery hell that Paris seldom sees. What it's doing here in December I have no idea. It's depressing. We are supposed to be ho–hoing and jolly.

The good news is that it is not very cold. Tomorrow's predicted 13 degrees is a whole 3 or 4 degrees above normal for this time of a rotten December. As you skip over puddles growing rapidly into mini–lakes console yourself by noticing how warm it is. You are like toast even if your feet feel like Arctic seal flippers.

Friday weather will be totally crummy. There will be clouds and rain and winds lashing the Channel and battering the Atlantic coasts, basically thrashing in two directions at once. It may not actually rain here but it'll be close. If you are lucky it will rain while you are in the métro and by the time you get to the surface, it'll be merely gloomy. It'll be vice versa if you are unlucky.

photo, orange juice of the week Lousy day for Orange J.

On Saturday the winds are expected to decrease, but blow from the south. Western France will be all wet. Here it might only be very cloudy. The bad news is that the foreseen temperature will only be 10 degrees. For Sunday the winds are expected to return, from the northwest, the west and the southwest, including gusting to about 70 kph here. We may have cloudbursts and the temperature will struggle to reach 9 degrees. This is a forecast that I hope is totally wrong and when we all wake up on Sunday it will be July.

The "It's Never Too Late" of the Week Report

Rain around my place falls in the rear courtyard making a sound like random BBs bouncing off window sills and the galvanized roof covering the bikes. Even if I hear this sound it might only be a few stray drops. If cars below the front window are sloshing, I know it's the real McCoy – but then I would have to get up and walk all the way over there to check it out.

So I like to stay nice and warm under the covers until I can figure out which is what. This morning I definitely had a feeling of 40–year old déjà vu. That west coast sound of water running down pipes and falling off roofs, gurgling and surging, dripping and dropping – like the BBs hitting tin Burma Shave signs.

photo, cafe of the week A classic café day.

Yeah. So I got out there and used the old and fragile Field & Stream umbrella for protection on the way to the métro, when I got a copy of Le Parisien the paper kiosk was in a lake, and there were only two other people walking across my bridge, the Pont Neuf, slanting sideways, with their umbrellas braced like capes against the elements.

Monsieur Ferrat was surveying the Corona terrace when I coasted in to the dock. Was he thinking of home on the range next to the Sahara? He looked disgusted. He said, "It won't stop until May." When I said there might be a sunny day or two in February, he shrugged off that ridiculous notion.

Inside the café I couldn't take over the club's territory on account of four civilians occupying three and a half tables. Patrick, the club's Waiter of the Week, pried them out and I moved over. I read nearly all the paper. All old news. The socialists are squabbling. Kids are drugging themselves with video games. A French dude is going to fly into space. Routine stuff.

I was just about to read Les Spectacles when Marie Mazurchuk came up and asked where the other members were. I should have said they know where they are but I didn't think of it. Marie's hand felt like she had been washing clothes at one of those outdoor sheds that used to be so popular about 117 years ago.

photo, hot wine of the week A classic hot wine day.

Marie, for those coming in late, is on a long–term visit from Vancouver. I got a phone call from there last night, about an impending high school reunion – a 50th! – and darned if Marie didn't say she's helping organize one for Kitsalano, also a 50th, just a month after the one I heard about. Members never give their ages to the club – so pretend you haven't read this.

Good things happen in pairs though so this was when Yoko arrived. She made a special effort – the rain! – to come by. She's appearing in her Beatles Story musical these days and the only day she gets off is Monday.

Marie asked, "Don't you need caffein to stay awake?" Yoko plays Yoko in the musical, and Yoko doesn't enter the Beatles story until quite far into the musical history, so Yoko watches a lot from the wings until she goes out and meets John. She says she takes all her vitamins to stay awake.


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