Scrooge Rules

photo, pont des arts, haze, 16th arrondissement The near bridge and the distant 16th arrondissement in the haze.

Full Moon Lights the Way

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 24. December:–  It's not going to be easy writing this tonight. I feel I should keep an eye peeled in case Santa comes into view. If he does – is Santa a he? – then he's missed his landing spot in the Luxembourg and he will have to swing over the 14th and head back. It's a good thing there was a full moon earlier, even through Le Parisien said it is only a sickle. It looked pretty round to me.

Humbug Night

It just goes to show that some folks get into the spirit even when they are total Cratchit and as humbugged as Scrooge in his days of cheesy Victorian glory. To check, I just looked out the back window, but there's no moon. Where did it go so fast? It must be because it's winter – nights are long so the moon has got to move fast.

'Twas the night before... etc., etc. The cold spell we were having that was supposed to lift, hasn't. Oh yes, the temperature doubled from 2 to 5 degrees, which feels exactly like two. There's cold hazes because the sun has been glowing most days, as short as they are. I saw what looked like traces of frost, or maybe it was frozen water left behind by the street cleaners. Brrr.

I have already forgotten last night's week–long forecast. Why not when the last three days of it are only chanced at 3 out of 5? Tuesday, Christmas Day, seems like it is going to quit being sunny, and will be semi–cloudy instead. That's okay. Shopping is over. The high should be 5 degrees, there will be some breezes from the southwest, and the cloud cover is going to seep this way from the Channel.

photo, gambas, rue daguerre They had gambas.

By Wednesday the cloud cover will be more or less total. It's the day after Christmas when all the little kids will want to be out, playing with their new PlayGares WiFis while their moms and dads sit around home, gently burping and eating fancy chocolates. It may even rain, but the temperature might be up there around 6 degrees.

Back to work on Thursday so the skies may lighten up a bit to become semi–cloudy, or semi–sunny, whichever you prefer. The temperature also might show some positive attitude by becoming 8 degrees. Who knows – the beginning of summer might be noticed on 2. January? Oh, who cares? We must have sympathy for the Polar Bears mustn't we?

Our reliable forecaster Météo Jim, beyond the western ocean, has sent another new wet and cold forecast. Other than introducing Rudolph without warning, he fails to mentions ice, sleet snow and rain, all situations we are doing without because we hate that stuff:–

photo, sign, boulevard raspail

Left–over Patches

Cancel the previous forecast for Christmas! The latest, most reliable, up to date and error–free forecast for Christmas tells of heavy rain on Sunday along the entire East Coast, followed by winds up to 50mph which will blow everything out to sea – Météo Jim hopes les savants de la météo mean just the rain, fog and clouds and not everything attached to the ground as well. Monday will be clear unless clouds make their way back with temperatures in the low 40s a–grad, but no matter. This will bring in a clear night for Santa. Rudolph, at least in Pommeland, will be on cruise control and will not have to guide the old geezer. As for other parts of the world, on verra. Christmas Day will be partly cloudy with highs in the low 40s a–grad. As for a white Christmas, there will only be left–over patches of snow from last week. The rest of the week will resemble Christmas without the turkey, but with slowly lengthening days until Friday, when it will resemble Sunday except for longer days.

photo, cases of wine, rue daguerre The national drink.

Merry Christmas et joyeux Noël

"A la prochaine, Météo Jim"

Café Life

Scrooge Rules

For the first time that I can recall I am composing the final elements of an issue on Christmas Eve. In the 11 or 12 years of doing this online magazine about Paris I have worked on every feast day and holiday on the North American and European calendars, not to mention strike days, including on days when I felt I should have been on strike or called in sick.

photo, shucking shellfish, rue daguerre Shucked, so you don't.

It has been an extraordinary adventure. In the beginning the whole process was made up. No one knew what it might become, if it became anything. And here we are, me the producer and you the reader, and perhaps Café Metropole Club member – 11 or 12 years later – not knowing where this is going or why.

I am really tired of doing Metropole. But announcing that I am going to hang up my keyboard and camera is premature. Metropole is going to change somewhat in the coming year. While it may become less, it will be joined by a companion publication called Patazone that will still have words, but fewer, and photos, maybe bigger. More on this later.

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