That Was the Winter That Was

photo, grand fountain, concorde A Sunday of whiz and spray in February.

Mighty Fine for February

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 18. February:–  Friday was a gloomy, sullen day, hanging over the city like plague, like the pest. Residents came out, sensed the change, glanced around for the groundhog and then remembered that he is not here – gone forever like the beaver – and either forged ahead to solem adventure or retreated back into the dim safety of their dank caves. It was bitter.

Late Update Or Never

It just goes to show that a few bright and sunny days in February do not a California make. Then while we were mourning on Friday evening something significant happened offstage, in the dark, and the jolly sunshine was back on Saturday. Oh, it was heavenly. It was delicious. It started out extra cool and then got almost warm. The same thing happened on Sunday. I, we, went out and basked.

Today's Le Parisien has printed its weather futures without color. My TV's decoder is still deranged, so I haven't the latest in super–color wide–screen forecasts. In shades of gray today's prediction was for clear skies and a high of 11 degrees. I can confirm that this was what actually happened.

Hold on to your hats. Tomorrow looks like it is supposed to be mostly cloudy with brief sun peeps. The high may be 9 degrees at 14:34 in the afternoon. There might be a bit more sunshine up along the northern frontier, and that's where it will be best in France.

photo, how to erect an oblisk How to erect an obelisk.

Wednesday appears as if it will be really crummy up along the Channel but that's not too near here. It looks like we will have some gray clouds like Tuesday, with feeble sun peeps, like ditto. The high temperature is predicted to be a respectable 11 degrees. On Thursday the nice weather sweep from the southwest will have begun but it won't have reached here yet. There may be rain, with 13 degrees as compensation. Friday may just be a change for the better – with 14 degrees and an outburst of blue skies.

Late Update: Tuesday was sunny and maybe as much as 11 degrees. According to Tuesday's Le Parisien it is supposed to rain on Wednesday, be unsettled on Thursday and Friday, with some kind of sun appearing again on Saturday. Without TV futures I dunno. Temperatures are also expect to rise, to about 13 or 14 degrees.

Like the famous Casey Jones, Météo Jim forecasts run on time, so he has posted one more prediction that includes that dreaded word, digital. His appreciation of the weather situation, usually, in general, is worth your attention:–

Lost In Translation

Last week the snow did snow, the rain did rain and the flood did flood. Pommeland received anywhere from a coating of snow to 4 a–inches deep, which became rain, up to 3 a–inches of the liquid stuff. Translated into snow, this would have meant 3 a–feet covering Pommeland. Although there was no such snow the heavy rains fooled a lot of shallow rivers.

photo, sign, rue de la roquette

In addition, la semaine d'amour marked the breaking of winter's back. The average temperature began to rise and will culminate many moons from now with the rising of Sirius the Dog Star and the Dog Days of Misery, otherwise known as Baseball.

As for President's Day week, more rain is expected Sunday night into Monday with temperatures in the upper 50s a–grad. A cold front will arrive from freaky colder climes and send the thermometer into the lower to mid–30s. Partly cloudies will prevail until the sun shines or the cloudies cloud completely. The various groundhog weather channels are at odds as to which scenario will unfold.

Also, not to forget, but one year from now all TV transmission in USAland will become digital. France has already filed a protest with the World Boobtube Organization to protect l'exception français.

A la prochaine, Météo Jim

And me? What about my lousy super digital TV decoder? What's so exceptional about it?

Café Life

Might Fine for February

My week was cruising along like a ride on the bumper cars when I got an invitation, forwarded from Uncle Den–Den, to assist with a Valentine's Day fête. That was last Thursday. Unluckily, France Télécom's Orange updated my TV on Wednesday which placed it hors service along with my Internet connection when I tried to fix it. So, along with no members at the club meeting, I could not put up a timely report about nobody there. Luckily the invitation was for Saturday, not Thursday.

photo, ile de la cite, seine, stairway, cafe How to sit around catching sunbeams.

After a lot of hair tearing I went and got a haircut from Tony who is not Italian. Tony cuts long so you have to go back more often. At least I came away looking like a mensch. Tony, like many other Parisians, came here 30 years ago, on a holiday, and he's still here. Anyway, with a nifty hairdo I thought I was ready to go to an artists' party.

Like all good stuff it was only six blocks away. At the store front studio of the Espace Artaim over on Liancourt, for you folks with maps for finding obscure streets.

Uncle explained to me that it wasn't going to be just a party. We were supposed to look at the artworks by Martha Holden and Suzy Chika. And if we were feeling like the rich friends of Paul Getty we were supposed to buy something. I thought, I know this drill.

When I got there in time to eat, Uncle was already there with a plastic cup in hand, describing the geopolitical situation of the entire western world since, oh, since the time of... of Tamerlane? Suzy helloed me, though it's possible we hadn't met before. She tried to force drink too, and then Martha stepped in when we stepped out for a smoke. It was kinda cool outside, in the dark.

So that didn't last long. Back inside I looked through Martha's sample books. The Web URL is above so you can look too. I went into the rear room and got a drink in the dark. It was like one of those drinks you get in the dark and you don't know what it is. Maybe kiwi. I still don't know. Somebody gave me a hefty slice of egg pie. It didn't taste like I thought an egg pie might taste like. Hardly anything does in France.

photo, how to stand around having drinksHow to stand around talking and drinking.

I met a nice lady from Singapore who said she was going to retire to Bali and run a surf shop. That was interesting. She said there are white sand beaches there with overhanging palms. "Are there bugs too?" I had to ask, if I can quote myself. You know, the ones you don't see in the glossy photos. What did she say? It doesn't matter. I'm not going there, so there's no bugs.

After several more smokes outside with various social outlaws I got to talking to a fellow well–versed with the geohistory of eastern Turkey. He cleared up a lot of my misconceptions. It was better than taking in a documentary on Arte and if I'd known beforehand I would have brought an atlas. I had some more cheese and listened to Nina Simone sing something I like.

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