The Big Sunflower Is Here

photo, seine quai, stairs, sunday sitters Quayside perches in Paris on Sunday.

We Are Laughing

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 16. April:–  After our perfect Easter a week ago, we have had a week of summer for the past week, including today and slightly reduced, tomorrow. I had a summer at Easter once a long time ago, spent on a log–boom on a river, and for 49 years I thought it was rare if it happened at all. This year, if it weren't for the impending election – campaigning must be a hot, sweaty, sticky, business – we could have really opened Paris Plage three months early. Now it looks like you missed it.

Sun Sun Sun

Today's magic number was exactly 78.8, as in degrees, on the F scale of the nearest thermometre. Living in funky old metrical Europe we use of course the simplified and ultra–sleek C scale which stands for Celsius. Its number has been pegged pretty steadily to 26 for the past several days.

As a rule Paris has decent weather only rarely and then it is stingy with it. But thanks to global warming we are now having July–type pollution in April when we are usually lucky not to have occasional sleet. The leaves that protect my view of the cemetery across the street usually don't blot it out until 30. June. Frankly, the plants are rioting.

At the rate we're going summer's bugs will be here any minute. And bugs being bugs – they thrive – they will have enough oomph this year to do it twice. The bees – what are they saying about the bees? No sooner is the winter wheat out of the way and the summer wheat is ready to be harvested in late May. There'll be enough sunpower left to plant the whole country in sunflowers and it will look like burnt toast by the end of June.

photo, fiat 500 of the week Fiat 500 of the Week.

However, before reaching a state of mild panic, let's be calm. Tomorrow looks like it will be another sunny day around here, but the high is only forecast to reach to 22 degrees. I may have to put on a shirt.

Tonight's TV–news gives us another sunny day for Wednesday. There will be clouds, but up by that country to the north, and all over the southern half of this one. For some unknown reason the high is only forecast to be 18 degrees.

The whole situation changes drastically on Thursday when the cloudy half of the country will be the eastern half. That is, everything to the east of here. In this western half it is forecast to be sunny again, and the temperature should bump up a bit to 19 degrees. Another item of joy to add to our cheer is the additional 4 minutes of daylight each day. This means sunrise is about 7:00 with the sunset happening about the time the weather comes on TV, at 20:45.

Across the way the east coast of the United States is being sorely abused by events in the air. Send packages, hoist the buckets, put out liferafts, because here's Météo Jim with multiple reports, no sports and lots of liquid water.

Glub Glub Glub

Pommeland has received more than 5 a–inches – 14 e–middle–metres – of rain since yesterday. If this had been snow, Pommeland would be covered by 50 a–inches. This cannot be converted into e–measurements because this is April and the EU constitution does not allow for that much snow in spring.

photo, under bridge, seine, notre dameLatin Quartier quai.

Saturday– To add insult to injury, some opening day home games for baseball were cancelled because of snow.

Starting tonight, Saturday, which will be three days ago when Metropole readers see this, a semi–perfect storm known as a Nor'easter is forecast to hit the East Coast. It started in the Midwest, dropping up to a foot of snow and then headed east, ignoring the cries of "Go West, young man!" Upon reaching the coast, it will not only ignore the injunction to return west but it will stall out and linger upon the western shores of the Atlantic OK, in some sense, it did go west. Winds will increase to the point where the storm could be considered a class 1 hurricane. It may leave Sunday night or it may stay and wait for the next edition of Metropole to appear. But as it leaves, there will be a wrap around effect which may bring snow to Pommeland. On verra. If there is a next week, temperatures will be in the mid 50s a–grad – 12 e–grad – and party cloudy.

Friday– Here's the latest snow report. Opening day for baseball postponed until September 1. Forecaster Brian Korty said the entire eastern half of the country would feel the brunt of it in the coming days, calling it the kind of storm that happens once every 20 years. In Vermont, Mount Snow, a ski area that had already closed for the season, decided to reopen for the weekend after getting 5 inches of new snow by midday Thursday. Forecasters expected up to 10 inches in parts of New Hampshire. Up to 8 inches were expected in central Maine.

A la prochaine , Météo Jim

Ed's Note:– Summer is over here.

Café Life

The Simple Life

I was just about to do some serious walking around and soaking up Paris, its sights and smells, its history and secrets, when Josef Schomburg pulled off a super deal to get a fantastic camera which made him mightily excited, so he had to come over and show it to me. I can understand emotions like this – it's spring, the days are magically summerlike, and folks go nuts.

photo, seine, pont neuf, boats The sparkling Seine this April.

But first Dimitri showed up to return an item that he borrowed – thank you, Dimitri! – so he was sitting here when Josef arrived, carrying his monopole. A monopole is a one–legged tripod that you can use for defense against bozos who threaten to kill you just for taking their photo when they happen to be out in public and get in the way.

Dimitri was quietly rolling a cigarette and Josef showed us all of his lenses. I showed Josef my lenses, hoping he would want to buy them. Dimitri asked for a match. Josef asked for a cigarette, but I didn't have any so I went out to the tabac to get some and play the Loto, and get a loaf.

When I got back Josef made me try his camera. It was a big Otto but it had a fine, bright viewfinder. Each time I pressed the shutter release it took four or five photos. It didn't seem to have any half–speed. We all took potos of each other. They haven't come back from the drugstore yet.

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Waldo Bini