Sitting Around

photo, bunch of sitters, stairs, montmartre, big view Sitting in the sun on Montmartre.

Not Blog, But Gulb

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 2. June:–  Last week while cruising down from Montmartre in the sunshine sweeping up the hillside it felt a bit steamy, a bit like I imagine Rio to be like on a good day. Sure I missed the smell of the sticky brine and the lush flowers but this was inland, in northern Europe. What you have to imagine is being in the tropics with the smells of garlic and fresh baguettes, and later underground in the métro, that particular odor of the hot disk brakes as the train slams into Montparnasse or Denfert. If you missed it last week, it's still with us this week.

Berserk In the Bathtub

It just goes to show that the weather can have an effect on imagination, at least until it gets into the crazy rain we've been having. Lightening, thunder, rain falling in sheets. Floods in the south, floods in the east, roads washed out and folks hip–deep in their kitchens, wondering if the bridge will hold up until they get out of town. It's not supposed to be tropical. There is no monsoon here. You wouldn't think so.

photo, willy on one leg, stone in shoe What's this?

The TV–news weather maps have gone nuts. Usually there's just a bulge from the Atlantic and it washes across France from west to east. These days there's a bulge in the southeast, one pushing up from the Pyrenees, another doing crazy jams in the middle with a baby one beginning on the nose of Brittany. By midday they go twist and twirl, and another wave sloshes over. Like a berserk bathtub.

On Tuesday the bulge hangs from the northern border and then moves east, leaving behind showers and, possibly, sunny periods, with a high of 19 degrees. Things might clear quite a bit on Wednesday here and it may even be semi–nice, with 19 for the high. On Thursday we will be under a 90 degree wave of semi not–so–nice, but better than the total muck that its following east. What can I say? 19 degrees again. Last night's probability rating was in the pits for the coming weekend.

Celestial observations from Météo Jim suggest hurricanes sometimes. Like during the half year that constitutes the season over there. Here is the ultra–ultra version of how it will be in and around greater Pommeland:–

Hurricane Jump Season

For those living on the western shores of the Atlantic and all around and in the Caribbean, the first day of June marks the beginning of hurricane – and to be fair, himicane and slowicane – seasons. However, Mama Nature shows her contempt for human lines of demarcation and has already unleashed Hurricane Arthur on the Yucatan Peninsula.

photo, sign, boulevard des capucines

As for the Pacific side of Central America, the season is even less pacific because its official start of the races is May 15 and Hurricane Alma has already come and gone.

The weather people predict a more active than normal season, but they have said this for the past three years and have been wrong, wrong, wrong. The groundhog's forecast for the winter is more accurate. Come to think of it, one of the meteorologists did look very furry and kept asking where was the nearest garden.

Last Tuesday saw the arrival of the Muggies in Pommeland. They were quickly chased out by near record low temperatures and frost warnings in some places. But the temperatures climbed into the 60s and 70s a–grad during the day only to be serenaded by Thunderboomersdonnerundgeblitzens on Saturday.

The first week of June will see the partly cloudies come together on Wednesday to form the rainies and then break up into the partly cloudies again. Temperatures will be in the upper 70s – lower 80s all a–grade.

A la prochaine, Météo Jim

Café Life

photo, sitters, terrace, cafe, montmartre More Montmartre sitters.

What the Hell Is This?

I didn't do Paris last week. My number one son Willy was here and we hung out, eating, drinking, smoking, talking and watching DVD movies on my huge TV. Oh, we went shopping for that food, and the drink too. We went to the Italian one night but it wasn't as nutty as usual because Uncle Den–Den caught something from some travellers. The crêpes the following night weren't any better, because they just weren't. That happens sometimes. I probably already wrote this in the club report on Thursday.

Some folks, ones that were born about the time the word blog was coined, call this a blog. Because I was doing it seven years before blogs existed, I doubt it is a blog. Look around here. What do you see? It doesn't look like a blog, does it? If it doesn't look like a blog, doesn't smell like a blog and doesn't taste liker a blog, then it probably isn't a blog. Call it a golb instead.

Maybe that should be gulb. It is a good word for last Wednesday. I hadn't seen Willy for two years, he said. After Tuesday's rain we had to go out on Wednesday and I asked him where he wanted to go. He said, "I dunno." He was born here but he has never looked at a guide book, looked up Paris on the Web, or knows the least thing about the place. He was counting on me to take him past something. I doubt if he cared whether it was beautiful, amazing or interesting. So we went to Montmartre.

photo, train full of sitters, montmartre Montmartre train full of sitters.

I doubt if the Butte has changed much since the first tour bus went up there in 1872 and tourists had a look at the wreckage left over from the events of the Commune. They were up there looking for Utrillo and bullet holes, cute little cabarets and arty types, colorful postcards and the dinky little train that putts around the hill. Maybe I'm wrong and they were looking for Jesuits, windmills or the telegraph. Maybe they saw the white church but I don't remember if it was built then.

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