Last night there was a storm, lots of lightning flashes, a few cracks of thunder and then torrential rain. This morning it was still cloudy when I went out walking, and took a different route to the Seine. It even rained a little but it was still so warm that it was not in the least inconvenient and I could not help thinking about the kind of rain we had in Scotland recently and comparing it to this. On the way back, the sun came out and it got steadily hotter.
Yesterday was cloud free and hot all day but today the temperature ascended into the truly tropical and sticky. I can gauge the temperature roughly by the amount I need to drink and the water levels that course down my face. But even I was surprised to see a flashing sign that announced a temperature of 38 degrees. I think that was perhaps an exaggerating sign but it could not have been too wildly imaginative. This evening reminds me of summers in Albania, when I have to keep wiping the sweat off my face.
It's difficult to portray in images the blistering quality of the heat. The first picture is of trees in the Jardin George Brassens, where I lay down for a while. It was so hot after that that I was not thinking about taking pictures. Except when I saw this street performer, who mimed and did dance steps and acrobatic things with his hat and his cane, with background music. He was particularly popular with children – and me. Or perhaps I should say plage performer as this is only a few steps away from the Paris plage, an area that's been covered in sand so that people can imagine that they're at the beach. There is a vital ingredient missing – for me anyway – in this beach experience and that is water. You may be by the Seine but you can't actually go in.
Mister Slyde, the performer, also known as Lomalakane i.e. l'homme à la canne, the man with the walking stick, is described as a former gymnast and acrobat and for the last ten years has collaborated with various well-known choreographers and dancers and is also the inventor of Lyr'x, a type of dance discipline based on the art of manipulation of a stick, which he also teaches. He's been called the modern day Chaplin. But you don't have to be on Paris plage to see him you can watch videos of him here.