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September 2006

Entries from August 2006


Buckling up those wine barrels in Châteauneuf-du-Pape Ceinture de sécurité (sen-tewr) noun, feminine seat belt Go back in time with me now, if you will, to the historic town of St. Maximin, where visitors from all over the world come to see the purported relics of Mary Magdalene (behind a thick glass encasement in the town's basilica).... Read more →


Something useful to do during the dry season... Sécheresse (sesh-ress) noun, feminine drought If you were to sneak over to our backyard fence, part its curtain of faded jasmine, and look past a ditch full of wild fennel grown as tall as our older child, you'd spy our next-door voisin showering beneath the fiery heavens at daybreak,... Read more →


Be warned: "chiens bavards," or chatty dogs, at this neighbor's address. "The Boss Dog" by M. F. K. Fisher, where the adventures of a proud if scruffy mongrel, the Boss Dog, serve as a pretext for an informal, fictionalized portrait of the southern French city and its denizens. Order it here. braise (brez) noun, feminine 1. ember... Read more →


Photo: My 8-year-old and her new chiot. Chiot (she-oh) noun, masculine puppy I once knew a French woman who, every time her husband asked, "Chérie, where are my keys?" (or sunglasses or clopes or...) would answer deviously, "Dans les chiottes!" Chiottes? My mind conjured up the image of a toilet. I imagined the poor husband's belongings floating... Read more →


Our son, Max, collecting mussels on the Island of Groix (Brittany). "The Oysters of Locmariaquer," by Eleanor Clark, is a vivid account of the cultivation of Belon oysters and an excursion into the myths, legends, and rich, vibrant history of Brittany and its extraordinary people. Order it here. la moule (mool) noun, feminine 1. mussel 2. a... Read more →


A Fisherman's bungalow on the Isle of Groix. News: The 2007 edition of le Petit Larousse has just been released! If you don't have a copy of this French language dictionary for your desk (or even for your coffee table...) you might order one here (note: all definitions are in French). moulinette (moo-lee-net) noun, feminine little mill... Read more →