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Entries from November 2007


Stumbling over the vines... a swarm of soûlards or drunks. Read on... étourneau (ay-toor-no) noun, masculine : starling, star (bird) : scatterbrain, featherbrain, birdbrain (you get the picture) Les aigles ... volent seul... ce sont les corbeaux, les choucas et les étourneaux qui vont en groupe. Eagles ... fly alone...they are crows, daws, and starlings that flock... Read more →


Mistletoe in them thar hills! The Tuscan Vauclusian countryside. gui (gee ["g" as in "get"]) noun, masculine : mistletoe (gui de chêne) or "Druid's plant" Le respect que les anciens Gaulois avaient pour le gui et particulièrement pour celui qui croissait sur le chêne, est connu de tout le monde. The respect that the ancient Gauls had... Read more →


tirailleur (teera-yuhr) n.m. skirmisher; soldier, infantryman, sharpshooter; sniper Example sentence: Les tirailleurs de l'armée française d'Afrique ont contribué par leur courage à placer la France parmi les puissances victorieuses de 1945. The sharpshooters of the French African army contributed, by their bravery, to putting France among the victorious powers of 1945. --from the book "Paroles d'indigènes Les... Read more →


Warmth and light in the town of Montpellier. paix (pay) noun, feminine : peace Qui vit en paix avec lui-même vit en paix avec l'univers. He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe. --Marcus Aurelius . by Kristin Espinasse (The following is a prayer* that fell out of a book on my... Read more →


"Vauclusian sky" by Jean-Marc buissonnière (bwee-sohn-yehr) adjective : living in bushes When a French student skips class, s/he goes and "lives in the bushes" for a day... We call this "ditching"; here in France it is called "l'école buissonnière" (literally "bush school"). Borrowing the bush term, and backtracking to my Arizona childhood, we hooksters (hooky players?) might've... Read more →


Culture color clash, but cute: my boys. Max (12) and Coco (10 weeks). chaton (sha-ton) noun, masculine : kitten In books: French for Cats: All the French Your Cat Will Ever Need Les caresses n'ont jamais transformé un tigre en chaton. No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it. --Franklin Delano Roosevelt .... Read more →

coin du feu

When a coin du feu feels good! le coin du feu (kwan dew fuuh) noun, masculine : fireside Mais il existe un havre où l'on peut toujours savourer une relation authentique: le coin du feu chez un ami auprès duquel on peut se défaire de ses petites vanités et trouver chaleur et compréhension. But there is another... Read more →


Our totally off-topic photo-du-jour: "Italian Wine Cooler". Picture taken in Alba, if I remember correctly. Note: no need to edit the photo captions. Photos will not appear with the chapters. Songe (sohnzh) noun, masculine dream A Restless Writer Dreams When William Faulkner, famous American novelist, poet and Nobel Laureate, came to stay with us here at the... Read more →


The handpainted sign reads: "To live well: love well and let others say what they will". ("Pour bien vivre, bien aimer et laisser dire.") . attentionné,e (ah-tohn-syon-ay) adjective . : thoughtful, considerate . In books: A *bilingual* classic that fits kids' language-learning needs . When my father returned home to Idaho, from France, he had a few... Read more →


Medieval (and very-nearly-melts-the-heart): Les Arcs-sur-Argens, Var. fondre (fon-dr) verb to melt, smelt, merge to slim down Le même soleil fait fondre la cire et sécher l'argile. The same sun melts wax and hardens clay. --Clement of Alexandria In books: The Discovery of France: a narrative of exploration--full of strange landscapes and even stranger inhabitants--that explains the enduring... Read more →