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Entries from September 2008

The book fair in Roussillon. All photos taken by mom (a.k.a. "Jules"). See her, and her gallery of photos, in today's edition. attrape-tout (ah-trap-too) adjective : catch-all The French word "attrape-tout" refers to a vague political plan destined to seduce the greatest number of voters. In today's story, it refers to a bookseller's plan to seduce the... Read more →

Field of poppies in Provence by Warren Plauche. A surprise for you today: a veritable "vernissage" by artist Warren Plauche! See all twelve "oeuvres," and don't forget to vote for your favorite watercolor. vernissage (ver-nee-sazh) noun, masculine : varnishing; glazing : private viewing (art), preview, opening (art exhibition) Audio File Listen to the French word vernissage and... Read more →

***Book Fair near Bonnieux*** Please come and see me and my mom, Jules (pictured). We'll be in Roussillon (Luberon) this Sunday: she, in her colorful poncho, a just-swiped flower in her fedora... and I'll be the one who needs to loosen up a bit. Michel Thomas Speak French For Beginners: 10-CD Beginner's Program beau-fils (boh-feece) noun, masculine... Read more →

Heart-shaped leaves (lower left), old vine trunks, and white flowers mingle with our grapes. Read: Quiet Corners of Paris ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~COURBATURE~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ courbature (kor-bah-toor) noun, feminine : ache, muscular pain You can help with this edition by adding any related terms and expressions for today's word, "courbature". Do you know another translation for "courbature"? Does one talk about "courbature"... Read more →

Braise and John, harvesting the grenache. Read John's letter to his grandson, Vincent, in today's story column, below. ~~~Cara Black will be at the Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore in Paris!~~~ If you are in Paris on September 25th, don't miss this author. Cara will be reading from her latest book, "Murder on Rue Paradis". Further details at the... Read more →

Our tractor's girophare (upper left) and Braise-the-Dog (lower right, hidden). Click on image. Today's word is "girophare", though "friggin' girophare" would be more correct, or simply "frigging" (which fits the mood of our story better and which is, you all might agree, a much more common and useful word (never mind the English) than "girophare"). Hélas, as... Read more →

Laundry, motorcycle, burrs... read on in today's column! se grouiller (seuh-grooyay) verb : to get a move on [the verb "grouiller" means "to mill about") New, in books: "The Black Tower" by Louis Bayard : Expressions: grouille-toi = buck up! Yesterday, after dropping off the kids at school, I headed out to the field of Grenache grapes:... Read more →

Fall is around the corner and the grapes are landing in the baskets. Day three of la vendange. Grape harvest update: eight more helping hands have arrived, two of which belong to my mom... stay tuned. cuve (koov) noun, feminine : vat : tank, mash tun; cistern Hear today's word and this example sentence: une cuve. On... Read more →

Fruit & cheese garde-mangers for sale on a sidewalk in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. I wonder if they make a mini version for the furry hero in today's story... read on in today's column. Harvest update: two more harvesters arrived over the weekend: John (retired, from Indiana) and Ansley (living in Avignon; from Portland). They are staying with Erin (Australia),... Read more →