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Entries from July 2009

The iron campanile in Camaret-sur-Aygues, where the following drama takes place.... poursuivre (poor-sweevre) to chase In the town of Camaret-sur-Aygues, we had found good seats beneath the shady platane at an outdoor café when our luck took a swift turn for the worse. Our five-month-old chiot, Braise, had curled up beneath the table, her leash attached to... Read more →

If you are lucky enough to have wings, then fly. If you're lucky enough to have feet, then dance! (Thank you, Francie, for the dance link. More dancing in today's story....) Photo of une libellule, clinging to a pot of geraniums, taken last week. dégouliner (day goo lee nay) verb : to trickle, to drip (with sweat)... Read more →

I don't have a photo for you of les gradins, or bleachers, in Nimes. I hope this "seat" will be a good stand-in. More about Gallic gradins in the story column, below. (Update: we now have photos of the gradins (see story column and mille mercis to Michaelpatrick Callahan for his photos of the Nimes arena). les... Read more →

No, the street light and the window are not false friends, but keep each other quiet company on a lazy midsummer day in the South of France. les faux amis (lay fowz ah mee) : "false friends" or words that look alike... but have different meanings . Audio File & Example sentence: Listen to my daughter Jackie,... Read more →

Domestic Gist. It has taken me years to understand the art of homemaking. I'm not there yet--loin de là--but, in bites, little by little, I am beginning to "get" the domestic gist of bucolic bliss. In today's picture: another spent sunflower from the garden (I harvested the seeds for sowing next spring); homegrown tomatoes, too! The blue... Read more →

On the way back from the clothesline, freshly dried linens in my basket, I knelt down to discover these two beauties: one animal, one vegetable, both minuscule. le papillon (pah-pee-yohn) noun, masculine : butterfly l'effet papillon = the butterfly effect . Audio file: Listen to my son, Max, pronounce these French words: Download MP3 le papillon. l'effet... Read more →

A convivial game of boules in the town of La Ciotat. All photos courtesy of Lou McClelland. pétanque (peh-tank) noun, feminine : a game similar to boules (bowles), originating from the Mediterranean and played in the South of France (and elsewhere!) Audio File & Example Sentence Download MP3 file Souvent, le jeu de pétanque est accompagné d'un... Read more →

Cowering under the authority... of Time. Photo of les tournesols taken in our front yard. . mener à la baguette (meuh-nay ah-lah baa-get) expression : to boss around, to rule with a rod of iron (or with an iron hand or fist). Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce these French words: Download MP3 file Mener à la... Read more →

Thirst-quenching in the village of Sainte Cécile-les-Vignes. To better view the trompe l'oeil on the back wall, click on this photo. Please don't miss Evelyn's very thoughtful article, over at Musings from Red Bell Farm, on our Domaine Rouge-Bleu wine! (The first post is here. The second, here). Mille mercis, Evelyn! désaltérant,e (day-zahl-tehr-ahn, day-zahl-ter-ahnt) adj : thirst-quenching... Read more →

The sign on the back of the old truck says "(ride) in complete security...with Michelin tires". sans plomb (sahn plom) noun : unleaded Example Sentence & Audio File follow, below) A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse (Note: the following story was written in September 2007) At the gas station in Camaret I study the... Read more →