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Entries from August 2009

Rock on -- la récolte commence! That's my belle-soeur, Cécile , who is back--along with her friends, to help us with this third harvest. *** la récolte (lah ray kolt) noun, feminine : harvesting; collecting; gathering : harvest, crop . Audio File & Example Sentence: (check back for the sound file...) Cette année la récolte des raisins... Read more →

Jean-Marc and the Croatian fishermen. Read on, in today's story column... gracieux (grass-yeuh) adjective : gracious, welcoming you know of any terms or expressions that fit with today's word? Thanks for sharing them in the comments box -- for all to enjoy! Audio File: Listen to my son Max pronounce these French words: Download Gracieux Les... Read more →

Door beads--and a would-be butterfly--were just part of the charm awaiting us at our vacation rental in Croatia. See another photo, below. *** le mot juste (leuh moh zhoost) noun, masculine : the exact word or expression Audio File & Example Sentence: Listen to my son, Max, pronounce the following French words: Download Le mot juste ...on... Read more →

"Giggly & Pensive" in the town of Ovada, Italy. After a "game" of charades, this couple understood my request and graciously offered to pose for this photo. Don't miss another dozen photos of Italy, coming up in a future edition of my photo blog, "Cinéma Vérité. sauve qui peut (sohv kee peuh) expression : a general panic;... Read more →

No canard photos on file for you today. (I locked myself out of my "photos on file"... when my computer crashed last March.) I hope this "Croatian Door" will satisfy your appetite for a slice of Mediterranean life. Don't miss a dozen more slices in this Saturday's Cinema Verite photo gallery! canard (kah-narh) noun, masculine : duck... Read more →

A vegetarian-friendly photo taken on the island of Cres in Croatia. (Herbivores may stop reading at this point... and check back to the next edition). *** News: I will be joining two authors at the American Library in Paris, to talk about "fish-out-of-water experiences" living in la belle France. If, by chance, you are in Paris on... Read more →

We might have avoided the 14-hour chassé-croisé and its memorable bumper-to-bumper bouchon* at the Croatian border had we taken this cheery "pointu"* in place of our Citroën... (photo taken last week, on the Istrian island of Cres). chassé-croisé (shah-say-krwah-zay) noun, masculine 1. comings and goings 2. a period of heavy, two-way traffic 3. cross-translation 4. (there seems... Read more →


The market in Les Arcs-sur-Argens. une oeillade (euh-yahd) noun, feminine a furtive glance, an ogle; a wink, look-over, peep; a sheep's eye ...puis une oeillade au blond, une oeillade au brun, lancée en contrebande... ...then a wink to the blond, a furtive glance at the brunette, delivered like smuggled goods... --from "Beautés de la poësie anglaise" by... Read more →

Bignonias always remind me of our home in Les Arcs, where the flowers clambored up and over the metal pergola beside our driveway, throwing shade onto the boules (or "pétanque" or "bocce ball") court just beyond. Our house in Les Arcs-sur-Argens was a 30-minute drive from Bagnols-en-Forêt, where my English friend, Michèle, had a "pied-à-terre", or second... Read more →