Something about these reptilian tiles tells me they are not as old as our church (built here in La Ciotat in 1603. The cement tiles, it turns out, were set down 8 months ago, during a partial renovation). I do like them, though, and you? Some say the salamander is symbolic. Of what, I wonder? My friends from North Dakota and I had hurried into the 400 year-old église to escape the deluge outside. More, in today's column, below.
Today's word: dégouliner
: to drip, trickle, bleed
Example Sentence and Audio File, text read by Jean-Marc:
Click here to listen to the sound file
Couler lentement, goutte à goutte ou en filet. La sueur lui dégoulinait dans le dos. Peinture qui dégouline du pinceau. -les-synonyms
To slowly pour, drop by drop, or in a stream. Sweat trickled down his back. Paint that drips from the brush.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE
by Kristi Espinasse
Il y a des jours comme ça! Grrr! I've lost the previous version of this post--poof, just like that! At times like this I am tempted to jeter l'éponge, or throw in the towel. Speaking of sponges and serviettes (oh, the power of French words to get us back on our feet again!), we could have used those last week, during le déluge. Instead, my friends from North Dakota and I ventured out into la pluie--unwilling to let a few too many raindrops gâcher notre vie!
First stop: home! Brian, Miranda, and Erin stopped by our (still-under-renovation) house, to pet Smokey. Wearing K-ways with built-in capuches they were ready to face the upcoming cloudburst, or rafale de pluie.
Beautiful carved wooden door and anciennes tomettes carrées. Looking out to the Vieux-Port from inside Notre Dame de L'Assomption
How would you like to live behind a briocherie? Would you be tempted to stop there each morning? I hope you are reading closely, because this is a first hint about some news we have to share with you. Here's hint number two: the next time someone asks me the following question, I may be able to say "Oui!"...
"Kristi, do you know of a place I can rent in La Ciotat? A darling little place overlooking the port? One where I won't mind climbing 3 flights of stairs to get to that magnificent view?"
Enough hints. On to the next pictures (all taken by Erin) which have nothing to do with the upcoming news (except that they are near the historic old port of La Ciotat--just like that neat short-term rental unit!)
Standing with Miranda and Brian in La Place Sadi Carnot. This little square is usual alive with bistro tables and people enjoying the sun, but, as stated earlier, pas de soleil today! A note about Place Sadi Carnot--it was part of the ancient cemetery, surrounding the church, in Roman times.
The scent of roasted chicken drew me and Miranda (still wearing her trusty capuche) right into this Boucherie Orientale.
Voilà, those were just a few more photos from my friends visit. You can see part one (Cassis) here. And Miranda has written more over at her blog. If you click on the smaller photo near the end of this blog, it'll start the seconds-long video of the stormy sea. What a contrast to those beautiful and peaceful tree blossoms in the foreground!
FRENCH VOCABULARY REVIEW
dégouliner = to trickle (rain), drip (paintbrush), run (make-up)
gâcher la vie = to ruin one's life
une église = church
une éponge = sponge
le déluge = downpour, torrential rain, The Flood
la serviette = towel
K-way = windbreaker or raincoat
la capuche = hood
les anciennes tomettes carrées = old square terracotta tiles
la rafale de pluie = cloudburst, blowing rain, rain squall
Merde!: The Real French You Were Never Taught at School (Sexy Slang Series)
Paris-themed mini umbrella
T-Shirt "I Don't Need Therapy I Just Need to Go to France."
La Roche-Posay sunscreen - rated top by Consumer Reports
Nothing says "summer in the south of France" like these wonderful quick-drying towel used in Mediterranean countries
"Cercis siliquastrum." These beautiful arbres de Judée, or Judas trees, are blossoming all over town! You can just see the raindrop on the edge of that lower branch of this "redbud tree"... the drop about to dégouliner or trickle down to the ground. I hope you enjoyed today's périple, or trek through La Ciotat. See you in a few days.
Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi