le chiffre
un métier


For more about this photo, see Photo du Jour (below)

Words in a French Life: "...a heart-winning collection from an American woman raising two very French children with her French husband in Provence, carrying on a lifelong love affair with the language."

secouer (suh-koo-ay) verb
  1. to shake; to shake off; to shake out

n'avoir rien à secouer = not to give a hoot
secouer le joug de quelqu'un = to throw off (dictator, tyrant)

Citation du Jour
Il faut secouer la vie; autrement elle nous ronge.
One must shake up life; otherwise it will eat into us.

A Day in a French Life...
Beyond my computer screen, I can see out the window to what the kids are up to in the yard: usually soccer, circuits around the house on the vélo* or rollers,* dribbling the basketball or playing cache-cache* with Césarine the rabbit. They switch from one activity to the next, multi-tasking their adventures.

Beyond les aventuriers* I see the wild figuier.* Wild, for its wayward trunks, some of which fall to the ground. Or "fell," I should say. Our neighbor came over and sawed off almost half the trunks, for the bien-être* of the tree. Not having une main verte* to understand these matters, I find it a painful sight--such a gorgeous monster fruitier* razed like that.

The other day I heard a shriek and looked up to find the fig tree trembling. My eyes followed the branches until they reached a cluster of boys engaged in a rain dance around the tree, taking turns shaking the figuier to liberate the rain drops that had gathered upon the leaves.

"What on earth are you doing?" I said to Max and his friends.

The little French Indians froze. Next, five grubby gueules* looked up, sporting whodunit expressions. Before les coupables* would fess up, the Chief, in a heavy French accent, spoke:

"We are refreshing ourselves!"

To borrow a French expression, I should have "shaken the fleas off" those boys for traumatizing le figuier. Instead, I sat back and witnessed joy spinning under the ol' fig tree.

*References: le vélo (m) = the bike; les rollers (mpl) = roller skates; le cache-cache (m) = hide-n-seek; un aventurier (m), une aventurière (f) = an adventurer, an adventuress; un figuier (m) = a fig tree; le bien-être (m) = well being; une main verte (f) = a "green thumb"; un arbre fruitier (m) = a fruit tree; la gueule (f) (informal) = the face; le coupable (m), la coupable (f) = the guilty one

Photo du Jour...

Yet another snapshot from Italy (in this photo, the port of Positano). The French images will be back next week!

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety