Fountain in Brignoles. A good place to hang out when it's hot. Now if someone would turn on the robinet...

In books: "Cruising French Waterways" covers historical sites and scenic attractions, as well as shore facilities, repair yards and more.

la chaleur (sha-ler) noun, feminine
  heat; warmth, ardour (passion)

Les vieillards ont besoin d'affections comme de soleil. C'est de la chaleur.
Old men need affection as they need the sun. It is warmth
                                          --Victor Hugo (from Les Miserables)

A Day in a French Life...

In celebration of the first day of summer, the cicadas outside are shaking their Mexican maracas. "Zetzetzetzetzet," they chant, in a land where even insects sport French accents. My mom calls the trilly ones "katydids." Close, considering that the cigale* was once called a "tree cricket." I want to remind the cricket-cigales that, here in France, it's naptime! But then, who can sleep in this kind of chaleur?*

In this kind of heat, my kids have thought up ways to cool down. They gather plastic bouteilles* from the recycle bin, beneath the kitchen sink, to fill with tap water before chasing each other around the yard to splash (then dash).

"Ooh ooh eye eye," they cry as they sprint across the parched grass, stiff beneath their still small feet. "Hey! HEY!" I say, picking up the tossed bottle caps.

"Oohooh EYEYE zetzetzetzetzet HEYHEY!" chant the kids and the so-called katydids (and one weary maman* chasing plastic lids).

References: la cigale (f) = cicada; la chaleur (f) = heat; la bouteille (f) = bottle; la maman (f) = mom

                                     French Pronunciation
Hear my eleven-year-old, Max, pronounce the word "chaleur": Download chaleur2.wav
Listen to Max's sentence: "Il y a beaucoup de chaleur en Afrique!" (There's lots of heat in Africa!) : Download chaleur_3.wav

Terms & Expressions:
chaleureusement = warmly
chaleureux, chaleureuse = warm; hearty
une bouche de chaleur = hot air vent
Quelle chaleur! = It's hot out!
être en chaleur = to be in heat
avoir des chaleurs = to have hot flashes

More books:
The Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary
Mastering French Vocabulary : A Thematic Approach

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