Previous month:
April 2007
Next month:
June 2007

Entries from May 2007

remonter

Remonter
A village home near the medieval quarter of Les Arcs-sur-Argens.

remonter (ruh-mohn-tay) verb
  to go, take up again; to climb up again

                        *     *     *
Pour remonter à la source, il faut nager à contre-courant.
To reach the source, one has to swim upstream.
--Stanislaw Jerzy Lec


Column
Along the main drag in Les Arcs-sur-Argens, prude iron fences cover themselves up in springtime with thick coats of roses and the old Hôtel Charles hides like a Peeping Tom behind a wall of wisteria. The flowers make for a sweet-scented morning shuttle and I roll down my window to let the fragrance wash over us. It is 7:45 and I've dropped off my first child at school. That leaves my daughter with me in the car and she is full of questions at the start of the day.

"Maman,"* my nine-year-old begins, "how do you say 'remonter'?"
"Let me think," I reply, distracted by traffic. "To climb up!" I offer.

"Maman," Jackie continues from the back seat, "will you please 'climb up' your window? I'm cold."
"Oh...sure, sweetie," I giggle, rolling up the glass.

As I drive, I think about collecting some of those roses, a bit of that wisteria, and putting it all in a vase for a bit of cheer.

My daughter clears her throat.
"Mommy, do they make chocolate toothpaste without sugar in America?" Jackie wonders. Qui sait?* I don't know about chocolate toothpaste, with or without sugar, but can now guess at the secret for "climbing up" one's mood* and it doesn't involve clipping my way through anyone's garden: just breathe in a little springtime and listen to a child's wonder.

..................................................................................
References: la maman (f) = mom; qui sait? = who knows; "climb up" one's mood (the French say "remonter le moral" for "to cheer up")

Related Terms & Expressions:
  remonter ses chaussettes = to pull up one's socks
  remonter une montre, une horloge = to wind up a watch, clock
  se remonter le moral = to lift one's spirits
  remonter à = to date back to
  remonter à cheval = to remount, to get back on one's horse
  se remonter = to recover one's strength, one's spirits
  remonter sur les planches = to go back on the stage
  remonter les bretelles à quelqu'un =to give somebody a piece of one's mind (or a real tongue-lashing)

:: Audio File ::
Hear Jean-Marc recite today's quote: Download remonter.wav
Pour remonter à la source, il faut nager à contre-courant.

In Shop:
Well, it isn't chocolate toothpaste, but it is French and I like it!
Rosetta Stone French (CD-ROM) -- "an award-winning method used by NASA and the Peace Corps"
For spring cleaning (and French scenting...)

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


sosie

Saugrenu
A cat in the china closet (the bowls think it absurd). Shop window in Brittany.


Sosie

so-see

noun, masculine

look alike

The man approaching me said, "In Hollywood, women pay good money to learn to walk like that!"
 
I remember being a little confused by my neighbor's greeting, as we crossed each other while out for a Sunday walk. Was I to take that as a compliment?

It can take me weeks, even months, to get over unsolicited feedback and sometimes a biting remark never loses its sting....

"You look about my age," a woman once confided. I later learned that she was ten years older than I. 

I have been told, "You look a little serious," and I think "Really? Me? Seriously?"

Most often I am informed, "You look like someone I know!" With this, the speaker invariably elbows their partner, "Hey, doesn't she look like so-and-so?" I wonder what so-and-so looks like?

"Tu as l'air fatiguée..." close friends say. Apparently I look tired, too....

"She looks like grandma!" the little boy at the beach shouts, and I want to stomp on his sandcastle. Enough is enough is enough!

My neighbor, Mr Hollywood, tells me he possesses the unique ability of being able to look into the mirror and see himself objectively. I wonder if this is possible? Can one see oneself as they are?

Unique abilities aside, I decide to give it a try. Staring into the mirror I search for "So-and-so" and for "Serious" and for "Tired" and for "Grandma". I squint and strain and stare. But it's no use. All I see is me.

.

French Vocabulary

tu as l'air fatigué(e) = you look tired
le sosie = look alike, double 

 

This post was originally titled "saugrenu"

saugrenu (so-gruh-newh) adjective
  absurd, preposterous

La vie, on sait bien ce que c'est : un amalgame saugrenu de moments merveilleux et d'emmerdements. Life, we know very well what it is: an absurd amalgam of marvelous moments and hassles. --Roger Martin du Gard

:: Audio File ::
Listen to my daughter pronounce today's word "saugrenu," followed by today's
quote: La vie, on sait bien ce que c'est : un amalgame saugrenu de moments merveilleux et d'emmerdements. Download saugrenu.wav
.

In Store:
Rosetta Stone French (CD-ROM) -- "an award-winning method used by NASA and the Peace Corps"
In music: Femmes de Paris, Vol. 1
Petit Bateau Camisole Tank Daywear

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety