abeille
vendange

imprévu

Maxvendange
Our twelve-year-old vigneron/vine farmer, Max.

Hello from the blustery Vaucluse where the Mistral wind is harvesting the grapes for us! All we have to do is get down on our hands and knees and scour the dirt floor for the fallen fruit! It's a sticky, scratchy business but with a sweet return (we hope). The harvesters arrive on Sunday night -- in the meantime, my family and I are back to earth-scouring... in search of wayward grapes.

Everyone's favorite!: Complete Guide to Conjugating 12000 French Verbs

imprévu(e) (an-pray-vew) adjective
  unforeseen, unexpected

noun: unforeseen situation

Le beau c'est l'imprévu.
What is nice is the unexpected.
--Thomas Bernhard
.

Column
It sounded like a last gasp for air. My husband was looking out the window when I heard it. That sound. That gasp!

"What's the matter, Jean-Marc?"
"They've fallen on the floor!"
"What?"
"Mes raisins!"*

I looked out the window and saw them lying there, scattered bunches of blue.
"The grapes have fallen!" Jean-Marc gasped, taking one last breath before charging over to the cave* to grab all four buckets, pitching them into his Citroën. I followed on his heels, leaving the coffee and the breakfast toast, and pausing to sling my mom's wicker basket over my arm.

                                     *     *     *

Like that, the harvest has begun, six days earlier than planned, well before the grape pickers' arrival. It was the wind that decided it and she laughed as we scurried below her, like tenants in a house on fire. In a flash we left our valuables: a rigid routine, a sacred schedule, and any comforting habitudes.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
References: le raisin (m) = grapes; la cave (f) = wine cellar; une habitude (f) = habit

     At Home in the Vineyard: Cultivating a Winery, an Industry, and a Life
     The Grapes Grow Sweet: A Child's First Harvest in Wine Country

:: Audio File ::
Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce today's word & quote:
Imprévu. Le beau c'est l'imprévu.
MP3 file: Download imprevu.mp3
Wave file: Download imprevu.wav

Shopping:
L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
Mille Bornes, the classic French auto race card game.
Amelie: Original Soundtrack
French language software -- used everyday in more than 10,000 academic institutions
Tune Up Your French--includes tips on how to avoid taboos and common faux pas and is "the next best thing to a year abroad".
Moleskine City Notebook - Paris
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French Terms & Expressions:
  de manière imprévue = unexpectedly
  en cas d'imprévu = in case of an emergency
  sauf imprévu = barring any unforeseen circumstances
  il y a un imprévu = something unexpected has cropped up

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