"Wild Orchids" and fresh, just-in-off-the-line laundry. Still can't name flowers (tulips) and I'm late folding clothes. My point and shoot camera broke, too: no longer focuses and everything's a blur!
gazouillis (gah-zoo-wee) noun, masculine
1. twittering, chirping, warbling (birds), gurgling (baby) ;
2. babbling, murmuring (of running water)
Listen to Max's friend, Bastien, pronounce the French word "gazouillis" and the example phrase: Les gazouillis de printemps. (The twittering of Spring.) Download gazouillis.mp3. Download gazouillis.wav
The following fortified, edible (and edited) tweets, babblings, or "gazouillis" answer the popular Twitter* question "What am I doing now?" and serve as a mini chronicle of "A WEEK in the life of a wife, mother, hostess, writer, chauffeur, wine-salesman..." You get the picture--and you'll even get the times and the dates! Follow along, now, to see what I've been up to, minute by minutious minute, for the past seven days:
7:26 AM: Waiting for the show to begin : the sunrise over Mont Ventoux. Soulagée* now that Coco's back from a nocturnal hunt.
9:43 AM: Flipping through the dictionary... when on my way to "persil" (parsley) I found this gem : péricliter = to be going downhill.
10:54 AM: Just back from a laundry "break": "un-pocketed" 1 cork, 11 ipomées* and 1 sunflower seed, scraps of plastic from which JM tore the fertilizer bag.
3:55 PM: Putting two tomato tarts into the oven and melting chocolate in a casserole. The Americans arrive in two hours. What to wear?
11:05 PM: The tomato tart was soggy-bottomed but the guests were gracious and convincing; time now to sleep and be a chef in my dreams.
7:22 AM: Getting a morning kawa* fix while watching a rumble of red-bellied clouds fade into the eastern horizon. The mountains are still sleeping.
9:34 AM: Jean-Marc is racing to finalize the pruning before the wannabee grape leaves beat him to the finish. Le Stress!
12:24 PM: Pulling a paper fish off friend Rachel's back. "C'est un poisson d'avril,"* she explains. Her two-year-old put it there.
4:53 PM: Discovering a bouquet of wild orchids, in a plastic Vittel bottle, on the kitchen table. Wonder whom they're for?
6:13 PM: Watching L'homme qui plantait des arbres / The man who planted trees. Beautiful. Mille mercis, Rebecca!
9:02 PM: Witnessing the village of Gigondas glitter in the dark to the tune of kids brushing teeth. Time to turn out the office lights. Bonsoir.*
7:35 AM: Listening to the French birds wake up. Outside, the river reeds are waving back at the breeze.
10:14 AM: Recalling the fancy word for "water rat" (nutria) thanks to Casa Bruno Chris. But do you know the French equivalent,* & do river rodents bite?
11:02 AM: About to photograph our rock-star potager which, at the moment, resembles a fifth-grade marching band minus pomp and circumstance.
1:30 PM: Hearing Jean-Marc's good news: Domaine Rouge-Bleu will make the wine list at Les Trois Forts (Sofitel). Chin chin!
3:38 PM: Forgiving grumpy Gauls and boys.
5:47 PM: Clean sheets: check. Scrubbed toilet: check. Dog hair off the floor: almost check. Guest towels... forgot the guest towels!!!
7:58 PM: Winning the daily thermostat battle. In the push of a button, we've gone from 15 degrees Celsius to 19.5. Jean-Marc hasn't noticed yet...
7:16 AM: Quietly sipping coffee -- so as not to slurp and wake my guest... or attract the attention of two dancing poodles in the next room.
9:49 AM: Listening to the scrape & grind of cement mixing : the hum & drum of patio construction. "Waves lapping against sandy shore" = overrated.
2:08 PM: "Merde! Putain!"* - beau-frère* Jacques' words wafting up to this second-story window. Did someone throw a sabot in the cement mixer or what?
5:42 PM: Back from kid-getting. Son Max *flew* into the car: "Je me suis fait emporter par le vent, fada!"* Me: "Fada? Fada! Can I say fada?" Max: "Non, maman."
6:58 PM: Losing the daily thermostat battle.
8:07 PM: Preparing birds' tongues ("langues d'oiseaux"*) for dinner, according to the French package. It's a change from "angel hair".
7:03 AM: 1st cup of kawa. Happy the coffee machine finally "worked" after 1 week. Had forgotten about daylight savings & resetting timer thingies.
8:54 AM: Wondering: are Peter Pan jupes* the fad? A lady in the school parking lot had on one, only, the skirt was flying & she wasn't. Sacré Mistral!*
11:23 AM: Keys, glasses, porte-monnaie*... Heading to Marseilles to sell wine and to celebrate Florence's 40th.
2:33 PM: Blending brewed coffee leftovers: yesterday's & the day before's. No longer a coffee snob. Now to work on beverage-temperature flexibility.
7:30 PM: Tracking dirt into the house. Hope the kids didn't see.
8:03 PM: Tossing "quatre fromages"* pizza into the oven. Happy not to have to cook tonight, though grocery store queuing took as long as making dough.
11:18 AM: "Rock-climbing": searching high & low for pretty rocks to: 1. soften hard patio edges and 2. separate the wild from the soon-to-be contained.
3:38 PM: Impromptu photo session with Tiffany. Wish I'd washed my hair today. Can't speak for Jean-Marc.
5:42 PM: Thanking Kim for lunch at La Farigoule. The goat cheese ice cream is delicious. Waiter says the smooth dessert "goes down like a letter at the post."
6:15 PM: Drinking rosemary tea & honey for a sore throat. Chilled & soaked after watering against the wind. (Future sunflowers.) Better be worth it.
7:58 PM: Drooling over lavender wisteria in an illustrated dictionary is the next best thing to having one and beats envying the neighbors' glycines.
8:48 PM: Taking a to-do list to bed. The sun has set. Village lights twinkling on yonder mountains.
Twitter; soulagé(e) = relieved; une ipomée (f) = morning glory (flower); un kawa (m) (also "caoua")= a coffee; un poisson d'avril = a French April Fool's joke in which one sticks a paper fish on the unsuspecting one's back; bonsoir = good night; equivalent = (the French equivalent for "nutria" is "le ragondin"; merde! putain! = @#$!; le beau-frère (m) = brother-in-law; Je me suis fait emporté par le vent, fada! = The wind blew me forward. Crazy thing!; langues d'oiseaux = a type of pasta that is rice-shaped (or shaped like a bird's tongue) and is used in Tunisian cuisine, especially Tunisian pasta soup; une jupe (f) = skirt; Sacré Mistral (wind) = Cursed Mistral; le porte-monnaie (m) = wallet; quatre fromages = four cheese (pizza)
In French Film: Jean-Luc Godard Box Set
"La France" Big Magnetic Puzzle featuring Map of France, great learning tool includes the French regions and French departments with their specialties
Dinner in Paris: Authentic music from France
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety