Canvas: Toile, carte bancaire, papeterie and belle époque in French

chambre à part

yellow bicycle wicker basket panier france french tire cord
One of my favorite things about going to the grocery store in Camaret-sur-Aigues is seeing the line-up of vélos out front. Question: do French bikes have more character than others? Are the bicycles in your area as authentic?  What makes them so?

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Today we will need to pedal quickly, what with another mise en bouteille* here at Domaine Rouge-Bleu. For this reason we will visit the archives, in today's story column, for an anecdote written one year ago.  Enjoy! Meantime, wish 7 of us luck with this two-day eighteen thousand unit bottling!

*la mise en bouteille = wine bottling. Read several lively stories about our wine bottling enterprises.

chambre à part (shahm-bruh ah par) expression

    : "room separately"

faire chambre à part is to "coucher séparément" (to sleep separately when a marriage or relationship sours).



by Kristin Espinasse

My husband talks in his sleep and this, of all things, is what he says: "Chérie, tu ronfles." ("Darling, you are snoring.")

"Je suis désolée," I apologize, just to appease him--for everyone knows you can't reason with a sleeptalker.

To reassure my husband that peace will return, I roll over to my side as a snorer might.

If Jean-Marc's sleeptalking continues, with his indefatigable Chérie, tu ronfles, we may have resort to what the French call "chambre à part," that is, sleeping in separate rooms for I am worn out by his three-word repetitive phrase.

Meantime, as you can sympathize, it is an exercise in patience for me to sleep beside a man who babbles night after night after night: "Chérie, tu ronfles. Darling, you are snoring." Enough! The next time my husband mumbles "Chérie, tu ronfles," I've a mind to answer back, "Chéri, tu REVES!" Maybe IN HIS DREAMS he hears me snore. God knows *I* don't hear myself snore. Which gets me thinking...

They do say that ronfleurs cannot hear their own ronflements... I wonder whether I should go on faith with this one, you know: believe in something that I cannot perceive. Then again, I remember a scripture that my mom taught me:

"Ainsi la foi vient de ce qu'on entend." Faith comes by hearing.

So if I can't hear, then how am I supposed to have faith? If "la foi vient de ce qu'on entend" then how can I be sure that Jean-Marc is telling the truth about my snoring?

Enough! Let's not lose track of the facts: my husband talks in his sleep! (And who wouldn't snore after hearing the same ol story over and over?)

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~~~~~~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~~~~~~~~
Je suis désolé(e) = I am sorry; Cheri, tu rêves! = Darling, you are dreaming!; le ronfleur (la ronfleuse) = snorer; le ronflement (m) = snoring, snore


Peugeot & Panier (c) Kristin Espinasse

Three Random Words:
la gerçure (f) = crack, chapping
jeûner = to fast, to go without food
le videur (lit: "the emptier") = bouncer (nightclub)

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