rendez-vous galant

Cabanon & Flower Field (c) Kristin Espinasse
Love Shack. I took a dozen photos of this dreamy field and dashing farm hut, located outside the town of Orange. See several of the images in Saturday's Cinéma Vérité. Updating the French photo site, each weekend, is both a privilege and a pleasure--I hope it brings you as much enjoyment! Check out what CV members have to say, here (at the end of the page).

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rendez-vous galant (rohn-day-voo gal-ohn) noun, masculine

    : tryst (amorous)

un lieu de rendez-vous galant = a trysting place

Audio File & Example Sentence
Listen to my daughter, Jackie, pronounce today's word & example sentence:
Download Rendez-vous galant mp3

Braise-La-Chienne est partie pour un rendez-vous galant dans les vignes.
Braise-The-Dog took off for a tryst in the vines.

Book events: Jill Jonnes (author of Eiffel's Tower) will be speaking at the charming & marvelous Red Wheelbarrow bookstore at 7pm!

A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse

The thunderstorms have ceased, the sol* is cool and dry, wet beneath the surface. Jean-Marc and I are having lunch in the front yard, under the Chinese mulberry tree-sans-mulberries. Unlike the mûrier* we picked on Saturday morning, our tree is fruitless. But Dame Nature* has a way of evening the score--the reproductive scoreboard, that is--even when we'd rather be on the losing end.

"Tiens, tiens, tiens...."* Would you take a look at that? Jean-Marc remarks.

My eyes leave a plate of aubergines,* halved, roasted with garlic, tomato, and drizzled with local olive oil. I look across the lawn and see a familiar form in the tall wheat-colored grass beyond. The outline, oddly, amounts to a Scottish terrier.

Oh, terror! I now remember the conversation I had with my daughter last week, after she informed me that our dog, Braise, was en chaleur.*
"We'll see about that later!" I had said to Jackie, not wanting to believe that we were about to attack another round of Dogs in Heat; we had only just recovered from the latest one, after the September grape harvest!

I still can't believe Braise is back in heat--can't believe how blind I can be to all the signs--like those sanguine spots that kept appearing (and disappearing) across the kitchen floor.... Turns out Jean-Marc had been cleaning them up this time.

Back at the picnic table, my anxiety sets in, with every seductive step of the terrier trespasser.
"Calme-toi,"* Jean-Marc suggests. Next, I listen, astonished, as my husband's own blinders go on: "Nothing's going to happen," he chuckles. "That dog is too small!"

"Ha! On peut t'étonner,"* You'd be surprised! I say, unsure of my French, certain of my suspicions.

I watch the terrier-terror tiptoe forward, trying his luck... and I notice, with relief, that Braise isn't reacting--but is busy combing her golden retriever coat with her coarse tongue.

"See. I told you not to worry," Jean-Marc points out.
"T'as raison.* I guess it's not that time yet... her hot-to-trot hormones haven't kicked in."

And just as we sit back and settle in, Braise's hormones begin to spin! With that, we watch, mouths agape, as Braise jumps to her feet, leaps across the lawn to greet Don Juan and, illico presto,* our "demure" demoiselle is long gone!

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Post note: As if a mother and wife hasn't enough to worry about... I watch, with fright, as my newly-crippled husband hops onto his bike! Off he pedals, his upper body in a sling, one-hand on the bar. The bike zigzags and bounces over the soft, sometimes muddy earth, into the feverish field beyond. "Braise!" the broken man shouts, "Reviens!* Bon sang!* R-E-V-I-E-N-S!"


le sol (m) = ground
le mûrier (m) = mulberry tree
la Dame Nature (f) = Mother Nature
tiens, tiens, tiens = well, well, well
une aubergine (f) = eggplant
en chaleur = in heat
calme-toi = calm down
on peut t'étonner = you'd be surprised
t'as raison = you have a point
illico presto! = right away!
reviens! = come back!
bon sang! = dammit!

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Name that Flower...

Ever feel like the odd one out? PS: Does anyone know what kind of flower this is (the blue one, that is!) and do you know what it is used / farmed for?

Three Random Words:
= to gossip
un soubresaut = jolt; start (fearful start)
un trublion = troublemaker

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.

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