tir a la corde


Santons, outdoor flea market, brocante, and grenier dans la rue in Suze la Rousse (c) Kristin Espinasse,
A brocanteur and his santons in the town of Suze-la-Rousse.

languir (lahn-geer) verb

    : to yearn

Verb conjugation:
je languis, tu languis, il/elle languit, nous languissons, vous languissez, ils/elles languissent => past participle : langui

Audio File & Example Sentence: Listen to this sentence: Download Wav file or Download MP3


Je languis de vous voir à Paris! Venez nombreux -- amenez des amis!
I long to see you in Paris. Everyone's welcome -- bring your friends!

A Day in a French Life...

by Kristin Espinasse

Such characters in the town of Suze La Rousse! I look at all of the lively locals who I had missed when visiting the village last fall, with my mom (known to many of you as "Jules"). Mom and I had hoped to spend more time in the village, but the chill in the air sent us quickly back to the warmth of our car, with the promise to return when the weather was warmer.

C'est un été indien! Alone now, I listen to the French tchatche* about the extended summer that we are enjoying, as I stroll solo through the central parking lot, where a bustling brocante* is well underway. Noticing a basket of santons on the ground, I stop to talk to the brocanteur,* who, I soon discover, has as much character as all three of the santons that he is now holding.

Santons, outdoor flea market, brocante, and grenier dans la rue in Suze la Rousse (c) Kristin Espinasse,

The brocanteur tells me he is half Portugais* half Français* and I can see that he is wholly one of a kind. With his chiseled cheekbones, his salt and pepper hair swept back into a ponytail, and his piercing black eyes... He would be the perfect character study, I muse, for any aspiring novelist... 

He might be a villian... or a viscount
A policeman
... or a prisoner
A hick... or a high-society socialite
A sailor
... or a swordsman
A male model
... or a monk
A French farmer... or a Finnish funambulist*...

Oh, the possibilities. Yes, he is the perfect character study, I muse, for a forlorn fiction writer... With that, I sigh, and begin to negotiate a price.

"The santons start at 15 euros each," the brocanteur informs me.


I point to my camera with its telephoto lens--hoping to give him the impression that I am a professional.
"I am here to take photos, not to shop," I begin my argument, "...but if you'll take twenty-five euros..." I bargain, "for these two santons and... and... for that pichet* over there," I add, (quickly pointing to anything to seal what I calculate to be a good deal...) "then you have yourself a sale!"

With that, the character of my unwritten book yields--as any one of his alter egos might while facing a feisty female-- and wraps the old santons, in newspaper, and the jug, in papier à bulles,* and I, the aching to be inspired novelist wrap my hands around my camera lens to capture my hero on film... if not in words.

Santons, oudoor flea market, brocante, and grenier dans la rue in Suze la Rousse (c) Kristin Espinasse,

To respond to this story, click here and access the comment box. I love to receive your feedback, even if I don't always have the chance to respond. Mille mercis!

To see the photos that I took in Suze la Rousse -- please subscribe to my private photo blog. You'll discover the villages that surround my own (Camaret, Tulette, Serignan...) via a gallery of images for each village. You might also give a gift subscription to a friend -- for the perfect Francophile cadeau! Click here for more information.

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Gview Note: if you are planning on attending the American Library in Paris event this Wednesday, Oct 7th, then please be sure to let me know so that I might look for you! Mille mercis to Ann Mah for organizing this event!

~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~
(tchatcher) = to chat; la brocante (f) = second-hand goods, fleamarket; le brocanteur (m) = seller at a fleamarket; portugais = Portugeuse; français = French; le funambulist = tightrope walker; le pichet = pitcher; le papier (m) à bulles = plastic wrap with "bubbles"


golden retriever puppies, identification ID tags, in France (c) Kristin Espinasse,

Puppy Update!: Two of the puppies have left the nest! The happy "parents" are Christian, Marie, and Marie's son, Thomas. (Marie and Christian are cousins.) Marie has a Westie named "Cesar" and Christian has a golden retriever, "Sally". Wish them all the best!


Tune Up Your French :
This book is structured around numerous key areas for improvement, covering everything from tricky grammatical structures to gestures, slang, and humor.

Map of French Cheese (Fromages de France) on Printed Towel:
Printed with a map showing France through their famous cheeses

Staub Heart Shaped Fondue Set : Feast like the French!
(for cheese or chocolate )

Globe-Toddlers Adventures in France!
With 55+ words in French and English, Adventures in France DVD will help your child's vocabulary expand.

Provendi Revolving Soaps
The practical and very neat Provendi revolving soap fixtures have adorned public school washrooms throughout France for years.

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