se tirer

Escape with me to Suze-la-Rousse (pictured here) and here!

se tirer (seuh tee ray) verb

    : to escape, to get (oneself) out of, to make tracks

se tirer tout juste = to just scrape by (financially)

Audio File & Example Sentence: Download Wav or Download MP3

Allez, on se tire!
Come on, let's get out of here!


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

Have you ever been a guest in a house that looked like a museum? I have... just last night!

The floors were polished stone, the walls were glass and so was the plafond!* The well-heeled hostess with the high hair and savoir-faire* was showing me around, when she paused and made a request.
"Would you go and get the plateau de fromage?"* With that she pointed straight on, to a vast corridor. I thought about how grand the house was, and how far one had to go... just to change rooms and get a plateau; this, to me, was the downside of "upscale" living.

Much obliged, I left the kitchen... passing by the cooking island, and the second refrigerator, and the second dishwasher... to the second pantry.

Midway down the hall, I entered a dark garde-manger,* where I saw two more doors. I headed to the one pouring out lumière* over the pantry's floor.

I could just glimpse the cheese platter on the counter beyond, a table-top made of wood particles -- nothing like the glimmering comptoir* in the first kitchen.

Entering, I noticed how narrow the room was, un endroit si étroit* that it must be only for storing things on shelves.... narrow like a library aisle, even slighter.

Just looking at the room made me uneasy--claustrophobic--and so I quickly went to collect the cheese platter, only the room was so slight, the ceiling so low, that I could hardly move forward to fetch le plateau.

Reaching for the platter, I noticed there was a sink... and even a stovetop with a pan and some fried eggs in it. But how was there room enough to cook in this antechamber? And was that our lunch? If so, who cooked it? And how could somebody be made to work in such a tiny area -- when there was a spacious kitchen farther on?

I was beginning to wonder about our hostess, but remembered that things are not always as they seem -- perhaps she herself cooked our meal from this tiny chamber -- so as to keep the main cuisine* pristine?

I quickly left the room and found my way--down the hall and past a palatial entrée*--to the dining room table, where the high-haired hostess was busy talking about the history of the house, who the architect was... and what you called this kind of style... of house that went on mile after mile.

Another guest arrived, carrying a platter of drinks. The hostess quickly responded to the intrusion: "Just set them there!" she said, showing her impatience at being interrupted.

As the hostess talked on, I focused on the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and thought about the trouble in caring for them all -- yet another downer in upscale living, I guessed.

"How often do you have to wash these windows?" I inquired.
Every Saturday, she replied. "We have a laveur de vitres".*

I thought about the window washer and wondered whether it was the same person who left the frying pan on the stove, before disappearing somewhere. But where?

I looked over at the guest who had just set down the drinks tray, wondering Was she really an invitée?*

"How long does it take your laveur de vitres to do the job?" I was curious to know.
"All day," Madame replied, before changing subjects back to the history of her house.

It was true that our hostess had a remarkable house, even if there were a few quirks, but I longed to return to my own chez moi.*

In spite of the size of the room, I began to feel the need for space--and oxygen--so when the hostess reclined in her chair and fell back into her coma of conversation, I slipped over to one of the French doors, slid it quietly open, and gasped for air.

Next, I turned to the other guest and whispered: Allez, on se tire!* Let's get the heck out of here!


(So much for last night's dream.)

Thanks to those of you who left answers in the comments box, explaining the difference between "un rêve" and "un songe". If I understood correctly... un rêve (like the one in today's story) is something that we do when we sleep. "Un songe," on the other hand, is something we do when we're awake, as in "daydream". Any more thoughts on dreams and daydreams? Your thoughts are welcome in the comments box.

French Vocabulary

le plafond (m) = ceiling; le savoir-faire (m) know-how, expertise; le plateau (m) de fromage = cheese tray; le garde-manger (m) = pantry; la lumière (f) = light; le comptoir (m) counter; un endroit (m) si étroit = such a narrow area; la cuisine (f) = kitchen; une entrée (f) = entrance; laveur (laveuse) de vitre =window cleaner (person); une invitée (un invité) = guest; chez moi ("my chez moi "== my home; Allez, on se tire! = Come on! Let's get out of here!


Exercises in French Phonics  Exercises in French Phonics, bestseller by Francis W. Nachtman, on French pronunciation and how to pronouce French words correctly!

Mille Bornes (Card Game).
First published in 1962, Mille Bornes (pronounced "meel born," French for "milestones") is an auto racing card game whose object, for each team of two players, is to be the first to complete a series of 1,000-mile trips.

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Words in a french life

Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France

French language software:
Rosetta Stone Personal Edition... recreates the natural way you learned your first language, revealing skills that you already have.

"Curtain Braid" (photo taken in Suze-la-Rousse). How to you like your home: cozy or contemporary. Answers here, in the comments box.

Braise and Smokey Dokey, nap time again... and again. Those are Christmas Crackers -- just arrived from England, sent by friends Kate and David (their daughter, Amanda, bought our sweet village home in St. Maximin, some ten years ago). They've since sold it and moved on... but our friendship continues. See the shadow on the chest? Those would be my bike's handlebars! Also pictured: A love note from my daughter, a painting from my mom, a horse drawing from my daughter...

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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


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Yep, too much chocolate (or cocoa) will do it every time!!:) Enjoyable story, Kristin – made me smile. Maybe you should write a mystery novel???

Bill in St. Paul

I find that if I have two glasses of different wines before I go to bed that I have some pretty strange dreams. I need more research to see if this is true, however.

I like my home cozy. The wide-openness of some contemporary houses makes me feel small and boundless.

What a sweet picture of mother and son after a hard day as dogs.

Julie McCay Turner

The hospitality was outstanding on my Massachusetts church's first visit to our partner village in Transylvania, but a glimpse of how our hosts actually lived made evident the utter generosity of their welcome. The less some people have, the more they offer.

Henry Lambert

I realize this is a French word website but "much obliged" is an English expression I have not heard in fifty years.


Henry: I hesitated over using "much obliged", but found it a needed replacement for my over-used "Like that...." Can anyone come up with a good transitional phrase here? I'm always using "like that"!

When I came up with "much obliged" it also seemed to fit into the story -- as the woman of the house had invited us to dinner... so the least I could do was to return the favor by getting the cheese tray. Does this make sense?

Great to have your thoughts and messages.


A friend just got back from a mission to El Salvador and said the same thing as Ms. Turner. People who were very impoverished were so generous and kind.
If there were words to describe my eclectic home it would be welcoming and in an eclectic style. The best compliment is when people say the place is cozy but not cluttered and they feel so relaxed when a guest here.


What an interesting story Kristin. I did not get it if it was real or a reve. Either case I would have asked the same questions. Though I love beauty I am too practical for extravagance.
Traditional or contempo, for me I have found it depends on where I live, and I constantly waffle between the two. I suppose I don't like either extreme.
I do LOVE the chest, and the gorgeous dogs napping in front of it, and I do find the curtain braid super charming.
I really love Dutch homes, so many have modern + old in the cleanest way possible.
Oh well, return to reality...our condo is seulement pour les chats!
Love to you...hope Smokey is improving!


Michelle C.

Oh, too cute! Smokey's little pink tongue is sticking out while he sleeps. What a cutie pie!
What are "Christmas Crackers". I made the picture larger so I could try to figure it out but I'm stumped.
Do you ride your bike often? I just bought a hybrid bike about a month ago and although I have thoroughly enjoyed peddling around the local neighborhoods, the weather here in New England is getting cooler and I haven't used it as much as I would like to.
My home is somewhat modern, with many large windows and lots of wood. I'm somewhat of a minimalist as far as decorating is concerned. I prefer a few special things instead of many ordinary things. It makes dusting easier! (50 something degrees and blue skies in Rhode Island)

Jacqui McCargar

Hi Kristi,
My home is a mix of things, I wish I could bring home a Provencal house so I make mine as close I can to that. Terra cotta tile floors, warm paint colors. Lots of French posters on the walls advertising local village fetes, etc.that I have brought back from my travels. It's not enough like the real thing though. I wish I was back in Provence! :(
BTW Michelle, Christmas Crackers are little devices that pop when the ends are pulled. They usually have small gifts inside them. They look like a large wrapped hard candy with twisted end papers.
Weather here is 61 and sunny in Santa Rosa, Ca...beautiful clear fall day.

Diane Scott

My home is decorated in early demolition derby-style/french-country wannabe. God forbid it should show up in some manifestation or other in someone's dreams -- it would be a nightmare for sure :-)


Jean-Marc suggests the Domaine Rouge-Blue Dentelle to go with the Thanksgiving turkey!!.. I have just called the Wine House in L.A. and ordered mine!. What fun. Now I have to get the bird and the fixings.
How could I not follow through on such a fabulous recommendation!.

Kristin, I know what you mean about big windows. I have them and have spent the day cleaning them as the Thanksgiving company is coming.

In L.A. weather is fantastic!. Sunny and high 70F and the garden is blooming like crazy!. Happy Holidays!!. Patience T.


Je me souviens des maisons charmantes à La Garde Freinet (dans le Var) que je visitais pendant mon adolescence. J'aimais la simplicité, le confort et l'accueil chaleureux des décors. Les meubles avaient plus de personalité devant
les murs blancs comme votre beau cabinet (?)
Je préfère des maisons intimes qui permettent l'entrée de beaucoup de soleil.

Merci de ta bonne histoire, quelle rêve ! Quelle hôtesse méchante et snob !

I cannot resist writing in French, I wished you used more French in your blog, even if it
was translated. I know it would take more time, but your readers would lean more French. My French is by no means perfect, but
your wonderful photos, anecdotes, mots illustrés would be further complemented if there was more French to read. And then I would have more enthusiasm about recommending your site to my intermediate adult French students.

Merci en tout cas pour ta fidelité et ta créativité et tes portraits de la vie française.



Hi Kristin:

I can't remember seeing 'much obliged' used in place of 'like that,' but I learn something every day. When I'm stuck for words, I remind myself that poems are never finished - they are abandoned.
About dreaming, Mark Twain said, 'Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.'
At age 7, I read my first book, 'The Little Lame Prince and his Travelling Cloak.' Since then, my most common night-dream is all about skimming over prehistoric landscapes. My most common day-dream has me near the southeast Pyrenees (Sorede, Argeles-sur-Mer, and environs). I dream in colour, black and white, infrared, and I sometimes dream within a dream - I wake up into a dream and then wake up for real. I'm a clean machine, but I do take calcium supplements. If I take them before bed I dream more often.
The Little Lame Prince is now in the public domain. 'Yes, he was the most beautiful Prince that ever that was born.'

Jennifer in OR

What a crazy dream! Tres interesant, bien sur! Lovely photo of the dogs and the bureau with the treasures on top.

Christine Jackson

Dear Kristin:

Darling picture of Braise and Smokey. I see that you have posted a picture of the dogs on their bed for all those worried about them sleeping on the tile floor-too funny! Our dogs and cat seem to think that even the carpet is not soft enough for them - has to be the bed or couch, and of course they bring their hair with them and leave it behind for us.

Any progress on figuring out what Smokey needs to heal? Please update us next time.

More hugs and healing prayers from Salt Lake City, where it is cold and sunny

Betty Bailey

We do Christmas crackers each year before Christmas dinner here in our Texas home, and the children love it. We even put on the little paper hats.

Our best to Smokey, whom I can't stop worrying about.

Jules Greer

Hi Douglas,

I always love your comments on Kristi's blog. Thanks for your precious words.




Dear Jean-Mard,

Have the happiest of Birthdays!!!



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