Olive Cake Recipe! Savory cakes and Cake aux Olives


Italian wine bottles (c) Jean-Marc Espinasse
Our totally off-topic photo-du-jour: "Italian Wine Cooler". Meantime, we'll be back from vacation in a day or two and, if I were you, I'd sign up illico presto for my private photo blog!

songe (sohnzh) noun, masculine

   : dream

L'espérance est le songe d'un homme éveillé. 
Hope is the dream of a waking man. --Aristotle

:: Audio File ::
Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce these French words:
Songe. L'espérance est le songe d'un homme éveillé.
Download songe.mp3
Download songe.wav

In books: The Bilingual Edge: Why, When, and How to Teach Your Child a Second Language
A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse

         (... a restless writer dreams...)

When William Faulkner, famous American novelist, poet and Nobel Laureate, came to stay with us here at the farm, I offered him a fold-out cot. I could have offered him our bed but, you know, he got the other instead.

As for my lack of fuss (not a guest towel, pillow, or spare toothbrush), who knew I was housing a literature buff? That's when it finally dawned on me that there, in a cap and long white nightie, was a 20th century celebrity!

Oh Glory be, there were we...
Faulkner, yours truly ...and several bottles of eau-de-vie.*
(Thank God neither of us was tipsy!)

"Your imagination is good," said he, of the eau-de-vie and implied footsie. But we haven't got all night so, if you like, pull up a chair and I'll teach you to write!

That's when so many tablets, not of stone but of wood chips,
appeared out of nowhere to receive the writer's savoir-faire.*
Then, like Moses channeling words from above,
Faulkner wrote down truths on how to write without fear--
and always with love!

And while his words were addressed to a restless writer, they are dear to everyman. Here is the wisdom that the prize-winning author wrote down, on wood chips, no less, for there wasn't any holy stone lying around:

He said that one "...must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop [âme*] for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart..." He went on to say that it is a human "...privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past."

Fast, fast, fast... I copied down the writer's words but the memory of my dream wouldn't last. By the time I awoke, the wisdom had up.. and gone like a puff of smoke!

                               *     *     *
Comments, corrections, and stories of your own are most welcome: click here to access the comments box

(The two excerpts, in the penultimate paragraph above, were taken from William Faulkner's 1950 speech [after he received the Nobel Prize for literature].) You'll find them and more inspiration
in this book.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
l'eau-de-vie (f) = brandy; le savoir-faire (m) = know-how, expertise; l'âme (f) = soul

If you love writing and France you may enjoy these books: A Writers Paris: A Guided Journey For The Creative Soul & Literary Paris: A Guide

Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Spoken French
Learn French in a Hurry: Grasp the Basics of Français Tout De Suite
In French Music: Edith Piaf: 30th Anniversaire

Related Terms & Expressions:
  en songe = in a dream
  faire un songe = to have a dream
  un songe-creux = a visionary
  songer = to dream
  la songerie = reverie
  songeur, songeuse = pensive (adj); dreamer (noun)

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Pronounce It Perfectly in French: presents exercises in sound discrimination and accurate sound creation

French language software:
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My French Coach by Nintendo.
Playing My French Coach for 15 to 20 minutes a day is all you need to become fluent in French, no matter your age. The simple touch screen interface lets you spend less time learning the game and more time learning French.



Chaos and a Flying Dog. That's our Braise, who loves to fly! And this is our chaotic kitchen/salon just days before our Moroccan escape. Who wouldn't want to fly the coop what with this mess? In this image you'll find photos, paintings, eggs, my bike, the vaccume, a pile of floor planks... even one of those icky "fly stickies" (see it there, to the upper right?). Amidst this confusion totale, my brother-in-law is mending the walls (imagine him to the lower right of this photo, in the next room...) and my daughter is (also in the next room) egging on our flying dog: Allez, Braise. Saute. Saute!

We'll be back in a day or so... and I imagine the chaos won't have disappeared by then either.

A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation.

Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. PayPal or credit card
3. A bank transfer, ZELLE is a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.

Or purchase our online memoir, The Lost Gardens