reine de beaute

une causette + Win another "prize"...

French Poster (c) Kristin Espinasse

Jean-Marc ("Chief Grape) will be in New-York this coming March 8th--or during his 2012 US wine tour (Photo taken in Le Castellet Village, at the restaurant Le Pied de Nez -- painting by Christian Pieroni)

WIN ANOTHER PRIZE (click here to enter this drawing): Today, help me practice The Noble Art of Listening... Enter today's drawing and WIN a telephone call from me (Kristin) in France! (Well, maybe not as exciting an offer as the previous one, but then... it is better than a kick in the pants!) Read on, in today's missive... or enter right away, via this link.

une causette (koh-zet)

    : a chat

un brin de causette = a little chat

 Audio file...
(Sorry, all the Francophones in our house are asleep--that means you are stuck with me! Listen, at your own péril, to the following recording: Download MP3 or Wav file

Une causette c'est aussi de la communication informelle entre plusieurs personnes, sur l'internet, par échange de messages affichés sur leurs écrans. A 'causette' is also informal communication between many people, on the internet, by the exchange of messages posted to their computer screens.


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

Grande Bouche

To not get a word in edgewise. This English expression is too delightful, la preuve that the French do not have the monopoly on charming expressions.

Visualize, pour une minute, the edgewise idiom. Can't you just see so many exasperated Words trying, in vain, to slip into The Conversation? At their wit's end, the weary Words must throw up their arms and fall back... so as to sneak in, edgewise, to the lively, one-sided Conversation.

Though the can't get a word in edgewise expression amuses me to no end, it is no fun being Blabbermouth. I'd rather be Good Listener. But when conversation gets going... I can't help but take flight, until, once again, I am steering this chatty vessel--Conversation--through the maze of Off Topic. Wheeeee!---------

"C'est HS," my kids say, eyes-rollingly, and I listen in time to understand some teen slang (HS  = "Hors Sujet" or Off Topic).

 "Let me just finish my thought here..." my Mom suggests, gently, as we fly from one subject to the next. She is game to ride with me on the Ferris wheel of WORDS, and our daily cross-Atlantic conversations are as thrilling as any fairground ride.

"Oh, don't worry about it!" says my friend Claire, who spent the weekend with me. "It's a French thing!" Claire should know, as she has studied the topic for her forthcoming opus.

I'd love to believe that so much word-butting and edging in to conversation is evidence of intercultural advancement, that, once and for all, in that far-off horizon known as French Integration, I am finally making headway... Alas, the truth may very well be, that I am only making "edgeway". 



 Help me practice The Noble Art of Listening... Let me call one of you on the phone--for at least 20 minutes--anywhere in the world! Enter a comment (maybe a tip on how to be a better listener?) in the comments box and I --or MamaJules--will choose a winner on Friday, February 24th. Maybe I could even share our conversation--in an upcoming story? Click here to enter this drawing. I hope to talk to you very soon! 

 French Vocabulary

grande bouche = big mouth

la preuve = the proof

pour une minute = for a minute

    => also "grande gueule" (though this term may be offensive!)

H.S. = hors sujet = off topic


Virginia Cecil Casey

There's Blabbermouth, there on the left (in red). From left to right: Kristin, Virginia, Casey, Chief Grape, Adrienne. (Thank you, Cecil, for taking the photo--wish you were in it!)

Don't Forget to enter this drawing!
Let me call you one the phone! Should you hear heavy breathing in the background... never fear! (That's just me hyperventalating. I am very nervous about calling you, so please enter here and let me know that you would really like to talk to me!)

And now, can anyone end this edition with the lyrics... in French.. of Blondie's Call Me? :-)

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 (to this new address)
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