couler + new book project

How to say "it's a no-no" in French?

Bonifacio (c) Kristin Espinasse
"If these chairs could talk" Photo taken after last year's wine harvest... when we stole away to the restful southern coast of Corsica. 

 ça ne se fait pas (saah-neuh-seuh-fay-pah)

    : it's a no-no

Audio File & Example Sentence
Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce this sentence: Download MP3 or Wav file

Hé toutou! Faire pipi dans le bac à fleurs chez le fleuriste ça ne se fait pas! Hey dog! Tinkling in the florist's flower box is a no-no! 

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

Little Acts of Mischief

I sometimes think of her when I find myself trying to control my surroundings, every other instant of the day

I remember the seeming command she had over herself, if not her immediate environment. Beautiful in a flowy sundress and high-heeled sandals, her caramel-colored hair was twisted up off her delicate épaules, which were level despite the bumpy ground beneath her. 

She had a funny dog. I think it was a Jack Russell. I watched it trot along the cobbled trottoir there in the seaside town, perched high over the Mediterranean. As the woman and the dog advanced, so did a gaggle of eyes....

The looks the woman garnered were a mixture of admiration and amusement (l'amusement, for the dog did its best to temper the woman's graceful presence as she floated down the sidewalk unaware of her sidekick's antics).

Whether sniffing the policeman's socks or lifting its short leg beside a florist's flower box!... the terrier's little acts of mischief went entirely unnoticed by its mistress, sparing her from la comédie in which she was unwittingly starring.

The three wrinkled men on the municipal bench watched, as did the stylish dress shop owner, whose head was craned so far out of the shop... she might have dropped. The British family at the café lowered their menus for wee look-see—as did I, yes-sir-ee!

What a lovely serene smile the woman had, one the dog mirrored... as it whizzed on the boulanger's Welcome mat. 

Hidden behind a rack of cartes postales, I watched the perfectly-put-together lady and her take-it-all-apart cohort. Each enjoyed a leisurely stroll thanks to what the pretty one did not know....



This story is dedicated to my dear friend Stacy, at Sweet Life Farm, in Applegate Oregon—in loving memory of Sweet Pea—who had nothing in common with the mischievous protagonist in today's story, aside from her terrier lineage.


French Vocabulary

une épaule = shoulder

le trottoir = sidewalk

la comédie = comedy, act

le boulanger = baker

la carte postale = postcard



Postcard rack in the town of Bonifacio, Corsica.


One of our favorite vineyard visitors, Rohan, with Smokey (left) and Mama Braise, our golden retriever.


Rohan and his family have participated in a couple of our winetastings 


Rohan's dad, Jens, his mom, Vanita, and your hosts, Kristin and Jean-Marc. (These photos were taken a year or two ago.)

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Cindy Ashley

What town are you near? Do you have wine meet ups in October? We are doing a river cruise from Lyon down to Avignon. Are you near by on this route?

wendy jaeger

We would love to go to one of your meet ups --For a couple years, while leading my Bliss Travels trips, I've wanted to stop in and meet you in person --but the schedule never worked. I have a small group in May and very flexible schedule (so far). Can you tell me more about your May 16th get together?

Kristin Espinasse

Hi Cindy, Yes, we are very near the Lyon-Avignon route (you could take the exit at Bollene or Orange, depending). An October meet-up should be possible. Please check back after summer.

Wendy, May 16th might work. (Mama mia! We have 40 people signed up for this meet-up. It should be as exciting as the day Professeur Wren brought his class by: 


Hello Kristin,
Could you please give us driving directions to your vineyard. We will de coming from the area near Poitiers where we have a vacation home in a small town of savigny sous Faye. Would love to meet you and your family. We will be in France May 6 to June 2nd so hopefully will be able to meet up.
Paula Sullivan
Cape Cod, MA

teresa ewart

such lovely pictures Kristin... the last in particular where you can just see rohan in the background... giving the pups just a little more love

Pat, Roanoke, VA

Love the photos of Rohan and les chiens of the vinyard, guard dogs extraordinaire, Chief Greeters in Residence, Rascally Roamers, all around adorable dogs. Sure would like to make a tasting one if these days, tho Expedia roaming yesterday squashed that idee for a time!

To dear Stacey, my heart goes out to you. Please know that many are with you in spirit. Traveling mercies and happy trails to your dear Sweet Pea. Always in our hearts. Hugs, Pat

John G Nettleton

Did not see "Applegate, Oregon", near to my town, coming in this post. Ahhhhhh, the connections life provides us.
JGN-Panama, but soon Paris!

Cynthia Lewis in Salisbury, Eastern Shore of Maryland

.......a story "pulled out of your hat", so to speak. I loved it! What a perfect and thoughtful way to remember Stacy's "Sweet Pea". Mille mercis, Cynthia

Matilda Cosgrove

Dear Kristin & Jean Marc-It will be a pleasure to be at your meet up May 8th at 4pm.We will be coming from the direction of Avignon and have reservations at La Farigoule.With great anticipation-Matilda at Superstition Mt.

Kathleen from Connecticut

We are in Florida soaking up the sun and golfing, but I know that I can always have FWD with us where ever we go, via my IPhone or my IPad. Always love the pics of the Braise and Smokey.
Back to Connecticut on Friday. So sorry we will miss you on our trip to France in September. Hopefully on our next trip, we'll be in Provence again.

Kathleen fom Connecticut

De Rudolph

Your story today made me smile! Actually chuckling inside. Great way to start the day! I can just picture it all! "Ca ne se fait pas!" I like that! Makes me want to study French again!

Angela Fowler

Great story today Kristin - lots of rules to remember. Reminds me of the time my beloved Chihuahua decided to do her "business" in the middle of a busy street in downtown Los Angeles stopping traffic. Also reminds me of the time Robert decided to sit on the curb for a short rest in Pere-Lachaise Cemetery - gendarmes weren't too happy!

Kristin Espinasse

Paula, I hope you can make it to our May 8th meet-up. Ill send directions via email. 

Gwyn Ganjeau

Kristin, the more I gather about your location, the more I wonder if you are familiar with a place that has captivated my imagination for years--the Ideal Palace in Hauterives. I read about it in a John Berger book (one of my favorite art writers) and was so charmed by the story of a humble postman who built such a work of art. I dream of seeing it one day. Have you been?

I imagine it to be an absolute playground for a photographer. Would love to hear your reactions, if you've been!

Now I have two irresistable reasons to visit that part of France--see the Ideal Palace and attend a meet up!

mhwebb in NM, USA

Patient chiens! I guess Max and Jackie taught them long ago how to behave around children. I love the photo of Rohan giving one of them a hug!


Our dear Kristin,
Another wonderful story to bring smiles to our morning!
Your words made me renew a promise I made to myself.... ENJOY the day!Savor every minute,and find something good in it even when things look a bit blue.Tomorrows then somehow magically become brighter!
Love, Natalia XO


Dear Kristin,
Our wine tour group met over the weekend (we are the large group coming May 16). Because of our lunch reservations and the travel time to Sainte Cecile, I think we will arrive about 5:00 at the earliest. I hope that helps you with the other guests who are coming that day. Perhaps you'll be able to do two shifts and accomodate everybody under the mulberry tree. We are so looking forward to our visit.
A bientot. Carole

Lee Adams

Cher Kristin, Maureen & I would love to attend the tasting on May 8. Of course we expect you and Jean Marc to join us at La Genestiere while we are in Provence 5/1-6/7!
Much love,
Lee & Maureen Templeton-Adams

Jackie Smith

Kristin, your sense of being able to see and express the humor, beauty, and meaning in the ordinary landscapes of daily life is not only a gift but a well-honed talent that brings enjoyment to all who read your blogs and books. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share with us and allowing us to live vicariously through your observations and experiences!

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