How to say "a small matter" or "something trifle" in French
Peuchère or What Not to Say to a Disabled Person



Camping out in Sanary sur Mer (c) Kristin Espinasse
a couple of perruches, or parakeets, camped out in Sanary sur Mer


Today's word is yet another example of how I learn English from the French... 

bivouaquer (bee-vwack-ay)

    : to bivouac

un bivouac = an improvised camp site. An individual sleeping shelter under the stars (or more often rain clouds) made out of natural materials or very rudimentary supplies. (from Wiki Answers)

Question ...but just what does "to bivouac" mean?
Answer: to make a temporary encampment somewhere.

Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc: Download MP3 or Wav file
Bivouaquer, c'est s'installer sommairement dans un lieu naturel pour y manger ou dormir.
Bivouaquer... it means to settle oneself simply (in minimalist conditions) into a natural environment and then to eat (picnic) or to sleep there.

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

I thought today's word had nothing to do with the goings on around here at the moment. My plan was to feature the word--overheard yesterday at a picnic--and then post a few unrelated photos from Mom's visit. (I've promised to take some time away from posting and email, in order to spend as much time with Mom as possible).

Only, when I went to look up the word "bivouac", I learned it is the same in English. Zut! That means I have to find another word to share... On the other hand, maybe I am not the only one unfamiliar with this funny word bivouaquer, a verb that is alive and well in France (I must have heard it half a dozen times, yesterday, as the French are already talking about vacation plans, which, for some, will include roughing it, ie, bivouaquer.)

Meantime, life's not so rough for Mom at the moment. She is temporarily encamped--or en train de bivouaquer--in the room that was to be my office... (I've grown fond of this cozy corner of my bedroom and continue to write from here). Off to see what she is up to now....

Thank you for reading and for the encouraging and poignant comments you sent in, following last Friday's post. If there are slumps, doubts, victories, embarrassments, yearnings, and hi-falutin' aspirations in a writer's journey--your supportive comments even out the bumpy road, helping me to see the horizon in time to renew my commitment to simply settle down and write my heart out.



To comment, click here. I leave you now with a few snapshots from Week One with Mom...

Welcome party fan club (c) Kristin Espinasse
She made it--all the way from Mexico! Here is Mom's welcome party fan club. From left to right: 17-year-old Max, 4-year-old Smokey, Mom, Smokey's mom, Braise, and 15-year-old Jackie. I told Mom to get up off the paw-stained floor, but she was so happy to be surrounded by ALL her loved ones that she could have cared less about the dirt.

Some bivouac!  Mom loves her room, where she can see and hear all of the activity in the courtyard. At night she loves to watch the stars that twinkle over the Mediterranean Sea.

Mother Daughter chat
Mom's bags arrived 24 hours after she did. We shared my make-up and a chat before heading to Sanary sur Mer for lunch. That's Mama Braise, on the left. (A funny aside: Mom is wearing my red pajama pants. I wouldn't notice this until AFTER we finished lunch at the cafe and a stroll around Sanary. Her baggage arrived later that afternoon :-)

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les pointus (c) Kristin Espinasse
It's fun to walk along the port in Sanary sur Mer, where all the historic fishing boats "les pointus" are lined up. Many of the wooden boats have signs displaying the historic characteristics of the modest vessels, some nearly 100 years old.

Mom's purse. It looks like Jean-Marc's humble side kick, Mr Sacks, has competition!

Time for a siesta. But first, enjoy the fancy ironwork on this campanile.

L'artiste in Sanary (c) Kristin Espinasse
Me and Mom. "Just pretend it's my stand." Mom said, after a local artist offered Mom her seat for the photo. 

More photos coming soon. Meantime, I'm making the most of my time with Mom. This newsletter/blog may be a little sporadic in the coming weeks--as we slow down our day and celebrate.

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