sejour + how to say "a nice change of scenery" in French
Fudging in French... + dessert recipe

What is a "nappe" in French?

Dad and straw hat (c) Kristin Espinasse
The family hat. John bought it for Mom, in Mexico. Mom left it to me, in France. Marsha borrowed it in San Remo, and yesterday, while sitting out in the morning sun enjoying our coffee together, Dad asked: may I use your hat?

une nappe (nap)

    : tablecloth, sheet (layer)

la nappe phréatique = ground water, water table
la nappe de mazout = oil slick
la nappe de brouillard = layer of fog

In English--nappe refers to either the ability of a liquid to "coat the back of a spoon" or the act of coating a food (i.e. to nappe a leg of lamb with glaze). --Wikipedia

Dad in straw hat (c) Kristin Espinasse
While at the market in San Remo, my belle-mère Marsha saw this tablecloth. Les coquelicots! Poppies! It would be perfect for the faded metal table we use, on the front porch, where we have breakfast and dinner these days. Plus, it's plastified! You can use a sponge to clean it. And we did, when I spilled spaghetti sauce last night, and when my young friend and upcoming novelist--10-year-old Madeleine--spilled hot chocolate. These self-cleaning nappes are formidable!

That's all for today's word (more pictures below), you can read more about the word "nappe" in these stories from the French Word-A-Day archives: 

brader = to discount
coussin = cushion 
brusquer = to rush, hurry, hustle 

Now for more photos of Italy, where we spent the weekend with Dad and Marsha... 

Jean-Marc washing cherries at the fountain in St Remo Italy (c) Kristin Espinasse
Jean-Marc rinsing giant cherries in the fountain. He bought them at the market stall, after Marsha mentioned they were excellent for gout. 

Italian laundry in St Remo (c) Kristin Espinasse
Who needs one more laundry photo? There are so many, but it's hard to resist! Clotheslines remind me of the slow life, simple times, and eco-friendliness. Plus, they force you outdoors, if only for the time it takes to etendre le linge or hang out the wash. Depending on zoning laws, it may be illegal to hang out your laundry in your neck of the woods!

Dad and me (c) Marsha Ingham
My turn to wear the hat, and Dad has his trusty cap. Above, more laundry in the streets of San Remo, Italy. 

Plants and lace and charming Italian window (c) Kristin Espinasse
I love window vignettes! You'll find hundreds of them on this blog, including this one from a 2006 blog post on "10 ways to say No! in French". If you are a pushover, like me, that'll be a helpful article to read!

Forward this edition to a friend, and help spread the French word. Thanks! For more words, buy the book

Beach in St Remo Italy (c) Kristin Espinasse

 A clever floor runner! We also saw these coffee sacks used as wall paper at a local wine bar in San Remo. Repurposing is alive and well in eco-friendly Italy. To comment on a photo, or text, click here.

Superette or maraichere in Badalucco Italy (c) Kristin Espinasse

 Les poivrons, les haricots, de la laitue... peppers, beans, and lettuce in the hilltop village of Ceriana. The Italians love their produce and almost everywhere you look you'll find a kitchen garden. 

Photographing (c) Jean-Marc Espinasse

The camera lens turns on the photographer. Jean-Marc's iPhone rivals my Nikon D-60. Look at the crispness of those stones!

Flowers and church in Badalucco (c) Kristin Espinasse
Wonderful flowers outside what looked to be a nunnery facing this church.

Lunch at Il Ponte in Badalucco Italy - Kristin Jean-Marc Espinasse

At Il Ponte Restaurant where Jean-Marc and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary. Ten years later and we brought these sweethearts with us to enjoy an unforgettable meal. No menus at Il Ponte. Just sit down and let Sergio bring you course after course of Ligurian deliciousness!

Jean-Marc and Dad talk to Il Ponte owner (c) Kristin Espinasse

Mr Sacks (Jean-Marc's side-kick ) came with us, of course! If only we had snuck a Tupperwear inside, we could have brought home leftovers!

Romaine lettuce for the garden from Badalucco farmers market (c) Kristin Espinasse

Jean-Marc and my dad. Time to drive home to France. Will the market lettuce (lots of baby romaine to plant) make the three-hour trip?  

Trompe l'oeil in Badalucco Italy (c) Kristin Espinasse
Did you enjoy your virtual travel to Liguria? It's not far from Nice, so next time you are in France why not cross the border and wander up to the magical hills of Italy's hinterland?

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.

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