Gary and Tim's truffle hunt and curious term for "mutt" in French
Au pif, kale pesto recipe, and Bookshop for sale in France!

Orteil + Yoga & Wine? Oh, Those Frenchies!

banks of Seine River in Paris France

I have no yoga pictures to illustrate this post. How about photos of water--something needed during our first yoga class! Here's a thirst-quenching body of water-La Seine, in Paris!


TODAY'S WORD: orteil (m)

        : toe

le gros orteil = big toe
le petit orteil = little toe
la bague d'orteil = toe ring

Say arrondissement the French way. Watch the demonstration, here, by David from


Il est possible qu'au début vous ne puissiez rester que quelques secondes dans chacune de ces postures, ne renoncez pas, chaque jour le ressenti est différent, chaque jour est un autre jour pour votre corps, ressentez vos limites, respirez dans vos limites, ces postures non seulement étirent vos pieds, orteils, chevilles mais également votre mental!!

It is possible that at first you can only stay a few seconds in each of these postures, do not give up, every day the feeling is different, every day is another day for your body, feel your limits, breathe within your limits, These postures not only stretch your feet, toes, ankles but also your mind !! (Google Translation)

ECOUTEZ - Hear Jean-Marc pronounce the example sentence in French: Download Orteil file

Or click HERE to listen to Jean-Marc read the example sentence

Thank you for your helpful comments about How to Listen to the Sound Files while Reading the Text! Today I am adding a second option (see the inline link, above, and please let me know if this helps!

Improve your spoken French with Exercises in French Phonetics


    by Kristi Espinasse

Yoga and Wine (and one more lost home...)

If the way in which Jean-Marc and I met our yoga teacher wasn't unusual enough, the way our first cours came to a close was: we sat in a peaceful circle drinking wine!

I do not drink alcohol but was happy to trinquer avec un verre d'eau.  My thirst began sometime during the 2-hour session when I could have kicked myself (but for a sudden leg cramp, a foot cramp and a toe cramp...) for not bringing along something to drink. On a long hike I would not forget water, apparently yoga is as strenuous.

Strenuous may not be the word to describe a newbie yoga experience. Terms like awkward, humbling, painful, and mon Dieu (Mon Dieu I'm out of shape!) come to mind. And there are other terms--orteille, thorax, cheville, talon...-- some of which need more than a dictionary (a Map of Human Anatomy would help, so that next time when I hear "press your orteilles into the ground" I will strain to press my toes (and not my ears) to the floor! Imagine trying to press both ears to the floor at the very same time. You would need some very long oreilles...).

All in all, our first séance de yoga went well. The relaxing music and the pleasing spicy scent in the air (encense?) along with our teacher's raspy, down-to-earth voice put us at ease, despite a Mistral wind that threatened to rip the roof off the studio--located right inside the cozy home of our yoga instructor.

Finally I love our teacher and new friend, Dominique (even if she DID, with much emotion and tears, choose another couple for whom to sell her 1930's vintage French house...). And I adore "Tao"--Dominique's black and white border collie who attended class with us: front and center stage--on a mat beside her Master. We also met some more new friends: Valérie, Aurélien, and Marise -- veritable contortionists after only 6 months with Dominique! While toasting with a glass of Jean-Marc's rosé (a peace gift he offered our seller-come-yoga instructor, who then shared it with her students)  they assured us things will get easier. I like to see the universal meaning behind that promise.

In the space of 10 days we had lost yet another house but gained a new friend and teacher. A wise woman at that, for in refusing to sell us her home, Dominique set us on a path toward what may turn out to be just the right place.... "Et oui," Dominique agreed, "une porte se ferme, une autre s'ouvre." One door closes, another opens up.

Stories you may have missed...
1. The first house we tried to buy, after deciding to sell our vineyard
2. Did you know this rule for cheese? French cheese etiquette here

Ricard the bulldog
I did not get a photo of Tao either, so we'll use Ricard as a stand in. And here's more water for my water theme!


trinquer = to toast
un verre
= a glass
= of water
= toe
la cheville = ankle
le talon = heel
une oreille = ear
le cours = class
l'encense = incense
la séance = session
le/la contorsionniste = contortionist

Want to speak French fluently? 30-Day French will teach you everything you need to know to speak French on your next trip to France with 30 lessons based on real-life conversations. Try it out.


FOUTAS - perfect gift : quick dry towels for camping, sauna, gym, and yoga!

TISANES - French herbal teas. My family drinks one every night, to help drift off to sleep.

WORDS IN A FRENCH LIFE: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France

Interdit de pecher
Sign says "no fishing", but can you fetch some water? A bottle full? For yoga class? Next time I'm bringing my canteen.


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