Abasourdi + Chez le dermato: The French don't see the skin doctor (or the dentist) twice a year
Postcard from Elba, Italy...and the French word for "puddle of water"

Echapper belle: What we are avoiding, alluding, dodging, and running away from this week!

Port of la ciotat old wooden fishing boats pointu Mediterranean France
After moving to La Ciotat seven months ago, we love our new city more than ever. But there is one thing driving us far far away this week...

Today's French word: échapper

    : to escape, outrun, slip away from

...and the popular French expression échapper belle (to have a lucky escape, to escape by the skin of one's teeth, to just make it out in time)

AUDIO FILE

Click here to listen to "echapper" and the following phrase

Pour nous échapper des gros travaux de démolition qui commencent dans notre maison, nous partons une petite semaine sur l'île d'Elbe, en Italie.
To escape the major demolition work that begins at our home, we are going to leave for one week on Elba Island in Italy.


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristi Espinasse


We have spent two weeks eating our way through cupboards of crackers, chips and dips, gobbling up all the cheese and charcuterie in our frigo, emptying the last drops of olive oil and sirop de pêche, and just this morning I took down my daughter's art school sketches from our kitchen wall, as well as my grandfather's pendule à coucou

Tomorrow we turn off our home's chauffage central, drop off our golden retriever, Smokey, at the dog sitter's, and begin an 8-hour journey east, past our old vineyard in St Cyr-sur-Mer, past Bandol, past Toulon, and our old village of Les Arcs-sur-Argens... 

....past St Tropez, Cannes, Nice, and Menton, and over the border where we will stop, as we always do, at the very first station d'essence--because only in Italy can you get a gas-station espresso that rivals anything served in a 5-star restaurant! 

As we get farther and farther away from the sound of sledgehammers, we will breathe a sigh of relief. On va souffler un peu. For the first time in our life as homeowners (having lived on-site through 5 demolition projects beginning when our son, Max, was in my womb), we will have escaped renovation. One week of it, anyway....

This blog will continue in a week or so from a dusty office above the demolished kitchen, where work will continue through May 15th (the cut-off date for this renovation as our now  23-year-old returns from his exchange program in Mexico and will need a place to stay. We'd put him in the upstairs bathtub--but that's where I'll be doing the dishes for the next 8 weeks.

I'll send you a postcard from Elba, when we get there--so check your inbox. Elba, off the coast of Tuscany, is the island in Italy where Napolean famously retreated... only home renovation wasn't the reason for his exile. Or was it?

Smokey and bianca chiens dogs
No renovation pictures yet. For now, a peaceful picture of Smokey and Bianca (Smokey can't wait to see her tomorrow. Bianca belongs to the dog sitter). Below, you'll see a video of our garden last week, when it snowed. Click on the photo (or arrow) to start the video.


FRENCH VOCABULARY
la charcuterie = cold meats
le frigo = fridge
sirop de pêche = peach syrup
la pendule à coucou = cuckoo clock
le chauffage central = central heating
station d'essence = gas station
on va souffler un peu = we're going to breath a sigh of relief

Napolean a life
Napolean: A Life - “A thrilling tale of military and political genius… Roberts is an uncommonly gifted writer.” – The Washington Post Order the book here

Teisseire French syrop -- for flavoring tea, sodas, and more. I love it in sparkling water. Order here
Book: 365 Days of French Expressions: Learn one new French Expression per Day
Paris Peace T-Shirt available in a rainbow of colors
Embryolisse - face moisturizer from France with so many uses. See the reviews!

Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue writing and publishing these educational missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
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"I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories over the years & hope you will continue to delight us with your beautiful photos and thoughtful & charming antidotes of life in the beautiful south of France."
--Jacqueline

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