How to say "seat belt" in French & learning to pronounce French
Atterrissage: Made it to The Mile-High City! Winetastng today

Se pointer: to show up

Jean-marc espinasse
Come see Jean-Marc and me! We'll be in Denver next week, for a wine tasting of Provence and Chateauneuf du Pape wines that Chief Grape exports to Colorado. This event will take place September 13th from 3 to 6 PM at The Vineyard Wine Shop, 261 Fillmore Street, Denver, CO 80206. Tel : 303 355 8324 We look forward to seeing you there!

Today's Word: se pointer

    : to show up, turn up

Click here to listen to Jean-Marc read the example sentence
Le simple fait de se pointer permette d'obtenir des résultats avec le temps.
The simple act of showing up allows you to obtain results over time.

Improve your French pronunciation with Exercises in French Phonics.


    by Kristi Espinasse

In one week and two days we leave for Denver! I have been preparing for the 4-week absence by checking off the following liste de choses à faire:

- finir les impôts
- trouver une robe pour le mariage de Kirsten
- choisir un cadeau pour les mariés
- cadeaux pour ma nièce, mon neveu, et ma soeur
- faire un double de clé pour Mom
- finir l'article pour France Today cétéra pantoufle...

....You'd think filing expat taxes (late, I know) was the most difficult thing on this list to accomplish. Mais non! It's another item that's causing so much détresse! It regards the deadline for an article I am writing. The problem is, the more I nitpick at the words, the more I confuse the story!

Let's face it: there is no point to that story (or, possibly, to the one you are currently reading), which brings me to a general observation: People get pretty upset about pointlessness. There's that fear of wasting one's precious time. 

It reminds me of the Colibri fable--the story of a hummingbird who, drop by drop, worked to put out a forest fire. "You're getting nowhere!" another creature in the forest commented, watching the little bird labor on.

Colibri responded, "Peut-être. Mais je fais ma part." Perhaps, but I am doing my part.

The French even have a verb for this... se pointer. It means to show up. So, if all else fails (if this story for which I have labored seems pointless), please remember you've learned at least two good words today. They might even change your life.

*    *    *

Mediterranean forest
There are no colibris, or hummingbirds, in France, so I leave you with a picture of a Mediterranean forest. This beautiful place, "La Gache", was right behind our former vineyard, in St Cyr-sur-Mer.  

une liste de choses à faire = to do list
les impôts (m) = taxes
une robe = dress
le cadeau = gift
la détresse = distress
et cétéra pantoufle = a funny (old French) way to say etc... (funny, because "une pantoufle" is a slipper)
un colibris = hummingbird
Talk at Shakespeare and Company in 2010
Good news. There'll be a second meetup in Denver, at the Alliance Française, on October 4th. More info soon! (Picture from my talk at Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris, in 2010.)

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


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Have a wonderful trip! All will be fine...We arrive to Sanary this week. So close, alors. Best wishes.


Have a nice trip. I will be in Colorado Springs the 21st. Too bad not in Colorado at the same time.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristi,

Safe travels! You might see some hummingbirds in Colorado! :-)

Suzanne Dunaway

Is it permette or permet?

ra martin

I love this post and the play on words. I've been using that phrase lately in English to demonstrate my reaction to being in the world at the moment, and I'm so pleased to learn the french phrase - sounds so much more elegant anyway...etc pantoufle! Merci for all your wonderful posts. ra martin

Suzanne Codi

Have a safe trip and a wonderful time! Colorado will be a great contrast to la Cote d'Azur. Please let us know if you want to make a pit stop in DC on your way back, the guest room is always open for you!

Suzanne in Monroe, NJ

Thank you also for colibri! Enjoy your time in Colorado and with Heidi. The wedding should be fun.

Diane Heinecke

Please don't fret about how "meaty" a post may be. We learn something from each and every one. Plus--you are authentic and transparent and don't put on airs. Just show up. We love you. Bon voyage!

Lynda House

I clicked on the email ‘French word a day’ and there is a photo of a very handsome man, looking like a movie star! Jean-Marc is just lovely Kristin, but f course you already know that! To add to your post, my mother always said, ‘ 80% of success is just showing up and doing something’.

Cynthia Lewis

Thank you, Kristi. Each and every FWAD is unique and interesting. You help us, your readers, learn new words and expressions in French in a most enjoyable way! Have a wonderful trip and be safe. Best wishes.


Bon voyage! I look forward to a wedding story when you return. Tell us about the bride, thé groom, their vows, the guests, flowers, food, weather, coincidences, near disasters, and what went well and is worth remembering. In short, take good notes and photos!

Nan Campbell

I am thrilled to know you'll be at Alliance de Denver Oct. 4. I will be in France when you're here at the wine shop, but will be back for your Alliance appearance. I'm looking forward to seeing you then.

well, my luck has ran out, while you are in Denver, I will be in Antibes from sept.18 till Oct 9th, was hoping to train over for lunch, I know you don't know now if you will be home before the 9th. but if you are possible I can run over before I fly home, have a great trip, Colorado should be beautiful at that time.I do have a international Phone # +44 7458 072958 Best to all the family. Lou


Our dear Kristi,
What a happy trip!
Bon voyage!
And!Your devoted readers are looking forward to all the details which we hope will follow!
Horace said"Well begun,half done"--- so true!There is NO doubt that the end of your story will be as wonderful the beginning!
Natalia. Xo

Judy Feldman

Kristi, if by any chance you’re coming to Phoenix, please let me know! Would love to see you (& it’s cooling down a bit)


Brenda C

I found out from a friend who just got back from a wedding in France that there are no cicadas (along with no hummingbirds). She couldn’t get used to the silence at night. Have a safe trip to Denver and don’t let the cicadas keep you awake.

Valerie Meluskey

Ah-h dear Kristi, you are loved and appreciated wherever you are, and whatever words you select when you write! thank you for all the words and life you share with us.

Andrea Hughes

Bon sejour a Colorado! J'espere que tout se passe bien!

Julie Farrar

Safe travels. Take time to get out in nature and just breathe after the hectic summer you've had.

I never knew there were no hummingbirds in France. Quell horreur! I already knew that you have to make it through winter with no red cardinals against a snowy backdrop. But this is too much to imagine.

You will finish your article and it will be parfait, bien sûr.

Dawn Johnson

Have a great trip Kristi and Jean-Marc. I told my sister she should go to the wine tasting. she lives in Wyoming but goes to Denver all the time. I am leaving Tuesday for France for two weeks, I will be in Provence for the first nine days, sorry to miss you. Maybe your mom would like to have lunch in Cassis. I’d love to meet her. I think we share a birthday.

Patricia Sands

Bon voyage! You're going to be busy and we look forward to following along!

Karen Cafarella

Have a wonderful trip. Wish it was in Phoenix!


Marianne Rankin

Will you by chance be anywhere near the DC area after the trip to Colorado? It's been a while since J-M hosted a wine-tasting. Even if nothing "official" is happening, would love to meet you.

Leslie in Oregon

Bon voyage! I hope that Smokey will not get too lonely while you are gone. If the weather is cooling down, is he feeling better? Have a great time, Leslie

Jenny Pessereau

Hi Krist,

If your trip takes you and Jean-Marc to the Willamette Valley in Oregon to try the wines, please let us all know. We have just moved up from Napa Valley to this one and would love to share wine stories with you two.

Bon voyage,

Jenny and Philippe Pessereau

I hiked La Gache when I was there last November. Gorgeous.

Pointless? No, never. Everything is as it should be:)

Bon Voyage~


Lee Isbell

Yes, that is quite a dashing photo of Jean-Marc. Yum. (Wink to Kristi)

Jo Ellen

Kristi, bon voyage! Wishing you and Chief Grape a very successful trip. Reading with interest your accomodation to having your mom close, and hers to being in France definitivement. Transitions can be challenging for sure!
Hope our paths cross at some point.
A plus,

R L Jackson

Thank you for the hummingbird story. Truly wonderful, and short and sweet. Had never heard it. That, alone, makes the article so very worthwhile to read.



Bon Voyage! It sounds like a wonderful trip. I always fair des listes quand je fair le Voyage -even just visiting my daughter, as I go for several weeks. I loved seeing the picture again of you in Shakespeare & Co - Nicole and I were in Paris for a week and spent hours there-such a great bookstore! Went by the shop where you and I had tea-good memories! Loved your post! “Showing up” is half the battle!!


Thank you, Kristi, for sharing the Colibri story. Hummingbirds are my favourite. I am preparing to open a yoga studio within the next few months and at times, the work seems overwhelming. Your reminder to show up and do my work, bit by bit, is timely. Merci, encore.

Tish Tyler

Bonjour Kristi - I also like the Colibri fable. Enjoy your time in Denver!

I really enjoyed meeting you at Shakespeare and Company in 2010 - that’s me in the photo with the microphone!

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