Culotté: a cheeky word for you today
Boui-boui: Jackie and I lick windows in Miami while Jean-Marc gets stuck in immigration

Une bêtise: You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.

View from chateau de pibarnon
We are visiting our daughter in Miami, so I have prepared this re-run for you. I hope it makes you laugh! Photo taken at the beautiful Château de Pibarnon, where our story begins....

Today's Word: une bêtise

    : a mistake, something stupid, something foolish

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Audio File: click here to listen to the following French:
Faites des bêtises, mais faites-les avec enthousiasme. -Colette
You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

Recently, Jean-Marc and I had the chance to help out with a French documentary about how France is seen abroad by the ones who love that country. A journalist was interested in hearing my story, after learning about our Franco-American life on a vineyard. There was one little pépin, though: we no longer live on a vineyard; thankfully this part was worked out when a kindly châtelain agreed to let us film chez lui.

We arrived at Château de Pibarnon after sunrise Saturday morning, to meet up with Eric de Saint Victor and the film crew. As Eric had a flight leaving in the next few hours, we quickly got to work...

Eric chateau de pibarnon
Eric de Saint Victor and the film crew

There is so much about filmmaking that I did not know. Naively, I figured we would stay an hour or so at the chateau, then return to La Ciotat to shoot the segment about blogging. (I had a bunch of cookies, madeleines, and other pick-me-ups waiting at home, but we would not get to those any time soon...)

Jean-marc talks wine
Jean-Marc, sharing about the difficult decision to sell our vineyard

After 5 hours at the vineyard, we peeled out of the vines in time for lunch--and not before I had made a few cringe-worthy gaffes. Gaffe number one occurred after we were fitted with microphones and instructed to drive up to the caveau de vente, or salesroom. As we reshot that scene several times, I noticed a few things about the film crew, and shared my flippant thoughts with Jean-Marc as we waited in our car for the next Action! call.

They are such a nice team, I began, buckling my seatbelt and chatting with Jean-Marc who was at the wheel. Everyone is so friendly! But I don't think the journalist and the cameraman are getting along... I grinned. 

That's when Jean-Marc looked over at me, matched my grin, and pointed to my microphone. The one I'd forgotten all about and it was recording away....

No time to die of embarrassment, the cameraman and the journalist (wearing headphones...) signaled in unison now for us to drive, and the filming began again, only this time my face was flushed red. Creeping out of the car after the scene was over, I rejoined the film crew. The soundman (wearing headphones...) discreetly pointed out to me: You have a mute button on that little box (in your pocket) if you need it....

I smiled profusely at him and the other two professionals (my eyes pleading forgiveness). Thankfully punishment came quickly enough and I could pay for my chatty sin with the following humiliation, which garnered from the others, I hope, a good inward my expense this time.

This happened after I finally got to the restroom after holding it all morning. Once inside the WC, I tore off half my outfit only to discover the dreaded microphone in full volume recording...

A big dilemma ensued: to pee or not to pee? But oh! oh! I had to go!

Not wanting so much as one tinkle to be recorded (and imagining the upcoming remix or montage), I searched desperately for the mute button--and could not find it! I tried ripping the cord out of the unit but became confused by technology (so badly I had to faire pipi). In a last-ditch effort, I gagged the little microphone from hell, the little tattletale, with the help of my wool blazer.

And I promise to pull the wool over my own lips, next time I get the urge to gossip!! 

Many thanks to the very kind (and good-humored!) film crew. I will share more about the production and team members when the documentary comes out. Jean-Marc and I are one of many to participate in least I hope to appear in it...after today's little story!

UPDATE: By springtime, I received an email from the director who informed me that our segment of the documentary was cut. All footage of Jean-Marc and me ended up on the cutting room floor. At this point, I'd be relieved to learn it was my recording gaffe that got us there. But I have a sinking feeling that when the camera began to roll, more bêtises ensued which makes me think I'd better stick to writing and stay away from filming!


une bêtise = a stupid thing
une gaffe = a blunder
compte-rendu = an account of something, a report
la mise-en-scène = staging
le pépin = glitch, snag, mishap
le châtelain = chateau owner
le caveau de vente = wine salesroom
le WC = toilet, lavatory
le montage = editing session

Kristi in cdp vines
Tinkle tinkle little star. After posting this picture on social media, I did get told not to let this experience go to my head. Rest assured that before anything has the chance to go to my head, life will always intervene (as in today's story of the latrine!) But if I ever get out of line--just call me Tinkle Tinkle Little Star.

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


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Kate Dickerson

🚽 🤫 🤭 🤣

Thanks for cracking me up this morning!

Nancy Shalen

Can we find the video someplace? I'd love to see it!


This is sooo funny! Thanks for the transparency and making us laugh. Made me LOL!


Our dear Kristi,
Your composure leaves me in the dust!!
Moi?Voice would be trembling,legs would be shaking,a total mess!!
As always,dear Kristi,gaffes or not,you are a picture of elegance,and best of all,kindness!!
Thank you for sharing this wnith us!
BIG hugs to you both and besutiful Jackie!!
Natalia. Xo


Oui, Kristin,
Fermer la bouche est un des plus grands problèmes
pour moi aussi!

Nancy Paull

such a funny post today- thanks for the laugh and kudos for being able to share an embarrassing moment ( or two). We all have them.

Cynthia Crane

Loved your story. Brought back memories of a live mike when I was on the set of "TOMA" in LA expressing my absent baby's breast milk in the ladies' room sink. J'etais aussi en rougissante. Best to you all. Sad about MICHOU. Cynthia Crane

Carolyn Chase

Amusing tale. I know every reader can identify with your feelings during experience and relate one of their own. You are delightful to come to know.

Catherine Berry (But you are in France, Madame)

Oh yes, I would have made every one of those gaffes! Hope you are having a lovely time with Jacqui.

Joanne Fischer

Have fun in Miami!

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