Jules update + Which of these French words is new to you?: guet-apens, tuyau, épuisette, taule, couvre feu, comme si de rien n'était, arroser, pantoufle...
My son, Max, spearfishing here in La Ciotat. In today's story, his grandmother Jules goes fishing in the garden, while I reel in a boatful of new French words for you. Enjoy, and please share this post with somebody who loves France or the French language. Merci!
Today’s French expressions: avoir la pêche (vs) aller à la pêche
: avoir la pêche = to feel great, to feel happy
: aller à la pêche = to go fishing
Quand ma belle-mère, Jules, a la pêche...Elle va à la pêche!
When my mother-in-law, Jules, is feeling energetic, she goes fishing!
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi ESPINASSE
“I feel good!” my mom announces, stretching out her arms beside the budding fig tree. “Look how rosy my cheeks are!”
En effet! After hibernating all winter, Jules a la pêche. Her energy stores are full and she is ready to return to work as our resident Tuyau Operator, in charge of watering all the flowers and veggies. It’s about time Sleeping Beauty woke up. Les hibiscus ont soif!
Mom surveys the wild garden and its unruly grass, its patches of buttercups, dandelions, grape hyacinths, and, oh—look at those two-foot-high beanstalks! Our front yard has come to life, just like Mom and her furry, elderly assistant, Smokey (who’s put on a few pounds after guarding Grandma all winter. The two share the afternoon goûter in bed, and I suspect it’s not the only snack for nos aînés gourmands!).
Plus de Pantoufles!
When Jules, in her black Converse high tops, marches past her favorite Papillon chair, you know she means business. No contemplating the clouds today, c’est l’heure d’arroser.
I pass by the fountain on my way to meet her, and the water begins to tremble. Can you believe that’s 4 dozen baby koi rushing to the surface? The doves use a similar attention-getting strategy, going as far as to knock on the window until Jules gets up to feed them! Everyone is hungry now that winter is over, ou presque…
Un guet-apens? (An ambush?)
Jules grabs the long wooden pole and net—the épuisette—and plunges it in and out of the water sending petrified poissons darting toward the papyrus for cover.
“I caught 5!” Mom gasps, upending the net and watching the fish land in the copper jam pan (a recent gift Mom picked up for us at la Coop Agricole).
“Hurry! Get some water in there!” Mom signals, as the fish flop around their copper tôle, or prison.
Les yeux ébahis, I scramble to fill the copper jam pan with water before the fish (that's slang for inmates!) go into shock. Visiblement, Mom’s energy is running ahead of her again. If you think her motor is charged, you should see Smokey! Our 11-year-old golden retriever has leaped over the fence and is trespassing in the neighbor’s yard, probably eating the cat food again! “Smokey! Reviens ici!” Whereas moments ago our senior chien jumped over the fence, he is now crawling under the flimsy barrier, comme si de rien n’était.
As you can see, I’ve got my hands full keeping these thrill-seekers in line. But I’m not complaining. I’m too dazzled by the koi swimming in the copper jam pan. Jules has the coolest ideas and her creativity is enough to wake a zombie (or anyone feeling lethargic during a pandemic!).
“It would be a fabulous centerpiece for your next dinner party!” Mom adds, easing into her butterfly chair. Time now to contemplate the clouds, and think up more adventures in this era of couvre-feux and confinement.
Post note: No photo of the fish in the bassine à confiture, or copper jam pan. When I tried to recreate the scene, fishing wasn’t as easy as Mom made it look!
un jeu de mots = a play on words
en effet = indeed
avoir la pêche = to feel energetic
le tuyau = garden hose
avoir soif = to be thirsty
le goûter = snack
la pantoufle = house slipper
nos aînés = our elders
le gourmand = food lover
arroser = to water
ou presque = or almost
un guet-apens = an ambush
une épuisette = pole and net for collecting fish or clearing leaves from the pond
en taule (en tôle) = in the slammer, prison
le poisson = fish
visiblement = clearly
reviens ici! = come back here!
le chien = dog
comme si de rien n’était = as if nothing were amiss
couvre-feu = curfew
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Or senior chien, Smokey is doing great. Don’t miss this story of Mom’s papillon chair, click here.
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