The worst thing about summer in the south of France + do you know these slang words?
La Grande Randonnée: Jean-Marc's GR 20 trek in Corsica: Part II bilingual story + full audio recording

The French word for "Fellowship" and (a funny term for "Homebody")

Jules at farmers market la ciotat
My Mom and her fish purse at our farmer's market. Photo taken 4 years ago, when Jules moved to France. 

In Summer reading: From Moulin Rouge to Gaudi's City by E.J. Bauer

Today's Words: Fellowship

1. camaraderie (companionship, company)
2. confrérie (brotherhood, friary)

Bonus Word: Homebody

    : pantouflard(e) (from "pantoufle" or slipper)

FRENCH SOUND FILE: Click below to hear Jean-Marc pronounce the French words in today's post. Then scroll down to the vocabulary section to check your French comprehension.

Click here for the audio clip

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

Tergiverser—now there’s an amusing word to begin with. It means to hem and haw, to sit on the fence, to remain undecided, and Undecided is my middle name! Just when I was debating about whether I should get out of bed and get to the farmers market and the fish market before la foule, a certain passage in a book I was reading lifted me up and out the door, d'un seul coup!

If inspiration is the vehicle that gets us moving forward, then reflection may be the key to what makes us tick. Sometimes we have to wonder why it is we do what we do. Why, I ask, do I have such a hard time going places, and is that good or bad? What’s wrong with being a loner, une solitaire, un ours des cavernes? (I prefer the term “une sauvage”--sounds cooler than "hermit"! But that’s just the Ego talking. Maybe my ego is keeping me back?)

While there are always the big things, often it is a string of petites choses that keep me stuck: "I haven't washed my hair in days. I don't want to run into anyone I know. I'll stay home!" That's enough to have me hiding indoors dining on a can of tuna for lunch. And yet I sense this is not God's will for me. (Not that canned tuna is unholy)....

So this morning I put on my floppy hat, and hurried out the front door, ignoring everything clawing me back: my elderly dog who wanted a walk (“it’s too far for you, Smokey!”), my son who had questions and suggestions about the laundry, a text I meant to answer illico...). With the front gate pulled shut behind me, j’étais délivrée! Free as a bird.

Coincidentally it is the season of the swallows, and it was a pleasure to watch ces hirondelles swooping through the sky above as I walked to the fishmongers. At Poissonerie Laure, the lively and colorful selection of fish is second only to the lively and colorful patronne. "How is Jean-Marc?" Laure asked. But when Laure's husband put down his carving knife and came over to hear the update, I realized they were aware of his épreuve. I thanked them for their empathie, and headed out with two fillets de cabillaud and du saumon

At the farmer's market I stood in line holding a sack of fish and reading the cashier's T-shirt, which was in English: "Chilling under a palm tree," I said, as the cashier rang up some tomatoes. “C’est ça! What does it mean?” she asked.
"You know, de se la jouer cool, sans stress...”
Oui! C'est ça qui'l faut...” the cashier said gifting me an extra tomato. 
Merci! I’ll eat it for lunch,” I promised.

As I walked home with my bounty I realized nobody cares about my hair! We don’t see each other’s flaws. We only see each other's hearts--especially when our perspectives are refreshed. I will try to remember that the next time I’m holed up inside with my can of holy tuna, behaving like a bear. Company, fellowship, brotherhood--in one lovely word la camaraderie--is good for the soul. And home sweet home is a comfort as well. This leads us to one last synonym for "loner": un pantouflard--after "pantoufle" or slippers. Let's end on that cozy note.


MVIMG_20190615_180037Camaraderie, brotherhood, company--and a lot of smiles at our local fish market. That's the owner, second on the left, her son (second on the right) and friends. Related story: La Patronne at our local fishmarket, and solidarity following a visit by a burglar


la camaraderie = company, fellowship
la confrérie = brotherhood
une pantouflarde, un pantouflard = homebody, homebird, stay-at-home person
tergiverser = to procrastinate, to hem and haw
la foule = crowd
d’un seul coup = all at once
un (une) solitaire = loner
un ours des cavernes = a cave bear, recluse
un (une) sauvage = recluse, hermit
une petite chose = little thing 
une hirondelle = swallow (bird)
illico = pronto
j'étais délivré = I was free/freed
la poissonnerie = fish market
le patron (la patronne) = owner
une épreuve = a struggle
le cabillaud = cod
se la jouer cool = to play it cool 
c’est ça qu’il faut = that’s what’s needed

In books: Petit déjeuner à Paris: A Story in Easy French with Translation

IMG_3743 IMG_3737
If only that tongue could fan him in this heat! Smokey keeping cool in summer. The hanging tongue is une séquelle, or consequence of being attacked when he was a puppy.

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I can completely sympathize with this post, Kristi. I am a bit like you. A stay at home! But when I go out, I so enjoy seeing and talking with people. For us introverts, it is always a struggle between staying at home and being social. We need both. Thanks for the reminder. And the fish at your poissonnerie look so fresh!

Cynthia Lewis

Bonjour, Kristi!
I'm glad to know that you went "out and about" to buy fish and veggies... now to cook them with your family. I always love to see a photo of your beautiful mother. For a moment I couldn't figure out that the peper plant was in her basket. It almost looks like a decoration on her hat!
By the way, I'm a confirmed pantouflarde. Thanks for all the new words today, especially pantouflarde. I do hope that Jean-Marc is feeling much better. Best wishes for each of you.


Bonjour Kristi,

Thanks for this post today and for the book recommendation. Just ordered on my Kindle! I have been seeking the Holy Spirit in my life lately.

I am a member of our local Saint Vincent dePaul Society and am a volunteer case worker. I have been visiting people in need here in our local area. These visits really help me see the face of Christ in those I serve. I ask the Holy Spirit to help me on my visits and I do believe the Holy Spirit is there on these visits.

Thanks for your blog!

Jerry. Wood

I have always liked my own company and sometimes thought it was a hindering. Then covid came and I realized I was doing better that some friends who didn’t do well being isolated.
Sometimes what we think of as a weakness turns out to be our strength.
I love todays post as it speaks to me. Thanks


I've been told by a psychologist that the most deeply-seated personality characteristic is the tendency to introversion (or, for others, extroversion). I've found my own introversion sometimes hard to moderate even after decades of throwing myself into social situations. Though, in later years, I've become convinced that some society is actually uplifting (Who would have thought it?)--something you demonstrate so well by your excursion to the market. Thank you for this.


A great reminder to get out there, even when you don’t feel like it. Also, the comments you make to others may be just the lift they needed to brighten their day- so it is a two way street.


Moi aussi. I have to force myself to leave the house. I used to be a French teacher , volunteered much at church, took constant trips, enjoyed interacting with people but not so much anymore. I’m fairly friendly and talkative once I’m out but getting out there is not what I tend to do anymore. There is peace that reigns in my home. I enjoy peace. I can walk around in a sloppy tshirt and not worry about putting on a hat or a hair piece to hide my inexplicable hairloss. I do think how we feel about the way we look does affect our comfort level around others. And then there is the “crowd” issue. Ummm. No thank you. Not for me. I want that tshirt that says “it’s too peoply out there”. BTW. Maybe I should make one en français. How would you say that in French?
“ if fait trop de monde ici”? Or???


I imagine that there are more than a few of us who can identify with this story! A good reminder, Kristin. Merci, comme toujours.

K.J. Laramie

“I realized they were aware of his épreuve. I thanked them”

This reference made me go back and read your post about J-M again. Thanks for including that link.

A ‘two-fer’ this time:
Loved your honest experience of a well-known tendency of my own this time. As an artist, aside from making me feel ok about the constant push-pull of relishing alone time vs. enjoying every unique face when I go out, I was again treated to the beautiful outpouring of love for you and your husband from all your thoughtful readers during a very personal journey. It is truly something to behold once again; such heartfelt responses! 🥲

Thank you, Kristi, for your amazing writing skills, but also for your extraordinary photographs. You have quite an eye. Every single one is so beautifully composed, just like you!

Merci! 💐

Leslie NYC

I completely identify with this post. It is a comfort to be home. It is a pleasant surprise to be out and enjoy people: yes, pleasant, but a surprise!
I volunteer at a community garden and when an encounter is annoying, I mutter to myself, "I do better with plants than people". I avoid meetings. It works out!


This post speaks to me also. There is always something that needs doing in the house. But i do get out with friends and do enjoy them all. Wish I could get fresh fish like that - looks very good. Hugs to you all.

Darsie Linda S.

I thought that “sauvage” meant “wild”?

Jerry Wood

un pantouflard est un nouveau mot pour moi peut-être que nous ne l'utilisons pas au Canada ??


dear Kristi: I thought jean-marc was on his long hike already; sorry, I might have missed one of your blogs; the worst word I know in the english language is "indecision". It is better to make a wrong decision than none at all. I struggle with that very often; sometimes, I'm on the right track, others not. But, it's OK..... Since Covid, my social activities have been very limited; I find it's not so terrible! It gives me time to "chill"! Please do take good care of you & your family, (2-legged & 4 as well). Stay safe & well. A biento, Ann


Nice post today, as always!


Bon jour Kristi et Jean Marc,
Thank you for this post at this time in life….2022, June! It is a good reminder to get back out there and go to the market….just walk through it as we used to do…see the sights…..see and hear the people…enjoy the crowd and local culture. Hélas, so much has changed…. The trauma of “la pandemie” is the hesitancy to get out there; weighing every decision with the “risk”.


Your recounting of your day, your decision to go out has rung a bell in every reader’s thoughts and experiences, including my own. Thank you and all your readers, we are a group and not alone! Your day was so inviting!

Eileen Burns

Je suis une pantouflarde! LOVE, Eileen

Suzanne Dunaway

Well as The Bread Lady of LA I was social for years and taught cooking and joined associations of food and worked for Gourmet Magazine and always loved dinner parties and more, but during isolated covid years, I have gained great respect for being with my honey, gardening, reading, writing for mags, and LOVE the time we have had to know one another even better (after 46 years!). Now we are branching out but I find it burdensome...the masks (we still are very careful, being old fogies), the prep to go out, the avoiding of crowds, the market visited so early in the morn, but we do miss our family in Rome and so many friend evenings around a table....
Still, it's nice to know me, I keep telling myself, haha.
More important than the above WHERE CAN I GET A FISH PURSE?

Stacy Lund

Dear Kristi,

How delightful is this term for "Homebody" - it brings a giggle! I do relate to your resistance to leaving the comforts of home. This is something I often struggle with. I find that switching up our routine helps to relieve the "stuckness". I return home with a new perspective. I love how the world validates our decision to step outside and open our minds.

Sending love and prayers to you and your family!

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Stacy. Thinking of you, always 💕

eva morgan

so beautifully written and it all touches home for me. My happy place is in nature and capturing the beauty with my camera. Lately I need to push myself to get out and socialize. When I do I enjoy every moment of it and most importantly the people God puts in my path. Like when I met your dear mother in Mexico!!
Thank you for your inspiring words.
I hope maybe one day our paths will meet.

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