TODAY’S WORD: vadrouiller
: wander, meander, roam around
FRENCH SOUND FILE: Click below to hear Jean-Marc pronounce vadrouiller and all the French words in this edition. Then scroll down to the vocabulary section to check your French comprehension.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse
Bonjour from Italy ou on vadrouille. My husband and I are roaming around une petite île off the NE coast of Sardinia. So, for this week’s nouvelle, instead of writing a story, which would require full concentration, let’s enjoy some bribes (breebs) or “brief updates”. I think this is win-win or gagnant-gagnant for us both because you will have some variety and I will get to wander around some topics—as well as some island topography. Allons-y!
Chapeau! Congratulations to my dad for his recent efforts to acquire a second language (Spanish). He has studied 80 days straight, anywhere from 15 minutes to 2.5 hours per stint, in order to parler espagnol. Really proud of him. (Though I wish he’d parler français.)
On allume les bougies. September 23rd. Time to light some candles—76 to be exact. Today is Jules’ birthday. Joyeux anniversaire, Maman! You are a LIGHT in our lives and your wisdom makes us stop and think and be more loving.
Les Cendres - Have you ever seen a loved one’s ashes? I hadn't, which is why it took 2 months to get up the courage to pry open Smokey’s urn. To my surprise my dog’s cendres weren’t scary, nor were they gray and black. They looked like sand on the beach. While beautiful isn’t the word to describe cremated remains, those ashes were peaceful and so was the burial, thanks to the help of my husband. Alongside the urn, the package I received contained a paper heart soaked in flower seeds, which we planted among the ashes.
Les Noces de Nickel: As go wedding anniversaries, 28 years corresponds to “nickel” and signifies resistance, malleability and equilibrium….
Sardo-Corse : the language spoken by locals here on the island of La Maddalena, where we arrived Wednesday morning. C’est dépaysant, Jean-Marc said. Italy is exotic, compared to France and a nice place to celebrate our 28-year union.
Une greffe - Tuesday I will have eye surgery to remove a “pterygium.” It’s a condition people from the desert or the seaside or from ski areas sometimes get. The harsh conditions (sand and sun) cause the eye to grow a protective layer...and when it spreads as far as the iris it can obstruct vision. Because pterygiums can grow back after removal, a graft is recommended… Mama Mia! (I wonder if that means “ouch” in Italian—or Help me, Mom!)
If you don’t hear from me next week it’s because I’ll be strutting around my neighborhood showing off a cool new eye patch. But more likely I’ll be resting in bed watching YouTube with my free eye. Jean-Marc has recommended a classic called La Grande Vadrouille. It’s a comedy and you know what they say about humor, le rire c’est la meilleure médecine.
Bye for now and see you when I see you.
P.S. After the vocabulary section, enjoy photos from Sardinia and La Maddalena
ou on vadrouille = where we’re wandering around
une petite île = a little island
une nouvelle = story
allons-y = let’s go
gagnant-gagnant = win-win
Chapeau! = bravo!
parler espagnol = to speak Spanish
parler français = to speak French
on allume les bougies = we’re lighting some candles
Joyeux anniversaire, Maman! = Happy birthday, Mom
les cendres = ashes
les noces de nickel = nickel anniversary
c’est dépaysant = it’s a good change of scenery
une greffe = a graft
La Grande Vadrouille = The Great Stroll
le rire c’est la meilleure médecine = laughter is the best medicine
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety