Bien Joué! Why Jackie is leaving Lyon

Coiffure hair salon french village
Today, find out why my daughter was at the hairdresser's when she should've been on her way to FINAL EXAMS! 

Note: After today's post this journal will go on break thru February 8th.

TODAY'S WORD: BIEN JOUÉ

    : well done!, good job!, way to go!
    : well played

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

I really want to learn a new thing, I do not know what I am interested in, though. UI/UX design? Being a certified therapist? Fashion? So much that I can or could be. Should I pretend to be someone until I am this person?

The above is an excerpt from a letter our daughter wrote one year ago. I am happy to announce we are all rejoicing now that she has passed her examen oral in Lyon—la dernière étape in a race to earn her BAC + 3, or bachelor's degree in one year. Bien joué, Jackie! You did it! You hunkered down, put your doubts and fears behind you, and traded your bartender apron for a student’s cap. Then you proceeded to wow us all! Tu nous as bluffés.

I admit when you shared you were going to study UX/UI design, I was doubtful: did you say computer coding was part of the curriculum? I had similar misgivings when you dropped out of fashion in Toulon to go to bartending school in Miami. But if there’s one thing about you it’s this: once you know what you want, your determination follows. I watched you line up everything, lightening speed: you located un logement in Lyon, turned in all your papers at le pôle emploi (to the stellar counselor who found you this intensive program and knew could do it), packed your belongings, sold some things and once again headed off into the unknown in search of who you might become.

Then, the first setback. After quitting your job, you got a call informing you you were rejected from the program! Was this a sign? Some of us here at home whispered we didn’t think computer design was right for you, but you remained calm. You called the director to ask, Why? You told him you were very interested in this program and to please reconsider your candidature. Meantime you looked for a last-minute employment and tried to stay out from underneath that cloud that forms above you during transition time, dark as the inside of a cocoon before the butterfly struggles out and takes flight.

Friends talked you into a weekend getaway. You had just landed in London when your phone rang at the airport. You almost ignored the call, but finally answered. It was the school director. Having had a second look at your dossier, he decided to give you a chance. Class started in less than a week!

You hung up the phone and quickly called back the rental company. The room was still available! You flew home and boarded the train to Lyon.

You were the first to arrive at the renovated house-turned-apartments in Villeurbanne, never suspecting the strangers now filing into the common space (it was their first night in these new digs too) would become friends for life: a young doctor from Saudi Arabia, a computer programmer, a student musician, 2 nurses, a nuclear engineer, a biochemist, a dental hygienist, a logistics specialist, a shop manager/wedding photographer, and an agronomist (ahem, a weed producer).

You had me laughing when your biggest concern the first day of school was switching out your rickety chair for the one across the classroom you’d already set your sights on. I now see it as a metaphor….

At 25, you always considered yourself un mauvais élève: a dreamer with severe test anxiety. But you set your mind on overcoming these obstacles and soon you had that chair, and more. You wasted no time choosing your project (your mock business was a cruise company for seniors, and you threw your heart, soul, and sweat into designing your logo, your app, your webpage, and interviewing seniors (your grandparents included).

The calendar ahead was challenging, 3 years of work crammed into one--including an internship (it was up to you to find the company, dar dar!). Six months into the program and the pressure was unbearable: you wondered how you were going to turn in your preliminary report, finish your internship at the PR company, print out all your work in a series of booklets, and create your PowerPoint presentation. C’était la mer à boire! A bitter and impossible feat!

When in the 11th hour you had a panic attack at the PR office and an ambulance took you to ER you might have had a good reason to call it quits….after all, was this accelerated program worth the toll it was taking on your nervous system?

Back home we held our collective breath. “Jackie is tough! She's a Marcus!” Grandma Jules reminded us. Meantime, there in Lyon, your roommates rallied around you, gathering in your shared living room to hear you practice your 50-minute speech for your final exams before un jury. They took notes and shared “improvements”. 

You made it home for a needed rest at Christmas. After 4 days you wasted no time returning to Lyon. You had to find un imprimerie to print out your project, including 4 bound reports, or the 200 pages you had carefully written, and present it before the real jury. You buckled down to business and we did not hear from you again. Le silence radio…

On January 10th you called me unexpectedly. I braced myself as it was your exam day.  "Hi Mom, I'm on my way to the hairdresser’s."

“The hairdresser’s? But shouldn’t you be cramming for your exam?”

Your voice on the other end of the line was so peaceful. Now that you had finished your internship and turned in your work, the intense pressure had subsided. As for your presentation for your oral exam, you knew your subject like the back of your hand. Speaking of which…

“I also got my nails done,” said you. Je vais mettre toute les chances de mon côté. I’m putting all chance on my side and presentation is important!

Well, I couldn’t argue with that, and I hung up the phone with a big smile on my face. I knew right then you would be OK.

Still, I held my breath until you called back that afternoon.... Ça y est. C’était bien passé!”

“Well, what did they say?”

”They said I'm ready to do a master’s!”

***

Voilà, dear reader. I hope you enjoyed this happy update. Jackie is still waiting for the official news, the confirmation that she will receive her certificat (incredibly it is the equivalent of à BAC +3 diplôme) from the vocational school in Lyon. Meantime she finished the challenging UX/UI design program, having met all of the requirements. Bien joué, ma fille! You got that chair and now you’ll get the graduation cap!

Jackie at the hair salon
Jackie at the salon in Lyon, finally feeling ready for her examen oral.

COMMENTS
I love reading your comments and learning more about you with each note. Also, you can join me in congratulating Jackie! To leave a comment, click here.

IMG_1760
Jackie, left, during her internship at a PR firm in Lyon. After this, she had a few weeks to turn in her final project. And in January, stand before the jury for her oral presentation.

IMG_1761
Jackie (right) and her roommates. They shared many meals together and Jackie insists she would never have made it without their care and attention. 

FRENCH VOCABULARY
Don't miss the soundfile.

Click here to listen to the French terms below

bien joué! =
good job!
la derniere étape
= the last step
BAC + 3 = bachelor degree
tu nous as bluffés = you blew us away
un logement = accomodation, housing
le pôle emploi = the employment center
un mauvais élève
= a bad student
dar dar = right away
C’est la mer à boire = it’s like drinking the entire sea, no small feat
un jury = examinations board
une imprimerie = printer's
le silence radio = radio silence
mettre toutes les chances de son côté = to put all chance on one’s side

REMERCIEMENTS/ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Sincere thanks to these readers who recently sent in a website donation. I appreciate your help in publishing this journal! --Kristi

Joan S.
Walt S.
Mike P.
Patricia S.
Suzanne R.

Bonne année, Kristi! —Mike 

Your journal is a lovely combination of everyday family happenings with many useful phrases and new words to learn. It is well written and I look forward to reading it on Thursdays.  I also enjoy your instagram postings. —Joan

IMG_0973_Original
Ricci, receives some scratchies while Jackie rests and enjoys the Australian Open tennis match. 
Reading via email? For the link to the comments box, click here.

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Joyeux Noël: A Christmas Message from Kristi

Emmaus charity shop La Ciotat
I love this scene, photographed a year or so ago at our local Charity shop, Emmaus.

Today’s Word: Joyeux Noël

  : Merry Christmas! 


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse
I would like to share a reader comment that is helping me to keep the faith, no matter how many times I stumble, on this, the final countdown to Noël: Help me to recall it again now...

"The spirit of Christmas is in the love you share and give and has nothing to do with decorations, gifts or money. Delight in those gathered near and good times spent together. These are fleeting and a blessing to be cherished. Joyeux Noël & Bonne Année."

And here are Jo-Anne Yurosko's words in French, translated by Chatgpt, to underline the point....

"L'esprit de Noël réside dans l'amour que vous partagez et donnez, et n'a rien à voir avec les décorations, les cadeaux ou l'argent. Réjouissez-vous de ceux qui sont réunis près de vous et des bons moments passés ensemble. Ceux-ci sont éphémères et une bénédiction à chérir. Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année."

Thank you, Jo-Anne, for this heartening message. Each time I read it it evokes a new reaction--most recently tears. I really struggle with the Christmas season, and I am beginning to understand why: apart from my birthday being tossed into the flurry, it is the influx and bombardment of "things", the tornado of shoulds and expectations that keep me anxious and too distracted to enjoy the festivities. Thank you for the reminder that times with our loved ones are fleeting. Let's show each other love and affection by delighting in this time together, looking past our differences and, indeed, our personal failures, forgiving each other's flub-ups or transgressions. It is easier said than done, plus facile à dire qu'a faire, especially when we are focused on the imminent deadline that is Commercial Christmas and all the "trimmings" that go with it. From stocking stuffers to Turkey stuffing our minds are packed with the details of the Yuletide season.

It's not too late to take the focus off these fabricated devoirs that run us around like hopeless slaves, blinded to the message behind Christmas:

Peace on Earth...
good will to men...

Signing off now to enjoy Advent, or these few days leading up to Christmas. And if I should stumble, Lord, I thank you for your most precious gift: le salut. The Gift of Salvation. Joyeux Noël, dear Reader. Take good care and I will check in with you next week with another progress report.

Bien amicalement,

Kristi

COMMENTS
To leave a message, click on this link to the comments box. Merci beaucoup.

Soundfile: for today's recording Jean-Marc and I are reading aloud Jo-Anne Yurosko's words cited at the opening of this letter. Listen in French, then go back and read the quote:

Click here to listen to the French and English audio file

Sapin de Noel French Alps
A wooden Christmas tree in the French Alps.


REMERCIEMENTS - ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Mille mercis to readers sending in a blog donation for the first time, and to my returning patrons listed below. And thank you for these thoughtful notes you left with your gift:

Tam A.
Jane R.
Gwen S.
Mike P.
Vicki B.
Gayle P.
Susan S.
Linda R.
Nancy G.
Irene M.
James N.
Bruce StJ

Judith K.
Mary-Jo J.
Gabrielle C.
Catherine L.
Robbie-Lane J.
John & Charlotte H.

Joyeux Noël . Bruce StJ

Keep up the good work. James N.

I'm happy to support you in a small way. Your posts always bring a smile to my face and heart. Mary-Jo

Thank you for sharing your everyday life - so many laughs (and tears)... Merry Christmas from Long Island, New York! Irene

I enjoy your blog so much...Thank you for sharing your life with us. Merry Christmas to you all. Gwen S.

Thank you for the joy of Christmas that you impart in each and every blog you write. You are much appreciated! Amicalement, Catherine L, San Diego

I am glad to make a contribution. Your writing and thoughts are moving, insightful, and inspiring. I always look forward to them and thank you for sharing such deeply personal moments with us readers. Susan S.

Christmas lights in the old port of la ciotat
Deck the hulls! Christmas decorations at the Old Port here in La Ciotat

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Bon Bout D'An! Something French to wish others this time of year

French town of Auriol
A sunny view from the village of Auriol, where Jean-Marc and I had lunch Wednesday. In these southern French towns you'll hear a traditional Provençal end-of-the-year wish: Bon bout d'an!

TODAY'S WORD: Bon bout d'an!

    : Happy end of the year!

EXAMPLE SENTENCE & AUDIO FILE
Listen to all the French words in today's story via the sound file below. Then scroll to the vocabulary section and check your comprehension.

Click here for the sound file

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

Our family had a cozy, casual get-together here at noon on December 25th. After delegating all the cooking (l'entrée, le plat principal, et le dessert) I found time to attend church Christmas morning. But on my leisurely way out of l'église I was caught in my sneaky tracks. "Linger a little bit longer..." my friend Enzo said, "and all the work will be done before you arrive home!"

Haha! Enzo was reading my mind!

One thing my mid-fifties are teaching me is the ability to "assumer" or "s'assumer" (to accept and stand by my choices) and to laugh at myself. Having cleaned the house, set the table, and paid for the groceries, I felt no guilt in assigning the holiday cooking to my adult children. And by the time I finally returned from church, warmth and deliciousness filled the air. Our son Max had collected the 3-kilo chapon from the butcher and stuffed it with une farce. He instructed his sister, Jackie, to baste the bird every half hour, which she did in between reheating the tarte tomate she'd made for appetizers (to go along with the foie gras toasts we assembled on my return).

If Max was absent for the bird's basting, that's because he was doing some delegating of his own: he had his aunt Cécile and Uncle Jacques arrive several hours early, to his own apartment, to help put up shelves in his kitchen. Il es malin lui, comme sa maman! He's clever that one, like his mom!

Now the trio was arriving and between the hugs and kisses and oh que ça sent bon!, Cécile noticed Jackie basting the large bird.

"C'est un chaperon," Jackie explained.
"On mange un chaperon?" Cécile questioned.
"Oui," my daughter affirmed. "Un chaperon."
Cécile suddenly smiled in comprehension. "Non, ceci c'est un chapon. Un chaperon, c'est quelqu'un qui surveille un jeune couple amoureux. "No, this is a capon. A chaperon is someone who supervises young lovers."
"Oh!" Jackie laughed.

(Later, while typing this post, I would chuckle at the English definition of chaperon(e): a young woman's moral guardian. Come to think of it, humanity needs a moral guardian--24/24. None of us knows just how far we are from the next moral slip-up. We are, after all, only human.)
 
As sheepish as I felt sticking my family with the holiday cooking, it was worth it to overhear this funny conversation between aunt and niece. To think if I'd lingered any longer at church, I might've missed it, and so would have you!

Well, bon bout d'an! Happy End of the Year to the loveliest readers anyone could wish for. Thank you for tuning in each week and giving me a reason to show up and write. Merci, merci! 

Amicalement,

Kristi
P.S. I leave you with a letter I received from my daughter last week. 

IMG_1010FRENCH VOCABULARY
Bon bout d'an
= Happy end of the year!
l'entrée (f) = first course
le plat pricipal = main course
le dessert = dessert
s'assumer = to take responsibility for yourself
le chapon = capon (bird)
le chaperon = chaperone
la farce = stuffing
Il est malin lui, comme sa maman! = He's clever that one, like his mom!
oh que ça sent bon! = oh that's smells good!

Ceciles entree
My belle-soeur's starter was plate-licking good. Shrimp from Madagascar, sliced avocado, grapefruit, and coeurs de palmiers (hearts of palm). The secret sauce included raw egg and a special citrus fruit (a green combava, or kaffir lime?)
Anna made salty caramel and chocolate macarons
Sweet of the Week, No. 4: "Le Macaron." Max's sweetheart, Ana, made these mouth-watering salted caramel and chocolate macaroons for our collective holiday sweet tooth (do the French still use the term "bec sucré" for sweet tooth?) Having seen this popular cookie displayed in fancily wrapped boxes at high-end bakeries, I am amazed by those who make them at home. Bravo, Ana! 

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Today is The Day! Something mammoth to celebrate!

image from french-word-a-day.typepad.com

Today's Expression: "dans la panade"

    : in a jam (in a difficult situation)

Other ways to say "in a jam": dans le pétrin, dans la mouise...but if you really want to speak like a native it's dans la merde!

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

Today is the day! Twenty years ago, on Sunday, October 28th, this French word journal began. Jean-Marc (or a seven-year-old Max?) took this picture in the hallway of our home in a medieval French village. When I look at the image above, I see a 34-year-old woman striking out on a new path. Just look at that mammoth computer. How things have changed over two decades. Nowadays, in a jam, I'll type on a tiny phone using my two thumbs and a lot of squinting--because, short of hijacking a satellite, I will do just about anything to publish my weekly post, and so stick to a promise I made to myself 20 years ago.

Now, if I am an accidental hijacker, that makes you an accidental accomplice. Because without your regular encouragement, this blog, this body of work, would not exist. Thank you for your love and support!

I am off to post this latest entry, in time to meet Jean-Marc for a celebratory lunch. Only, it seems my blog server is having technical problems...making today's delivery very uncertain. I may have to don a Hijacker costume for an early Halloween scare for those tech guys working on the issue. But all I have is a "cowboy" ensemble. Now, how does one say "This is a stickup in!" French? Would that be "Ceci est une intrusion!"? 

Goodbye for now, dear reader, and may these letters never be an intrusion. Thank you for reading and, as always, I would love to hear from you. Simply hit the return key (if reading via email), or leave a comment, below. I would really appreciate it.

Amicalement

Kristi

I leave you with a photo taken in Le Marais, during my recent escapade with my daughter

image from french-word-a-day.typepad.com

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


A Special Request + Playground in French (and wild and free learning!)

D6B8B0C3-AD8D-4B45-A239-CE376DB4BF2F
The little stone cabanon at our vineyard. Do you remember the heart door? 

Today's Word: la cour de récréation

    : playground, schoolyard


Audio/Listening: Click the link below to hear Jean-Marc pronounce the French words in the following story. Then scroll down to the vocabulary list to check your French comprehension.

Click here to begin listening

A (Birth)DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

Recently the word "recreation" jumped right off the page of the book I was reading. For the first time, the meaning revealed itself right there in the spelling: RE-CREATION.

Waouh! Quel mot!

From the Latin "recreare," récréation literally means to create again, to renew--though most of us understand recreation as "an activity done for enjoyment when one is not working."

Speaking of not working that's my plan for my birthday! And while Miss Manners says it's uncouth to announce one's anniversaire on social media--it is A-OK to shout it out on the playground (etiquette dictates if you're under the age of 12, you can run around telling everybody it's your birthday)!

According to my passport I'm way past the age of 12, but today we're pretending we're on the playground--at a long table decorated with balloons and gifts. And it would give me so much pleasure, Dear Reader, to open those imaginary cadeaux--and discover a certain memory you have from this blog. Will you share your souvenirs? Is there a word or story that comes to mind? A recipe, un truc or une astuce you'll never forget learning here? Or maybe you have a special connection to this newsletter (you had to read it in high school, and now this many years later you are still reading?). It would tickle me to know. 

Thank you very much for playing along and, on that note, may this cours where we meet weekly remain a creative playground—an alternative classroom where we may nod in respect to Miss Manners while running wild and free!

Amicalement,
Kristi 

P.S.: I could write a book about how much I have learned from you, beginning with grammar (when I began this blog I didn't know the difference between it's and its). Thank you for all you have taught me. I think about you, your words, your advice, your personal experiences, and sometimes I even dream about you when I am sleeping! 

FRENCH VOCABULARY
le cabanon
= little stone hut or shed in Provence
la cour de récré
= playground, schoolyard
waouh! (or ouah!) = wow!
quel mot = what a word
un anniversaire = birthday
autrement dit = in other words, put another way
le cours = lesson, class
la cour = courtyard, schoolyard
le cadeau = present, gift
le souvenir
= memory, recollection
amicalement = yours, kind regards, best

Words not included in the sound file
un truc = a thing, a trick (hack)
une astuce = a tip, a hack

Related Story
Speaking of a word's meaning suddenly revealing itself, don't miss the story "Mangeoire"--just in time for Christmas.

Kristi birthday niece nephew kids
My birthday 15 years ago, surrounded by my nephew, niece, and kids. Thanks, Heidi, for the cupcakes!

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Burlesque in Burgundy... (A Cheeky Cabaret to Celebrate a friend's 50th birthday)

IMG_20211106_110031_Original
If you are here for the photo of the semi-clad dancers, you’ll need to click over to the blog for the full version of this steamy letter! 

Today's French Word: le déguisement

    : costume, disguise; dressing up clothes, wearing fancy dress

Audio/Listening: Click the link below to hear the French words in today's séduisante story. Then scroll down to the vocabulary list to check your French comprehension.

Audio file, click here


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse
"Tarzan is Happy"

En route to Burgundy to celebrate a friend's cinquantenaire, Jean-Marc was having difficulty shifting gears in our jeep. His right hand was swelling up from une crise de goutte ! I was feeling so sorry for him until our conversation switched from his gouty arthritis to details about our weekend rendezvous with twenty friends. Ever trying to fit in with the French, I had asked my husband multiple times about the dress code. Each time his response was the same: he didn't have any information in particular.

Getting information out of my man is like pulling teeth! Une vraie galère!

Considering how cold it might be en Bourgogne, I decided on black jeans and a black col roulé for Saturday night. But now, an hour away from Gevrey-Chambertin, busy helping my husband shift gears, I saw an update on his phone from the group we were meeting up with. Scrolling through his messages, a few words jumped right off the screen.

SOIRÉE DE GALA???

Suddenly Jean-Marc yelped in agony as he returned his swollen hand to the steering wheel, but this time I didn't respond "Pauvre-toi!" I was too busy feeling sorry for myself, picturing all the wives in exquisite evening attire. When the torturous thought had run its course, Reason had its say: Oh, laisse tomber tout ça! What would it matter in 100 years? Besides, this would be a good exercise in l'humilité

But humility is also knowing when to ask for help. Our 6-hour drive over, we joined our friends for lunch at La Part des Anges to savor specialties including Boeuf bourguignon, les escargots, and la volaille de Bresse. During a lag in the conversation, I fessed up about my clothing predicament and, illico, one of the women offered to lend me an elegant chemise. Parfait! Merci! 

(Speaking of “fessing up”... Did you know fesses in French means "butt"? If that seems off-topic read on...)

That night at the beautiful Castel de Très Girard hotel the women were dressed to the nines, but after the festive evening began they ditched their gowns and slipped into itsy-bitsy costumes for a spicey mise-en-scène.... 

There was a hush as the guest of honor sat in the middle of the party room, his back to the door. Soon we heard a rumble from the “jungle" when Serge Lama's song, Et Tarzan est Heureux, came on. The door opened and a delicate Geisha took tiny tiny steps towards our newbie Cinquantenaire, fussing over him before shuffling off stage. Next, a saucy cowgirl galloped in... after a few whips of her lasso she exited stage left in time for La Policière to saunter forth and issue him a ticket (which she tucked beneath his belt). As each dancer sashayed her way off stage, the audience belted out the song's joyous refrain....

“...et Tarzan est heureux!”
“...et Tarzan est heureux!”

Tarzan did indeed look happy! The burlesque continued with a voluptuous visit from “L'infirmière” (the Nurse), the sensual “Pilote d'avion,” the steamy “Soubrette” (that's a cheeky way to say Maid) and finally, The Birthday Boy’s own wife, and you have never seen a more ravishing (and provocative) Pirate! 

With forward and backward flips of their skirts à la Folies Bergères, all wives (or most all wives...) returned center stage. By now my husband had completely forgotten about his excruciatingly painful gout

Quant à moi, I wasn't sure whether to feel left out or enormously relieved not to be shaking my booty beside the other femmes-séductricesOh, laisse tomber! All that mattered was whether our beloved guest of honor was having a good time on his half-century mark. Just then, the song’s refrain seemed to confirm it:

Et Tarzan est heureux!
Et Tarzan et heureux!


I leave you with a photo (many thanks to our friends for permission to post it!) and a sound file of the catchy Tarzan song. The lyrics are un peu osé! Here are the first lines in English...

JPEG image
Et Tarzan est Heureux

When you sleep near your husband
For the three hundred thousandth time
Doesn't it happen to you sometimes
Dream that he's someone else?
And when you roll in his bed
Meowing like a young cat
Don't you sometimes hope
That Tarzan is behind the door?...

(For all lyrics in French and in English, click here)


Listen to "Tarzan est heureux", click here


FRENCH VOCABULARY
le déguisement = costume, dress up clothes 
séduisant(e) = seductive
en route = on the way
le cinquantenaire
= 50th birthday
une vraie galère = a real pain, a real chore
la crise de goutte = an attack of gout
La Bourgogne = Burgundy 
le col roulé = turtleneck
la soirée gala
= gala reception
pauvre-toi = poor you
laisse tomber tout ça
= forget about all that
la part des anges
= "the angel's share" refers to the wine that evaporates during fermentation
le boeuf = beef
la volaille = poultry
illico = right away, presto
la chemise = blouse
la fesse = cheek (bottom)
les fesses = butt
la mise-en-scène = setting up the scene
l’infirmière = nurse
la soubrette = maid
quant à moi = as for me
les femmes séductrices = seductive wives
un peu osé = a little daring

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Wearing my dear friend’s chemise. Thank you, Isild 💕
Crise de goutte
Photo from several years ago. A clay poultice (covered with a Harry's Bread sack) to help alleviate Jean-Marc's gout. For more about his painful gouty arthritis, click here

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That's all for this playful edition! If you enjoyed it please share it with a friend. Take care and "see you" next week.

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