illico presto (ee lee ko press toh)
French synonyms: immédiatement, aussitôt, sur-le-champ (immediately), tout de suite = all at once
Il faut partir illico presto! We need to leave right away!
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
To the tune of a spinning machine à laver, I try for the nième fois to write a suitable opening phrase. It looks as though it may take a while to ease back into the rhythm of writing after a three week "wandering off." (My family and I have been on vacation à la sicilienne.)
Meantime, I will try not to let so many false starts and rapid stops lead to writer's block. If there is one thing I have learned from writing it is to just keep on "applying," to plod on past the snares, hiccups, slips, and blips. Sooner or later a story will form, never mind how many times you trip.
Meantime, our dogs are having no difficulty at all reinserting themselves into daily life here at the grape farm. The first thing Braise and Smokey did on arrival (home now from the Chambre de Chiens) was to plunge into this reinvigorating ruisseau, only it took some coaxing to get them there (one or two tossed sticks eventually lured them into the water's chilly midst).
After the "bain de brook" Jackie and I scrubbed the dogs with bubble-gum-scented shampoo. (Smokey got the double dose, Braise, the one over).
I leave you with a photo of Smokey showing off his new bubble gum scented fourrure before a sky of tournesol fleurs. Many thanks, by the way, to Uncle Jacques for watering all our plants while we were away. They look better now than when we left them....
Back now to easing into everyday life. I've got a second load of laundry to hang on the line and a dozen or so sunflowers to admire while there's still time.
la machine à laver = (clothes) washing machine
nième = umpteenth
à la sicilienne = Sicilian style
la chambre de chiens = (a play on chambre d'hôte: bed and breakfast, in this case for dogs)
le ruisseau = stream, brook
la libellule = dragonfly
le bain de "brook" (ruisseau) = a bath (swim) in the brook
la fourrure = coat, fur
le tournesol = sunflower
une fleur = flower
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety