Our son, Max, and my Mom are safe in Mexico after yesterday's earthquake. We are saddened by the news and our thoughts and prayers go out to Mexico. Before hearing the news, I had planned on sharing the story of my 90-year-old reader from Florida who is ...

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Family Safe in Mexico + Secret to traveling/working in France at the age of 90!

Lou harvesting in Cadiere d Azur

Our son, Max, and my Mom are safe in Mexico after yesterday's earthquake. We are saddened by the news and our thoughts and prayers go out to Mexico. Before hearing the news, I had planned on sharing the story of my 90-year-old reader from Florida who is traveling solo in France...looking to start a new chapter in Antibes, considering a job, and maybe a French girlfriend. Inspiring story below.

EN AVANT!

    : onward! full steam ahead. Let's go! Press on!

AUDIO FILE

Download En avant

Le secret d'une longue vie? C'est "En avant!" comme dit Lou Bogue
The secret to a long life? "Press on!" as Lou Bogue says.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

by Kristi Espinasse

The last time we saw Lou was at our 2010 harvest in Sainte Cécile. He was 80-something at the time. Well, on September 30th Lou will turn 90 -- while on vacation in France.

...Unless Lou's vacation turns into a...

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Brugnon...or nectarine? (A two word hint: sticky pits) + bee or wasp?

Brugnon nectarine tree loveseat yellow flowers (c) Kristin Espinasse
The word brugnon is used when the pit sticks to the flesh, whereas the word nectarine is used when the pit is free. In English and in other languages, only the word nectarine exists, whether or not the pit sticks. Listen to the sentence in French, below. (photo: A brugnonier, or nectarine tree, at our former vineyard.)

un brugnon

    : nectarine

Audio File: listen to Jean-Marc read the French sentence, below.

Download Brugnon 2

Le terme brugnon est alors utilisé lorsque le noyau adhère à la chair, tandis que le terme nectarine est utilisé lorsque le noyau est libre. En anglais, et dans d'autres langues, seul le terme nectarine existe, indépendamment de l'adhérence du noyau. -Wikipedia 


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

by Kristi Espinasse

I am getting ready to make a third crumble this week. It's been a lively one, this past semaine, with old friends, new departures (I've begun riding my bike...

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Another way to get French strangers to talk to you + Canne à pêche

Mediterranean sar fish poisson saar from the coast of La Ciotat France green plate yellow kitchen tiles
Our retro yellow kitchen here in lively La Ciotat makes a catching backdrop for JM's catch: a Mediterranean sar ("saar" in English. Not that that's any help for most of us trying to figure out just what kind of poisson this is!). They do, however serve sar in many seaside restaurants here along the south coast.

la canne à pêche

    fishing pole, fishing rod

Listen to the following example sentence in French: download Canne à pêche

Une canne à pêche sert à attraper des poissons. 
A fishing pole is used to catch fish.


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristi Espinasse


Non, after ending his career as a paysan, Jean-Marc is not retiring! It only looks as though he is! Especially in the photo near the end of this missive. My husband will continue his work in wine. Instead of farming, he'll stick to the wine business (and blending...), discovering good local...

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A Happy Ending in La Ciotat + Donner du fil à retordre

Port of la ciotat

Woke up this morning to a heartwarming story in the online journal France Bleu. A baby dolphin was helped back out to sea after getting lost in the the old port of La Ciotat (dolphins in La Ciotat!!). What a sight he was among the colorful wooden fishing boats, or "les pointus" (sorry the little dauphin is not seen here, in this file photo. But you can see the cutie pie rascal here, along with all those magnificent and historic boats). Read an excerpt from the article, below, and listen to Jean-Marc's recording. The English translation follows.

Donner du fil à retordre

    : to give somebody the run around, to give someone a hard time

AUDIO FILE: Listen to Jean-Marc read the following paragraph, including today's expression "donner du fil à retordre"

Download Donner du fil a retordre


"LE STAR DU WEEKEND A LA CIOTAT"

Pendant deux jours, ce weekend, un petit cétacé de moins d'un...

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How Egg rolls are Eaten in France & L'appétit vient en mangeant

Merry-go-round in la ciotat at the beach

A native of Arizona I never imaged I'd one day live at the beach. Walking down the promenade, I saw this beautiful scene. Farther down, there was a shop selling bathing suits, beach towels, and giant rafts--one of them, bright green in the shape of a saguaro cactus, caught my eye.... I had an urge to drag it home and lie on it in the garden, on the gravel beneath the two towering palm trees. Looking up to the sky, through the palm fronds to the blazing sun, it might be Phoenix.


l'appétit vient en mangeant

    : appetite comes with eating

    : the more you have the more you want

Listen to today's phrase: Download it here

 

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

by Kristi Espinasse

I was going to give you a rundown on all the trees in our garden here in the French town we ended up in, until I considered how ennuyeux the topic would be to some! So I'll share, instead, a popular French phrase I overheard last night (and take just a...

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