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Kristin Espinasse
France
Recent Activity
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I hope you'll enjoy the following re-run or repost or revisit (ah, better word!)--it is the chance to see a story that would otherwise be lost to the spiraling depths of this blog's archives (do you ever go there?). Thanks for reading (or re-reading). Today's Expression: se moquer de quelqu'un : to poke fun at somebody, to tease, to pull somebody's leg Audio file & Example Sentence: Download MP3 or Wav file Tu te moques de moi? Are you making fun of me? Dear Mr. Chief Grape, Tant pis pour toi! Too bad for you! Because of an ill-chosen word (a "term of endearment" you argue?)... you will not have le privilège of sporting my very first knitting experiment... ...but Smokey will!!! No. These are not garment goggles... The headband that I had been working on for you (to keep your precious locks out of your eyes when pulling all those weeds out from between the grapevines)... that work-in-progress bandeau took a swift deviation when my knitting needles froze, midair, on hearing your flippant commentaire. Alors -- Next time you stride into the room and notice your wife, her hands twisted like a pretzel, clutching a pair of slippery knitting... Continue reading
Posted 10 hours ago at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
Thank you, Heather. I am delighted by your note!
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Hi Sarah, yes, that's it, en version originale. In this case we listened in English, to the original soundtrack, and the French translation was dubbed onto the screen.
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To Carolyn and Kitty, thanks for these thoughtful responses re *old man*. The term was used, in the story, to refer back to our long streak with out a date. Maybe I can edit the story to reflect that point. Many thanks for your note.
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Because I forgot to mention, in my essay below, what it was that most moved me about the biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, I'll say it now: Freddie Mercury refused to let anyone, whether a close family member or a hot-in-pursuit suitor, define him. With his bold example he won my heart. Today's Expression: voir un film en VO (version originale) : to see a movie in its original language Jean-Marc and I have not been on a date in a very long time or, as they say here, depuis un bail. Instead of whining about it, I asked him out.... Let's go on a hike! I growled. The hike got postponed but our date didn't... after my old man suggested a movie. The story of Freddie Mercury is playing en VO, at the cinéma, he said. I wasn't gripped by the suggestion, but, harrumph, it was that or the statu quo (does that mean same ol' same ol'? Well same ol' was getting old!) Did you know our seaside town, La Ciotat, is the birthplace of cinéma? Here is where the Lumière Brothers set up camp--eventually building a palace for themselves and their cohorts. It is still there today and, for... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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"Writing is for the birds!" Photo taken here in La Ciotat this morning, when things were peaceful.... Today's Word: les guillemets : quotation mark I set out to tell you a story about fugitive hens (no worries, they're back) when every possible distraction known to man or bird befell me. Welcome to a typical beginning to each and every writing session. If I am currently typing this on my mobile phone, squinting at a tiny screen while hunched over my kitchen counter, it is because I refuse to let them win! Them are the hurdles I've suffered in the 37 minutes since firing up that godforsaken laptop in order to compose a colorful récit. Them are different or the same every time. This morning thems a mind-numbingly slow computer (this binary slug no longer allows me to type guillemets, so I have to use italics instead--in fact none of the numbers or characters on my laptop's numeric keypad work. Type the small c-with its cedilla-and I get an empty space. A blank!). Earlier, d'un seul coup, my lazy HP switched keyboards on me, from AZERTY to QWERTY, meaning every time I type m I get a point-virgule (or something--who can... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Thank you, Geraldine! Your words brightened mine, too. 💛
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Today, photos and a bêtise or gaffe or no-no during Saturday's filming at Château de Pibarnon. (I hope this compte-rendu isn't a further no-no--as I don't want to end up on the cutting room floor!). Today's Word: La mise-en-scène : staging A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE When you gotta go, you gotta go! by Kristi Espinasse Recently, Jean-Marc and I had the chance to help out with a French documentary about how France is seen abroad by the ones who love that country. A journalist was interested in hearing my story, after learning about our Franco-American life on a vineyard. There was one little pépin--we no longer live on a vineyard; thankfully this part was worked out when a kindly châtelain agreed to let us film chez lui. We arrived at Château de Pibarnon after sunrise Saturday morning, to meet up with Eric de Saint Victor and the film crew. As Eric had a flight leaving in the next few hours, we quickly got to work... Eric de Saint Victor and the film crew There is so much about filmmaking that I did not know. Naively, I figured we would stay an hour or so at the vineyard, then... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2018 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Really enjoyed the article. Thanks, Mara!
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Merci beaucoup for the sweet messages, encouragements, and support you left following the anniversary post. I am fired up for another 16 years of writing and will read your bonne continuations whenever I need a motivational pick-up! Fun fact: this post will take you 2 minutes and 38 seconds to read to the end. If you were to read it out loud, that would take 4 minutes and one second (stats from wordcounter.net, which I use to check my article drafts). Today's word: la chair : flesh, meat, body avoir la chair de poule = to have goosebumps A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse With so much wind under my wings (thank you again for your notes regarding the 17th year of this journal!), I thought I would simply share (funny, I typed *chair* first time around--the word of the day was on my mind and that is how the French pronounce it!), yes I thought I'd chair or flesh-out the story of a simple meal. This impromptu dinner happened last night, after Mom and I sat down to déguster a few of the vegetables I'd prepared during the day: some patates douces that needed attention, as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Thank you, chère Jeanne. That is a wonderful idea! I am deeply touched by each and every word here. Mille mercis, les ami(e)s! These loving notes give me so much motivation to continue. Papering the room with them is a brilliant idea! Now to figure out which room to decorate...after going mobile with my computer last year (in an effort to be more flexible about where and when to write!). Perhaps creating a magical umbrella with everyones lovely notes...this would surely shield from a rainy day writing. 💛🌞
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The anniversary of this French word journal passed quietly by last month, unbeknownst even to me. But now that I've put two-and-two together, I'm not letting this milestone go unfêted (another lapse into franglais?). In keeping this brief, I will share the one thing that comes to mind when I think about writing this newsletter to you, and that is "Bundle of joy." Now here's the part that is étonnante: the act of writing does not = "bundle of joy" to me--non, pas du tout! (For a very long time that fact alone made me believe I was a writing imposter and not un écrivain...) Neither does putting together these blog posts--does HTML rhyme with "joie" in your universe? Heavens no!--unless you're a hacker or "pirate informatique" and btw don't you love French?! No, this "bundle of joy" of which I speak comes after delivery (just like a baby!)--after the uncertainty, after the effort, after the still-to-this-day doubt that maybe I've made a mistake in my delivery? I read somewhere early on--or was it a friend who warned me...: Once the story is out there it is no longer your own. It belongs to the reader who will interpret it... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2018 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Good tip about the honey,and thanks for mentioning the VRBO. What a beautiful place you found!
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Thanks, Sandy, for catching that! I need to update this...and the photo (fromn1992) too 😂😂.
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It was a beautiful kitchen! Not ours though (it was in the rental home where Kathleen and Dean stayed).
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Judith, I think you are right about the bananas foster. Re our hen, she is done brooding...now if only she would get back to laying eggs!
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Looks like a good book! Thanks, Mary.
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"Broody" is less useful to you than the French word for grumpy (unless you're a hen), so we'll feature the second term--in verb form--today. Two mini columns follow: the first is a response to Audrey, who lives near the Spanish border, and the second is an update on our moody poule. Today's Word: ronchonner : to grumble, growl, grouse Voici des verbs similaires à ronchonner : rouspéter, râler, grogner Here are some similar verbs to grumpy: to complain, to moan, to grumble. A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse Following the Recipe for Disaster post, Audrey wrote in asking for the bananes flambées recette (everyone else wanted the banana tart instructions, which I'll get to eventually). Meantime, Audrey wrote: "Yes please, the recipe, as I have to follow a gluten-free diet it would be perfect for me & one I could do for guests...." Voici, Audrey, here's the au pif recipe for an easy, and apparently gluten-free dessert--one Jean-Marc made recently for our friends Kathleen and Dean. Just look at that blue flame! Dean, watch your hand! BANANES FLAMBEES One ripe banana per person Sugar to taste Butter Rum Ice cream (we use vanilla or salt caramel!) Melt... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2018 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Random photo of Smokey and some lettuce as I don't have a politically-themed image for you! On November 6, 250 million Americans are called to the polls. A portion of the senators, the totality of the representatives, a group of governors and local elected representatives will be renewed: the stakes are high. (translated from the French, below) Today's phrase: être appelé aux urnes = to be called to vote, called to the polls Click here to listen to the following sentence: Le 6 novembre, 250 millions d'Américains sont appelés aux urnes. Une partie des sénateurs, la totalité des représentants, une palanquée de gouverneurs et d'élus locaux seront renouvelés : l'enjeu est de taille. --Grazia A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse The day before yesterday, while Jean-Marc and the neighbor were felling a few fire-hazardous pines near our new house, I began to think about some longtime friends and to puzzle, once again, over our unexpected estrangement. It happened over politics, though I suspect the break-up began with the tree we cut down in our backyard. I never wanted that tree to be felled, but when it was declared a hazard ("If a branch broke off of that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Haha! I like them for a late night snack (I think they help with falling to sleep) and keep them in stock for all that potassium.
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Thanks for the helpful correction, Iris. I will update the post at the next chance.
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The perched village of Le Castellet, level with the moon My website is experiencing technical difficulties... Let's get straight to the story before the lights go out! Bananes flambées bananes flambées bananes flambées bananes flambées ...that's how many times we ate the rum-drenched dessert last week (and tomorrow's guests are getting more of the same--or du pareil au même). Now, I can hear of few of you chattering: "Rum-drenched bananas? Kristi's fallen off the wagon"...but I can assure you I am sober as a stick over here in La Ciotat--we've just had a very social week, and everyone knows that social in French rhymes with la bouffe. So when, last Tuesday, we invited two couples over for dinner, I needed to come up with a menu. Because our guests are excellent cooks (story here and also here), I was beginning to sweat it out, this tradition of "rendering the pareille" (very bad franglais. We'll straighten things out in the vocab section below....) So, I decided to knock two items off my side of the menu--and let Jean-Marc tackle those. One was le plat principal, the other was dessert! That left me to worry about an apéro, a salad, and a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at FRENCH WORD-A-DAY
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Hello Kathy, This is so very thoughtful of you! Many thanks for this information. I have forwarded it to my family as well. Merci encore!
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Thank you, Linda! Your message truly brightened my day.
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