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Monday, August 24, 2009


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Great story, Kristin!

If you want to experience the running of real bulls, you have to go to Pamplona in the beginning of July...

BTW, Rohan, our son, is anticipating more puppy-pictures.


I think this is the translation:
The stampede of investors put an end to a long period of growth in the stock market which had, in particular, taken the Cac 40 (French version of the S & P 500) from 2,500 to 6,000.


Thanks, Jens! Please tell Rohan that I will see what I can do about those puppy pictures (my camera battery is busy charging just now.)

Gail: mille mercis for translating that one. Sure glad I didn't have to do it :-)

Evelyn Jackson

Love the faces in the windows! I think Europeans must have a whole lot more fun than Americans...they can make a festival out of almost any event.

Laura Blewett

Ahhh, as only the Italians can celebrate life's small amusements! Gives us another meaning of the old "a roll in the hay!"



Hi Kristin,

I loved the suspense building up -deserted street, 3 policemen trying to warn you of "something"... I felt part of the short-lived chaos sensation of the "Sauve qui peut" ... and I quickly joined in and laughed with you and the crowd when the 'golden bull' was rolling past.

I then became quite interested in the curious local tradition (origins?... meaning?...). I started to visually imagined the hay bale running along the cobbled streets in "ancient times" when (handmade)bales, were not so tightly packed. Probably more fun now, in "modern times" ?... don't know.

By the way, what happened at the end of the run? ... musical finale for the celebration, perhaps?

I love both photos of the hayrun and, looking at the blurry one, I thought you were ever so lucky to be on the other side of the pavement. 1) you saved your skin! (see how close to the wall the bale is) and 2) we got "une photo vérité" full of emotion and action.

Sauve qui peut? What a good title! It fits the story so well in the panicky moment of it. It bounces back with a smile, as you were able to 'save' yourself from the imaginary beast, from the fear of a bull... and you 'saved' two really good photos for everyone... plus a good story!


Laura: love your "roll in the hay". Wished I'd thought of that one!

Newforest: glad to have your thoughtful response and to read of your curiosity for the ending. To answer your question about what awaited the "hay runners": a large turnout of locals were waiting for them, cheering in a lovely sing-song way (no need for tamberines), as only Italians can; above, there was a large banner for the finish line. I had taken a picture... but eventually deleted it in order to make room for more photos.


"Giggly" and "Pensive" - your caption is perfect! What a sweet photo. Thanks for sharing this story!


Kristin, What a hilarious story!
I'm sorry you had to go through such terrifying moments but that was a classic story that you'll be telling your grandchildren. Thank you!
Helen Miller, Philadelphia, PA

Betty Wasser

Thank God for camera lenses! What a fun experience. I was in Italy 4 years ago and love the little towns and their traditions. How lucky your were to have happened to be in the right place at the right time. Enjoy the rest of your trip! I am glad some body is getting a vacation this year. Thanks for your story. Betty in PA

Eileen deCamp

I loved your story!


This definitely goes into my "favorites" list of your MOTS DU JOUR!!! The best part was the way you told the "story" - bravo!! C'est super amusant!

Marti Schmidt

HAHHHHHAaaaa, j'ai ri vraiment à ceci l'un. ..vous est très drôle, Kristen.

Robert McGowan

For "sauve qui peut," you might consider "bail out."

Lee Ann

I enjoyed the story and photos. What was your camera set on to take such wonderful night shots without the flash?


What a great story...I was thinking to myself that I did not realize Italians had bull runs, I thought that was spanish. Speaking of hay, I always visualize the scene from the Young Frankenstein where Madeline Kahn sings with a German accent, ' A roll in the hay, roll in the hay'...totally unrelated but that is all I can think of when I hear 'hay'. What a charming town and what charming people. I am so glad you ventured out for photos.

Happy Monday.

Merci Kristin.

PS- the sentence with sauve qui peut is difficult!


sauve qui peut! (=run for your life!) according to Harper Collins Robert French Unabridged Dictionary (6th Edition).


Great story and wonderfully written! I totally believed that you were about to encounter a real big bull! Uuuufffff! Relief!

On a personal note for you, your dear mom and also the readers of FWAD:
I have GREAT NEWS... remember my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, now on the lung, on March 2009 and the prognosis was devastating?
Well, her past PET SCAN showed that the TWO TUMORS ARE GONE and she is healing! She is still on treatment but we are hoping for her full recovery.

I just want to specially thank you and Jules for all the prayers, support and kind words.
I really believe this is a MIRACLE!!!



Thank you for the positive feedback!

Robert and Robin : thanks so much for the definitions -- they're great!

Andrea: Give your mom a big hug from us. We are SUPER HAPPY too !

Lee Ann: I can't remember what my camera was set on (I've been trying out all the settings... learning as I go), but I would guess that I chose a "night" option (if it was available, on the menu). I've been more careful, lately, about using these options and taking the time to scroll down the camera menu -- something that's hard to do when you have a timely photo op before you!

On the other hand, I might have simply turned off the flash... so as to "passer inaperçue" while taking the street photos :-)


I agree with Gail's translation. In addition, I think the author, M. Didier, has done some lateral thinking - he really means the 'stampede to the exit' of investors....
Some background: a certain American financial organization discovered a loophole in US regulations that allowed them to 'over-lever' their business in Europe. In one case, they were borrowing $40 for every $1 of collateral, and then lending the $40 to unsuspecting clients. When that house of cards started to collapse, investors became suspicious of anything and everything, and they started redeeming their investments (chiefly for US treasury notes) - they stampeded to the exit (panicked). Since that article was written, confidence has returned (somewhat) to the market, and investors who bought at the bottom (around March 9, 2009) have made up to 40% on their money.
How appropriate a bale of rolling hay. Wonderful Kristin.

JacquelineBrisbane (Oz)

Just a little ell-check:
panic, no panick
shaky, not shakey
Avec beaucoup de sourires!


Hi Kristin.

Your photos have beautiful light to them!
This was a very funny story. I really had a hard laugh. And then to return to J.M. with such a casual demeanor (avoiding the blonde jokes, i'd imagine) ;-)
It's good to have you back from vacation.


Jennifer in OR

I love the photo of the sweet Mrs. upstairs in that first shot. How precious!!

Christine Dashper

Hi Kristin,

This is a great story, thank you. I guess that was what the hotel clerk was trying to tell you...

I just love Giggly & Pensive.

Happy days!


JacquelineBrisbane (Oz) - The letter k is indeed added to panic to make panicked. I thought about that before posting, and I just checked to confirm.
BTW, I was in Brisbane in August 1982. What a lovely city. I remember the tropical plants at the train station and the yachts on the river. I also visited the botanical gardens.


What an amusing histoire....and that's no bull!! To be caught up in a terrifying situation, not knowing what to expect and not understanding the language.....guess your heart skipped a few beats! Your descriptions conjured up so many was the next best thing to being there.


Loved only the Italians can do! I do love it how in the summer everyone is out in the evening for the walks down the main street. Try Orvieto sometime. Very few tourists stay in the village, so you turn into a local in the evening.


I enjoyed your story all the way to the bullish end. What a surprise! Mon Dieu! You take such wonderful pictures that complement your beautiful words.

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