Friday, March 27, 2009
all photos © Kristin Espinasse
Bonjour from the internet cafe here in Sainte Cécile-Les-Vignes. Too bad it takes a small catastrophe to drive one outdoors and into the neighborly streets... The good news is I've met two new friends, Carole and Abdallah (here at the tourist office); many thanks to these two for allowing me to use the web facilities! More about the Where, When, and Why of our recent (electrical) catastophe, "Le BIG FRY," in today's story column.
cramer (krah-may) verb
: to burn down; to go up in flames/smoke
Expression: Ça crame! = It's roasting!
"Le Big Fry"
The French word cramer does not mean "to study intensively for an exam" -- although one could argue that "to cram" is to be put to the TEST. And, it should be pointed out that the French verb cramer is used informally... never mind any formal apologies from EDF (the French electric company). Also, though cramer is the opposite of keeping cool, keep cool one must when the power and the appliances go bust!
Cramer is to burn... as in our family computer that went bust after a power burst.
Cramer is to go up in smoke, as in our telephones--all three--this, following an electric spree!
Cramer = kaput, as in my brother-in-law's coffee machine, yet one more victim of excess power turned "steam"!
Cramer is to go up in flames... as in all of those candles, quickly scavenged and lit, in time to see one's dinner sandwich (no more stove top on which to cook!).
Cramer is not to cry, but to remain cool while, one by one, all those modern day appliances twist, spit, and drool: up to you, now, to get by with the most basic tools (candlelight and one's own might).
Update: After our recent power SURGE! (I guess that's what you'd call it) and shut down, the electricity has returned to the farm! So much for the good news. Meantime, I'll be doing some home inventory for all that's been cuit, cooked, and cramé (including the computer modem... For this reason, delivery of the "thrice-weekly" French Word-A-Day newsletter... may be sketchy). Thank you for using the comments box (click here) to respond to this post or to share a story of your own.
Chasing Matisse: A Year in France Living My Dream
I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany
In French music: Serge Lama
Songs in French for Children including Alouette, Sur le Pont d'Avignon, Claire Fontaine, Prom'non Nous dans les Bois...
A Message from Kristi: For twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.
Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check (to this new address)
2. Paypal or credit card
3. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.
Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety