I took over a dozen photos of Isle sur la Sorgue on Sunday. See them in Saturday's Cinéma Vérité!


concours (kohn koor) noun, masculine
    : competition; examination

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Notre fille a réussi le concours de saut d'obstacle sans fautes (sans faire tomber les barres).
Our daughter succeeded in finishing the obstacle-jumping challenge without fault (without knocking down the bars).

A Day in a French Life...
Kristin Espinasse

For my daughter's latest concours de saut, we arose avant l'aube to drive the 45-minute journey to Isle sur la Sorgue...

The weather forecast was bleak so we wore our K-ways and brought our parapluies. After an early-morning averse we were rewarded with mild temperatures and a drizzle- and drip-free day... in time for my daughter to complete the CSO challenge sans fautes!!!


Aunt Marie-Françoise, Uncle Jean-Claude, and Kiwi The Canine arrived in time to félicitent our 12-year-old cavalière and to join us for a picnic of merguez, frites, and Domaine Rouge-Bleu rosé, bien sûr!

Seated in the grassy parking lot, either par terre or, if lucky, on a portable chair, we watched Jean-Marc pass around his wine to the other cavalières' parents and, comme ça, we properly celebrated our girls' performances.

Speaking of our own girl, encore bravo! Jackie!


We left Braise and Smokey behind (grosse faute), for there were almost as many dogs at the event as horses! Our goldens would have had a blast... and loved meeting that precious bouvier bernois puppy)...

So that our dogs wouldn't be completely left out, we decided, on returning home, to re-enact the concours de saut -- or obstacles-jumping challenge! Because we are used to setting up these kinds of obstacles in our home (...), we set up the CSO course illico presto. The only new addition to our game was maman.... and maman waited patiently for her turn, just after Braise, who set the standards pretty high as you can see, here:


I don't mean to make excuses for my own pitiful performance, but I had a housedress handicap... (After a sleepless night and an exciting day at the horse event, I couldn't wait to get home and change into my pajamas).

Anyway, I was off to a running start....


... hoping to lift-up over the bar, with the help of my hands... My daughter had to lower the high bar (really, just a mop handle) for me and, I admit, remove the second obstacle-bar (which was actually a fishing pole.)

On clearing the bar and landing I received félicitations from an ever-encouraging eye-witness, Braise. Cowabunga! Braise says. (In the background you can see one of Jules's paintings and the bike shebought me so that I might experience endorphins instead of "story stress". Thanks, Mom, but as you can see, I am enjoying endorphins this way, too!)

That's Smokey, Braise's son, who cheated by passing under the bar instead of over it. Cheater, cheater, potiron eater! Just in case, let's do a replay and see if we can catch him en train de tricher... I see one paw under the bar, n'est-ce paw, n'est-ce paw!, and you?

Fashion note: those are my son's socks and the slippers are from Jean-Marc. The robe was a find, by my belle-mère Marsha, at a troc shop in Sun Valley. My mom wore this very robe to the cancer clinic in Marseilles. Not counting the previous owner (wonder who she was?) the robe has quite a history (and quite a few holes, now that the pupster, Smokey Dokey, high-fives me each morning (missing my hand, his claws catch at my robe). My sister bought me the pj top... and the pj bottoms were purchased in the latest century (before leaving on a trip with friends, and wanting to have matching pjs. Now to get in sync and actually wear the top that goes with it...

But back to our home-style concours de saut... Here comes Jackie to steal the spotlight.

Talk about putting Braise and me to shame! Is it any wonder that she's the one who wears the jodphurs around here? Congratulations, Mademoiselle -- we are so proud of you!

Many thanks to Jackie for taking the "concours" photos of Braise et moi.
Comments, corrections, weather forecasts--and stories of your own--are always welcome and enjoyed.

French Vocabulary
le concours (m) de saut
= jumping challenge; avant l'aube = before dawn; K-Way (so named after its brand, like "Kleenex")= raincoat; le parapluie (m) = umbrella; une averse (f) = shower of rain; CSO = Concours de Saut d'Obstacles; sans fautes = without fault; féliciter = to congratulate; la cavalière (le cavalier) = horsewoman, horseman; la merguez = kind of spicy sausage; une frite (f) = French fry; bien sûr = of course; parre terre = on the ground; comme ça = like that; la grosse faute = big mistake; bouvier bernois = Bernese mountain dog; illico presto = right away; la maman (f) = mom; la félicitations (f) = congratulations; le potiron (m) = pumpkin; en train de tricher = in the middle of cheating; troc = trade


Les Fers à Cheval (c) Kristin Espinasse

French Demystified: A Self - Teaching Guide

I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany

Learn French In A Hurry: Grasp the Basics of Francais Tout De Suite

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