Escape with me to Suze-la-Rousse (pictured here) and here!
se tirer (seuh tee ray) verb
: to escape, to get (oneself) out of, to make tracks
Come on, let's get out of here!
A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse
Have you ever been a guest in a house that looked like a museum? I have... just last night!
The floors were polished stone, the walls were glass and so was the plafond!* The well-heeled hostess with the high hair and savoir-faire* was showing me around, when she paused and made a request.
"Would you go and get the plateau de fromage?"* With that she pointed straight on, to a vast corridor. I thought about how grand the house was, and how far one had to go... just to change rooms and get a plateau; this, to me, was the downside of "upscale" living.
Much obliged, I left the kitchen... passing by the cooking island, and the second refrigerator, and the second dishwasher... to the second pantry.
Midway down the hall, I entered a dark garde-manger,* where I saw two more doors. I headed to the one pouring out lumière* over the pantry's floor.
I could just glimpse the cheese platter on the counter beyond, a table-top made of wood particles -- nothing like the glimmering comptoir* in the first kitchen.
Entering, I noticed how narrow the room was, un endroit si étroit* that it must be only for storing things on shelves.... narrow like a library aisle, even slighter.
Just looking at the room made me uneasy--claustrophobic--and so I quickly went to collect the cheese platter, only the room was so slight, the ceiling so low, that I could hardly move forward to fetch le plateau.
Reaching for the platter, I noticed there was a sink... and even a stovetop with a pan and some fried eggs in it. But how was there room enough to cook in this antechamber? And was that our lunch? If so, who cooked it? And how could somebody be made to work in such a tiny area -- when there was a spacious kitchen farther on?
I was beginning to wonder about our hostess, but remembered that things are not always as they seem -- perhaps she herself cooked our meal from this tiny chamber -- so as to keep the main cuisine* pristine?
I quickly left the room and found my way--down the hall and past a palatial entrée*--to the dining room table, where the high-haired hostess was busy talking about the history of the house, who the architect was... and what you called this kind of style... of house that went on mile after mile.
Another guest arrived, carrying a platter of drinks. The hostess quickly responded to the intrusion: "Just set them there!" she said, showing her impatience at being interrupted.
As the hostess talked on, I focused on the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and thought about the trouble in caring for them all -- yet another downer in upscale living, I guessed.
"How often do you have to wash these windows?" I inquired.
Every Saturday, she replied. "We have a laveur de vitres".*
I thought about the window washer and wondered whether it was the same person who left the frying pan on the stove, before disappearing somewhere. But where?
I looked over at the guest who had just set down the drinks tray, wondering Was she really an invitée?*
"How long does it take your laveur de vitres to do the job?" I was curious to know.
"All day," Madame replied, before changing subjects back to the history of her house.
It was true that our hostess had a remarkable house, even if there were a few quirks, but I longed to return to my own chez moi.*
In spite of the size of the room, I began to feel the need for space--and oxygen--so when the hostess reclined in her chair and fell back into her coma of conversation, I slipped over to one of the French doors, slid it quietly open, and gasped for air.
Next, I turned to the other guest and whispered: Allez, on se tire!* Let's get the heck out of here!
(So much for last night's dream.)
Thanks to those of you who left answers in the comments box, explaining the difference between "un rêve" and "un songe". If I understood correctly... un rêve (like the one in today's story) is something that we do when we sleep. "Un songe," on the other hand, is something we do when we're awake, as in "daydream". Any more thoughts on dreams and daydreams? Your thoughts are welcome in the comments box.
le plafond (m) = ceiling; le savoir-faire (m) know-how, expertise; le plateau (m) de fromage = cheese tray; le garde-manger (m) = pantry; la lumière (f) = light; le comptoir (m) counter; un endroit (m) si étroit = such a narrow area; la cuisine (f) = kitchen; une entrée (f) = entrance; laveur (laveuse) de vitre =window cleaner (person); une invitée (un invité) = guest; chez moi ("my chez moi "== my home; Allez, on se tire! = Come on! Let's get out of here!
Exercises in French Phonics, bestseller by Francis W. Nachtman, on French pronunciation and how to pronouce French words correctly!
Mille Bornes (Card Game).
First published in 1962, Mille Bornes (pronounced "meel born," French for "milestones") is an auto racing card game whose object, for each team of two players, is to be the first to complete a series of 1,000-mile trips.
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Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France
French language software:
Rosetta Stone Personal Edition... recreates the natural way you learned your first language, revealing skills that you already have.
"Curtain Braid" (photo taken in Suze-la-Rousse). How to you like your home: cozy or contemporary. Answers here, in the comments box.
Braise and Smokey Dokey, nap time again... and again. Those are Christmas Crackers -- just arrived from England, sent by friends Kate and David (their daughter, Amanda, bought our sweet village home in St. Maximin, some ten years ago). They've since sold it and moved on... but our friendship continues. See the shadow on the chest? Those would be my bike's handlebars! Also pictured: A love note from my daughter, a painting from my mom, a horse drawing from my daughter...
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