So many different shapes and sizes in a bed of soucis... Some wrinkled, others plump-petaled. More, in today's story column.


tintouin (tehn-twehn) noun, masculine

    : worry, bother; din, racket

et tout le tintouin = an all the rest

Le copiste avec ses innombrables incorrections me donne autant de tintouin que le poète avec ses étourderies et ses maladresses. -- from the diary of Henri-Frédéric Amiel

(Can you please help translate example sentence? Interpretations welcome here!

Audio File:
listen to today's word, phrase, and example sentence. Hear MP3 or WAV

se donner du tintouin = to go to alot of trouble
donner du tintouin à quelqu'un = to give somebody alot of trouble

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

"Pale and Plumpening"

I am scribbling down une liste de bagages for St. Tropez (hat, towel, sandals, maillot de bain...). Swim suit! This last item has me pleading with the patron saint of pluie: would that all that rain we've been having lately continuer to pour down! It is good for the flower seeds that I have been scattering and good for scattering the bathing-suit bustin' beachgoers... in time to reroute everyone to the local café for shelter from the regard of slim sungods and goddesses.

, it is not the right time to put on a swimsuit!

, time is never on our side when we are busy focusing on our hang ups. Perhaps vacations are a good time to let them go? After all, while packing for a trip we unhang our clothes before folding them into our valises. Why not take advantage of the chore to leave our "hangups" where they belong: on a wooden or wire hanger au fond de l'armoire—along with everything else we have outgrown?

(Note: the next story goes out Monday. Meantime, if anyone has special favor with the Patron Saint of Pluie, put in a good word for me, will you?)

French Vocabulary

une liste de bagages = packing list
un maillot de bain = bathing suit
la pluie = rain
continuer = to continue
franchement = frankly
remarquez (remarquer) = on second thought...
la valise = suitcase
au fond de l'armoire = at the back of the closet

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A Day in a Dog's Life... by Smokey "R" Dokey

A shoe never tasted so good, coupled with the sweet aroma of fleurs...

More about Smokey when he and Mama Braise return from the chenil (mutt motel). Sniff, sniff.... or, as the French would say "sneef sneef"!


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suzanne pignato

i love this i have wanted to learn french for so long and my good friend from france always speaks french to me and i sometimes understand her but ..she is trying to encourage me...glad i found this widget i put on my blog.....merci suzanne from stp by and listen to some French R & B ...


Here is the interpretation for:

Le copiste avec ses innombrables incorrections me donne autant de tintouin que le poète avec ses étourderies et ses maladresses.

The typist with his numerous mistakes gave me as much trouble as the author with his blunders and clumsiness.

julia Frey

I don’t know who gives me more hassle, the typist with his countless errors or the feckless, thoughtless poet.


Ah yes, the problem of the swimsuit! I am in southern Sicily (Taormina) at present and I didn't even pack a swimsuit because no way am I going to be seen in one at present! Besides which, I am a poor swimmer and the water has to be the temperature of a bathtub for me to enjoy being in the ocean. By June, when the water might be just warm enough, I'll be in Palermo, where there's far too much to see to spend time on the beach. See how good I am at justifying my decision to leave the swimsuit at home!

gail bingenheimer

L'etude des langues etrangeres permet de mieux comprendre sa propre langue.
The study of foreign languages allows one to understand one's own language better.

Sandy Maberly

We're expecting tornadoes here in the Tulsa area again today. I'll try and convince some of the "nicer" portions of it to head over your way. I'm sure though that you have nothing to worry about in the swimsuit department, Kristi. Luckily, europeans don't seem to have the same "hang-ups" about their bodies as Americans do, so even the "naturist" beaches are full of "natural" people who are just out to enjoy the day!

Jens, Copenhagen, Denmark

Happy Ascension! I assume your mini vacation is what in France is called "faire un pont"? Enjoy!

P.S. Here in cold Copenhagen it's been raining heavily all day.

Suzanne, Monroe Township, NJ

One of the great things about being 50+ is that I no longer care about how I look in a bathing suit ... I love to swim. I do care that I am healthy but as I approach 60 I am wise enough to know that my body will never again look as it did when I was in my 20's. And, you are much younger so my advice is pack the suit, take the plunge and have a wonderful time. All of the slim and trim on the beaches of St. Tropez are probably not as happy as you.

BTW the photo of the dogs with the bougenvia (sp?) transported me to my childhood in California. What a lovely color.

Candy in SW KS

I liked the caption - "some wrinkled, others plump-petaled". That about sums it up, n'est-ce pas? :) Amusez-vous bien a St Tropez - sur la plage ou dans le cafe!


Have a wonderful time "sans tintouin".

Meg Tipper

for "étourderies et ses maladresses", I offer "his turns of phrase and wordplay." I have been having so much fun with the translation, i haven't even gotten to the swimsuit, but think maybe i won't spoil my mood by thinking about my thighs.

Marianne Rankin

I agree with Suzanne in Monroe Township: enjoy the swimming, and don't worry about what you look like. You will be under water most of the time, anyway. Besides, Kristin, at least with regular clothes, you look quite slender, and it's doubtful you look much different in a bathing suit.

I confess to not wanting to look "fat" in a suit. I'm even older than Suzanne. But if I worried about my appearance, I wouldn't swim or dive. I regularly build up to two miles or so continuously in our pool over the summer. That is, I start the season with 8 or so laps (200 meters) at a time, then 16, etc. I splash around and have fun, as well. And I am probably the oldest diver there. Water sports are great because there is little potential for injury, and one exercises all the muscles without breaking a sweat.

If I had the chance to swim at Saint-Tropez, I surely would. I agree, the water might be a bit chilly now, but one could go in and out. Swim a bit, then lie on the beach in the sun.


I would not care about a thing if I were en route to St Tropez! : ) It is only time to relax and have fun! It is gorgeous here in Pasadena but it is no St Tropez and we are all working at a feverish pace-4 weeks to go to graduation!


Julie F

Mais oui, The French and the maillot de bain. Last summer I took along my suit because the previous time we had spent summertime in Dijon it was hotter than Texas. I planned on enjoying the lake, but most of the time it was cool or rainy. On the one super nice day, I and everyone else in the city decided to head to the local pools for the afternoon. I think that I was the only female -- over 50 or under 50 -- in a one-piece tank suit. But then again, I was the only female who was actually swimming. My body may not look like it belongs on the beaches of Cannes, but it can do serious laps, so I'm content.

Rain this week in St. Louis. It's going to make the water very cold in the pools that open Memorial Day weekend.

And Kristin -- I remember your beach story too well from "Words in a French Life." Hilarious! Do you go through this worry every summer?

Stacy, Applegate, Oregon

Your flowers, and Braise and Smokey, look so lovely! Wearing your absolutely beautiful smile and being your exquisitely lovely self, all else is merely an accessory.

Tuck thoughts which take away the joy of the present in that box in the back of your closet and off on an adventure you go! Enjoy the sun (I have some to share today) and sand! xoxo!

Leslie in Massachusetts

Hi, Kristin
I went to St. Tropez a couple of years ago and here is a link to information about a gorgeous beach we visited nearby:

One of the guys we were with saw an octopus while swimming there. My husband liked the topless girl selling ice cream from a boat and we loved the nearby villages of Ramatuelle and Gassin too. Have a great trip!


If you're wanting a more modern twist on Amiel's quote,
I'd say:

I can't tell whether to blame the printer for typos or the poet for
awkward writing filled with mistakes.


My favorite French nickname for Ascension: "La Saint-Otis." (Think about it....)

Bill Facker

Kristin, float like a flower .. let the salt water heal, cleanse, and rejuvenate. Submerge .. let your body assume the innately natural position for maximum propulsion. Do this until your eyes burn
and you must resume life as a land dweller. Exhilaration and joy will completely dissipate any fear of appearance. Enjoy .. you are the fish! Aloha, Bill Facker

Fred Caswell

Water supports, stimulates, sustains, cools, refreshes, cleans, pleases ... partake with joy and gratitude.

Affectueusement from an ex life guard and water safety instructor


Google translate suggests: "The copyist with countless inaccuracies gives me as much fuss as the poet with his follies and blunders." But I think I might say "That damned copyist - he makes so many misteaks that it's as bad as a crazy poet and his errors."


I hear you. I see some wonderwoman above says after 50 one no longer cares. With respect, Mme. I care. Really. Not to look like a screen goddess or something but I do care & I'm glad that I do.

It may be too late to ask for continuing rain, but I shall make an offering on your behalf, K.

Jill in Sydney

Well I would just like someone to design a flattering swimsuit. They all seem to be either ridiulously skimpy and high cut or totally frumpy. Hello swimsuit designers out there. There are real women out here who are not aged 17, and who would like to go to appear at the beach in something that looks good.


Kristin, Hope you're having a great weekend. i can't imagine the water is warm enough to swim in nor the temperature warm enough to sit in a bathing suit on the beach at present. But if it is, enjoy it.

i took the girls to the pool today, at 8 and 1/2 months pregnant. I don't have a maternity bathing suit so I wore my bikini with a maternity tank top over it. You are aware of the rule of no shirts, no boxer style shorts, etc at French pools? Not 5 minutes after I got in the pool, they asked me to take it off. Let's just say, I couldn't see the bottom half of my bikini.


Loved the post! It made me smile it made me laugh. I have given up swimsuit's for other peoples retinal health,lol. I hope you have a splendid vacation.



Good morning, I am finally getting to see Weds post. I feel your pain about the swimsuit issue. I may switch to a tankini this year. I have worn a 2 piece for most of my life, but the middle is slowly changing. I really should not care, I'm still in good shape for my age. Have a great trip to the beach!!

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