Fuir: A Story from Grenoble, France

Grenoble (c) Kristin Espinasse
Yesterday, in Grenoble: fleeing oeufs.

fuir (fweer)

    1.  to take flight, to flee, to run away
    2. to avoid, to shun

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     Le temps fuit. / Time flies.

French christmas music
French Christmas Music: "Mon Beau Sapin", "Saint Nuit", "La Marche des Rois", "Petite Ville Bethléem", "Il est né Le Divin Enfant".
Order CD here.

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

Tempus Fugit / Time Flies

Ever opened your eyes to find that 18 years have passed in "no time"?

"No Time": it must be that other dimension, such as the one we're sometimes in when driving. We arrive at Point B and wonder how we got there: as if automatically! We don't remember turning left, after the redundant ramshackle shed, and we don't remember passing the monotonous maple tree. (We did pass them, didn't we?) 


Grenoble. A birthday celebration. In the living room of longtime friends, I stood looking up at their son, who'd not yet been born when...

Have 18 years gone by since I moved to France, on the fly? 

The bearded boy looked down at me. Just how, I wondered, did time flee? (Can time flee? Or are two decades of Frenglish taking a toll? See?)


Champagne on the buffet, cake on trays... The guests gathered round with gifts. Jean-Marc offered a dusty, cobwebbed magnum of his uncle's Domaine du Banneret 1992. I wondered, did we pick those grapes, too? It was the year Jean-Marc and I shacked up. The year the bearded boy was brand-new!

                           Baptiste, 18 years old for the time being.

The wine went down in "no time". Next, we passed the bottle round to sign. It would now be a souvenir. Another one of those.

I stared at the magnum and imagined... this bottle... on a shelf... twenty years from now. A treasured keepsake of a former boy, now a journalist (and was that a thread of gray in his barbe?). I could just picture the bottle, next to the framed awards. Two decades from now....

"J'aurais trente-huit ans," added the birthday boy. Yes, he would then. He would be 38 years old one day. And I'd be sixty-two. I could see it as clearly as I could see the freckles on the back of my own hand as I clutched the pen and stared at the wine label inked over with signatures.

Pen in hand, I hesitated. What to say? Hopefully not something outdated!

I drew a tiny heart so as not to take up too much space. I'd already taken up a bit of time....

French Vocabulary

Domaine du Banneret = an award winning wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape 

la barbe = beard

 j'aurais trente-huit ans = I would be thirty-eight


Smokey playing "Tug of Ear" with Mama Braise. Photo by Braden.


On the way home from Grenoble, entering the Drôme.

Still reading? Check out Jean-Marc's cork story at the Southern Fried French blog


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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety