faire d'une pierre deux coups

mauvaise herbe

"Chief Grape". Meet Jean-Marc in DC this coming March 8th for a tasting of his wines or later in many other US cities

mauvaise herbe (moh vayz airb)

    : weed

arracher les mauvaises herbes = to pull weeds

Audio file: (check back later... will update the site this afternoon!)

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

The sun is shining, cutting through the haze that hovers over the field of vines just outside my office window. I've opened the fenêtre to let in some air and, with it, some sounds from the parcel just below. More than to birdsong I am treated to the enchanting chitter-chatter of the vineworkers from a neighboring farm. I hope our own workers will be as jovial this morning.... 

The sun's rays are now hitting my back, warming it completely. It feels almost like le printemps.... Earlier, as I drove Jackie to school, I noticed the amandiers were in bloom, their white blossoms adding a floral pop! to the still hibernating countryside. 

While some, like the almond trees, are coming to life, others are being read their last rites! It's going to be a mean morning for les mauvaises herbes! But justice must be done! After all, they are choking our baby vines! (As many of you know, Chief Grape is lenient on weeds: he'd rather keep them and let the mature vines struggle for water, and, in so doing, strengthen. The alternative (herbicide) is not an option for this gentle farmer. But things are different for the baby vines, which are too weak to hold their own against the weeds. Therefore, this morning certain weeds are meeting defeat!).

Two 'executioners' arrived last night from Belgium, friends of Chief Grape who are already out working in the vineyard. I imagine their feet are sinking into the cold, wet earth. If I squint my eyes, I can just see the men at the end of the field, hunched over one of the knee-high voleurs d'eau, or water thieves. With gloved hands they tug at the thorny weed....

I guess about now--almost two hours into the torturous task of weeding--the men, c-à-d "Erik" and "Olivier", are wondering about the charm of Southern France, wondering what particular spell it had over them, wondering, after all, what Provence has on Brussels (???) -- where the din of city life is beginning to sing to them, chanting melodiously as are the birds in the vineyard trees and the other worker 'bees' who chitchat and work with longtime expertise.

Le Coin Commentaires
Corrections, questions, commentary, and stories of your own are most welcome here in the community corner. P.S.: today I'm making chicken thighs & rice & Provençal tomatoes, salad... but I'll need help with tomorrow's lunch: does anyone have a good (fast, easy!) recipe for pork tenderloin or le filet mignon de porc? We'll have a stomach-smashing gratin dauphinois to go along with it! Please put the recipe or tips in the comments box!


Desherbant I hope you'll have a moment to read this story about an exotic "herb" I found growing in a nearby vineyard... It includes a very embarrasing garden moment! Click here to see it.


 VIDEO: and do not miss this video of Jean-Marc planting his beloved baby vines. The footage always brings tears to my eyes!

French Vocabulary

la fenêtre = window

le printemps = spring, springtime

l'amandier (m) = almond tree

la mauvaise herbe = weed

le voleur d'eau = water thief

c-à-d = c'est-à-dire

Coquilles, etc... ("Typos etcetera")

gagant-gagnant (and not gagné-gagné)

Thank you, Jacqueline, for the gagnant-gagnant correction (from the previous "two hits with one stone" edition). And mille mercis to Newforest, who followed up on Jacqueline's comment. Newforest writes:

---> About the 'win-win' situation: yes, it is indeed "gagnant-gagnant" (from the verb "gagner" = to win)

---> On the other hand, in a 'no-win' situation / 'lose-lose' situation, there are choices, but, unfortunately, there is no benefit and no way of getting anything that works out. This situation, is "perdant-perdant" (from the verb "perdre" = to lose).

---> There is another expression formed in the same way - it is: "donnant-donnant" (from the verb "donner" = to give. This is a 'give-and-take' situation with mutual concessions, compromises and agreements.

jet lag et compagnie...

Newforest added a few vital words to my "décalage horaire" - jet lag translation:

I think "jet lag" should be translated in French by
--> "le syndrome du décalage horaire"

to suffer from jet lag
= souffrir du décalage horaire.
"Je souffre du décalage horaire"/ "je supporte mal le décalage horaire".

A short bio on Newforest, written by fellow comments box buddy "Candy in SW KS"
"Newforest always regales us with great vocab lessons which are informative and fun. "


Mille mercis to those of you who share... in le Coin Commentaires. Don't miss this cozy commmunity corner, which comes to life after the edition goes out. 

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