se livrer
avoir les chocottes

faire passer le temps

P1010414
                            Scottish broom in the French countryside...

Thank you for your thoughtful notes and emails, but we do not have any test results from Jean-Marc's kidney biopsy to share with you. And today, le lundi de Pâques, means we'll have to wait another day or two!

faire passer le temps (fer passay leuh tahmp)

    : to while away the time

Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce the following French words: Download MP3 or Wave file

L'autre jour j'ai fait les magasins pour faire passer le temps. The other day I went shopping to pass the time.

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

"A Hell-On-Wheels Heart"

Friday afternoon, with a morale at sub zero, I was haunting the aisles of a home-decor store. This was not retail therapy. J'étais en train de tuer le temps. There were two hours to kill while my 13-year-old and her giggly cohort cruised the mall (and I wasn't up to making an aller-retour to the farm and back!).

C'était un drôle de deux heures. It was a very strange two hours spent in full martyr mode. "What a dumb decision that was!" I chastised myself about the anecdote I had just posted. "You should have written about "Adult Chicken Adoption", as you had set out to do! 'Ex-battery Hens' would have been a much better topic, DUMMY! The plight of commercial egg-layers was surely a less risqué sujet than "ego annihilation via death to self"! (Of all subjects! Of all subjects!!!)

(Later, I would have the consolation of laughter, over a telephone conversation in which I admitted to my mom that perhaps a journal titled "French Word-A-Day" was an unlikely place to talk about mortification of self!)

Mortified, I was. And, in this state, I continued worrisomely to while the time away, or faire passer le temps, falling to greater and greater depths of despairing humiliation.

Though my eyes were fixed to the blur of my mind's colorful imagination (in which scores of Word-a-Day subscribers were signing off, en masse, dismissing its author as some sort of mystic moon-bather), I somehow managed to catch a glimpse of the shopper ahead me. Her head suddenly jerked to the side... as if an invisible tug rope were tied to it. Every few moments her head jerked again...

As the woman's children bombarded her with questions, the cigar-voiced mother-with-a-tic would snap back, literally. Her violent head-jerkings were tamed only by her take-no-shit send-offs, or ripostes, which followed her visible suffering. The whole hard-edged package was wrapped up in a cropped-haired, tight-jeaned, 30-something. As tough-exteriored as the woman appeared, you could not miss the affection and protectiveness emanating from her center as her children and her mother flocked around her in time for more chattering and more head-jerking riposting. 

If I ever had a heroine, the slumbering novelist inside of me mused, she'd be a little like her. I would have liked to have studied the woman a little closer, but feared that her involuntary tic might seem to her the object of my curiosity. She could not know that it was her hell-on-wheels heart that so enamored me. 

Thanks to this unknown woman, I left the store with my very own hell-on-wheels heart. A heart with character in time to weather the fickle air, cloudy one day, sunny the next. It was just the antidote my uneasy interior had been searching for, there, of all places, in the home-improvements store. 

***

A hell-on-wheels heart is not cold or closed, it's fiery and has wheels! ...though it doesn't always know where it is going...

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The Bug Hug (c) Kristin Espinasse

Feeling unloveable? Go out and hug a flower! Nature will never snub or snob you :-)

French Vocabulary

le lundi de Pâques = Easter Monday

tuer le temps = to kill time

aller-retour = round trip

le sujet = subject

  DSC_0160

        Sunny façade in Cassis. All photos & text © Kristin Espinasse

In books, film, and cuisine:

French Demystified...simple enough for a beginner but challenging enough for a more advanced student.

Sara midda's South of France: a sketchbook Sara Midda's South of France is a place of ripening lemons and worn espadrilles, ochre walls and olive groves, and everything born of the sun. It lies between the Mediterranean and the Maritime Alps, and most of all in the artist's eye and passion. Read the glowing reviews, click here.

In film:  Paris Je T'aime Paris I love You.

Eiffel Tower Cookie Cutter -  handcrafted by artisans to last for generations. Order here.

 

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