cheveux blancs


cherry tomatoes (c) Kristin Espinasse

In the game of cache-cache, or hide-and-seek, Smokey-Doo has just made a not so strategic move.... Cher Smokey, find a better hiding place! 

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cache-cache (kash kash)

    : hide-and-(go-)seek

Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce these words: Jouons à cache-cache! Let's play hide-and-seek! Download MP3 or Wave file

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

Hang around to win...

Today we are playing cache-cache and you have been caught! Yes, you, sitting there, conspicuously, staring into your laptop, your iphone, your computer screen.... Quelle cible facile! What an easy target you are!

OK... now it is my turn to hide (off I go.... me voilà en train de disparaître....). Time for you to start counting...

...Un, deux, trois....

Hey! Slow down a bit! ... Ralentis un peu! I'll need some time to get to ma cachette.... 

I hear you now... et mon coeur se met à battre...

You shout:

"Ready or not, here I come!"...

"Sors, sors, où que tu sois!"
Come out, come out wherever you are!

Off you go in search of me...
There behind the Houdini barrique.... 

... out into the grapevines... through to the sweet-scented garrigue (weave in and out of the golden broom and honeysuckle) and over to the creek...

Along the way you've looked everywhere but UP!... up, up, and into cyberspace! 

TROUVE! Click here to see where I've been hiding out, and learn what I have to say... and do come back, won't you? In time to leave a message, thisaway:

Le Coin Commentaires

Anything to add to today's post? Comments and corrections welcome here

French Vocabulary

cache-cache = hide-and-seek (hide-and-go-seek or hy spy, I spy)

quelle cible facile = what an easy target

me voilà en train de disparaître = here I am, disappearing now

un, deux, trois = one, two, three

ralentis un peu! = slow down a bit!

ma cachette = my hiding place

mon coeur se met à battre = my heart is starting to beat (quickly)

sors, sors, où que tu sois! = come out, come out, wherever you are!

la barrique = wine barrel

la garrigue = wild Mediterranean scrub land

trouvé! = found! 

Meantime, Chief Grape tries his hand again at beekeeping. Here he is, stoking the smoker, ready to put some bees to sleep before lifting the roof of their ruche, or hive, and intervening...

goldern retrievers and sunflowers (c) Kristin Espinasse
That's Smokey's Dad, Sam, hiding with his sweetheart, Braise, in the sunflower patch (9 months weeks later... and Smokey "hatched"!!!). If you haven't read the story of Sam and Braise's elopement in Marseilles... well, then, you're in for a real SAGA. Hang on to your seat and click here for Part One

Capture plein écran 20052011 094508 Here is a book that I think my mom -- and everyone who love Paris -- will be interested in. It is available for pre-order, here!

The Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring—and until now, untold—story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work.

After risking the hazardous journey across the Atlantic, these Americans embarked on a greater journey in the City of Light. Most had never left home, never experienced a different culture. None had any guarantee of success. That they achieved so much for themselves and their country profoundly altered American history. Order The Greater Journey here.


Check out the latest prices for Kindle, click here and consider ordering today! Your purchase helps support this free language journal. Merci beaucoup!

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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


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Bill in St. Paul

What a great interview with Fifi Flowers, Kristin. I now have sveral more books to add to my reading list, including David McCullough's new book.

I think Smokey and my three year old grandson would have a great time playing cache-cache together. He always wants to play hide-and-go-seek but doesn't quite have the concept of counting without peeking yet, so I have to lead him into a room and then bolt out and go hide. If he hides, he's easy to find because he's laughing so much. (Hi to Jules!)

mike abulencia

Just read your interview, and bookmarked it to be able to go back and read it again.
As a fellow would-be novelist, I anxiously await yours.
Just now re-reading Words In A French Life,as enjoyable as the first time around.
Keep up the great work.


Pat Cargill

Enjoyed the interview, Kristin. As I type this (speaking of books) I see Susan Vreeland's Luncheon of the Boating Party in the right margin--loved it and I highly recommend. It is an excellent and entertaining look at the creative process!

Fifi's painting of Braise and Smokey is delightful. Such good dogs.

You have a willingness to open up and allow your inner self to flow out which tells me that your novel-writing within will come out as you proceed in your writing journey. It's the magic of that free-flow, in whatever creative aspect we use it, that brings out our work. Plus a lot of "nine-to-five," bien sur!

Eileen deCamp

Great interview Kristin! Lots of positive comments too!


Hello Kristin,
Thanks for giving us the pleasure to read that long and interesting interview dated 18th May. That was just "avant-hier" wasn't it?... and the words of the recording are already on thousands of your FWAD readers' little screen. Wow!

I would have never thought that, "jouer à cache-cache" would have led us to ... an interview with "l'écrivain -en-question" who recently, while killing time in a home improvement store, told us she found a character for a future book (novel? tale?... we'll see).

I love the hiding place chosen by dear Smokey... so comical! The idea about the game of "cache-cache" made your introduction not only very imaginative, but distinctively "très enjouée"! Anyway, what a fascinating list of "Q&R"!... and, indirectly, what an interesting way to discover your soulmate and interviewer 'Fifi Flowers', a lady who, like you, loves 'WHIMSY and FUN... and all the beautiful things that surround her daily life'. Thanks for the link!

"avant-hier" = the day before yesterday
"enjoué" = bright and breezy, light, cheerful....
"QR" stands for "Questions et Réponses" ( = Q&A)
May I take advantage here to formulate my hope?... why not?

Hoping that in the future, another interview - and Wikipedia's notes about you - will give us the title of your future novel / conte... and eventually all the other ones that will follow. Ok, no point saying how much I believe in your career as a writer (a belief that got officially confirmed by yourself nearly a year ago). Not to worry about the problem of publishing; it will get sorted out, in its own time.
In addition to the "free-flow" (an idea I do share with Pat), you've got a fertile imagination - and... your very very own 'talent with words'. For years, you've managed to find a mountain of hours for your 3 times a week blog, and so far, those millions of hours of 'practice' produced kilometers & kilometers of sentences generously delivered to a multitude of avid FWAD readers. Add to this the meeting of other writers and particularly the professional advice you received when following the writing seminars last June in Paris! Hmmm, I'd think it might be better not to let the 'simmering on the back burner' (as you put it recently) go on for too long as the juice might evaporate and the food could get burnt!
Kristin, I guess the incredible number of people who know you via your popular blog, are waiting to buy that first novel of yours... whenever it appears.
Good luck!

A round of applause to Fifi Flowers who interviewed Kristin and also gave us the pleasure to admire the delightful paintings inspired by Kristin's photos.


Kristin, you are so creative! I love the hide-and-seek theme!

Karen Whitcome

Bravo! What a wonderful interview. With just a few select questions we, your "in cahoots" readers, have learned even more about you and have also picked up some more ideas for our reading lists (including Fred's book).

I love Fifi's paintings of your photos. Very colorful. You both inspire me to pick up my creativity stick and hit the road!!

Kristin: Do you know if, when I click on the Amazon link though you site and then "share" it with others from that Amazon page - would you/your website get the $upport?

Jackson Dunes, Pug At The Beach

Delightful photo of your dog hiding! It made me laugh out loud. Thank you.


Since "hide and seek" is one of my grandson's favorite games, I love knowing the French expressions. But I need one more: "Ready or not, here I come!"


I just read the interview - it was great! Thank you for sharing it with us.


Re-Hi Kristin!
back with a few extra points:

just for fun:
looking at the French vocab list you gave us today, my eyes caught "la barrique", followed by "la garrigue".
Now, try to pronounce those 2 words - one after the other. Go on, more and more quickly.
How are you getting on? throwing bits of funny sounds all over the place? stuttering and laughing? (I did)

garden produce:
Kristin, your (cherry?) tomatoes are doing extremely well!... and your artichokes are already amazingly big!
Vive le soleil de Provence et le bon jardinage!

Good luck to Jean-Marc with his beekeeping.
(I remember the newsletter about the visit of the "bee man" last year ...)
All my best wishes for your own "Domaine Rouge-Bleu" olive oil and honey!

other details:
I've been a FWAD member for a few years but I'll tell you the 'new facts' I learned from the recent interview:
-> the exotic Chinese journal (quite enigmatic... )
-> the choice of the title 'WORDS in a French life' was made by Jean-Marc (is it also him (or you? or the publisher?) who added ' Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France'???
-> your 2009 Blurb book (stories extracted from your Summer 2009 blog) was published 'via Wikipedia' (?)
I didn't know about any connection between Wikipedia and Blurb. Interesting but not sure I understood properly. Never mind.
-> FWAD reader Fred Castle's self-published book. Bravo Fred! Bravo, Bravo!!!
-> I had no idea Jeanne Guyon had a great influence on your life. Google results made me notice the quantity of her books translated into English. Actually, I'd like to read her autobiography...

BTW, I do buy books from (much cheaper for me than getting them from and I get Free delivery, whatever the price of the book)

4) and 5) will follow later on today or tomorrow

Sophie Day

I'm glad to see you are getting some well deserved recognition for all your hard work and creativity. Looking forward to reading your future novel, but in the meantime, happy to hear about David McCullough's new book. Plan to pre-order it today on your website.

Julie F in St. Louis, MO

Félicitations, Kristin! What a fantastique interview. And what a creative way to redirect our attention. Although, I have to admit, if you got deeply involved in writing your novel, you might only be able to give us a twice-weekly dose of FWAD. How would we cope?! But don't sacrifice your writing goals on our account. Meanwhile, I'm always happy to remain "in cahoots" with you and your stories.


precisely, Julie!
Kristin has always been so generous with her time, so why should FWAD readers be selfish and over demanding anyway? ... and if they were, they can go back to all the newsletters they haven't read yet (as from August 2004) - I promise such a reading would keep their enthusiasm going for a very long time.
Merci encore, Kristin!...


Clever way to guide us to your cachette! I love the interview, which tells us more about you, Kristin. You're such a wonderful person and I wish you success with your upcoming novel. Bon courage.
I adore that photo of Smokey se cachant derrière les tomates, and I love your humor.

Janine Cortell

Chere Kristin:
what a great interview. I, too, adore Zola and my favorite book is GERMINAL. I hope you have a chance to read it.
I am teaching French to a Rotary scholarship student who will be spending the year in Lyon.
She is reading your French Word a Day to increase her vocabulary!!! It would be so wonderful to win a copy of the book for her.
Thank you for cheering up my days and keeping me informed of your vie francaise.
Amities, Janine Cortell

Pat Cargill

Smokey R. Dokey Stream o' Consciouness

Smokey dit: " What does she mean find a better hiding place...why my coat blends perfectly w/the sun-baked wall behind me."

"Hummm, these petits tomates look tasty, pas ma favori, but something to chew on...oowee, quel sour! Hum, I suppose my red collar is the giveaway."

"Okay, already, so I am found. Then I am heading down to the watery haven of Mrs. Canard for a quick look and perhaps a dip."

"Ou est ma maman? J'aime beaucoup ma vie!"


Kristin I so enjoyed reading your interview with Fifi. She did a delightful painting for me of 'la petite cuisine française' we enjoyed during our years in Grenoble. Thank you for all the reading suggestions (I've followed up on many) but a novel from you would be superbe! Bon week-end !


Count me in for the book. I have been hoping to read it. Love the interview, though I had heard some of it already from your French Word of the Day posts. I am a devoted fan.


Denise Givens

Excellent interview, Kristin! You always write and speak from your heart which is what we love!


Dear Auntie Pat C,

Honestly, you can read me like a book!
I'm glad you noticed how well my coat blended with the wall behind me. I thought the red tomatoes would have hidden my red collar. Oh well...
Best way to play "cache-cache" is to run away with Mama Braise... and hide behind bushes. We sometimes do that... but nobody can ever find us! They shout our names but we keep hiding, then we run a bit further, and further, and further... They're so happy when we come back the following morning, you know.
back to "le ruisseau" now ... a lot's going on down there. Byyyye!


For Judy and her grandson:

not sure whether there is a specific expression corresponding to what you asked, but you could certainly say:
"Vous êtes prêts?
(Cachés ou pas),
Attention!... Je viens"!

- être prêt = to be ready
(vous êtes prêts? = are you ready?)
- caché = hidden
- ou pas = or not
- Attention, je viens / j'arrive!
= here I come


ARTISTES PEINTRES inspired by Kristin's photos:
-> Jules
-> Dr. Warren Plauche (from New Orleans?) who once sent a dozen of photos of paintings to FWAD - all inspired by Kristin's photos
-> Fifi Flowers who showed us, yesterday, two of her delicate paintings inspired by Kristin's photos.
-> I'm sure there are / will be more.

not long ago, this photo ->

inspired artist Millie ->

Looking forward to get "Cinéma Vérité" in my Inbox later on today.

Bon week-end à tous et à toutes!

Amber...Peoria, IL

Great interview, Kristin!

Kristin Espinasse

Newforest, thank you for answering Judys question - I had been wondering about the translation. I appreciate your mention of the artists and their paintings. Merci!

Note: some punctuation may be missing from this comment (theres a glitch when I respond, via email, to the comments box!)


punctuation complete and perfect... not to worry.

Sue young

Que tes chiens sont mignons !

Ophelia in Nashville

Late as usual but had to add my compliments for your thoughtful, insightful, and so unassuming remarks. No wonder we all tune in every week to share in your French life and observations about life in general.

Just ordered McCullough's book, too. He came to Nashville a year or so ago to speak at Belmont University and while here visited The Hermitage in order to see a portrait of Andrew Jackson painted two days before Jackson's death by an American artist living in Paris -- George Healy. McCullough is such an engaging raconteur -- at least he was in in his speech. The book should be great.

Merci pour tout, Kristin!

Jacqueline Gill

What a delightful interview! I learned many interesting details about your life, Kristin. Will for sure buy your book(s)! And FiFi's paintings were perfect. Hold fast to your dream of writing that novel...

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