Beauty in abandoned places. Beside the bricked-in, condemned windows, a random poppy bouquet, born in the cracks of concrete. Photo taken in Bollène (Vaucluse) (with a handy pocket camera I'm using a lot these days (click here for more info).
la goutte (goot)
Note: our family is about to begin bottling wine now (see story, below)... no time to go on... but there are other meanings for today's word, goutte. See some related terms and expressions here!
Cette fois-ci, j'avais une crise de goutte dans la main. This time, I had a gout attack in my hand.
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
A Farmer is Never Hors Service (Even When His Limbs are!)
Today we will bottle 12,000 units of our Domaine Rouge-Bleu wine! Adding to the excitement and chaos is a surprise visit from my husband's pire enemi: la GOUTTE!
Yes, gout! Jean-Marc has suffered from the "kind of arthritis" for the last 15 years. (It runs in his family.) The attacks, which are usually concentrated on the foot area, always strike at the most inopportune moments--just before a road trip (so that driving is out of the question) or just before an important mise en bouteilles--such as today's!
And so it is that Chief Grape is partly hors service (given that his hand has doubled in size, painfully so, after this latest attack). Thankfully, Uncle Jacques stopped by to help prepare the area for the bottling. And now that Max is a buff (time to embarrass our teens again, la honte!) almost-16-year-old, he is able to be an even more dependable main droite for his father.
Meantime, The Chief is doing what he can to speed up the healing process: he's asked me to help apply an argile, or clay, emplâtre to diminish the swelling in his hand. To cover the wet clay, we made a cutout from a bag of Harry's American Bread (those of you living in France will recognize the colorful packaging!).
The homemade cast was tied together with some elastic string normally used in training our baby vines. And, speaking of entrainment, Chief Grape's hand, trussed this way, has a certain "punch" to it... wouldn't you say?
P.S. What, you may be wondering, sets off one of these gout attacks? Though wine is most often cited, for Jean-Marc les asperges is another pire ennemi! And, this time of year, they are everywhere, those menacing green spears! (Hidden in soups, unrevealed in risotto...)
hors service = out of service
pire ennemi = worst enemy
la mise en bouteille = wine bottling
la main droite = right-hand man, woman
emplâtre (m) = plaster (medical)
l'entrainement (m) = training
les asperges (f,pl) = asparagus
also: les pointes d'asperges = asparagus tips
Me: "Of course Smokey-Dear. And good of you to look out for your beautiful mom!"
Exercises in French Phonics bestseller on French pronunciation and how to pronouce French words correctly! (click here)
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety