How to say "snapshot" in French + photos from Sanary-sur-Mer
sejour + how to say "a nice change of scenery" in French

To spring for the bill (or how to say "it's on me" in French)

Quincaillerie or hardware store (c) Kristin Espinasse
An old hardware store in Les Arcs-sur-Argens... and another one in today's vignette.

c'est moi qui paye (say-mwah-kee-pay)

    : it's on me

Example Sentence:
Non, mais tu rigoles? C'est moi qui paye!
Don't be silly. I'm paying for it! 

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

"I think the translation is 'hardware store'," I say to my dad as we enter our town's old quincaillerie.

My belle-mère nods her head: "I used to love hardware stores...."

As Marsha looks around the small boutique, I can see nostalgie in her eyes: "My kids would each choose something--they loved hardware stores too!"

"They sell all kinds of things here," I point out. "Look there's a wicker panier... and a potato peeler... and some curtain rods.... And over there you can get a new key made. It's the everything store," I say, as our eyes comb the walls of the narrow shop, filled to the brim with machin-trucs, or doodads. 

Speaking of dads, I feel a little guilty for dragging mine into the "everything" store, after our latest shopping sprees: we've been to the butcher's--for cordon bleu and beignets de courgettes--and to the market for a hat and a dress!

"You shouldn't have to pay for everything," I say to my dad, as the shopkeeper adds up the bill (we've bought furniture polish, a static duster, and a can of WD-40 that Dad wants to use to repair the creaky doors on my car).

"We have such a lovely free hotel..." Marsha says, "it is the least we can do!" my belle-mère's twinkling eyes meet my Dad's, and the latter can't help but agree. The shopkeeper seems to agree too and he snaps up two more bills from Dad's wallet

 As the transaction comes to a close, the shop's cat, "Fefield" (from Felix and Garfield--his family couldn't make up their minds) looks up from his post beneath the canned paint. He stretches his legs and yawns as the sentimental tourists leave his shop.


French Vocabulary

la belle-mère = step-mom

la nostalgie = nostalgia

le panier = basket

le machin-truc = a doodad or whatchamacallit

 le beignet de courgette = zucchini fritter

  How much is that Dad in the window? (c) Kristin Espinasse
Dad and his morning coffee. He's in the family room, where Marsha is answering an email to her grandson, Aaron. I can hear her giggling reading Aaron's message. 

Three shades of bleu: sky blue, t-shirt blue, ping pong table blue. (Dad and Marsha love playing ping pong with their grandchildren).


That hat Marsha and Dad bought me. It's hanging on the window, waiting for another stroll out to the garden, or a picnic. Speaking of lunch... I'm off now to see about those left-over cordon bleus... See you next week! Enjoy your weekend :-)


Jackie and Grandpère Kip (c) Kristin Espinasse
A couple of fish, poolside. Love this snapshot of Dad and Jackie (taken in 2003 when Jackie was 5 years old). By the way, did I tell you my dad is a famous actor?

(Just kidding--but he is a star in his daughter's heart!)

Droguerie in Orange, France (c) Kristin Espinasse
Is there a difference between a droguerie and a quincaillerie?

Chez Eugenie - Bazar - Mercerie in St. Tropez (c) Kristin Espinasse
Then again, a bazar / mercerie seems to carry the kind of things a droguerie or a quincaillerie carries... are they synonyms of each other: quincaillerie - mercerie - droguerie? (Photo taken in St. Tropez)

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

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