Quelle idée! = What a crazy idea! Or was it?
To ask for guidance or advice in French

An Elephant in the Room? Chez moi?

Elephants in France

These elephants were spotted on a French door--and in the window--of a home in Pernes-les-Fontaines. As for elephants in the room, read on in today's missive.

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l'éléphant dans la pièce

The English expression "elephant in the room", which literally signifies [in French] "éléphant dans la pièce" but which mustn't be translated as such in French, designates "something very important and very obvious, that we should therefore see, but that we don't want to admit or recognise and that we don't want to talk about" (French translation and credits, below)...

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L'expression anglaise « elephant in the room », qui signifie littéralement « éléphant dans la pièce » mais qui ne doit pas être traduite ainsi en français, désigne « quelque chose de très important et de très évident, que l'on devrait donc voir, mais que l'on ne veut pas admettre ou reconnaître et dont on ne veut pas discuter ».... (from Anglais Practique - Practical English)

Provence Dreamin'? Maison des Pelerins, Sablet. A Vacation Rental Dream in the heart of the Côte du Rhone.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

I received an email, day before yesterday, from a longtime reader. Her message echoed another reader's note, received, coincidentally an hour before:

Dear Kristin,

I wonder why you have never mentioned your cats after they disappeared. It's the elephant in the room: we know you must be heart-broken and so are so many of your readers, vicariously. This may sound weird, but it's hard to just go on and forget them, as a reader. Maybe I missed an update. I don't wish to cause you pain by saying this.


No matter how good-intentioned the inquiry, I shriveled inside. But before clicking shut the email, the words "elephant in the room" reached out and brushed me--as gently as a 200 pound trunk.

I sat back, trying to find the humor in the current situation. "Well, that's not the only elephant in the room!" I croaked, and I shook my head, as if shaking it would loosen the laughter inside of me. Instead, it seemed to tighten the invisible noose around my neck.  You certainly know the feeling, Dear Reader, if you've ever loved.

But today, the breakthrough came and my feet are touching the ground again. The cats are not back but my relationship is intact and, suddenly, the tears have broken loose--like rain over a scorched desert.

Re the elephant in the room. They have been there all along. They are scattered across these story archives, disguised in pink tutus, little sparkle wings on their backs. None of us have the monopoly on Happy Ever After. If we did, why would we ever try?--to grow, to change, to fly


Kristi and Smokey

Me and Smokey. Dog therapy: stronger than a shot of gin, and without the side effects of medecine.

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