How to say "special needs person" in French?
The word for cheese + a giveaway!

The word "glance" in French

Majorca spain

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un clin d'oeil

    : a glance, wink; hint

en un clin d'oeil = in the blink of an eye, in a heartbeat, in a flash


Audio File: A little ambiance in today's soundfile, below--recorded at the beach in Majorca!Listen to Jean-Marc read the example sentence: Download MP3 or Wav file

Aujourd'hui je vous propose un clin d'oeil de notre petit périple à Majorque.
Today I offer you a glance at our little trek to Majorca.

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

"Accordion Man"

The Mistral wind swept in this morning bringing with it the first hint of winter. I felt the chill in the cellar, earlier, while hanging Jean-Marc's backpack, after we returned from sunny, warm Spain!

Summertime may be over, but don't tell that to the guy with the sac à dos. With his rucksack and his beach bag my husband knows a trick or two about extending the season--and he also knows how to skim right by the carry-on baggage limits at Ryanair!

"You sure you can take the beach bag, too? Ah, I see, it counts as a purse! "I say, answering my own question. I look down at my own two-baggage limit and hope to fit in, too, but the women in line ahead of me are shaking their heads. "You'll never get on with that!" they say, scooting forward in line with their own roller-totes (bags the size of watermelons! Seeing those itsy bitsy valises that everyone rolls on board always gets me daydreaming about the contents inside them: one bikini and a little black dress for the missus? And a beach towel and a deck of cards for Monsieur? What else could you possible fit in there?)

As for me, in my little big roller bag, I have two pairs of pants, two dresses, one pair of heels, a pair of sandals, a bathing suit, two sweaters, pjs, an iPad, les slips et soutiens, three scarves, a floppy hat, two camisoles, an inflatable airline pillow, three long-sleeve shirts just in case, two button-down shirts just in case, a gauzy shirt, a chunky, beaded necklace, and two trousses de toilets. (Oh, and a jean jacket--always handy!)

"Yes, this bag will fit on board, Jean-Marc says to the ladies with the watermelons on wheels. Reaching down to demonstrate, he pushes in the sides of my bag, reducing the size by half! He repeats the accordion demonstration at the gate, when an airline official asks me to put the bag into one of those empty metal boxes. If the bag fits in there, we're good to go....  

Holding my breath, I watch Jean-Marc do his trick.... and we pass! Everyone in line is shaking their heads and I just know what they're thinking: Moi aussi, il me faut L'Homme Accordéon!

I leave you with some photos from our trip, and we'll see you on Friday when this newsletter returns with a very French theme!

P.S. Despite all those things I brought... only a third of the bag was unpacked! So much for "just in case" or au cas où!


French Vocabulary
le sac à dos = backpack
le slip = pair of underpants
le soutien-gorge = bra
la trousse de toilette = toiletry bag
moi aussi = me too
il me faut = I need
l'homme accordéon = accordian man

Jean-marc first swim

 The first thing Jean-Marc wanted to do when we got to Majorca!


Typical wooden boats, perfect for bringing in the local fish such as Hake (a kind of cod) or John Dory.


Alot of mischief at the botanical garden in Soller. For one, some knitters "yarn-bombed" this sign. Inside the jardin, it was wonderful to see the great variety of orange trees and the medicinal garden and the cozy potager where peppers were growing on the vine and the basil plants were the size of dwarf trees!


We didn't have the pleasure of riding the trolley, when walking up and down the port was just as fun.

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After lunch, we had siestas on the beach, where Spanish accents lulled us to sleep. Waking up to the cry of seabirds is like waking in heaven!

Bike and menu

Apart from Spanish, we heard British and German accents, and most menus responded accordingly--or should I say accordion-ingly....


Accordion Man is tired after lugging my carry-on bag through the airport. At the gate in Mallorca he dozed off, perhaps dreaming about the sand beneath his feet, the warm Majorcan waters, and the next trip: to Lisbon in April? We'll see how many more items will fit in my magic bag... so L'Homme Accordéon can do his nifty trick in front of the pretty ladies!

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