tresser & weaving with lavender
Pillow talk, Ex-girlfriends and my Mother-in-law

Another way to say "Mind your own business!" in French

Smokey tomato

Choose a better hiding place next time, Smokey! Now that you are found, let's go inside where it's cool and make a delicious and easy tomato tart. While it cooks we can take the leftover tomato scraps and do cleansing spa masks! Read about that, below. Meantime, today we learn a fun French idiom:

Est-ce que je te demande si ta grand-mère fait du vélo?
Literally: Did I ask you if your grandmother rides a bike?
Meaning: Mind your own business!

Exercises in French Phonics is a great tool for learning how to pronounce French. And so are these short clips by Jean-Marc. Listen to the following example sentence from the book Other Cats to Whip: The Book of French Idioms : Download MP3 or Wav file

    Est-ce que je te demande si ta grand-mère fait du vélo?

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

This morning, hunched over the kitchen sink, I caught my reflection in the pan of water just below....

Chouette! I could now see what I was doing as I rubbed the cherry tomato halves across my face--in a circular motion, for best results. The tomate cerise, having just come out of the frigo, was refreshingly cool on my skin, which began to tighen as the juice dried.

Tossing the used tomato halves into the compost bowl beside the sink, I ran my fingers over my forehead and down to my chin. I could feel the tomato seeds which were now stuck there too. Hopefully there would be no deliveries this morning -- no drop by visitors or maybe my neighbor? The last time I was caught red-faced, it really put a dent in my pride. Read more about that in the story se chamailler (to bicker, to squabble), below. (The first link is a recipe for the much-loved Provencal Tarte Tomate. You will be so happy you made this, so don't miss it!)

To leave a comment, or to read the comments, click here.

I've been making these Provençale Tomato tarts ever since Jackie's godmother brought one on a hike 21 years ago. Jean-Marc's ex-girlfriend was on that hike, too, and I think I needed to eat the entire tart to digest that! But there were more surprises in store... like the time the ex called my fiancé on our wedding day--and later showed up in a short black dress with plunging neckline. At our wedding reception in Marseilles, she had a pertinent question for me: When is the baby due? Read the story in the chapter Petite Amie ("Girlfriend") in the book Blossoming in Provence. She doesn't bother me anymore. These days with two kids, two dogs, and a busy farm run by a certain Chief Grape I have other cats to whip!


Last week I shared a new book published by Graham Clark (a former honorary Marseillais) & Zubair Arshad. Your feedback has been very positive: the images/cartoons are entertaining, but also serve as a very useful tool for French students to pick up new words and phrases that the French use in everyday life. 
Maria Alonso bought the US Kindle version and commented on Amazon that:
"This is a very good little book to teach students vocabulary and expressions. It is also a fine cultural tool as it serves to give a glimpse of the world from a French perspective."
I have a copy of the book, too, and my personal favorite idiom from this delightfully illustrated book is this one, just below, because I love bicycles and grandmothers and a good comeback (Hmmm. This one would have come in handy when my husband's ex asked me the baby question!):
Capture plein écran 07072015 090214
The Kindle version is still for sale on Amazon UK and Amazon US or, if you want something for your coffee table (or a great gift for a friend), the paperback version is shipped worldwide. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and improving this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am committed to sharing a sunny, vocabulary-packed update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (or credit card, links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!