Darling reader, I need your "dacodac"! If you want to continue receiving this homespun letter from France, action is required

That's a wasabi plant in our garden
A wasabi plant beside our fountain...



Dear Reader, please note, as of today: Inactive subscribers must be removed from my French Word-A-Day email list in order to conform to the latest GDPR internet privacy laws.

=>To be counted as an active subscriber: click on any link in today's post (this one, par exemple!) 

Today's word: dacodac

    : Okie dokie (OK) 

Click here to listen to the following: Dacodac

Dacodac. Dans la version originale d’Orange mécanique (A Clockwork Orange), le terme correspondant est doobidoob, qui n’a pas le même sens. In the original version of A Clockwork Orange, the corresponding term is doobidoob, which does not have the same meaning.

Note: I have never watched the film A Clockwork Orange. I hear it's very very scary. So are the new internet laws for publishers like me! Please read today's column and be sure to click on any link in today's letter--it's a simple way to help my automated listserver distinguish active readers from inactive readers.


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristi Espinasse

Pas de panique. This French phrase has been my saving grace, recently, as internet privacy laws--concerning you and me--go into effect today! I have no idea how to parlay legalese--I have a hard enough time speaking French--but I will give you a few pointers to help you continue receiving these updates from the homefront here in La Ciotat, France.

Merci pour votre dacodac!
First a little background. My French Word-A-Day subscribers have already given their dacodac to receive these letters. More than an OK (un d'ac!), you have had to complete a double opt-in procedure (jumping through at least two hoops --by filling out a signup form and then responding to the confirmation email). 

Today, we need to go one step farther: I'm asking you to put your hand on your heart and swear--jurer--you truly want to receive my French Word-A-Day email updates, because today, May 25th, as an internet publisher I am required to prove compliance to the GDPR European General Data Protection Regulation requirements. It amounts to transparency regarding a Take No Hostages (no unwilling subscribers) approach that I have followed since beginning this journal in October of 2002. For the record, I would no more consider putting somebody on my email list, against their knowledge or will, than I would invite myself to move into their home--and beg for "cookies" while I'm there! Only, the Powers That Be (the Internet Police Task Force) do not know this, and so today I must prove I'm not a squatter! I'm not squatting your inbox, searching for "crumbs" or personal "data" while there. Imagine!

Aidez-moi! Help!
Times like this I wish I had un avocat, un comptable, a personal secretary, and Mom--to cook me a taco at lunchtime, because by then my brain will be on overdrive having tried to keep up the professional end of this homespun journal.

Good news is you can help me by being an active member of this free newsletter--which is as simple as clicking open these emails when they arrive in your inbox! 

One more thing. At the end of every newsletter of mine, you will see an unsubscribe link and a privacy link. You are free to unsubscribe anytime, and the link is instantaneous--illico presto! Now isn't that a great phrase? Do stay with me. I've got lots more words up my French sleeve!

Mille mercis all you dacodacs out there. I truly appreciate you!

Kristi

FRENCH VOCABULARY
un avocat = lawyer
un comptable = an accountant
illico presto = right away!
dacodac = okie dokie

Kristi Espinasse 2018
I am happiest after I've written a story, or when I am gardening.

Thank you for the time you've spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Sent with love and gratitude for all of your wonderful, insightful and creative stories and photographs. My life is enhanced reading your books and blogs beyond measure! May you continue to be blessed doing what you love and feel the gratitude of your devoted readers. Appreciation, hugs and love to you and your beautiful family!"
--Lisa


Deballer: Max unpacks after his exchange program in Mexico

Kristi Max Jackie Jean-Marc Espinasse family
Together again. A nouveau réunis. If you are new to this blog, you might enjoy the story of our Franco-American family, beginning when the kids were very young. Click here to order the book.

Chaque jour apporte ses cadeaux. Il ne vous reste qu'à les déballer.
Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons. Ann Ruth Schabacker

Click here to listen to the example sentence

Today's Word: déballer

    : to unpack
    : to untie
    : to reveal

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristi Espinasse

It's been over a week since our 23-year-old returned from his 10-month exchange program in Léon, Mexico. Jean-Marc and I picked up Max from the Marseilles airport...with a surprise in tow: Max's best friend, Antony, was there to meet us at la sortie. (The totally unexpected encounter garnered Antony three times the hug I'd gotten, but who's counting câlins? After a week of catching up with all his vieux pots, I got my son all to myself last night. 

Hot chocolate whipped cream IKEA couches

In our PJs, robes, and other cozy add-ons--pillows, hot-chocolate, blankets and a portable phone (what jeune homme can live without one?) we lounged on just-assembled IKEA couches in our newly-remodeled living room. Jean-Marc and I had planned the entire renovation around our son's return--the work had to be done by May 15th--or no deal!) And here we were now, enjoying an evening I had imagined many times over: just hanging out, watching a good movie.

Peaky Blinders

We were actually enjoying one of Max's favorite T.V. dramas, called Peaky Blinders. He had already seen all the episodes, in Mexico, but he missed a lot of details, owing to the thick accents (Birmingham? Irish?--I don't know, I've only begun watching and I'm hooked, just as Max was!).

Max tells me the series is well into its quatrième saison. That's good news for this Mama, as there'll be dozens more opportunities to chill with my firstborn. And that's the biggest câlin I can think of.

Kristi and Max
Picture of me and Max, from the post "Unfit Mother" (Une Mère Indigne. Read it here)

FRENCH VOCABULARY
la sortie = the exit
jeune homme = young man
un vieux pot = an old pal
une quatrième saison = a 4th season
le câlin = hug
Paint provence with Tess
Family picnic
Max, left, and me, in hat, at our family picnic here at home in La Ciotat. I leave you with a picture of our new kitchen and living room!

OM match
The night after Max arrived, he and his friends--and a few of Jean-Marc's--gathered to watch the Europe League soccer finals, which, by the looks on their faces (apart from Max's) got off to a bad start for Marseilles!
Kitchen and living room

Thank you for the time you've spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Sent with love and gratitude for all of your wonderful, insightful and creative stories and photographs. My life is enhanced reading your books and blogs beyond measure! May you continue to be blessed doing what you love and feel the gratitude of your devoted readers. Appreciation, hugs and love to you and your beautiful family!"
--Lisa


Escapade en Lozère + A hike and a surprise encounter in Cevennes National Park

Les vaches
An all-French edition, comme ceci, caused a few of you to head for the hills last time. Relax! Even if you don't read French, tell yourself, "of the 1000 most frequently used English words, some 50 percent come from French." Well, maybe this is an exaggeration (as was that sudden exodus to the hills, or collines... speaking of which, look at the beautiful scene, above). Thanks to my belle-soeur, Cécile, for today's picture and for your pittoresque words, as in your example sentence, below, from the last line of today's story.

Today's word: accrocher

    : to hang (something) up on

Le réveil fut majestueux, comme accroché aux nuages...
The awakening was majestic, like hanging on the clouds ...

Audio File... I have a surprise for you today. Our son Max is back from Mexico. It is he who has recorded today's file. Click here to listen to it. 

Click here to listen to Max read the example sentence, with accrocher


ESCAPADE EN LOZERE


par Cécile Espinasse

Quand les emplois du temps sont serrés, et que l´on a quand même envie de se dépayser il faut savoir anticiper ce qui n´empêches pas les belles surprises.

De longue date était prévue cette escapade en Lozère, département magnifique et sauvage situé à 200 kilomètres de Marseille.
Nous avions avec une amie très envie de faire une randonnée dans le parc national des Cévennes riche par son histoire, cette région fut notamment un maquis antifasciste durant la deuxième guerre mondiale. Superbe par son architecture de maison en pierres de schiste et de lauze, mais aussi ses forets de chênes, châtaigniers, pins maritime.

Les vaches

Nous avons choisi de parcourir pendant 5 heures une partie du chemin de Robert Louis Stevenson, écrivain écossais qui durant l´année 1878 s´aventura dans les Cévennes avec son ânesse sur 252 kilomètres.

Après avoir laissé notre voiture dans le petit village de Saint Germain de Calberte nous avons pris la direction de Saint Jean du Gard. C´est une journée printanière qui nous attendait, baignée de soleil, de nature en plein éveil et de randonneurs qui comme nous marchaient d´un pas bien décidé.

Les vaches
Pas mal d´entre eux étaient accompagné d´un âne bâté, il va sans dire que ces randonneurs partent plusieurs jours et font des étapes chaque soir dans des auberges qui les accueillent ainsi que leur monture.

Nous étions admiratives, curieuses de tout et, de temps en temps nous nous écartions de notre chemin, attirées par un bruit, une plante, un arbre, une fleur sauvage... C´est ainsi que sur un chemin de traverse nous avons entendu des cloches. Au détour d´un virage broutaient deux vaches, petites, à poils très longs. Une autre bien plus grosse était couchée et ne semblait pas perturbée par notre présence. Aucun signe d´un berger quelconque ni de chien de ferme.

Les vaches
Je restai sur mes gardes un peu en arrière tandis que mon amie s´approchait plus vaillante que moi. Après un face à face droit dans les yeux avec l´une d´elle celle ci à fait mine de charger et nous avons passé notre chemin. Faisant demi tour un peu plus loin pour récupérer notre route initiale nous devions fatalement recroiser les bêtes. Le chemin n´était pas large et bien sur prise de panique je me suis mise à courir sur le talus ce qui a fatalement provoqué la course des vaches vers nous! Une fois à l´abri avons piqué un fou rire à gorge déployée! Le danger était passé nous avons randonné paisiblement humant l´air de la foret, écoutant les oiseaux.

Le soir nous étions attendus à Saint Hilaire de Lavit, commune qui ne compte qu´une poignée d´habitants, dans une ancienne magnanerie,"La magnanerie du Serre" où l´on faisait la culture du vers à soie. La propriétaire s´occupe d´une magnifique châtaigneraie, de ses ânes, ses moutons, ses chevaux... toute seule! Accueille jusqu´a neuf personnes en chambres d´hôtes, prépare un diner végétarien délicieux et plus que copieux. Offre une part d´histoire durant le repas.

Le réveil fut majestueux, comme accroché aux nuages...

--
For more of Cécile's creative work check out her Facebook page, Courbes et Diagonales, where you will see her designs. Read her previous story about Vespas, here, and her Insiders' Guide Where to Swim in Marseilles 
 (but my favorite story of hers may be about the Cat Café in Marseille...)



Read these classics:
Footsteps: Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer 
Robert Louis Stevenson's Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes.

SELECTED VOCABULARY & EXPRESSIONS

se dépayser
= to experience a change of scenery
un maquis = scrubland (also: WW2 resistance movement)
une randonnée = a hike
la lauze = flagstone, shale tiles
il va sans dire  = it goes without saying
broutaient (brouter) = to graze
poils (un poil) = hair, fur
rester sur ses gardes = keep alert
faire mine de = look like, give the impression
le talus = embankment
la magnanerie = silk farm
le réveil = waking up
Les vaches

Thank you for the time you've spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Sent with love and gratitude for all of your wonderful, insightful and creative stories and photographs. My life is enhanced reading your books and blogs beyond measure! May you continue to be blessed doing what you love and feel the gratitude of your devoted readers. Appreciation, hugs and love to you and your beautiful family!"
--Lisa