Monday, May 26, 2014


The French don't have garage sales as Americans do. Instead, municipalities periodically organize events where private citizens, for a small fee, can have a space to sell old objects they no longer want. This one was held in the dappled shade of the Place aux Herbes in the very pretty city of Uzès, in the Gard. Photo contributed by friend Sylvia.

un vide-grenier:  an attic sale, a swap meet
une foire aux puces:  a flea market
un grenier:  an attic
vider:  to empty

©2014 P.B. Lecron

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


La Citroën Traction Avant
If you've seen war films or documentaries about the WWII Occupation of France, then you'll probably recognize the sleek lines of this car. Because of its good roadholding when turned sharply at high speeds, Citroën's Traction Avant was requisitioned and used by the Gestapo. After the war, gangsters as well had a predilection for the car everyone simply called "la Traction."  We came upon this gleaming limousine, with six passenger windows and equipped with rumble seats, in Conches-en-Ouche in Haute-Normandie. Citroën produced the car during the years 1934-1957,  finally replacing it with the famous DS series.

la traction avant:  front wheel drive
un strapontin:  a foldaway seat, a jump seat, a rumble seat
luisant:  gleaming

©2014 P.B. Lecron

Monday, May 12, 2014


 A clever trick
To know how many days there are in any given month, French children are taught to make a closed fist and to recite the months touching their knuckles and the spaces in between. Starting with January on the first knuckle, all of the months that land on a knuckle have 31 days, and all of the months that fall in the valleys between have 30, except of course February which has even fewer.

un poing:  a fist
une articulation:  a knuckle
s'y mettre:  to put oneself to a task; knuckle down 
une astuce:  a clever trick

©2014 P.B. Lecron

An update...
Learning a foreign language? Know that reading children's books is great practice...not just for youngsters, but for adults, too! They are a great jumpstart for the acquisition of  a second language. For starters, here's my own family's contribution to A French Education's Reading List:  Le lapin et la lune, écrit par Marianne Lecron, illustré par P. B. Lecron.  It's English version, of course, is The Rabbit and the Moon.  Both are available on worldwide Amazon sites.

Sunday, May 11, 2014


The old, human-powered carrousel in the Jardin du Ranelagh in the 16th arrondissement, is a nostalgia-loaded Parisian landmark, and a must for travelers with tots. Notice the name of this merry-go-round horse's breastplate: Cricri, onomatopœia for the chirping cricket. The merry-go-round slowly swirls around when either a crank is hand-turned, or here below, when it's simply pushed along. 

cricri:  a nickname for cricket
un grillon:  a cricket

©2014 P.B. Lecron

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Cacher ses économies sous un matelas
    This young Frenchman has quite literally stashed his savings under a mattress.

Qui offre un coussin trouvera un matelas
Who offers a cushion will find a mattress

cacher:  to hide
les économies:  savings
un matelas:  a mattress

©2014 P.B. Lecron

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Wisteria gives a crumbling façade charisma in Versailles.

florissant,-e:  flourishing, blooming; prosperous
la glycine:  wisteria
une plante grimpante:  a climbing plant, a vine
le charisme:  charisma

©2014 P.B. Lecron