Sunday, March 4, 2018


Decorative hexagonal brass mesh, commonly known as chicken wire, finds its place in French country cabinetry, bookcases, and dressers.

grillage à poules:  chicken wire

©2018 P. B. Lecron

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Nothing adds character to a door quite like an interesting door knocker does! This one we spotted in one of my favorite villages, Gerberoy, in Picardie.

un heurtoir:  a door knocker
frapper à la porte:  to knock at the door

©2018 P. B. Lecron

Friday, March 2, 2018


  Ça vaut ce que ça vaut

The old French proverb  "À la chandelle, la chèvre semble demoiselle," meaning literally that by candlelight a goat seems to be a young lady,  is replete with innuendos we choose not to get into; suffice it to say that  the adage is worth what it is worth. It is generally taken to mean that in the dark it's not always easy to make things out. The photo of the charming portrait, above, was taken in the Musée de Vernon, a small and interesting museum in Normandie which is one of only a few in France that specializes in animal art. The mixed media work of charcoal, ink wax, and brass leaf on canvas is by Jean-Jacques Ostier (1945-2014).

Ça vaut ce que ça vaut:  for what it's worth

©2018 P. B. Lecron

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


De fil en aiguille

The words, fil for thread, and aiguille for needle, are used in this very old French expression for the idea that events follow a logical continuity, as in sewing steps. It's translated as "one thing leads to another," or even "gradually."

One thing does indeed lead to another! The French children's book that my French daughter wrote and which I illustrated, Le lapin et la lune, has progressed to the next logical step, and has just been released in English. It's un conte or tale with a subtle lesson about helping others. If you'd like to know more about it, click here.

©2018 P.B. Lecron

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Beyond the pale
Here's one of those old 19th-century French expressions that grandmothers used to use: C'est un peu fort de café!  It means that something is beyond the pale, or incredibly improbable. It comes from the complaint that the coffee is too strong. To illustrate today's post, we're using a rendering of coffee served at a café at the Gare de Courbevoie. The aquarelle is that of artist Gary J. Kirkpatrick, who has an interesting portfolio of expressionist and figurative works, many of which are travel-based, you should check out by clicking here.

C'est un peu fort de café!   It's difficult to believe!

Aquarelle posted with permission of the artist.

©2018 P.B. Lecron