Sunday, May 19, 2019

AN ECO-INDUSTRY AS OLD AS THE HILLS

We were on a nature walk and came upon this square basin laid in stone, like one of many that can still be found in Brittany. It was in such basins of stagnant water that flax plants were macerated in a natural, bacterial retting process to breakdown and separate their fibers for the production of linen, a rich and centuries-long industry in the Côtes d'Armor. Photo taken in the Domaine de la Roche Jagu.

Vocabulary
un bassin de rouissage:  a retting basin
le lin :  flax 
une toile de lin:  linen

©2019 P. B. Lecron

Sunday, May 12, 2019

PERMANENT WAY OUT

Philosophizing in the parking garage
In a hellishly complicated and unfathomable parking garage of a French shopping center, this directional sign gives cause to pause for existential questions, and possibly even some relief from them!

Click here for a nutshell explanation of Jean-Paul Sartre's fundamental tenants of existential choice presented by BBC Radio 4.

© 2019 P. B. Lecron

Sunday, May 5, 2019

SAY IT WITH FLOWERS

When it's time to tiptoe. . .
A sumptuous array of tulips and primulas adorn this plate-bande, or flower bed,
bursting with color at a shopping center in Versailles.
Expression
Marcher sur les plates-bandes de quelqu'un:  to step on somebody's toes; to encroach on

Vocabulary
une plate-bande:  a flower bed
une primevère:  a primula
sur la pointe des pieds: on tiptoe

Read in French!
We're pleased to post these links to the French and English versions of a new children's story, written by my daughter and illustrated by myself: Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouilleécrit par Marianne Lecron , illustré par P. B. Lecron, and The Rabbit and King Frog. Click on the titles to take a peek!



















©2019 P. B. Lecron

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

SPIRIT OF REBIRTH

A wave of hope for Our Lady of Paris
An outpouring of unity, courage, and determination for the rebuilding of Notre-Dame de Paris is mobilizing the whole world over the morning after fire devastated the roof of the spiritual heart of French history, culture, and architecture. It seems everyone wants to be a part of the cathedral's renaissance--a reminder to the French of the importance of its heritage worldwide. Photo taken by Dr. Carol E. Cass on an earlier and less eventful spring day.

Vocabulary
une effusion, un déversement, une vague: an outpouring

©2019 P. B. Lecron

Sunday, April 14, 2019

FRENCH LEAPFROG

Be careful of who you jump over!
This handsome unicorn, the central figure of one of two fountains flanking the entrance of Saint John's Cathedral in Valletta, evokes an old Chinese proverb, translated to French, that could well apply to the short-lived French occupation of Malta: Le sage ne joue jamais à saute-mouton avec une licorne. The wise man never plays leapfrog with a unicorn.

In 1798 Napoleon Bonaparte ordered Malta to be attacked after the Maltese Order of Saint John refused to allow his fleet of more than 30,000 men to enter the Valletta harbor. Bonaparte, who had been seeking to reprovision his forces on his expedition to Egypt, left a garrison to occupy the island. The occupation ended, however, after two years of an ongoing Maltese rebellion.

The Fontaine de la Licorne was sculpted in native limestone by Mariano Gerada in 1820.

Vocabulary
jouer à saute-mouton:  to play leapfrog
un mouton:  a sheep
sauter:  to jump, to hop, to skip
une licorne:  a unicorn


Imagine that!
A fanciful, and fully-illustrated children's story written by a busy and imaginative French mother, Marianne Lecron, has appeal for young and old alike! Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille, and its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog, carry on the old custom of telling fairy tales in an original story that renews the folklore tradition. A treasure! Both are available on worldwide Amazon sites. Click on the titles to take a peek!


















©2019 P. B. Lecron

Friday, March 29, 2019

WHAT'S THAT EGG?

The French have a marked preference for eggs with sturdy, brown or reddish eggshells, a partiality I acquired after years of living in France--except at Easter when it was time to dye eggs pretty pastel colors for my young children. And even then, I could never find white-shelled eggs. Imagine my surprise today when I opened this carton of eggs that looked as bright as Eggy Pop lamps! In fact, the eggs were laid by white leghorn or Livorno chickens, a breed that originated in Italy. The leghorn is famous for its high productivity and smaller, white eggs. The most widespread egg-layer in France, however, is the Marans and its hybrids which produce brown-shelled eggs. Diet can affect the egg color, but it is mainly determined by genetics.

Expression
Il ne faut pas mettre tous ses oeufs dans le même panier!
Don't put all of your eggs in one basket!


A readable treat...
What are you planning to put in your little one's Easter basket? Why not a delicious children's tale? Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille and its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog, are fully illustrated and original fairy tales that gently teach life lessons. Their enhanced vocabulary will stimulate discussions between parent and child, as well as appeal to young and old alike! Available on Amazon sites with free delivery for Amazon prime users. Click on the titles to take a peek!
























©2019 P. B. Lecron

Friday, March 22, 2019

READING HOUR

L'heure de la lecture
Lire c'est rêver les yeux ouverts.
To read is to dream with your eyes open.

Click here to take a peek inside Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille.

©2019 P. B. Lecron

Monday, February 4, 2019

WHEN IN NÎMES . . .

On the Via Domitia
Here's looking up at a beautiful winter day's sky in Nîmes. Once a Roman colony, Nîmes is known as la Rome française, the most Italian of any city outside of Italy. Originally an important outpost of the Roman Empire in southern Gaul, this ancient city is the site of important vestiges, notably its amphitheatre, built around 70 A.D. The impressive two-tiered arena's façade has 30 arches, one of which is pictured above. Photograph contributed by Jennifer Michalsky

Expression
À Rome, fais comme les Romains.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.


Hands On Reading!
Anyone at any age can boost his French proficiency by reading...and there is no better starting place than a fully-illustrated children's story, like our latest title, Le Lapin et le Roi Grenouille. It, and its English version, The Rabbit and King Frog, are available worldwide from Amazon. Click on the titles to take a peak!























©2019 P. B. Lecron