Sunday, December 16, 2012


Bécassine was a popular cartoon character in France for about 50 years.  She was depicted as a young Breton housemaid.  The comic started off as a put-down to Bretons, but grew more sympathetic with time.

Bécassine means snipe in French; tantamount to "fool."

She is very charming.  Here is Bécassine During the War, standing in between two Alsatian children.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Excessive American Football Rivalry

Apparently UCLA Bruns fans expressed their contempt for local rival USC.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Surprising French Phrases

These may come in handy.
  1. Ah, la vache! (lit: oh, the cow!): oh my God!
  2. à l’eau de rose (lit: with rose water): sentimental/soppy
  3. à toutes les sauces (lit: with all the sauces): in all sorts of ways
  4. au poil (lit: to a hair): perfect; flawless
  5. avoir le gueule de bois (lit: to have a wooden face): to have a hangover
  6. avoir le bourdon (lit: to have the bumblebee): to feel down/have the blues
  7. avoir le cafard (lit: to have the cockroach): be down in the dumps; have the blues
  8. avoir le démon de midi (lit: to have the midday demon): to have a midlife crisis
  9. avoir un chat dans la gorge ) (lit: to have a cat in your throat): to have a frog in your throat
  10. avoir une faim de loup (to have the hunger of a wolf): to be ravenous/starving hungry
  11. avoir une peur bleue de quelque chose (lit: to have the blue fear): to be scared stiff of something
  12. avoir une araignée au plafond (lit: to have a spider in the head):to have a screw loose
  13. c'est la fin des haricots (lit: that's the end of the beans) : it's the last straw/its hopeless or that's the end of it
  14. chercher des puces (lit: to look for fleas): to bug/annoy someone
  15. les carottes sont cuites (lit: the carrots are cooked): I've had it/that's enough
  16. quand on parle du loup (on en voit la queue) (lit: When you talk about the wolf (you see its tail)): speak of the devil
  17. quelle mouche t'a piqué? (lit: which fly bit you?): what's your problem? what's the matter with you?
  18. se fair une toile (lit: to make a fabric): Go to the movies.
  19. un film trop mortel (lit: a film too mortal): such a good movie
  20. zut alors! (no translation!): holy smokes/darn! 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Oxen on the Cathedrale

The oxen were placed on Notre Dame de Laon Cathedrale in honour of the oxen which pulled the stone used in its construction up the hill during the XII Century.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Pastor's Gravy Ladle

In France, the young assistant pastors do not live in the main  rectory; that is reserved for the Pastor and his housekeeper.   One day the pastor invited his new young assistant pastor to  have dinner at the rectory. While being served, the young  pastor noticed how shapely and lovely the housekeeper was and
down deep in his heart he wondered if there was more than just  a professional relationship between the pastor and the house- keeper.

After the meal was over, the middle-aged pastor assured the  young priest that everything was purely professional... that  she was the housekeeper and cook and that was that. About a week later the housekeeper came to the pastor and said, "Father, ever since the new assistant came for dinner I have not been able to find the beautiful silver gravy ladle.   You don't suppose he took it, do you?

The Pastor said, " Well, I doubt it, but I'll write him a  letter." 

So he sat down and wrote, "Dear Father, I'm not  saying you did take the gravy ladle and I'm not saying you  did not take the gravy ladle. But the fact remains that  it has been missing since you were here for dinner."

The young assistant received the letter, and he answered  it as follows: "Dear Father Pastor, I'm not saying that  you do sleep with the housekeeper and I'm not saying that  you do not sleep with the housekeeper. But the fact remains  that if you slept in your own bed you would find the gravy  ladle!"

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sunflower Swimsuit

I like this design.  It is cheerful and gives a sense of fun,
 such as should be at the shore.