Tag Archives: French

2048. Shoo!

(This particular posting was inspired by one particular posting of the brilliant bloggings of Sarah Angleton).

The sensory heritage of the French countryside was recently protected under a new French law. Towns’ people had been moving onto rural lifestyle blocks and suing farmers for animal smells, and animal waste, and mud, and noisy farm machinery, and rooster’s cock-a-doodle-doos at three in the morning. That is why the sensory heritage of the French countryside needed protection. Farms were entitled to continue to smell and make noise and get all grubby. Complaining “townies” would have to bite the bullet.

Beau-Roderick and his partner, Constantia-Belle, were new rural life-stylers.  (One should perhaps have said Constantia-Belle and her partner, Beau-Roderick (in that order) – but Beau-Roderick was the one with the money and Constantia-Belle was happy to sacrifice a little bit of gender equality for a substantial bank account). Anyway – all that is irrelevant. What is relevant is the neighbour’s domestic turkeys that would fly over the fence, peck at Constantia-Belle’s flower garden, and leave squishy green droppings everywhere. All over the lawn. Yuk! It was embarrassing to have friends from town call in for an evening of barbeque and lawn bowls.

Beau-Roderick knew he wasn’t allowed to sue. He had asked the neighbour (nicely) not to let the turkeys fly over the fence. All to no avail. “Just shoo them away. Shoo! Shoo!” said the neighbour.

That wasn’t good enough for Beau-Roderick. He got a gun. The turkeys flew over the fence.  Constantia-Belle was weeding her little flower plot. “Shoo!” she said, “Shoo! Shoo! you horrible critters!”  She waved her arms. Beau-Roderick pulled the trigger.

Oops! It was an accident. Anyway, he was getting sick of her.

1519: Moderation in all things

Claudéric de Moulins d’Amieu de Beaufort was just an ordinary bloke. He was unmarried and lived in Illkirch-Graffenstaden.

Asceline de Pardaillan de Gondrin too was an ordinary of person. She lived in Krautergersheim.

They fell in love. They had met at a Social Justice Convention. With Asceline and Claudéric, modernity and moderation went hand in hand. They were a thoroughly modern couple.

Asceline de Pardaillan de Gondrin decided to keep her own name when she married Claudéric de Moulins d’Amieu de Beaufort. But what if they had children? What family name would each child use?

It was a conundrum that was easily settled; they would join their family names. Many years later, Renaud de Pardaillan de Gondrin de Moulins d’Amieu de Beaufort married Marguerite Dembélé- Vallée-Boutet-Aubert-Caillat-Gainsbourg-Ouvrard-Chéreau-Cazenave-Auvray-Bourdon. They too were modern and moderate. They changed their name to Smith. It was so foreign and exotic.

1240. Train travel

Constantia wasn’t too sure about the latest craze. Trains had fairly recently come into frequent use. People could travel from one village to the next on a train. It was definitely going to be the cause of a new wave of immorality to sweep the country. Young men could take the train to a neighbouring village and no one would know them. They could get up to all sorts of hanky-panky if not chaperoned. The women of every village in England were no longer safe.

Then there was the threat of people travelling from another country. One does not like to imagine the havoc red-blooded Frenchmen would cause among devout English maidens. To say nothing of the Germans. And the Spanish. The Spanish! Oh my goodness!

As for those train carriages for long journeys that had sleeping facilities. Such heinous thoughts entered Constantia’s head as to what could possibly go on, that she could only shut her eyes tight and think of England.

This so called “Industrial Revolution” consuming the country was striking the death knell for an upright and godly society. The sooner trains for travel were banned the better.

Poem 46: I think I left my wallet

(The poetic form selected for this week is the French triolet).

I think I left my wallet underneath a bed.
I wish I could remember whose bed belongs to who.
Was it Cynthia’s or Brenda’s? Jill’s or even Fred’s?
I think I left my wallet underneath a bed.
Meg’s perhaps or Elsie’s? Jane’s or Winifred’s?
I really hope it’s Moira’s; I liked the kitschy-coo.
I think I left my wallet underneath a bed.
I wish I could remember whose bed belongs to who.

Poem 44: Clean gene pool

(Usually I select a poetic form to explore throughout the month. This month however I’m going to use various forms each week. The poetic form selected for this week is the French Lai).

Jill was in favour
Of euthanasia
But heck!
It nearly killed her
To put down Hilda
And Becks –
Friends whose behaviour
Showed faults of Nature.
Jill’s next!

Oh like hell you will
I’m not sick, said Jill
Enough!
I’ll swallow no pill
Against my own will –
Hand-cuffed,
Prepared for the kill,
When I am not ill.
Get stuffed!

But no! they all cried
It’s we who decide
What’s cool.
The mole on your side
Acts much as a guide.
No bull!
We say it with pride
There’ll be no cockeyed
Gene pool.

1092. Bastille Day

It was Bastille Day and Nora thought she’d invite the next door neighbours over for dinner. They were French.

Nora started with a mix of snails and frogs’ legs. “It’s very French,” said Nora to her guests. “I got the snails out of a tin. They’re the real thing.” Quite frankly they would never have guessed.

Next came French Onion Soup – “It’s out of a packet,” said Nora, “so it must be the genuine stuff.” The soup was served with French fries, and garlic bread made out of a baguette.

Last served was fruit salad and ice cream. “It’s nice to have something local in this cultural exchange,” declared Nora.

The neighbours went home afterwards, delighted with Nora’s commemoration of Bastille Day. They put on their berets, and rode home on bicycles with strings of onions hanging down the front.

730. An old story from France

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French-speakers in Belgium have a word for 70 (septante).

French-speakers in Switzerland have a word for 70 (septante).

French-speakers in France don’t have a word for 70. They say 60-10 (soixante-dix). Hearsay has it that they got to 69 and got distracted.