Category Archives: Writers

Paul Claudel v. Charles Maurras

Paul Claudel finally makes it to the Academie Française but not before a fight with Charles Maurras had been settled by the latter being expelled from the Academy after a trial condemned him to a lifetime’s hard labour. Their quarrel … Continue reading

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‘Nos parents’ par Simon Parke

Stav and his parents: Note: ‘un parent’ in French can be a relation as well as a parent. And when Stav talks of his parents, it’s with respect, certainly, but also with distance – as one who finds himself unable … Continue reading

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Un cheval de Troie

Cette ruse consiste à infiltrer une place pour la détruire de l’intérieur : This ruse consists of infiltrating somewhere in order to destroy it from the inside. “Ulysse qui vient à nous, qu’aura-t-il inventé Pour être aux premières loges sans … Continue reading

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Sixes and sevens

Two more French phrases: Se mélanger les pinceaux : Literally: To muddle one’s paint brushes: To be at sixes and sevens. Avoir les yeux plus grand que l’estomac : Literally: To have eyes larger than one’s stomach: To bite off … Continue reading

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‘Stav et la joie’ by Simon Parke

Stav brings us ‘a little joy’: Stav is a deputy manager, sure. But he’s also the comic, the gagmeister, the roving entertainer bringing a little joy to our sad lives. He is the elusive pimpernel of comedy, now you see … Continue reading

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Les carottes sont cuites

Three “cheerful” expressions today: Aujourd’hui en chair, demain en bière : Literally: Today in the flesh, tomorrow in the coffin: NOT: Today in a chair, tomorrow in beer (two false friends here): Here today, gone tomorrow. Les carottes sont cuites … Continue reading

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Avaler son parapluie

Two more French phrases: Il a avalé son parapluie : Literally: He has swallowed his umbrella: He is uptight (stiff and starchy). S’entendre comme des larrons en foire : Literally: To understand one another like thieves in the market: To … Continue reading

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Un grand indécis

Être comme l’âne de Buridan : Un grand indécis est comme l’âne de Buridan, il ne sait jamais quelle voie choisir entre toutes : Anyone who cannot make up their mind is like the donkey of Buridan, they are incapable of choosing which … Continue reading

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Quand on parle du loup…

Two more French expressions: Quand on parle du loup, on en voit la queue : Literally: When one speaks of the wolf, one sees his tail: Talk of the devil (and he’s sure to appear). Plus ça change, plus c’est … Continue reading

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‘Grass stains’ by Simon Parke

This week Simon suffers a joke: ‘Yeah, so how do you feel about grass stains on your knees, Si?’ asked Stav (the self-appointed gagmeister). ‘Sorry?’ I am genuinely thrown. ‘Grass stains on your knees. Is it a big issue for … Continue reading

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