Wednesday, May 25, 2005

a year in the mallow

To celebrate one year in Les Couguieux Julian and I went for a genet-scented walk the colour of a child's sun. Before coffee and macs! We thread in between ours and the neighbouring hamlets - Les Fougassets and Les Jacomets - and I pondered upon how little we know of the Provençal language.

Les Couguieux, it appears, is mils-spelt on the olde worlde sign on our wall, which is why we are always corrected by the locals:

"We live at Les koujou"
"Les quoi?"
(Trying another route through the vowels) "Les coojeux"
"Aaah! les Coogayaux!"

On finally understanding (our mouths still open and twisting on the difficult last vowels, wondering whether or not to close on the x) we are often treated us to a lengthy reminisce about all the sheep, chickens, hermits and madmen who have ever eaten from it's manger, crapped in it's hayloft, fallen in love and divorced in our house, found their inspiration on it's mountain and lost their minds in its caves....


On the recently erected bright blue bus stop (which tells us we can call for a bus any time...?!), however, they have finally got it right and added the critical u after the g, making it hard and releasing the lips, teeth and tongue onto the bouncy castle of vowels that follow.

As for the meaning, we were informed by the lady who sold to us that it was named after the bright blue flower that comes in spring. Apparently however, it is this pink flower we believe to be a mallow. There is no translation in the dictionary.

Mallow Hamlet.

As for the others: Les Fougassets, I presume, relates to 'fougasse' the provençal (and in my opinion highly inferior) version of the Italian focaccia which comes sprinkled with rosemary and salt. Jacomets remains a mystery and I am planning to ask Gail and her Dogs when I will meet my first live co-bloggeuse for l'apéro next week.


Blogger ruth said...

now this is sad, writing comments to myself but who deleted my photo? it wasn't me? is the flickr pro getting to my head and is someone trying to say something?

4:58 PM  

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