Do you talk alone when you bake?

We all have, I think, an instinct-list in our brains, who knows the bad signs and the good signs.

Sign of good sign, for me :

When someone talks alone when she bakes

…or when he/she “makes” something.

I don’t know why I consider why it’s a good sign. Let’s think about it. What does that mean? Maybe it’s a way :

  • to slow down the never ending fast thinking process we all have in mind?
  • to evacuate a part of stress?
  • to offset the absence of a conversationing spouse?
  • to focus – with words?
  • to “check” things (for instance what’s written in the cook book)?
  • to organize blossoming ideas who come in bursts inside our head?
  • to put tasks in a row (because words come in line and are not polyphonic) instead of all-at-the-same-time?

 

Well, I’m like that. I have colleagues like that.

When I organize pile of books, deciding  where I will place them where I think they belong, from crates on shelves or on tables or on lecterns – I talk to myself about what I do.

It can happen that someone comes to me smiling and say “You talk alone, mister, and I do the same”.

Winking eye. We’re from the same faction…

Are you?

Have a nice day!

 

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“Fleas & Cooks” : Some French Idioms explained

Secoue-toi les puces !

“Shake your fleas!”, we say to someone who needs to wake up and act. It’s hard to find the English one. “To give somebody hell” is too hard – for this we say : “Passer un savon” (to pass a soap). “Shake things up a bit!” is maybe OK.

 

Couper l’herbe sous le pied

“He cut the grass under my feet!”. Means… To pull the rug out from under, cut off the legs, deprive.

 

Prendre quelqu’un de vitesse

“To take someone with speed” : outpace (devancer), overtake (dépasser), get a jump on (prendre de l’avance, commencer plus tôt). You got the point…

 

Cuisine

  • Cuisiner quelqu’un : “To cook someone” is our “To grill someone”. Well, it’s France!
  • Un dur à cuire : “A hard to cook” is a hard nut, a tough cookie.
  • Vas te faire cuire un œuf! : “Go cook an egg!” is our “Get lost!”, or “Go jump in a lake!” (do you use it really?).
  • C’est du tout cuit : “It’s some all cooked” : It’s all done!

 

Fourmis

Fourmis are insects (ants), and we make plenty with them :

J’ai des fourmis dans les jambes (I have ants in my legs) : pins & needles…

Fourmiller : to swarm, to teem : to be present in large numbers, to move in large numbers. Interesting to say that we use this verb for flat, “on the ground” events, there’s “crawl” into it. Bees can not fourmiller in France! We have pulluler (to pullulate), grouiller (to bustle with, when it’s busy teeming), and we don’t have any “to mill around”. Lovely!

Un fourmillement (you could say “an antment”), therefore, is a welter, jumble, clutter, but also “the fact that one has pins and needles in one arm”, for example.

Thanks for reading!

 

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“To Eat Alone”

Some recent events in my life made me a lonely man, and therefore a lonely eater.

When I was a father in a family, I was really happy to have dinner-togetherness, to cook for my tribe, to talk, listen, laugh, and feel the family’s energy around the table.

I’ve been very skeptical when I read about how Americans were losing these daily gatherings of all the big cats around the table. “Everyone is having snacks when they want, everybody’s picking things in the fridge, watch TV or eat in bedrooms”, they said. My feelings were like between “it’s not true, it’s impossible” and “oh these Americans!”.

When my daughters were little, some days I went home late, it was almost time to go to bed : I told them stories, kissed them goodnight, then I was happy to have dinner with their mother, but also alone.

I remember good summer evenings. Two cat babies sleeping, mother cat watching a movie, and me papa cat, with a cassoulet, two slices of bread and half of a bottle of Bergerac wine, eating on a tray, on my bed, in front of a wide open double-window (or should I say “French door”, really?), watching and listening birds and trees in the dusk, sshhh.

Not working on thursdays, I remember I was happy to have meal time alone, eating in silence in the kitchen, listening to the rain outside. On my table : a candle, a corner lamp, and a magazine (about movies). Maybe some Brahms chamber music too. Bliss!

Now I eat alone, but I don’t snack. I never snack, and I’m always questioning my snacking friends in America, opening different little colored bags to crinch crunch and croonch while we Skype. I’m like “Where’s your plate, dear?”. They know I eat alone, thus they’re somewhat amazed by HOW I’m eating alone. Well, that’s nothing special, but I… I’m sorry… I can’t snack. It would kill me under a blanket of depression. It’s almost : “I’m French therefore I need a plate”.

I know better, OK : I have more time, in France. We work less, we move less (distances are… different here – I go to work by bike), and… errr… I think we think that food time is worth it, too : I eat alone but it’s cooked, sliced, prepared, organized. Just a bit. I need it.

Awweee sorry for my bad English. I’m wobbling, I know it. Pardonnez-moi !

Have a nice day! Bon appétit !

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Simmering & Fermenting Ideas of #LeCorbusier #creativity

Le Corbusier was a French architect. I just found a quote and I try to translate in English. It’s a good tool you can use to be creative (if you need to) :

When a task is given to me, I use to put it inside my memory, which mean I don’t allow myself to draw any sketch, for months. The human head have a certain independence : it is a box in which you can pour loose elements of a problem. One let then “float”, “simmer”, “ferment”. Then, one day, on a spontaneous initiative of the inner being, a click happens : one takes a pen, one gives birth on the paper. The idea comes out, the baby comes out : he comes into the world, he is born.

This is a great tool, and it can be mixed with other “common sense” plans (creative people know, for example, that they “work” in front of their blank page, but also that they get “ideas” elsewhere, walking in the street, washing the dishes or after making love). So, think about your problem and go talk to the birds, or bake a cake!

Also Google : Serendipity

Thanks for reading!

#cat #kingcat #Bidou
#cat #kingcat #Bidou

#photography #red #plate #kitchen #light

 

From cook to music, and vice versa

Imagine a cook listening to music. Classical? Jazz? Pop? Rock? He closes his eyes. His brain dances and connects the sounds to his skills, and he gets ideas. Cooking. Baking. He stands up. He smiles. Here it is. Voilà!

As he found the idea pleasant, here he is, the day after, inventing recipes. With a purpose. He wants a friend, a musician, to taste it… to gain ideas. What will grow from this?

OK. Other combinations? From painting to cooking. It’s a game : Displacing Concepts

Tool : How will you get new ideas? How will you offer new ideas?

#littlegirl #algeria #bourdieu #bw #bread #cute

The “Two Many Ideas from a Beginner” Syndrome, ça n’est pas tellement grave…

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll you eyes.

Young and passionate, here you are.

You want to express yourself, prove something to the world. You’re an artist, an architect, a designer, une personne créative !

While you learn your art and its rules, your energy is growing and you feel powerful. You want and need to unfold into that. Your ideas and your way of organizing them are boiling into your brain. Projects…

Then, one day you discover the enthusiastic possibility of doing something “real”. You begin your new professional life ! Congratulations ! Bravo mon ami(e) ! Money is provided and you will prove your talents.

Disillusions will rain on you, c’est inévitable vous savez, but that’s a topic for another article. You’ll do your thing, nevertheless.

If you’re smart (and you ARE smart, aren’t you?) you can guess what the : “Two Many Ideas from a Beginner” Syndrome is. You want to do well, so you literally pour out everything that’s boiling in your head into your first project. Ça dépote !

Imagine : Your first park ! Your first house ! Your first fashion show ! Your first cooking TV broadcast show… all flooded with your concepts. OK. J’aurais fait pareil…

You know that “less is more” and that great artists are doing great things in simple form, at the same time, you are young and you WANT to express yourself. C’est compréhensible…

A matter of levers again, the “double bind” kind.

If you let go, the result will be great, BUT (and this “but” gets interesting here) you will get little smiles from connoisseurs. And you will hate it because :

1/ You know they’re right… too much all at once.

2/ You quickly realize that one day, in a few years, you’ll look at your work with that same funny smile. Effff !…

Too Many Ideas

Let go. You can’t do anything else and you can’t and mustn’t restrain the energy of youth. You go girl (or boy) ! Later on, you’ll learn how to put these ideas into wise and powerful furrows and choose keys on the keyboard (but not “all the keys” on your keyboard) to make your Art more effective… it will just happen at a later time.

Tool:

It’s an amusing tool and a subtle one. Just keep in mind the, “Two Many Ideas from a Beginner” Syndrome. It’s like a little wave, a mini-thread to keep some ideas for later.

Cut. Breathe.

You are great… and breathe again ! Et bon, coupez, que diable…

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