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Posts Tagged ‘French’

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You’re working at a software designing company in West Lafayette that’s going to celebrate its 15th birthday.  Not a big company, not big enough to have a human resource department.  But one of the bosses picks you to plan this party.  There must be something about you that makes him confident that you’ll come up with a good idea.

And you do.  The office building you’re in has an atrium lobby.  Hello!  It’s a space that’s begging for strings of lights.  What about a French Quarter street in New Orleans?!  The strings of lights will bring the ceiling down to a more intimate level.  Put in some plants to create narrow passages.  Order spicy Cajun food, find a band to play Zydeco,  hire a juggler with a black and white striped shirt  and, if you’re lucky, a caricaturist who speaks some French.  You’re so lucky!

I wore my velour French beret and rolled my R’s,  spoke French the whole evening and fooled most of the people most of the time until.  Errr, until someone sat in front of me who had spent junior year abroad –in France.   My rolled R’s met their match in her superior vocabulary.  Loved it!

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See this?  This is what it’s all about.  People lose it.  Howling laughter and people literally rolling off their chairs.

Thank you, Erin!

wLafayetteX

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French1
Last year the party theme was Circus. This year Lilly turned seven and French2mom thought, let’s do Paris this year. Decorating the house started two weeks before the party. Shopping for all the items started, oh, weeks before that. The Eiffel Tower was everywhere, on a ribbon that went around the room, on a photo backdrop, where people posed with a black-and-white striped Parisian umbrella. Mom had made the drawing in the style of the Madeleine books, which in turn looked like Duffy. (Can’t help it, talk of Paris makes me babble art history.) All the guests got a black French beret, with Lilly getting one in pink, with a heart. She wore a tutu, straight out of Degas. Marcel Marceau was channeled by a family friend named Ben. As a mime you can speak flawless French without FrenchMoispeaking a word. I, however, did practice my French on everybody, rolling my R furiously (feels so good in the throat) and teaching the kids to say, “je m’appelle…”
Upstairs, the kitchen du jour was called Café de Lillian, with the menu written in chalk on a vertical blackboard, in both French and English. Mon dieu! Quel travail dur pour maman. She enjoyed every minute and her excitement was infectious. Merçi beaucoup, Barbara.
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IMG_3836Mom was getting married. IMG_3835Her daughter and son-in-law threw a party with a French theme, since the honeymoon was planned for Paris. I wore my beret and tried a few French phrases on these very surprised guests. I drew twenty-six people in two hours. Thank you, Yvette.
All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.
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https://katherinehilden.wordpress.com
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http://www.katherinehilden.com———————————-

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AirlineAMichael fell in love with airplanes before he was ten and ever since, he’s been looking down from a plane, studying our globe’s topography as often as he can. He’s worked for airlines for thirty years now and his wife thought this was something worth throwing a party for. We were at The Wildfire in Glenview. Some family members flew in from the coasts to celebrate Michael’s frequent flying.
As an avid traveler, Michael naturally has a love of cultures and languages, too. Particularly, French and German, his wife Gail told me over the phone.

MoiBeretSo, I wore my velour beret and spoke French—right from the start and unapologetically. I explained, in French, that the wife has flown me in from Paris expressly for this party. (My French is flawless when I’m with people who don’t speak any French , beyond merci and bon voyage. When I’m traveling in France, not so much. Ha.)
When I had to communicate with someone about sitting or turning, I gestured dramatically, just like a tourist. I have never done this before, but it worked. People were a little baffled, probably wondering how Gail and Michael got so rich all of a sudden to fly in a Paris artist just for this family get-together. By coincidence, my carrying case has the Eifel Tower on it. I would point to it and so there, what more proof do you need! Very funny. At the end of the party, when I drew Michael and Gail, I switched to German, because Gail had told me that German was his most fluent language. So now, Michael was baffled. What a treat for him. Really, very funny. I loved every minute of it and so did everybody else. Thank you, Gail! Onward and upward, Michael!
All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.
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The hostess introduced me and I said in my best French accent, “I just flew in from Paris. “  We were celebrating the 50th birthday of her husband at the D & J Bistro in Lake Zurich.  Wonderful, convivial atmosphere.  Ten friends around a square table are sipping wine and nibbling on quelque chose.    I’m wearing an oversized velvet beret and drawing them all  while walking around the table, trying to get everybody at a good angle.  It took less than an hour.  You can see me holding up the drawing for them to enjoy.  Jokes fly.  I love this.   A memorable evening!  Happy birthday, Mike!  Thank you,  Kari.  Merci beaucoup, Stephane.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

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