Month: June 2014

In English please…


Hi everybody [1]! When you read this article, I’ll be a bit more northwards, in a slightly weird land, where men wear kilts and sometimes nothing under them. What a cliché, you’ll tell me, and you’ll be right, but please let me dream. I’m thus for the week in Edinburgh, as part of a press trip I’ll tell you more about in the coming days, I fully intend to narrate our adventures as they happen, I am leaving in good company: I say we’ll enjoy big time.

And, height of coincidence, I had chosen to announce today an English version for Pensées by Caro. Wait, not a shabby translation from Google, no no no, but the fruits of a huge amount of work from Aurélie Lasherme, a perceptive and  tenacious young woman, who, turning her nose up at my indecisive temperament, clung to the project and has been working on my texts for months. To be honest I hadn’t really thought of crossing the Atlantic or the Channel, not sure my writings could be interesting in English. But finally, on an enthusiastic proposal from Aurélie, I said: nothing ventured nothing gained, and if I too want to, one day, speak to you from “the studio”, I’ll have to turn to English.

All articles won’t be translated, but already, all the ones narrating my ‘Zermati’ journey and all ‘Minutes by Minutes’ are available plus several other articles. We’ll assess in a few months if we’ve hit the nail on the head and time will tell, basically.

In any case, a huge thank you to Aurélie and Frédéric who did a great job, I almost feel like Carrie Bradshaw…

That’s all folks


[1] TN : In English in the original text

Strawberries, raspberries and one orange


At the risk of sounding slightly populist, I wanted to thank you for your enthusiastic participation in the contest yesterday. I’m always particularly moved when people show such an interest for books. And I’m quite proud that you are as full on winning a book as on winning beauty products.

End of the populist digression, here are the winners:

Comment 94, Plum’

Comment 12, Zouzou

Comment 166, Mmarie

Kindly send me an email, cfrancfr(at), with your postal address! Oh and while I’m at it, Xotchil, I haven’t received any email from you about French Disorder, can you send me one with your address, name of the product and size?

For the disappointed ones, Vincent Maston’s book is available in all good bookshops and here...

There you go, I’m leaving you with this pix of that DIY dessert I made yesterday in a few minutes, inspired by Géraldine’s trifles. I didn’t have custard and was too lazy to cook some so, basically, you have in these glasses strawberries, whipped cream, raspberries and, at the bottom, choc chips cookies roughly crushed. Actually it’s just the proof that the way a dessert looks can change how it’s perceived, my kids went into ecstasies and begged me to make some again, swearing it had NOTHING TO DO with a basic bowl of strawberries and Chantilly cream. Next time I’ll put crushed meringue and vanilla ice cream. I think I’ve just invented the unstructured Vacherin, call me Nono. (Top Chef private joke, sorry).

Ha and also, Orange is the new black season 2 has just been released and it gets off to a good start.


Germain in the metro, a too sensitive hero (contest inside)


I don’t know if you remember but some time ago – two years already – I took part in the “New talent writing lab” organised by the Bouygues Télécom fundation. I had told days after days these fascinating classes given by Bruno Tessarech and slipped here and there a few snippets of these embryos of stories or of characters, born practically before our eyes. I’d have loved to tell you that after those sessions, my novel was finally finished, but alas my project stays undisturbed where it should be, in a land named Perfunctory Attempt. On the other hand, several of my classmates have ended up giving birth to real books, paper-backed and published.


Vincent Maston, – the first guy from the left, with the red sweater – since I want to talk about him today, is thus the author of “Germain dans le metro [1]“, from which we were the first to know the first lines.  I remember very well the description of this Germain that he had read to us and I remember telling myself that there was in this very precise and unfailingly regular style a little something from Jaenada (which coming from me is close to backslapping). I was then almost convinced we would hear from this strange boy, who in order to survive in this tough world has this unquenchable need to push people in the metro. Like a quiet act of revenge, an act of revenge on his peers’ pettiness, always prompt to make fun of his stammer or of their fellow beings’ weaknesses.

Germain is a kind misanthrope, a sensitive guy who likes trash rock, a bashful lover whose passion has chosen, too bad, his speech therapist, sadly not very gifted.

A slightly disillusioned hero, but never cynical, since he is driven by a permanent desire of justice, which leads him nonetheless to screw up nicely. I have been surprised by his romantic side, from what I saw from Vincent I was foreseeing a bit more vitriol, in reality he is a romantic boy and I don’t dislike it, since I’m crazy about romantic comedies. I’m not sure though that the next one won’t be darker, you can feel the author has some more in stock.

You’ve understood, it didn’t take me very long to read “Germain dans le métro” and I’m looking forward to the next step of this literature birth. Proof, if any, that you “can’t learn writing” but, sometimes, a few pieces of advice distilled here and there can be decisive, so thank you again Bruno, Céline and Dorothée…

If I’ve mentioned this book it’s also because the publisher is giving away a few signed, yes ma’am, copies (I don’t know how many right now but there will be more than one winner). Should you be interested, tell me in your comments, as usual[2], the Churros will give a lot of himself with his usual abnegation…



[1] TN : Germain in the metro

[2] TN : in English in the original text

There’s someone who told me I’ve quit smoking

Two months and an half without touching a cigarette.

And the least you can say is that…it’s not really fun.

Namely, I’m desperately looking for positive aspects of the whole thing. Yes, right, there’s one. According to I don’t remember which app (I have installed a few on my phone, they congratulate me regularly with very nice pop-up messages, especially when they display when someone else is watching “CONGRATS, YOUR LIBIDO IS BACK AT IT’S BEST” (oh really?)), cilia in my lungs have started to regenerate. Alright it’s a bit like Florence Foresti’s sketch about pregnancy and pregnant women having nice cuticles. Hard to show off with my cilia.

But except from this – and my apparently brightening voice, still according to these highly informed sources – we are not far from a full house, full of troubles.

First of all, since we’ve reached the stage of telling each others everything, I don’t feel like a million bucks. I link panic attacks, insomnia and light-headedness, so much so I ended up with a holter strapped to my chest (if you’re hypochondriac and you know it clap your hand). For normal people – a good hypochondriac KNOWS – a holter is a device that record your heart during 24h in order to detect possible problems. Then I’ve been treated to an epic cardiac stress test during which I pedalled half naked, plug to twelve electrodes, while my friend Mimi who came to support me with what could have been my last show was in stitches (it must be said that my cardiologist is a character, cheering me up as if I were Poulidor, and making fun of me once my heart had proven to be absolutely fine (it didn’t prevent me from begging for an ultrasound, on the sole pretext of having taken Isomeride when I was a teenager). It’s only after making the national medical aid deficit worse with my own two hands and being kicked out my cardiologist’s room by him yelling “YOU ARE FINE!”, that I agreed to admit that I might be fine but probably also nuts.

In fact, it took me more or less one week to have my doubts about the results of these exams (what if they didn’t analyse properly the data from the holter? What if during those 24h my dumbass of ticker had just decided to keep a low profile, in order to mislead them?).

Thoughts that, said a bit to loud, have ended up leading me to that much vaunted “someone” everybody was advising – even begging – me to see.

Being a little bit discreet – lol – I’ll spare you from our discussion but it could be that it will take a while. Or how to be told clearly that all the weird sensations my body feels are only symptoms to which I must give meaning. My quitting smoking has most probably enabled to unearth a good old lot of compost which was patiently waiting, chilled, under the butts.

I’ll keep in mind this sentence nonetheless, it might help the ones who are in the same throes as me: “It is possible that quitting smoking is the entrance to the adult world. And entering is not that simple”. It is possible that the tears that rolled down my cheeks with these words mean that “someone” is on the right path.

Apart from that, I’ve obviously put on weight, not a lot but enough to be a pain – not literally, being self-proclaimed cardiac I’m having a break with my footings, but I haven’t given up totally.

As for my skin, yes, well, ok, I’m more fresh-faced. No one explicitly told me but I’d like to think that it nevertheless is blindingly obvious. Less than my acne, we agree.

You’ll say, at least, I’m saving money.

Which I will use to pay for my sessions with my “someone”.

In any case, I can’t help thinking I’ve had flair quitting right before summer. I could have spent my afternoons in a sexy bikini smoking on the beach, instead I’ll vape wearing a pareo… CELEBRAAAATION.

More seriously, I regret nothing – except to have started – I still sometimes crave for a puff but it goes away, I vape a bit sometimes but not a lot, I’m truly not a fan and it’s not for lack of having enriched numerous reseller trying to find a suitable clearomizer. All in all, if I didn’t have this slight issue of craziness, results wouldn’t be far from positive…


I like #55


Last Friday Violette and I should have flown to Casablanca, to attend the music festival of Mawazine. Was it our karma? I don’t know but the fact remains that, after getting up at dawn, our taxi had a break-down on the highway and we waited for the tow truck for so long that the plane took off without us . Let me tell you that we were not best pleased. Hi we are Bridget of the blogosphere (I say, from now on people who will invite us will give us a departure time one day before the actual event’s day in order to make sure we will be there)

Despite all this, the week-end hasn’t been that spoiled, weather was amazing and my kids and husband were delighted to spend some time with me in the end (they didn’t explicitly say so but I ‘d like to think so).

Come on, a few likes for this disguised as Tuesday Monday…
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3 days in Taroudant…#1

Wednesday evening, we set out for a Southern region, very southern actually. For Taroudant precisely, also called the small Marrakech or the city of snakes.  A well-kept secret, where mass tourism doesn’t exist. We took up residence in Dar Al Hossoun riad, a marvelous oasis run by Thierry and Oliver, two Frenchies who love Morocco and who, it’s the least you can say, are very welcoming and know how to help you love their adopted country.

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From Morocco, I knew only Marrakech, visited twelve years ago with our twins who were still very young, a stop in Essaouira was included in our stay. We loved everything, smiles, souk, medina, mosques, flavours. We promised ourselves to come back, soon, especially as our dear friend N. was living in Casablanca. And then that nasty illness, and then N., gone. And Morocco, like an almost holy land, a sanctuary.

A few years later, here we are again and with us, N., a little bit. Three days are short, but in the end it’s enough to smell the air and get confirmation that we’ll have to come back, without too much delay. As usual, I don’t pretend to give you an exhaustive minutes but here is what I retain from this gateway, in case you’d feel like escaping our how so French pessimism…

Day 1

After spending half the day lazing around next to the riad’s pool, marveling at baby peacocks and mother turtles, we finally found enough energy to go out. Omar took us in a horse-drawn carriage around the town’s battlements, from the Casbah to the medina. If you can find Omar, truly, do not hesitate, he is amazing and knows the history of each stone, each street, each riad. It’s not impossible that he teams up with the apothecary from whom I bought half the shop right in front the Churros’ half alarmed half appalled eyes. But who cares, I loved Omar. Rose too.

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The oldest battlements of Taroudant, 7km long in total, go back to the 15th century I think, but I’m not categorical. Today, some parts of the fortified town are nicely renovated, thanks to people from France and Belgium in particular who have built their houses within the fortifications. In some other places, you can feel that it is close to collapsing. But even the most dilapidated parts attire themselves at sunset in a magnificent amber colour, which makes the whole appeal and singularity of this small town… The dried wadi was the setting of the shooting of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves with Fernandel[1]. Apparently, not one inhabitant of the town didn’t play in this blockbuster. A true group memory told and told again by the elders…

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Day 2

On the joint advice of Deedee and Violette, we went to Tifnit, a small fishing village with whitewashed houses gathered on the hillside. The walk turned into a camel ride (or dromedary, debate is still in full swing). A first for the kids and me. The churros was showing off like crazy since he mastered camel. Not sure we weren’t Tifnit’s star attraction, neither that just the thought of it doesn’t still make them laugh. Seriously, this place is unbelievable, timeless. I could have stayed for days, I believe, daydreaming in front of the small blue boats’ incessant comings and goings.

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Then, we headed towards Ksar Massar, an incredible hotel, set on a dune, facing the sea. Let me tell you, I’m not ruling out ending my days there, in one of the suites with huge bay windows. I’d hurdle down the dune light and slender and I’d play, light-hearted, with the waves. Then, I’d fucking die climbing back this lousy dune.

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I’m leaving you with a few pix, there will be more during the week with a French Disorder competition into the bargain, you can see some of their tee-shirts here and there…



[1] TN : Fernandel was France top comic actor from 30s to 60s