Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A chocolate sardine for Setu, dinner for two, some spring things, and a haiku.


The mysterious and very clever Setu, over in Finistere, whose lovely blog is in French and English and who seems to have equal facility in Breton and German and Spanish too, and to know about all kinds of things, very kindly came up with the word 'engoulants' for the crocodiles which swallow the beams in the last post. There doesn't appear to be an English translation, the nearest being the heraldic adjective 'engouled' which means 'being half-swallowed by'. So probably it's like grisaille, one uses the French term.

Setu also had a short funny post featuring a sardine motif, and another very poignant one about the Algerian war of 1962, which together put me in mind of 'L'equipier', a film I like very much.

So by way of thanks, because a new word learned is like chocolate in the mouth, here is a chocolate sardine! Or rather the wrapper from one. I always fancy these when I travel in Finistere (I daresay I could get them more locally but haven't looked), but have never treated myself to a tin. I mentioned this to lovely sister once and she sent me some for Christmas - Breton chocolate sardines from Essex, sardines to Brittany!

I photographed them before I ate them, but unfortunately lost the photo. But I had smoothed out the foil from one and pinned it on the board, so this I scanned. This was something my father always liked to do with Easter egg wrappers; I remember him patiently smoothing out the colourful metallic foil, and trying to copy him and getting frustrated when the material ripped and flaked.

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A tête-a-tête over the duckweed.
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Yellow forsythia
with floss pink flowering cherry.
Only Spring would dare.

21 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

Scanned it, eh? The effects are quite different from photography. Although in my case, not having spent the £500 or so that Marja-Leena lavished, the rosy violet background frequently detracts.

I take it Setu invented engoulants? The nearest Collins Robert gets is engoulevent which in Europe means the decorous nightjar but in the USA becomes the more ambiguous goatsucker. A new term of abuse especially adapted to rural regions?

Lucy said...

Not in my French dictionary either, BB, but google confirms it translates to 'engouled (beam)' which is in my big Collins English, so it is kosher!

Catalyst said...

Lovely photos of the flowers, Lucy, but . . chocolate sardines? No, thanks!

Rouchswalwe said...

Love the haiku, Lucy! That daring spring ... what a season. And the fish looks good enough to slice into sashimi. Now you've put me in a Japanese mood ... cherry blossoms indeed!

Julia said...

Are they chocolate covered sardines or sardine shaped chocolates? And I love the flower pictures, so beautiful. (Also like that the duck drop looks like smoothed aluminum, a clever segue).

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely photos and the haiku made me smile, very true it is too

christopher said...

Your photos are lovely and you haiku breathtaking. I wanted to say I was here.

{{{Lucy}}}

christopher

Lucas said...

That chocolate sardine looks disturbingly real; wonderful of the ducks and flowers, especially the blossom - so right to set it against its sky habitat. Nice edge to the haiku!

Isabelle said...

Oh, what wonderful springy pictures! I do think that living in California would make one appreciate spring less. Or am I kidding myself?

Very interesting toad post. I never fully understood that "Troilus" quotation before. Ugh.

Zhoen said...

I love the idea of chocolate sardines. You've cheered me considerably today.

marly said...

Lovely spring! I have aconites and snowdrops and am some glad to see their uptilted or drooping faces.

Chocolate and sardine: an interesting combination that will test my thought that chocolate is a good companion for anything.

Lucy said...

I can't believe so many of you are thinking I have been eating sardines coverd in chocolate, or maybe you are pulling my leg...

They are of course little bars of milk chocolate in the form of sardines and wrapped in the aforesaid printed silver wrappers to complete the resemblance. They also come in a make-believe tin with a peel-back lid, which is now in service for holding erasers ans other bits and pieces.

There is a website somewhere for photos of disgusting food combos, perhaps I should offer chocolate covered sardines to that!

But thanks for visiting and for all your kind comments.

Reluctant Blogger said...

Well, I am the weird one here as I love sardines but don't like chocolate. I might eat chocolate if it had a sardine in the middle. They are such pretty little fish too.

Rosie said...

I've never tripped over a chocolate sardine either...being a chocolate addict I would like to know whether they are the same size as a real sardine, in which case I'm on my way to Brest before you can say fishing line. Perhaps they are an Essex fantasy...and your sister is pulling your leg

Dick said...

With 'goulée' meaning 'gulp', 'goulûment' meaning 'greedily' and 'goulot' meaning neck, albeit of a bottle, one might venture the English idiom 'necked', as in 'swallowed whole' as a close version.

Beautiful pictures promising an end to this protracted winter and a haiku that really does what a haiku is meant to do. Great post.

apprentice said...

Your way ahead of us up here in the cold north. I agree about Spring daring, flowering currant and forsythia is even more daring -like a 1950s cat walk.

Michelle said...

Glorious, glorious photographs, Lucy. When are you bringing out a big, glossy coffee table book?

How is Molly?

Setu said...

Thanks for the chocolate sardine Lucy, it is very kind of you, I shall enjoy every bit of it. My mother used to treat us with chocolate sardines (black, white or milk chocolate) and even... chocolate lobsters at Easter, it made sense for people from the coast like us.
As regards "engoulant", English glossaries of terms used in heraldry (i.e. words in medieval French) propose "ingullant", "engulfant", "engulphant" and "vorant", all of them meaning "swallowing". I had a look at my Dictionnaire historique de la langue française: of course "engoulevent" is a nightjar and everybody thinks it means (a bird) "that swallows wind". But Alain Rey mentions Engoulevent, a character invented by Rabelais, a giant who swallows everything he comes across. I have the hypothesis that "wind swallower" is a popular etymology and that "engoulevent" (with an e) and "engoulvant" (with an a) might well be the same thing, a present participle of "engoulfer" variant of "engouffrer", which means "to devour", "to swallow up" in modern French. Pffffffff sorry for having been a bit pedantic.
I forgot: how brilliant your haikus are!

Lucy said...

Damn, I just wrote a long reply to you all and lost it. Thanks for coming, I'll do a follow-up post later!

leslee said...

I had to click on the red flowers to see they were real - they look like red-and-white-checked handkerchiefs! I've never seen flowers like that before. Still pretty much waiting for spring here. Sigh. At least it stays light later now.

Michelle said...

I wanted to come back and tell you that your flower photographs make me think of Carl Sandburg's line: "Flowers can be cousins of the stars".

And from May Sarton's Journal of a Solitude: "When I am alone the flowers are really seen; I can pay attention to them. They are felt as presences".

Thank you again, Lucy.