Friday, 21 November 2014

Christmas lights

Christmas is more than a month away, yet I think it is time to start putting ourselves in a Christmas mood. And I am not the only one. It was yesterday that the good town's people of the little town where we live. I could not see the huge crowd that gathered then, because I was rushing home. I took this picture much, much later, in a local restaurant on the first floor of the large building facing the main street. My wife was playing flute in a local orchestra. It was the first Christmas concert of the Season, which has not even truly started yet. I enjoyed it drinking mulled wine.

So it was a lovely evening. It may have been a cool (sadly not cold or snowy) grey night, the streets were virtually deserted, but even though you see little of the lights, they do bring a festive atmosphere. The picture is far from great, but it is nevertheless a lovely view.

Un chevreuil et une pomme

Cette photo a été prise dans le lot de mes oncles par l'une des caméras infrarouge. Un chevreuil qui mange l'appât. Je vais faire un aveu tout de suite: je ne sais pas s'il a survécu. Mais le chevreuil est tout mignon, et d'un, et cette photo est joliment hivernale. Elle accompagne bien celle-ci, publiée par mois il y a peu de temps. Alors j'ai pensé la publier pour hivernaliser le blogue. Et parce qu'elle est mignonne.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Odin, In Memoriam

I had to blog about it, even though it is very hard for me: a year ago tonight, my beloved cat Odin died, hit by a car. My wife and I were heartbroken. We are still grieving, if I am honest. I often blogged about my beautiful feline friend, before and after his death, and it struck me that while I have many memories of him, probably some I have not shared yet, I have less and less pictures of him. Anyway, he was our cat for a very short period of time, only a few months, but he was our cat nevertheless. You can read his eulogy here, if you do not know about him. Today is Wednesday, the day of his namesake. A fitting time for an anniversary, however sad it is.

Question existentielle (246)

C'est à nouveau le temps d'une question existentielle, encore une fois une question littéraire. Et en passant, la 245 n'a pas été répondue. Mais voici la 246:

-Quelle est la meilleure librairie indépendante de Montréal?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Christoph Waltz as Blofeld?

I have blogged about a year ago about the possibility of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the nemesis of James Bond, to return haunting the British secret agent in future movies. Well, it seems that I may have my wish, at least according to the latest rumors about the production of Bond 24. Austrian actor Christoph Waltz has been apparently been cast in the movie, says the Daily Mail. And the role may be the villain of the movie and it may be Blofeld.

Now, Blofeld has been rumored to come back for a good while now, so it may be only that, the latest trend to an old non-story. But it would make sense to have Waltz in the role and I would love to see him in it. First, because like Blofeld, he is a bit of a chameleon: his face could look like the one of a wise, benevolent father figure (as in Django Unchained) or someone far more sinister, cold, efficient, lethal. He also has a face that could look a bit like Blofeld's in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, both aristocratic and malevolent even when amiable. While he is a bit older than Bond's nemesis, Christoph Ganz has about the same age and he is noticeably older than Daniel Craig, like Blofeld is older than Bond. While their respective nationalities are different: Waltz being Austrian and Blofeld Polish, Blofeld does have mixed blood and some of it is Germanic, at least this is what he claims in the novels. His name is Germanic.

So Christoph Waltz has the right look, the right background and more importantly the right acting skills. I am trying not to get too excited about the possibility, because there is truly very little evidence at this point, and far too much speculation. Still, if he plays the villain, it is a great casting choice. And he would be perfect for Blofeld.

Le pommier enneigé

Voici une photo du pommier familial sous la neige. Enfin, un des pommiers familiaux. Parce qu'il a neigé au Saguenay et partout sur le Québec. L'hiver là bas est bien arrivé. Première pensée qui m'est venue à l'esprit: les chanceux. Je veux de la neige. Ma seconde pensée: autant de pommes sont restées sur le pommier? À croire que mon père veut faire du cidre de glace. Ah oui, incidemment cette photo est une nature morte.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The owl of KANUK

Today, I am inspired about the changing seasons, as you can feel winter coming and autumn almost already gone. So I am shamelessly plugging a Quebec product, or rather its label.I have mentioned before, a couple of times, my KANUK coats. I have two: one for winter in Québec, a black one, the Coyote, and one lighter one, but which is perfect for mid-seasons and most of winter here in the UK, called the... Well, I have no idea: my father gave it to me as it didn't suit him.

What I love about Kanuk, apart from being quality clothes, is the label: the golden owl you can see on the picture. Kanuk has a bit of a bad reputation sometimes, partially because of its owl, which is very noticeable. So it has been accused to be a snobbish brand, too Montreal-centrist, too fashionable, too everything. But it keeps warm and it looks good, so I don't care. And I love the owl. Which is maybe a snowy owl. It looks like one anyway. In any case, it reminds me of home every time I wear it and makes me feel less homesick.

Message d'intérêt public

Tout d'abord, la photo du mois c'est par là. Mais ce n'est pas mon message d'intérêt public. Je voulais parler d'un récent billet du Pharmachien à propos de la vaccination. Il y dénonce de manière polie mais néanmoins mordante (c'est ce que j'aime das ses billets) le sensationnalisme de certains médias qui souvent essaient de donner une crédibilité à l'hostilité hystérique d'une partie de la population envers la vaccination. Il a écrit un autre excellent billet au sujet des vaccins par le passé. Je le recommande aussi.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

How time flies

A terrible cliché for a title, but I could not find anything better. Yesterday, the daughter of one of my best friends and the big sister of my godson joined Facebook. At 13. I remember holding her in my arms when she was a newborn. It is partially because she was so fond of me that I became the godfather of her brother. The other reason is that I have known their parents since my time in cégep, when they started dating. And now their older daughter is on Facebook. This was my moment of Memento Mori recently. Nevertheless, I am glad I can get in touch with her more often.

Voir la vie en rose (la photo du mois)

C'est le moment de la photo du mois, le thème est "voir la vie en rose", choisie par Arwen. Ca a été d'une simplicité désarmante à trouver: cette photo d'Odin sur la couverture à pique-nique. Parce qu'Odin était un chat noir qui avait l'air d'une petite panthère, comme tous les chats noirs. Parce qu'il y a une panthère rose. Parce qu'il est sur cette photo sur quelque chose de rose. Et surtout parce que lorsqu'Odin était vivant, il nous faisait voir la vie en rose, tout noir qu'il était. C'est la seconde fois que j'utilise Odin pour la photo du mois. À chaque fois, il s'est imposé d'emblée.

Vous pouvez voir comment/quand les autres voient la vie en rose aux liens suivants:

A'icha, Agathe, Agnès, Agrippine, Akaieric, Alban, Alexinparis, Angélique, Ann, Anne, Arwen, Aude, Autour de Cia, Ava, Bestofava, BiGBuGS, Blogoth67, Blue Edel, Brindille, Calamonique, Cara, CetO, Champagne, Chat bleu, Chloé, Christophe, Cocazzz, Crearine, Cricriyom from Paris, Cécile - Une quadra, Cécile Atch'oum, Céline in Paris, Dame Skarlette, DelphineF, Destination Montréal, Dr. CaSo, E, El Padawan, Estelle, Eurydice, Eva INside-EXpat, Fanfan Raccoon, François le Niçois, Frédéric, Gilsoub, Giselle 43, Gizeh, Guillaume, hibiscus, Homeos-tasie, Isa de fromSide2Side, Isa ToutSimplement, Isaquarel, Josette, Josiane, Julia, Kenza, KK-huète En Bretannie, Krn, La Dum, La Fille de l'Air, La Nantaise à Paris, Lau* des montagnes, Laulinea, Laurent Nicolas, Laurie, Lavandine, Lavandine83, Les bonheurs d'Anne & Alex, Les Filles du Web, Louisianne, Loulou, Luckasetmoi, Lyonelk, magda627, Mahlyn, Mamysoren, Maria Graphia, Marie, Marion, Marmotte, MauriceMonAmour, Memories from anywhere, Milla la galerie, Mimireliton, MissCarole, Morgane Byloos Photography, Nanouk, Nicky, Philae, Photo Tuto, Pilisi, Pixeline, princesse Emalia, Renepaulhenry, Rythme Indigo, Sailortoshyo, Salon de Thé, Sandrine, Sylvie, Tambour Major, Tataflo, Testinaute, Thalie, Tuxana, Vanilla, Woocares, Xoliv', Yvette la Chouette.

Thursday, 13 November 2014


Early this month, a colleague told me: "Lots of people are doing Movember this year, why don't you join in?" I ask her why. She said: "Well, you look like you could grow a mustache easily." It is true that I had forgotten to shave the night before and that my facial hairs grow easily. Like ridiculously easily. Like it is weed. I knew I would be asked to do it sooner or later. But I replied: "I could grow a beard just as easily, and I'd rather have a beard." Which is true, and it deserves to become a great unknown line. It was my way to dodge Movember yet again. Not that I don't think the cause is bad: cancer is a terrible disease and men's cancers are not enough talked about. Cancer has hurt many members of my family and many loved ones. But like the ice bucket challenge, I often find the cause obscured by the event. And I don't think that growing a mustache would really be playing a part. I give, within my means, to many cancer charities, especially Cancer Research UK. I give money to them and I buy in their charity shops. And I find it more efficient that growing a mustache. Oh and on a side note I hate the thing.

Un souvenir à propos d'un cheval

J'ai pris cette photo au Totnes Museum. Je la télécharge parce que comme je le dis souvent, elle illustre mon propos. On avait des chevaux à bascule mes frères et moi, mais ce n'est pas à eux que je pense. Mon plus jeune frère avait un cheval à roulettes qu'il affectionnait particulièrement, allez savoir pourquoi. C'était un truc en plastique rouge qui était un peu plus petit qu'un tricycle. Or un jour, un autre enfant, un peu plus vieux que lui et plus jeune que moi, lui prit son cheval à roulettes. C'était un petit gros brutal, enfant gâté, qui aimait intimider les plus jeunes. Nous le détestions cordialement. Il avait pris le cheval de force parce qu'il en avait un semblable.

Enfin bref, mon frère avait été dévasté de ce qui lui était arrivé, tant pour la perte du cheval que de la façon dont ça s'était passé. Un jour que le petit gros et sa famille étaient partis, alors qu'on jouait dans l'arrière-cour d'un ami qui restait juste à côté, mon frère avait vu le cheval dans l'arrière-cour du petit gros, abandonné là, et il l'avais pris à bras-le corp pour le ramener chez nous, déclarant: "Je vais ramener le cheval qu'il m'a volé!" En grand frère protecteur, je lui ai fait déposer le cheval sur le sol, pour qu'il puisse rouler jusqu'à chez nous. Je me rappelle m'être senti comme un héros. Un héros terrifié que les méchants n'arrivent au mauvais moment, terrifié aussi d'être pris pour un cambrioleur, mais je sentais que nous avions la justice de notre côté. Et depuis ce jour, à chaque fois que je vois un cheval à bascule ou à roulettes, je pense à ça.

Autre détail pour terminer cette anecdote: j'ai revu le petit gros des années plus tard, au mariage d'un ami commun. Il n'était plus aussi obèse, mais il demeurait gras et, même s'il était plus jeune que moi de quelques années, il souffrait déjà de calvitie. Et je n'ai pas pu m'empêcher de me rappeler la petite brute épaisse de mon enfance, et de voir son cuir pas très chevelu, ça m'a comme fait plaisir. Ah, schadenfreude!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

RIP Warren Clarke

I learned that Warren Clarke died today. I did not know right away who he was, then it struck me: he played Dim in A Clockwork Orange. One of my favourite movies. So in his honour, as an homage, I uploaded two scenes from the movie. He played the fat one. As you can hear Funeral of Queen Mary (the movie take), it is a fitting tribute. Warren Clarke plays the fat one. A stupid ruffian, grunting and chuckling, but talking very little, and when he does, he does like a cruel child. Horrible person, memorable character. Warning: the second scene is very violent.

Question existentielle (245)

On va trouver que je blogue surtout sur le mois de novembre en novembre, mais qu'importe, voici une question existentielle que je crois (j'espère) inédite:

-Que lire en novembre?

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


I know, I know, what a lousy word play, and not even a new one: I used it two years ago. But, it is this time of year when clementines are available. The fruit that is my main source of vitamins C until Christmas. I love clementines, everything about them really. It is one of the few things I look forward to about November, the thing that makes me forget of the greyness and austerity of this dreary month, it makes me patient until the holidays, which I consider clementines to be one of its earliest signs. I love the color and its smell, it has something both soothing and energizing. Oh and its taste! Nothing can beat it. I bought this box at Marks & Spencer. More for the look it would have on the blog than anything else: there are not many clementines in it. In Montreal, I used to buy proper wooden boxes full of them.

Un mardi comme un autre

C'était le Jour du Souvenir aujourd'hui. On le commémore beaucoup ici, enfin surtout le dimanche. À la onzième heure, j'étais au travail comme d'habitude et je n'ai même pas songé à la minute de silence, même si j'avais le droit de l'observer. Et je n'ai même pas porté de coquelicot (parce que). Alors voilà, c'était un mardi comme un autre. Même si nous sommes le centième anniversaire de la Première guerre mondiale. J'ai un peu honte de dire que c'était un mardi comme un autre.

Monday, 10 November 2014

The world's sexiest criminal?

I know I may be reporting old news, but soon she will be in court, on the 17th of November, so this is in fact still very new. I am referring to Stéphanie Beaudoin, a cat burglar from Québec, who was dubbed "the world's sexiest criminal" by tabloids around the globe, among them the Daily Mail. Which is where I learned about her. A trashy right wing tabloid from the UK. She is, in essence, a real-life Catwoman. But from Victoriaville, Québec. And, behind the glamour shots that made her famous through social medias, she is a far more sinister than Catwoman: not only is she accused of 42 acts of breaking and entering, but she also owned illegal firearms.

That said, I must confess I have a certain fascination for the woman. Not pride, even though she is from Québec. I do not have twisted pride for home grown criminals, however good looking and famous they can be. But she is a character that belongs to crime fiction. Not merely a creature of the social medias who revealed her, but the embodiment of the archetype of the femme fatale. There is the bikini shot of course, but also the one where she is holding a machine gun, in a short dress and wearing jewelry and glasses. Elegant yet deadly. An artist would draw a female character like that, I would deem it cliché. Even her appearance going to court, with the glasses, confirms her status as a femme fatale icon: she is a bit of a chameleon, not unlike another famous cat burglar. And well, it is fascinating. I do not find crime sexy, yet I love crime news like a sucker and find it source of inspiration for crime fiction, where crime can be sexy, in a cathartic way.

Goüri Glogenflobish

Nous sommes lundi, c'est donc pour vous faire oublier le premier jour de la semaine que je vous présente un autre clip de Taquinons la planète. De l'humour absurde de François Pérusse, qui collaborait à l'émission. C'était un mariage plutôt réussi avec les Bleu Poudre, mais je ne sais toujours pas pourquoi je trouve Goüri Globenflobish si drôle.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The poppy and the needle

This is a trivial post about a non trivial subject. For something more thoughtful, you might want to read this post from 2008. Today is/was Remembrance Day. It is actually Remembrance Sunday, as it is Sunday. And like most years, while I had a poppy, I did not wear it. I know I should, but at some point something happens and I lose it or it drops or out of frustration I stop wearing it. It is very simple really: it is all the needle's fault. Every year, I buy a poppy, sometimes more as I lose the first one, then I struggle to put it on. I am rubbish with that darn needle: it does not hold the paper poppy very well, or at all, then it does not stay on me anyway. So the needle ends up prickling my skin and letting the red flower go. They should invent something else to hold it, some pegs or something of the sort. So my respect towards the sacrifices of a dead generation is thwarted by a stupid needle and my own clumsiness.

Un harfang des neiges

Cette photo a été prise lors de notre fin de semaine dans le Derbyshire, dans un sanctuaire de loutres et de hiboux et chouettes. C'est bien entendu un harfang des neiges, ou ookpik comme le disent les Inuits. Incidemment, c'est notre emblème aviaire. Je le télécharge ce soir, outre par fierté québécoise parce que c'est un très bel oiseau prédateur, mais parce que c'est un hibou hivernal et que je sens l'hiver arriver de plus en plus. Il neige à certains endroits au Québec, me suis-je laissé dire. Comme ce blogue prend les couleurs des saisons, le plumage neigeux (ça se dit?) et hivernal du ookpik illustrerait parfaitement mon état d'esprit.