Monday, 15 September 2014

About wallpapers, the Bayeux Tapestry and Iran (among other things)

A Facebook friend (I will not mention who, not unless she allows it, she is a celebrity) invited her Facebook friends today to come and tear down the wallpapers of her home. She lives in London, so the invitations was for Londoners or people living nearby, who could go to her place on a Monday. I could not show up of course, but I answered this:

"Sadly I do not live in London and I work on Monday. I hate wallpapers (they haven't made decent ones since the Bayeux Tapestry), stripping them down too, but it is a necessary evil, and I'd do this for tea and cakes. And since you have Iranian blood, you must know how to serve tea properly."

In three sentences, I mention London, wallpapers, I make one terrible, awful, trivial comparison with the Bayeux Tapestry, to the Iranian origins of my FB friend, their tea drinking tradition and I think because of this amount of topics, it deserves to be a great unknown line.

To be or not to be (la photo du mois)

Le thème ce mois-ci a été très inspirant pour moi, d'une désarmante inspiration en fait. C'était To be or not to be, choisi par Lavandine. Avec le 450e anniversaire de la naissance de Shakespeare en plus, et le fait qu'Hamlet a été la première pièce que j'ai lue de lui et a longtemps été ma préférée... J,ai déjà vu plus difficile sujet. Il fallait trouver la bonne photo cependant. Alors voilà ce que j'ai trouvé dans les archives, une photo prise au Parc Lafontaine du Théâtre de Guignol. Il colle au thème pour une série de raisons: 1)c'est un théâtre, donc un endroit où l'on joue des pièces. 2)c'est un théâtre de marionnettes, donc des personnages qui existent sans exister, qui sont et ne sont pas des humains, qui les représentent sans être, tout en étant un peu, en existant comme personnages. 3)c'est un théâtre qui n'est pas actif, parce que fermé, du moins lorsque la photo a été prise. 4)cela dit, c'est malgré tout un théâtre qui est, car il existe. 5)il est peut-être aussi parce qu'il est peut-être ouvert des fois et donc des pièces y sont peut-être produites. Donc, est-il ou n'est-il pas?

Allez voir ce que les autres ont répondu à cette question, ou comment ils l'ont posée:

A chaque jour sa photo, A'icha, Agathe, Agnès, Agrippine, Akaieric, Alban, Alexinparis, Alice Wonderland, Ann, Anne, Arwen, Aude, Autour de Cia, Ava, Bestofava, BiGBuGS, Blogoth67, Blue Edel, Brindille, Cara, Cécile - Une quadra, Cécile Atch'oum, Céline in Paris, CetO, Champagne, Chat bleu, Christophe, Claire's Blog, Crearine, Cricriyom from Paris, Dame Skarlette, DelphineF, E, El Padawan, Elsa, Eva INside-EXpat, Fanfan Raccoon, François le Niçois, Frédéric, Galinette, Gilsoub, Giselle 43, Gizeh, Guillaume, hibiscus, Homeos-tasie, Isa de fromSide2Side, Isa ToutSimplement, Isaquarel, Josiane, Julia, KK-huète En Bretannie, Krn, La Berlinoise, 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, Lucile et Rod, Lyonelk, magda627, Mahlyn, Mamysoren, Maria Graphia, Marie, Marmotte, MauriceMonAmour, Milla la galerie, Mimireliton, MissCarole, Morgane Byloos Photography, Nanouk, Nicky, Nie, Philae, Photo Tuto, Pilisi, Pixeline, princesse Emalia, Renepaulhenry, Rythme Indigo, Salon de Thé, Sandrine, Sephiraph, Sylvie, Tataflo, Testinaute, Thalie, Tuxana, Vanilla, Xoliv', Yvette la Chouette, Zaza

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The dress code for the evening

I mentioned recently on this blog that I am going to see Don Giovanni on the stage. It is tonight. I am looking forward to it, except one small detail: the dress code. Because there is a dress code. I love to wear whatever I want to wear for the weekend, or indeed any day. And for men, it is written that they ask for jackets and ties, stressing "please no jeans!" I could understand the no jeans, even though I already paid good money to see the performance, but jacket and tie? I wear them at weddings, funerals and job interviews. For Mozart, I thought the music would be elegant enough. I guess I am not used to posh evenings, but for me opera is not about the dress code, it is about the story and the music. And that kind of irks me a bit.

Concert de motos

Je viens d'être témoin d'un phénomène qui affecte surtout durant le dimanche tranquille (veuillez noter l'ironie et le sarcasme ici): une longue file de motards en Harley Davidson qui sont passés sur la rue adjacente à la mienne. Pleins de motos, bien entendu bruyantes, qui passaient par là à un de ces rendez-vous dominicaux pour adeptes de shows de boucane. Ce n'est pas la première fois, mais heureusement c'est rare. Sauf que dimanche, je trouve que c'est trop souvent ça: pas un jour tranquille, mais celui de la circulation qui n'arrête pas même dans les petites villes, celui des réunions de motards et des shows de boucane. Peut-être que je me fais vieux, peut-être que j'associe trop la mote à la guerre des motards.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Dragon Slayers

In the end, other things happened so I did not go to the autumnal walk. Not in the woods anyway, just in town. But I thought I would download an autumnal picture to put some colours on this blog. And it also struck me that I had not bothered... I mean told my readership about Dungeons & Dragons in a while. So I decided to do like last year and download an autumnal image from artist Larry Elmore which I associate with D&Dr. This one is called Dragon Slayers and Proud of It. Maybe one of my favourite of all his work. It has the forest in autumn in the background. But more interestingly, it is a hunting picture, with the green dragon instead of the deer and the bows, arrows and swords instead of guns. The two men by the dragon even look like modern hunters! You have here a classical D&Dr party: the fighters, the spellcaster and the priest (the one holding the warhammer, it is a dead giveaway he is a priest). Oh and you even have the treasure of the creature, a small amount of golden jewelry.

Like I mentioned last year, our first quest as a party (which was very different than this one, both in number and in character classes) was mainly set in a forest, in autumn. I think my brother PJ, who was the Dungeon Master, must have been influenced by this image: we had to fight at the very end of the adventure a dragon (although a black one) and he had plenty of gold and jewellery in treasure chests scattered around the room where he was dwelling. It was the first dragon we killed, becoming thus dragon slayers. Every time I look at this picture, I think about it.

La migration des araignées

Il y a un autre signe qui me rappelle que nous sommes bien en automne, malgré le temps doux: les araignées qui envahissent la maison. Celle-ci n'était que la seconde en liste, sur trois, depuis le début septembre. Trois araignées aussi grosses et vilaines que celle-là, en tout et par tout, que j'ai dû chasser. Enfin, foutre à la porte.Par là, je veux dire jeter à la fenêtre, parce que ma femme ne me permet pas de les tuer, même si elle est dégoûtée par celles-ci. Surtout grosses et laides comme cette arachnide. Mais enfin bref, les araignées migrent de l'extérieur vers les chaumières quand elles sentent l'automne arriver. Et moi, je n'aime pas les squatteuses, bon.

An autumnal walk in the woods?

This is what I will probably do today: take a good walk in the woods. It will be my first autumnal walk. I know the equinox has not happened yet, but I consider the beginning of September as the starting point of autumn. I say this and autumn is not in full bloom yet. It is still far too warm for the season and the leaves have barely started changing colours. It might be different in the woods though. But I don't think it will be as idyllic as in this painting. I took it more than a year ago, in May or July I think, hoping to use it for a post. This is how I see an autumn walk: fiery colours, cool temperatures and a bed of leaves on the path. I wish I could have bought it, but I cannot hang it on the walls here, since I don't own this place.

Pas de commentaires?

Moment d'angoisse ici: je n'ai pas eu de commentaire en français sur Vraie Fiction depuis dimanche dernier. Ca arrive parfois, surtout dans mes billets en français et quand ça arrive ça m'angoisse toujours. Est-ce dû au faible lectorat francophone, puisque j'écris de l'Angleterre? Dans tous les cas, il me faudra trouver un moyen de redresser la situation.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Blueberry brownies from Sugar Moon

I blogged before an enthusiastic "review" (more like a plug) about Sugar Moon's brownies, made by Mozart's Girl (well, Rachel is her real name). On Sugar Moon's Facebook page, she asked for suggestions about new brownies mixes, and I immediately came up with fresh blueberry. It was mainly out of pure regional pride: the blueberry is the emblematic berry of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. I also knew chocolate and blueberries make for a delicious mix. Rachel I think was skeptical at first, but she baked the blueberries brownies in the end and was generous enough to send me some complimentary samples. I was unworthy of this generosity, but here they are. I can only repay this by saying that I had my first one last night and it was even better than I thought it would be. I say it with some pride, as I came up with the idea. I just knew it. She blogged on her own blog about them. All I can say is that I hope she will make more of them.

Le mot du jour: franchouillard

Tiens, on y va avec un mot du jour, un que j'ai déjà utilisé sur ce blogue parfois et que j'aime bien utiliser quand un ou des Français m'énervent (exemple ici). Je parle bien entendu de l'adjectif franchouillard. Définition du Larousse: "Qui présente les défauts traditionnellement attribués au Français moyen (en particulier chauvinisme, étroitesse d'esprit)." Des fois, il faut utiliser les termes péjoratifs.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

9, 11, 13

Today was and is the 13th anniversary of 9/11. I do not have much to say I didn't say before on this blog. I have blogged some of the posts I am most proud of about 9/11. This one in 2008. In 2009 too. This year, I will only mention it. No song commemorating it, no smart title, no musing about murder, blood and madness. Just these numbers. It is the true 13th year of the millennium, the true moment when it started, on September 11, 2001.

La morale de l'histoire

"Nous pouvons conclure de là
Qu'il faut faire aux méchants guerre continuelle.
La paix est fort bonne de soi,
J'en conviens ; mais de quoi sert-elle
Avec des ennemis sans foi ?
"

Je cite encore une fois cette année Les Loups et les Brebis de La Fontaine. C'est la seconde fois que je cite sa conclusion et la morale de la fable. J'avais cité aussi le début l'année dernière. C'est de loin ma fable préférée. Je la cite parce que c'est l'anniversaire du 11 septembre 2001. Et que si cette date a un sens, c'est malheureusement celui-ci. Bien sûr, toutes les guerres ne sont pas faites avec des armes. Il y a des guerres d'idées aussi. Celle contre le fondamentalisme religieux, pas seulement le fondamentalisme islamiste, est d'abord et avant tout une guerre d'idées. Enfin, c'est la morale de l'histoire.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Tasteless tea?

Well, I love David's Tea, as you know. I discovered today on their Facebook page that they have a blend called Organic Cold 911, for the treatment of cold. Like, emergency treatment of cold. It is the tea of the day... today. Knowing that tomorrow is the anniversary of 9/11, I wondered if it was not a bit tactless. I don't think there is anything malicious in their intention, I think have seen 911 on display in their shop after all. In any case, I love David's Tea too much to have any grudge. Heck, I'd drink some if I had a cold! Maybe gallons of it. But in September, especially this week, I wonder if it was a smart marketing move.

Mafalda et une allégorie

D'habitude, lorsque je mets sur Vraie Fiction des gags de Mafalda, ils passent inaperçu, mais comme ce sera le 11 septembre demain, j'ai pensé à ce gag. Plus qu'un simple gag, c'est une allégorie de ce qui s'est passé il y a treize ans et sur ce qu'est la liberté à notre époque. Ca aurait pu être écrit hier. Mafalda n'a pas pris une ride.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Wild geese flying

Be warned: this is another seasonal post. I saw today another piece of evidence that autumn, however elusive, is very much here. Yes, it is still warm in daytime, but there is something cool in the air that is very autumnal. But anyway, this morning, I saw the piece of evidence flying: a flock of wild geese, grey ones, quaking very loudly, were flying in fairly low altitude. I could see them very well. So yes, they were migrating of course. Wild geese have a particular significance to me, read this post from last year for more. And I was very happy to see this sign of autumn, still early in the month.

L'odeur du romarin

J'ai pris cette photo dans le jardin du Totnes Museum. C'est assez brillant dans un musée, qu'il y ait un jardin. J'aime bien le romarin, son odeur en particulier. Je l'ai déjà mentionné il y a quelques années. J'ai posé récemment une question existentielle (pas encore répondue, d'ailleurs) demandant quelles plantes faire pousser dans un jardin. Le romarin en ferait vraisemblablement partie.

Monday, 8 September 2014

An evening with Mozart

As you know, I am trying to spend some evenings out to see plays (as I did recently). This weekend, it will be an evening of a slightly different type, albeit on a stage: an evening watching and listening to Don Giovanni, my favourite opera. I have seen many operas live on stage, but never this one, believe it or not. It will be the first time.

So anyway, a few months ago I saw a poster in one of the local charity shops about this production of Don Giovanni, for a charity organization, in a nearby town. It has a longer interval, so the audience can have a picnic as dinner/supper. My kind of evening. But in any case, only because of the opera, I knew I had to see it. Getting the tickets was a bit of a pain and slow: I actually had to send a cheque by mail, they do not accept other payments. Nevertheless, I received the tickets today. So I can barely wait. To illustrate this post, I have uploaded an image from this book. An image that would fit Le Nozze di Figaro better, but since we are going to have a meal with the performance, it does fit at least the circumstances. And to celebrate this upcoming evening, I have decided to upload here the overture of the opera I love so much.

Une anecdote linguistique sur les orchidées

Ca m,est venu en tête ce soir: la racine étymologique d'orchidée vient du latin orchis, qui veut dire... testicule. D'où le terme médical orchidectomie, par exemple. Je le savais déjà de mon père, qui collectionne les orchidées (pas de mauvaise blague, je vous prie). J'imagine souvent que l'orchidée a une forme sinistre. Son apparence peut apparemment évoquer une toute autre chose. Et enfin bref, ça m'est venu à l'esprit ce soir.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Longing for a fireplace

This picture was taken at the Totnes Museum or, to be accurate, the Totnes Elizabethan House Museum. And yes, this post is a cheap excuse to upload another picture from my holiday in Devon. But anyway, my father told me over the phone that the temperature had dramatically dropped these last few days. Here, although it is looking more and more like autumn, it is still very warm during daytime. And of course I have started to long for colder days, for when the day will feel like it looks. Which leads me to fireplaces. I would love to have one to be able to lit a fire and read right next to it, or just simply watch the flame. I have of course nine at home, but there are a few pubs around here that have one. I guess I could just do this when the temperature goes down. Anyway, it struck me today: I miss a good old fireplace.

Question existentielle (238)

Il semblerait que je sois porté sur les questions existentielles sur le chez-soi et le home sweet home ces temps-ci, directement ou non. Voici celle de ce soir:

-Quelles plantes faire pousser dans un jardin?