Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Ghosts in the House

For today's countdown to Halloween reading suggestion, I go for forgotten classics: Ghosts in the House: Tales of Terror by A.C. Benson & R.H. Benson. They are the brothers of E.F. Benson, who is nowadays far more famous. These are old fashioned ghost stories in the vein of M.R. James. When they were not writing spooky tales, A.C. was a school master, R.H. a Catholic priest, so they belong to a long tradition of mild mannered British writers with a dark imagination. You will get a few shivers reading the stories, but they are pretty much devoid of the fatalism and cynicism of modern horror. The forces of evil might be a threat, but they are seldom triumphant.

Lulu pour l'Halloween

J'ai trouvé cette photo sur la page Facebook de la Chocolaterie Lulu. Ils se mettent aussi en mode Halloween. C'est vraiment une belle photo, délicieusement macabre. Et pour vendre des sucreries. Pour ceux qui peuvent, je recommanderais d'aller vous chercher du chocolat de chez Lulu pour les Halloweeneux.

Monday, 3 October 2022

The Halloween Ghost

I saw this ghost in the souvenirs shop of Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight. It was one of the earliest sign of Halloween I saw this year and the nicest Halloween ghost I have ever seen. The Halloweenest ghost I have ever seen, in fact. I love the colour and the bats on it. Sadly, as it was fragile and we had a long journey back, I did not buy it. It would have been so perfect among our Halloween decorations. Maybe I should have just taken the risk. Because it is one fine ghost. I will try to find it online I think.

Les outardes et les canards

Mon père est allé à La Baie hier et a pris des photos, dont celle-ci. Je peux identifier des outardes, des canards et des goélands (et/ou des mouettes). Je trouve cette photo très automnale.

Haunted Desk

For today's countdown to Halloween post, something cute Wolfie said recently. My six years old son and I were putting Halloween decorations on display on the 1st of October, as it is tradition in this household. My wife is not really into Halloween, so it's a boys' thing here. So we were putting lots of things everywhere in the living room and on the shelves when he looked at my working desk and asked: "Daddy, daddy, can I haunt your desk?" I thought tit was very cute and deserved to be a new homologated Wolfism. So now I have a haunted desk.Not haunted by much, but it looks spookier than usual.

Chouette effraie

Nous sommes allés pour la première foishier à Hogshaw Farm et ce fut une très belle visite. Ils se préparent joliment pour l'Halloween, dans tous les cas, ce qui n'est jamais garanti dans ce pays. J'y ai retrouvé plusieurs animaux que j'aime, dont les barn owls, qu'on appelle en français les chouettes effraies. Parce qu'elles effraient, justement. En tout cas elles effrayaient: leur apparence dans le noir et leur cri ont été à l'origine de bien des histoires de fantômes. Je l'ai déjà mentionné sur Vraie Fiction, mais je le rappelle encore une fois, parce qu'elle mérite de faire partie de la faune de l'Halloween.

Sunday, 2 October 2022

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (Discovering Lovecraft)

For today's (first?) countdown to Halloween post, a trip down nostalgia lane and a bit of a reading suggestion. You know that I like reading H.P. Lovecraft. His stories are often part of my spooky reads for the months leading to Halloween. I first discovered it when I was a teenager, learning about the role-playing game Call of Cthulhu. But before I started playing it, I wanted to discover the source material as inspiration, so I borrowed in the library The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. The very version you see here, with the psychedelic cover. The same way I discovered other great horror stories, come to think of it. I thought Lovecraft was a lesser writer than Stoker or Stevenson, but I enjoyed the story and the atmosphere tremendously. I haven't reread it in years, but I might revisit it one day during one of the countdowns to Halloween. You can find it online for free here. It has a Jekyll and Hyde feel to it, even the title is a call back, but in spite of the influences it is very much its own thing, with notions of a vast arcane conspiracy of necromancers that can threaten human civilisation. This is horror on a grand scale. So if you haven't read it, I suggest you make time in the coming weeks.

Les feux de l'automne

 Autre photo envoyée par mon père il y a quelques jours, encore une fois prise lors d'une promenade dans Chicoutimi. Je la partage parce que c'est beau l'automne au Saguenay.

Saturday, 1 October 2022

The Frankenstein Game

I already blogged today, but all the same, let's have another countdown to Halloween post. And another nostalgic post. You may remember that I blogged before about the "Dracula Game", in 2011 and in 2021. Well, a year before we played that game, my brothers and I had started another game based on a horror classic. Author J.H. Brennan had written another gamebook called The Curse of Frankenstein, based on, well, Frankenstein. Neither the gamebook nor the game we played based on it were as good as the other. The premisse was simple, even simplistic: the Monster of Frankenstein had escaped to the Arctic, his creator is in pursuit, youeither play the Monster or Frankenstein himself. The setting was far less interesting: it had less atmosphere and the horror tropes less frequent. In our make-belief game,we played a team of scientists trying to capture or kill both the monster and put a stop to Frankenstein's activities. I knew nothing of the tragic story of the source material see, so our characters just fought a mad scientist and an ugly brute.As for the Dracula Game, we never finished it. I think we lost interest,partially because the North Pole has far less possibilities than a Carpathian castle. That said, Brennan's got me curious about the original story and it played a role in my discovery of gothic horror. And for all its flaws, what a cover!

L'automne à Chicoutimi

Mon père m'a envoyé hier des photos de l'automne à Chicoutimi lors de sa marche. Il n'y a pas à dire, l'automne n'a pas autant de couleurs ailleurs, pas de sitôt en tout cas. Ici, c'est commencé, les feuilles des arbres commencent à changer et c'est joli, mais c'est en général plus tardif et plus modeste. Je n'ai pas grand-chose à dire à propos des photos, sauf que c'est magnifique l'automne là d'où je viens et que je vais les partager sur ce blogue.

Countdown to Halloween

We are the first of October, so the Countdown to Halloween has officially begun. Officiously, I think I have been counting the days since last Halloween. I took this picture in a shop in Sandown on the he Isle of Wight. I blogged about that... thing here. So for a month, this blog is going to be all about Halloween and all its aspects. To each and everyone of you, old readers and new, happy countdown! Let's have a spooky time.

Le temps des citrouilles

Mes parents ont acheté des citrouilles décoratives, de celles qu'on ne peut pas creuser. Je ne sais pas trop où, mais ils ont pris cette photo et me l'ont envoyée. C'est octobre, le coeur de l'automne, l'Halloween est proche.

Friday, 30 September 2022

Autumnal Happiness

I found this image recently online and I thought I'd share it as part of my autumnal chronicle. Because it explains in a nutshell why I love autumn so much. These are all the details that makes the season great: warm comfy clothes, hot drinks (tea for me), books and yes, even the rainy days. In so many words: comfort. You just can't get any better than that.

Les tambours du marathon

J'ai déjà blogué sur le le Marathon de Montréal. Qu'importe: cette photo est meilleure, même si l'on ne voit guère de coureurs. Ce que l'on voit, cependant, ce sont des percussionnistes. Ce qui est notre mot du jour. Des tambours pour un marathon, c'est assez peu orthodoxe, mais ça le rend plus festif.

Thursday, 29 September 2022

London in Autumn

This blog is an autumn chronicle until further notice, so let me muse about my favourite season again. I know this blog is read by autumn lovers anyway. I stumbled on this picture online and I fellin love with it I know it is most likely photoshopped, but I have been to London in autumn many times and I know how glorious it can look. In fact, I'm not so sure this has been photoshopped, come to think of it. We are planning to go to London soon, so I might be able to take pictures to share on the blog. Maybe not as good looking as that one, but watch this space.

Le Salon du Livre 2022 est ouvert

Bon, je sais que c'est un peu vain de le bloguer encore, mais j'ai quelques lecteurs qui vivent encore au Saguenay (mes parents et ma cousine), alors donc je fais l'annonce pour eux: le Salon du livre du Saguenay Lac-St-Jean est officiellement ouvert. Allez-y si vous le pouvez, c'est un bonheur. Vous y trouverez des auteurs régionaux et aussi pour les enfants c'est vraiment bien. Enfin c'était bien quand j'étais enfant. Je partage une autre image du salon, avec un petit monstre qui ressemble un peu à un bleuet, ce qui est assez inspiré.

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

The goose and the pumpkin

This could be the title of a great story, but it will merely be for now the title of a blog post. And a picture. So my father is getting ready for Halloween early and really caught up with me in his preparaions: he bought his pumpkin for the night. And he sent me this picture, right next to the wooden Canadian goose he has in the living room. I thought it looked gorgeous and so perfectly autumnal, I decided to share it here. I could not wait until October.

La Grande Bière à la Citrouille

J'ai déjà blogué plus tôt ce mois-ci sur la bière à la citrouille de McAuslan. Au Québec, c'est ma bière de l'automne (sans oublier de l'Halloween), même si elle est loin d'être la meilleure bière. C'est simplement que je ne peux pas, en mon âme et conscience, ne pas boire de bière à la citrouille en automne au Québec.Je n'en bois pas beaucoup, mais j'en prends une bouteille de temps à autre, par exemple à l'apéritif. Et puis j'aime le nom qu'on lui a donnéL La Grande Bière à la Citrouille.

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

My old Kanuk coat

There is a moment in autumn which I always love, it is the time when it gets cold enough to start wearing my old Kanuk coat. I have three Kanuk coats: one for winter (the very first I bought), one for summer and for springtime and autumn, which in this country I wear from autumn until spring inclusively. Maybe this is why it is the oldest looking one, albeit still in a good state and very wearable. It was my father's coat originally, but it did not fit him very well, so he gave it to me back in 2013 and I have been wearing it ever since. Kanuk is not a brand that is well known outside Quebec, but it is easily recognisable because of the snowy owl it has on its collar (although I think recent models might not have it anymore). Anyway, yesterday the temperature dropped dramatically and for the first time since last April I wore my old Kanuk coat. And it felt so good. Especially since it is fairly early in the season to wear something that warm.

Les chouclaques spatiales

Petit loup ne rentrait plus dans ses souliers, moi les miens étaient usés (parce qu'ils ont beaucoup voyagé), alors donc, nous sommes allés chez Clarks en fin de semaine. Et nous avons trouvé des chaussures à nos pieds. Pour Wolfie, ce n'est pas banal: ses nouveaux souliers ont des fusées spatiales dessus et des lumières qui s'allument quand il marche. Il a des chouclaques spatiales. Bien entendu, il les adore.