Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Have a Pagan Christmas

'Tis the season to be... well, a lot of things, but maybe Pagan is the right word. Anyway, I found this meme online and found it hilarious, because it's pretty much how I feel when I get irritated by people talking of Christmas being a Christian holiday (which often implies: "it should be exclusively Christian and no godless heathen should have fun on our Most Sacred Day.") So yes, in these moments I feel like that weird promitive, tribalistic Santa Claus and yes, I feel animated when I have a few alcoholic drinks in the stomach.

Noël à la librairie

J'ai trouvé ça sur la page Facebook d'une de mes anciennes profs du cégep et je partage parce que je pense que lorsque l'on fait ses achats de cadeaux pour Noël, c'est important de se rappeler: 1)que c'est bien d'encourager les commerces locaux, surtout les librairies indépendantes et 2)c'est un endroit où on peut trouver de vrais cadeaux inspirés. Que l'on croit au Père Noël ou non une chose ne fait pas de doutes pour moi: s'il existe, il doit se stocker auprès de librairies indépendantes.

Monday, 6 December 2021

Santa's Fun Run

Yesterday morning, it was Santa's Fun Run in our little town, and the Santas ran in the street nearby our house, almost literally on our doorstep. I took a few snapshots from the entrance, but they were not great. They were running (or walking) rather sporadically. I think this picture might be the least terrible of all the ones I took. I got three Santas in one shot, that's better than nothing. Wolfie saw some of the run and that got him curious for a few minutes. I told him that maybe the real Santa was hiding among them. he told me: "No, I don't think so. But maybe some of them are elves." I thought it was very sweet and a new Wolfism I had to share here.

La Légende de Saint Nicolas

C'est aujourd'hui la Saint-Nicolas donc, ben, je présente encore une fois la chanson enfantine et sinistre qui raconte la légende... Enfin, pour ceux qui ne savent pas, écoutez plus bas. Cette version est un peu longuette et pas la meilleure, mais je voulais une version inédite et le temps pressait.

Sunday, 5 December 2021

Mozart: an anniversary

Today is the anniversary of the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I try to commemorate every year on this blog. As Christmas is on its way, I tried to provide some music that was not gloomy, so no Requiem or Lacrimosa, unlike 2019. I decided to go for the same tune I shared in 2020, but this time sung by South African soprano Pretty Yende. It might be cheerful for a funeral perhaps, but it is difficult to forget or ignore how joyful Mozart's music often is. And somehow I find this Alleluja from Exultate Jubilate kind of Christmassee, so it is all the more fitting for today.

Lumières de Noël

Mon père m'a envoyé une photo prise lors d'une de ses promenades. Nous avons des lumières ici aussi, mais beaucoup moins. Et, sans la neige et sans un hiver à proprement parler, c'est moins joli. Quand j'étais enfant et qu'on allait quelque part en voiture en famille durant le temps des Fêtes, nous passions tout le déplacement à regarder les lumières de Noël sur les terrains. Les déplacements devenaient plus emballants.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Blood on Snow (#Christmascrime)

'Tis the season to be reading and I know I blogged about this book before, in 2019 to be precise. Nevertheless, I thought it would be good to plug it again. Be that asit may, for me Christmastime is the perfect time to read (among other genres) crime fiction, especially (of course) crime fiction stories set during Yuletide. And there are not many as perfect for the season than Blood on Snow by Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo. Shamefully I haven't read anything from him since then. I need to correct this (new year resolution?) and I need to revisit this specific novel one day. Maybe next Christmas. Until then, read my previous post if you need any convincing. And read this book for your seasonal dose of Christmas crime (if there was no hashtag for it, there is one now).

La cabane, la fumée, la neige

 Mon père m'a envoyé cette photo de la cabane (le chalet?) de mes oncles dans le bois. C'est beau de simplicité, une cabane l'hiver dans la forêt, avec le feu de cheminée.

Friday, 3 December 2021

This year's Brio Advent Calendar

My wife and I did something very bad this year: we bought Wolfie a second Advent calendar: he already had one ready, then at the last minute we saw a really good offer for the Brio Advent Calendar and I said what the heck, it has train stuff and we never have enough of that, it won't increase his sugar intake, it looks gorgeous, the calendar itself will make a great addition to Christmas City, so, well, we bought it. And no, it's not so I can play Brio with him. That is just a happy coincidence.

L'arbre de Noël cette année

Nous nous y sommes pris un brin tôt, mais qu'importe, petit loup voulait le monter absolument, alors nous avons déjà l'arbre de Noël. Depuis la fin de semaine dernière, en fait. On n'a pas pu dire non à Wolfie: il était tellement enthousiaste et a même accepté de faire du rangement sans ronchonner afin de pouvoir l'avoir dans le salon. D'Habitude je n'aime guère les sapins artificiels, mais ça a l'avantage de pouvoir être monté tôt dans le mois. Et en acheter un vrai, c'est beau, mais c'est compliqué de le transporter ici. Il est assez joli makgré cela, je dois dire. Enfin pas tant l'arbre que les décorations. La photo n'est pas très bonne, mais je vais en prendre d'autres dans les prochains jours.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Winter Royal (Christmastime beer)

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat and... 'Tis the season to be drinking (falala lalal!). When Christmas is rawing near, this household must stock in all sorts of goods, including alcohol (even though I'm theonly drinker here), especially beer fitting for the season and the Season. I blogged about this beer back in 2018. Sine then the Winter Royal from Rebellion Beer has become my beer for the winter as well as my Christmastime beer. At least when I am in this country. It has a lovely colour and a lovely taste. Yesterday, I ordered a box of twelve (for the twelve days of Christmas?), with a few more seasonal products, which I will blog about in due time. They should be delivered before the end of this week. I was afraid at first that I would not get Winter Royal, as it appeared unavailable if I visited the online shop from my phone. Turned out it was some kind of glitch. So anyway, I should be enjoying Winter Royal soon.

La marche des rois

Comme le veut la tradition sur ce blogue, puisque nous sommes le premier jour de l'Avent et que Noël s'en vient je partage aujourd'hui La marche des rois. L'un de mes airs de Noël préférés et la chanson parfaite pour commencer le Temps des Fêtes...

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Last Day of #Noirvember

I know I plugged it before, but today is the last day of #Noirvember, so if you're looking for a crime book for the month, ot maybe this month next year, I suggest The Last Hunt, by South African writer Deon Meyer. It is very dark, it has suspense, violence, political intrigue, in fact like many novels of Meyer, it mixes crime fiction with espionage, so it could just as easily be considered a spy thriller. Oh and it made me discover Rovos Rail, the luxury South African train company. I now want to travel the country in one of their trains. If only I had the money... But I digress: while the novel has a good deal of glamour (because said Rovos Rail), it is nevertheless very gritty, often grim, sometimes gloomy. Nevertheless, and again this is a staple of Meyer, there are as many good men (and women) as there are scheming, heartless bastards in The Last Hunt. It may be Noir, but there are lights that shine through.

Le chemin de neige

 Photo prise par mon père. Pas de commentaire.

Monday, 29 November 2021

Snow at last!!!

Well, I had heard snow was forecast, but I did not believe it, or at least I took it with a barrel of salt. But in the night of Sunday to Monday, it did snow, not much, but still, enough to cover some of the ground this morning. Doing the school run was hazardous, as there was black ice. But after leaving Wolfie at the gate, my wife and I stopped for a moment and I took a few pictures. This early, right before December, in this country, it is borderline sci-fi. I am starting to dream of a white Christmas. I know I should not, I will end up disappointed. But still. Winter is here.

La gratte...

 Mon père m'a envoyé une photo de la gratte qui passe. En fait, quand je dis qu'il me l'a envoyée, je crois qu'il l'a surtout envoyée à son petit-fils, qui aime tout ce qui est gros engin et qui est fasciné par la gratte depuis qu'il en a vu au Québec. Sa nordicité se manifeste comme ça et ça me fait toujours plaisir.

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Grandad's Workshop

 We went to see Wolfie's maternal grandparents recently. I could say my wife's parents, but once you have children, your parents are promoted or upgraded into grandparents and really, all that matters in the family are the grandchildren. Anyway, so I saw this on one of the shelves and I thought it looked as cute as it was funny. And very true. I don't know who thought of buying that, I think it is my sister-in-law. I completely forgot to ask. I took a picture anyway, because it really shows what a granddad (or a "daddad" as Wolfie calls his grandfather) is all about.

Butte de neige

Mon père m'a envoyé des photos de la neige qui tombe chez nous. Enfin chez nous de l'autre côté de l'océan, chez nous de l'expatrié que je suis. Ici, on en espérait, il n'y en a pas eu, bien entendu. Mais enfin bref, j'ai grâce à cette photo pu expliquer à petit loup ce qu'est une "butte de neige". On n'en verrait pas ici.

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Will it snow today?

As I am typing this, BBC Weather has issued for the area we live ina yellow warning of wind and a yellow warning of... snow. Now I don't get my hopes up: amber or red warnings are generally reliable, something is bound to happen with them. But yellow warning could go either way, and we could only have some normally annoying nasty British rainy weather. And the Beebs tends to be dramatic when it comes to snow: they are quick to send alerts and in the end we only get a bit wet. But if it did, then I would be very, very, very happy, as it would mean winter is truly started and started properly. It has been very cold recently, at least for England this time of year. And there is that snowy smell in the air. We will probably stay in all day and do house chores, but if it does snow Wolfie and I will play in the garden and I will take a few pictures for here.

Le séisme de 1988 du Saguenay

Mon frère PJ m'a rappelé que le 25 novembre, c'était l'anniversaire du tremblement de terre de 1988 au Saguenay. J'avais bêtement oublié de le souligner. Qu'à cela ne tienne, c'est samedi, comme le lendemain de cette journée-là, enfin cette nuit-là quand ça s'est produit, il y a maintenant 33 ans. Je présente donc le bulletin de nouvelles de Radio-Can de l'époque pour en souligner l'anniversaire: