Sunday, 29 May 2022

The Warm Blanket Principle

I found this meme online a few days ago, on a Halloween FB page. I thought it was hilarious and so very me, I had to share it here. Halloween and autumn are not mentioned, not directly, but you see it and you know exactly what it is about. Yes, I long for my favourite season and holiday already. And yes, I want to be cold and then made warm by a blanket. I call this the Warm Blanket Principle.

Les pommiers sont fleuris

Ma mère m'a envoyé des photos des pommiers. Ils sont en fleurs. Nous sommes au coeur du printemps. Oh que j'aimerais aller faire la cueillette avec petit loup dans quelques mois. Hélas, ça n'arrivera sans doute pas cette année.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Snakes & Ladders

Some bits of news which I have been wanting to blog about for a while: I recently bought our very first family's Snakes and Ladders. It might sound trivial, but there are so many versions with the snakes and ladders leading to different squares, it was actually a rather hard choice. I ended up choosing this version, just because I thought it looked nice. And I played with Wolfie. The very first game he completely massacred me. I don't know if it was beginner's luck, but he only reached squares with ladders and won the game easily. I was aroun square 14 or something, far, far behind him. The second game was more exciting, mostly because the snakes were far more involved. I won by the skin of my teeth, which disappointed Wolfie, but he took it pretty well and did not get angry. The good thing about Snakes and Ladders is that you don't spend ages playing it, so it is ideal for a young child. So yes, it is the very first board game Wolfie ever played, at least properly.

Mafalda et la planète

Parfois, parce que le monde me décourage et désespère, je veux relire Mafalda. Il y avait deux personnages qui apapraissaient dans ses rêves, des aliens, qui vivaient je crois sur la lune, d'où ils observaient la terre et commentaient sur l'humanité. Ils parlaient une autre langue, mais on pouvait comprendre ce qu'ils disaient. Enfin bref. Nous vivons dans une bestiaplanete. Vraiment.

Friday, 27 May 2022

Greggs for lunch

Remember when I gave myself Friday treats? Well I started the tradition again today, as I bought myself a tuna baguette from Greggs. We have one Greggs shop in town, I know it's a chain (on principle I prefer to support local businesses), but we might as well make the best of it. As I mentioned in this post from 2017, my very first lunch in the UK, back in 1999, was a sandwich from Greggs. So it has a special place in my heart.

La piscine vide

Signe que l'été arrive: mon père a préparé la piscine. Elle est toute propre et n'a besoin que d'eau. La piscine, c'est laprincipale raison qui me faisait aimer l'été quand j'étais enfant. Avec les vacances scolaires, mais sans doute plus que les vacances scolaires. J'espère pouvoir un jour en profiter avec petit loup.

Walking through St Pancras

 Last week, I went to the office. The third time since I have started working for my employer. Not too much of a trouble. It is always a bit exhausting, but at least it allows me to travel by train, which I always love. The journey lasts two hours and a half and I have to go through London. I have to catch a connection at St Pancras. It is my favourite train station in London, but I seldom have time to stop and enjoy it fully. I walk through it, take a few snapshots as a souvenir (and for my son) and I am on my way.

Une branche dans le passage secret

 J'ai pensé vous donner des nouvelles du "passage secret", l'allée qui mène du jardin à la rue et que j'aime beaucoup. Il a venté beaucoup il y a quelques jours et une branche d'un des arbres (aucune idée de la sorte) qui longe le passage est tombée juste au coin. Quand j'ai dû mettre les poubelles au chemin, ça a créé un problème. Mais j'aime ce côté un peu sauvage du passage secret, avec sa végétation qui change avec les saisons.

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Meeting Dracula in Whitby

I took this picture from the Facebook page of English Heritage. Today is an important day for horror fans like myself, especially those who love classic scary stories. As I mentioned in this post, it is the 125th anniversary of the publication of Dracula by Bram Stoker. In in Whitby Abbey, which is featured in the novel, there will be a large gathering of "vampires" today. But if I could be there, I would be hoping to see the real Count Dracula. And don't let this picture fool you into a false sense of security: the vampires in Stoker's novel, while nocturnal, can walk in broad daylight. While I can't be there today, I might make a pilgrimage in Whitby near Halloween. And I will make sure to have a crucifix and garlic on me at all time.

Cocottes

 Lorsque nous allons porter Wolfie à l'école, il y a une chose que j'aime beaucoup et c'est l'allée où l'on marche pour s'y rendre. Elle a beaucoup de conifères qui la longent et ça veut dire qu'il y a beaucoup de cocottes par terre. Je sais que ça ne me prend pas grand-chose pour être heureux, mais bon, ça ajoute du cachet à l'endroit. On pourrait l'appeler le sentier ou l'allée des cocottes. Et puis j'aime les cocottes parce que je fais certaines associations par rapport à elles (voir ce billet). Mon fils a aussi cette fascination pour les cocottes, parfois il les cueille pour en faire collection. C'est pas une mauvaise chose à collectionner, tant qu'on les laisse dehors.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Growing pumpkins

You may remember that I bought pumpkin seed last year. Way too late to plant them, so I kept the bag until now. Apparently, May is the time to plant pumpkin seed to grow pumpkins. So yesterday, I planted them in our garden, with soil my wife bought. I don't know if it will work: I am a terrible gardiner. Also, it is a bit late in the month, so maybe I procrastinated too much. Be that as it may, I will try to grow pumpkins and hopefully at least one will be available to turn into a jack o'lantern for next Halloween. And if it does not work, at least I'll have tried.

Première slush

Nous sommes allés au cirque en fin de semaine. Enfin, c'était un petit cirque, avec que des acrobates et des trucs du genre. Wolfie en a profité pour boire sa toute première slush, à la lime (parce qu'il aime le vert). Une horreur sans nom, mais il a aimé. Quand j'avais son âge, la slush était pas mal en vogue. Moi, j'aimais moins, même si j'en ai bu parfois, surtout avec mes cousins qui étaient friands. C'était de la Slush Puppy, qui semblait être en vente dans tous les dépanneurs du Québec. Enfin, je crois que c'est un rite de passage quand on est enfant.

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Maya And Her Friends

Sometimes I go for the bookshop and just buy books for the heck of it. Because I hoard books as a general principle. Or adopt them, so to speak. But I do sometimes feel compelled to buy and read a book I see for ethical or moral reasons. This is what happened when I saw Maya And Her Friends on the local bookshop. I bought it right away. Read it the very next morning with Wolfie. As you can see from the cover, all publishers profits are donated to charities helping Ukrainian children. But it is a very touching book in its own right. In fact, my eyes were watery reading it.

Les canons de Sillery

Mon père m'a envoyé cette photo hier, encore une fois de Québec. Enfin, de Sillery. Magnifique.

Monday, 23 May 2022

The Irish accent

We went to see a circus this weekend. A very small circus doing a special event to raise fund for a school in a nearby town. A Catholic school, I may add, because it might explain what happened next. At the intermission, a lady asked me where was the loo. Once I told her, she smiled and say: "Oh, you are Irish too! How lovely!" I replied: "It would be, but unfortunately I'm not, but thanks anyway, I love Ireland." Which I think deserves to be a new great unknown line. Apparently, according to the Irish lady, I have a Northern Irish accent. She is from the South, so she is maybe less familiar with the Northern one, hence her mistake. But my wife thought maybe I have a bit of an Irish twang when I speak English. Which would be cool if I did. That said, I don't want to create a confirmation bias: we were in a place where they were a higher number of Catholics and I think the lady assumed I must have been Irish when she did not hear me speaking with a British accent. Oh well. One can dream.

Tornades au Québec

 C'est pas aprce que je suis un expatrié que je ne me tiens pas au courant de ce qui se passe chez nous. Même en ce qui concerne la température. Enfin bref, j'ai lu cette nouvelle sur la météo et les prévisions météo au Québec. Les orages, ça ne m'étonne pas: j'y suis habitué. Mais les tornades? Ca c'est plus rare. En fait, je ne me rappelle pas avoir entendu des prévisions de tornades au Québec très souvent. La dernière fois ça date de quelques décennies, durant mon enfance. Et d'apprendre que les tornades pouvaient se produire chez nous avait créé une certaine commotion chez moi et mes frères, mais ce sera pour un autre billet. Toujours est-il que c'est plus dramatique, une tornade, j'associe ça surtout aux états américains du Sud. J'espère que ma famille et mes amis seront en sûreté et ne souffriront ni de l'un, ni de l'autre.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Jubilee Bookmark

We went to downtown yesterday and... in the bookshop. My wife was hesitant, because she feared that I would buy books, which I did. Books and one bookmark: this one. It was only £3.00. It is a special bookmark to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The Brits are getting crazy about it. I am not a monarchist, you will not see this house covered with Union jacks or see portraits of ol' Betty hanging on these walls. That said, I am a collector of bookmarks and I love to encourage local businesses, especially bookshops. So I bought this bookmark. I will give it to my wife, it looks very feminine anyway. When in Rome, and all that.

À Québec

 Mes parents sont à Québec et mon père a pris le temps de prendre quelques photos et de me les envoyer. Y a pas à dire, la ville a bien des défauts, mais elle est belle en ta...

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Manor (HQ)

Sometimes my mind wanders and I muse about things. Recently, it was about manors. Probably because Wolfie asked me questions about Batman and I ended up talking a lot about Wayne Manor. Wolfie seemed greatly interested in it. When I was a child (albeit a bit older than he is now), I had a similar fascination about manors in general, even though I only had a vague notion of what manors were. They seemed to be the absolutely coolest dwelling places and in our make belief games, it was often the headquarters of our heroes and villains. Of course they were full of secret doors and passages, sometimes they were even haunted, in any case they were places of adventures. Or at least the starting points of many imaginary ones. This country is pretty rich in manors, so every time I pass by one or visit one, I remember our old childhood games and wonder if this particular manor has everything it takes to be a proper HQ for a self-respecting hero or a sinister villain.

Frites "Patio"

 Je partage beaucoup de food porn ces temps-ci, j'espère que ça ne vous dérange pas trop. Peut-être que je manque d'inspiration ces temps-ci. Peut-être que j'ai juste toujours faim. Toujours est-il que je partage une autre photo des frites "patio" que mon père a fait il y a une semaine. Les premières de l'année, si je ne m'abuse. Mais cette fois-ci, une photo alors qu'elles étaient en train de frire. Il faut les frire dehors, autrement ça empeste la friture dans toute la maison. Enfin bref, je m'en ennuie.