Saturday, 25 March 2023

The Guinness Cake gentrified

 Looking in my old pictures, I found out one that my wife took years ago in a restaurant. It was the very first piece she had of Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Guinness cake.The one we made last week for Saint Paddy's. That is how much we loved it: she even took a picture of her dessert. I am surprised it took us that long to make one ourselves. Presented like this, with chocolate sauce and a thicker icing, the cake looks way fancier than our version, somewhat gentrified, but I think I prefer our homemade one.

Mercedes en bois de grange

Mon père m'a envoyé il y a quelques mois cette photo prise au Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. Enfin je crois. Une Mercedes en bois de grange. Je la partage rien que parce que.

Friday, 24 March 2023

Orange Clothes

 Well, maybe it is a strange case of synchronicity, maybe I have just become more aware of that. So I blogged on Wednesday about orange vehicles. In January 2022, I blogged about orange coats. And since last Wednesday, I see orange everywhere. Particularly in pieces of clothing: coats, yes, but also woolie hats. Sometimes they are bright orange, more often the kind of dark, fiery, almost red, ochre type of orange. You know the one. It seems that orange clothes are everywhere, a sort of quiet fashion statement. I love orange as a colour, so I don't complain, but I just find it strange that I notice its omnipresence nowadays.


Au moment où j'écris ces lignes, il vente très fort dehors. Genre à écorner les boeufs. À chaque fois qu'il vente dans ce pays, j'ai une pensée pour le classique Wuthering Heights d'Emily Brontë, connu en français comme Les Hauts de Hurlevent. Le tire original, je n'arrive pas à le prononcer, soit dit en passant. Je l'ai lu au cégep, ça fai de cela plus de 25 ans. Je ne l'ai jamais relu depuis, il faudrait peut-être. Le nom Hurlevent prend tout son sens lorsqu'il vente dans ce pays. Ca devrait être un terme.

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Crime fiction from South Africa (and elsewhere)

 You may know that my wife's father is South African. He is not a fan of Deon Meyer like me, although he does enjoy reading his work, but he loves crime fiction and he is always happy to make me discover more abouthis country. So when I told him that I had read all of Meyer's books, that I could not wait until his next novel is published and translated and thus I wanted to discover more crime writers from his country, my in-law happily obliged and sent me this article about 12 South African crime writers. So now I have a pool where I can look into to quench thirst for violence in an exotic setting. In the meantime, I discovered the website Crime Fiction Lovers, which I will revisit to find crime fic from all over the world.

Coquille St-Jacques

En cherchant au hasard de mes photos alors que je faisais le ménage, j'ai retrouvé celle-ci, une coquille Saint-Jacques que mon père a fait il y a quelques temps. Je n'ai pas mangé de coquilles St-Jacques depuis des années, enfant c'était l'un de mes repas préférés. Et je m'en ennuie.

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Orange Vehicles

You may remember when I blogged about a trend I had observed: people wearing orange coats. Well I found another trend, kind of weirder: the orange vehicles. I have seen in our little town a very distinctive orange Jeep and an orange... Porsche. The Porsche I have seen only once, during the school run. At first I was not sure it was a Porsche. But the Jeep I have seen a couple of times, if it is indeed the same Jeep. In both cases, they were the darker side of orange, the kind of orange I generally love. Although maybe not on vehicles. It made me wonder: what's up with the orange colour? I guess it makes them stand out more, but I'm not sure if I find it cool or tacky. I love orange though (guess why). Just maybe not for a car.


Je suis en train de faire le ménage des photos que j'ai accumulées depuis des décennies. Et j'ai décidé de partager certaines que je ne veux pas perdre, de les laisser sur le blogue. Celle-ci c'est la bernache en bois grandeur nature de chez mes parents. Je l'ai montrée souvent ici, je le refais rien que pour le plaisir.

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

Stock Ticker

During one of my nostalgic daydream sessions, I thought about Stock Ticker, a board game that is now out-of-print. Back when I was a child and I was obsessing about board games, my dad had bought it among other ones, I think as a Christmas present. It's one of these capitalist, business based game, like Monopoly, where the aim is to accumulate wealth. In Stock Ticker, you play the stock market, buying and selling commodities and getting dividendes from them. Or not. Why my brothers and I ended up liking this game is a bit of a mystery: we usually liked board games that had a dramatic premise, like Cluedo or Scotland Yard, premise that could be developed and expanded into make-belief games. Stock Ticker did not really have a plot, characters, setting or atmosphere. And on top of that I was never very good playing money games, lacking the business mind for it. I think the board and equipment had an appealing aesthetic, maybe the idea of dealing with gold and silver did stimulate our imagination too. be that as it may, we did not play Stock Ticker very often, but we enjoyed it. And years later we use its cash to play poker. But that is another story for another post.

Un bateau à La Baie

 Photo prise par à La Baie, l'an dernier dans l'une de ses expéditions pour voir les bateaux qui y mettent l'ancre. Je la partage rien que parce que.

Monday, 20 March 2023


Quick post for those who forgot (I know I wish I had): today was the vernal equinox. There is no way to deny it: it is the first official day of spring. Although it felt like spring since last week at least. Now, usually in March it still does not change all that much, especially not in this country. Nevertheless, the nights are getting shorter and evening falls much later. I used to love spring, but this is not the case anymore. I just dread long days and warmer weather. So yeah, I was not very happy today, to tell the truth.

Loup errant

 Photo qui date et que j'ai retrouvée dans mes archives. Un loup qui errait sur les terres de mes oncles. Je ne crois pas l'avoir partagé avant aujourd'hui.

About English snakes

 Last week during our school run, waiting for Wolfie's day to be over, we were chatting with the mother of one his best friends. She was mentioning that her son was obsessed about snakes and for special days out they go to see snakes in zoos and other places. I then said: "Thankfully, there are no venomous snakes in the wild in England." She corrected me: "Apparently, adders are poisonous." I replied: "Well, that is not reassuring." which made her laugh. I think it deserves to be a new great unknown line. Later on, I checked on the NHS website and she was right: the adder is indeed poisonous, thankfully it is also the only one.

Le train de Chicoutimi

Les choses que l'on apprend grâce à internet. Dont ce petit moment d'histoire: le 2 août 1893 est arrivé le premier train à Chicoutimi, avec 800 passagers. Dommage qu'il n'y en ait plus. Cette photo date de 1910.

Sunday, 19 March 2023

A train themed birthday?

My father took this picture at the National Railway Museum in York. Rewatching them and chatting about our time there with my wife, she had a sudden inspiration: she suggested we went to the museum for my birthday weekend. Her arguments for it: it would be a different experience than just a meal out, it would be fun for Wolfie too, there are exciting events at the museum around my birthday, we could meet friends of ours (and Wolfie's best friend Uber) who don't live very far from York and, well, there are two people who love everything train in this household. Now I say two and she is not one of these two. So I'm very moved that she thinks about the men in the family before thinking about her, as I know she finds trains and the NRM rather boring. That said, I don't think we can do it, for a number of reasons. But maybe for one birthday in the future, Wolfie's or mine we could celebrate it at the NRM. Until then, I hope my birthday this year will be train themed somehow.

Fondants à l'érable

 Photo trouvée sur la page Facebook des Pères trappistes. C'est la preuve que les Pères ne font pas que des chocolats de Pâques et du chocolat aux bleuets. Non mais blague à part, il y a encore un peu de temps d'ici Pâques et si vous voulez vous sucrer le bec, vu que le printemps s'en vient et tout ça, ben j'essaierais ça, si je pouvais.

Saturday, 18 March 2023

The Guinness Cake

I blogged on the 14th of March about Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Guinness cake. Well, my wife baked one so we ate it for  Saint-Patrick's Day. And for the day before, because we could not wait and because it is oh so very edible. The presentation was not perfect, she had to make two smaller cakes instead of a tall one that would look like a pint of Guinness, the icing was a bit liquid, but it still looked pretty good. And it tasted absolutely yummy. We just need to wait a bit longer until it cools down before adding the icing on. I am very tempted to have this as my birthday cake.

Un colibri

Photo envoyée par mon père en 2010, elle date de très longtemps. C'est un colibri. Il y en a qui viennent parfois se nourrir avec les fleurs du jardin chez mes parents.

Friday, 17 March 2023

Something to read for Saint Paddy's

 Happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone! One of my favourite holidays since I reached adult age. Because it is drinking time and because it is Irish. Now that I am a father I cannot drink nearly as much as I used to on the day, so instead I read Irish related works. I have a literary Saint Paddy's, so to speak. The Twitter account of the Irwell Edition shared this picture recently and I think I will try to get my hands on this book for next year. The preface is by Anthony Burgess, my favourite author and incidentally half Irish on his father's side. I think he could almost be considered an Irish writer. I would buy it for the preface alone, but also I think I really need to read more Irish authors. Because there is far more to Ireland than whiskey and beer.

Corto Maltese et l'Irlande

Bonne Saint-Patrick à tous. Pour célébrer, je suggère une lecture, une aventure de Corto Maltese d'Hugo Pratt. Je l'ai fait en 2018, mais je me répète cette année. Vous le trouverez dans Les Celtiques. L'histoire s'appelle Concert en O mineur pour harpe et nitroglycérine. C'est l'une des premières aventures de Corto que j'ai lues et j'ai vraiment trippé. J'ai découvert l'Irlande grâce à cette histoire et un peu de son histoire. J'aimerais l'avoir sous la main aujourd'hui. En anglais, en français ou en italien. Peut-être l'an prochain.