Wednesday, 31 July 2019

As July is ending...

As July is ending, I can't help but feel relieved. I generally dread the month, then hate it. This year, I feel like we were spared and if you follow this blog you understand why. So July is ending today. I barely noticed it was there to begin with, because this July was very unusual. Mainly because it was a summer month that was not summery: a bit on the cool side, except for last week's heatwave. I cannot complain, as I do not like July in general, especially when it is hot and when it is typically summery. Most of the time, I find the month too long. Now it feels like it flew by. It was actually once of the best month of July I have had in recent years, because it did not feel like July. So that was my month of July. How was yours?

Les livres de P'tit Loup

Bon ben c'est pas pour dire, mais j'ai deux petites choses à partager ici qui vont faire l'objet d'un billet unique: 1)je commence déjà à préparer la fête de Wolfie, car l'air de rien elle approche et 2)je crois que j'ai fini par l'intéresser à P'tit Loup, enfin aux livres le mettant en vedette. Mais il a peu de livres de P'tit Loup, seulement deux jusqu'ici. Alors je vais lui en acheter plus en cadeaux pour sa fête. Ou, comme on dit en France, pour son anniversaire. Si vous avez des suggestions, veuillez les écrire dans les commentaires.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Aphrodite, Artemis or a nymph?

I took this picture in Derbyshire, at Chatsworth House. It is one of the many sculptures they had there of Greek or Roman influences. They had lots of mythological figures, which I can generally identify easily, as I am a Greek mythology buff. This one is a bit challenging. She could be Aphrodite, as she is often depicted nude. Or she could also be Artemis, as she is being spied by Actaeon. But they already had an Artemis. I am wondering if she could merely be a nymph of some sort. They tend to be depicted at their bath or as they are drying up. What do you think?

Si juillet avait 30 jours...

Moment ennuyeux pour un collègue hier à l'ouvrage: il croyait qu'aujourd'hui c'était le dernier jour de juillet. Je ne sais pas s'il avait oublié que juillet avait 31 jours, ou s'il croyait que l'on était un jour d'avance, toujours est-il qu'il s'est rendu compte que le jour de paie viendrait un jour plus tard. Je n'aime pas beaucoup juillet en général, pas depuis que je ne travaille plus dans le monde de l'éducation et que je n'étudie plus moi même. Alors j'aurais aimé qu'il ait eu raison.

Monday, 29 July 2019

The calm after the sun

Last week has been scorching hot, we had the dreaded heatwave. But it had cooled down by Friday and the last few days have been far more bearable. With any luck, this is the last blast of heat we will have until next summer. I am not saying that summer is gone, of course not, but touch wood, it will be bearable for the next few weeks. One can hope. In any case, we survived the tropical temperatures of last week.

Compter les lundis

Comme bien du monde, je n'aime pas le lundi, sauf quand je suis en vacances. Peu importe le temps de l'année et peu importe le temps qu'il fait. Cela dit, à l'approche des vacances, j'ai décidé de prendre mon mal en patience: j'ai été relativement occupé au travail, alors je n'ai pas trop eu l'occasion de m'ennuyer. Et si je m'ennuie, je sais que je serai en vacances dans quelques semaines, donc pas si longtemps. Alors je compte les lundis.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Working on crime fic

Yesterday, I went to the crime fiction workshop again. Unlike the one I had three months or so ago, this one went really well. I showed them the second part of a draft novella I had already finished. It had all the ingredients of the synopsis of novel I wanted to write: set in Montreal, local organized crime, local colour, private eyes, etc. But obviously, as I already worked extensively on it (instead of a few lines written on a table corner), it is far better constructed. So I received a lot of good advises, but also a few praises: my characters are well rounded and the dialogues are sharp. Better still, the woman who criticized me for writing a chauvinistic dinosaur as a main character said that she found him well rounded, however masculine and macho he may be. Even better: another woman even noticed a certain sexual tension between two characters, something that is meant to show up later in the story (albeit not in the way that she'd expected), but that I had not forecast at all when I was writing that scene. So I must have done something right. I will work on polishing the novella for the next workshop, where I intend to show them two different scenes of 1,000 words each, at the same time working on the novel, which right now is being written at a snail's pace.

Boire bio

J'ai pris cette photo au restaurant végétarien The Willow à Totnes dans le Devon. On a assez aimé pour y retourner deux fois. Comme de raison, ils offraient des bières biologiques. Je me rappelle que celle-ci était fort correcte, pour une blonde. Je vais essayer de la retrouver ici, même si on est loin du Devon. Pour la petite histoire, je bois assez peu bio.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

"Men, Women and Sexual Politics"

This title is not about a philosophical essay, but about Cosi fan tutte by Mozart. I stumbled on YouTube on the overture of last year's production of the opera by the Metropolitan Opera and I really loved it. It is a clever way to get the spectator involved in the story from the overture onwards. More importantly, it sums up perfectly what the opera is all about. Men, women, lust, chocolate (no kidding), poison, lies, etc. And, explaining its essence in one single brilliant line: "A sophisticated analysis of men, women and sexual politics in two acts." This is Cosi fan tutte in a nutshell. Like one of my friends said on Facebook when I shared it: "I wanted to keep watching." Now to try to find the whole thing.

Le cousin, le neveu

Aujourd'hui, nous sommes allés voir la famille de ma femme: mes beaux-parents, ma belle-soeur, son partenaire ainsi que... le fils qu'ils ont eu récemment. Donc, le nouveau (et jusqu'ici le seul) cousin de petit loup. Il a déjà une cousine, mais elle est dans la vingtaine. C'était drôle de voir le petit bout d'homme. Ça m'a rappelé qu'il y a trois ans, on attendait notre petit bout d'homme à nous. Enfin, tout ça pour dire que la famille s'élargit d'un nouveau membre et que c'était plaisant de faire sa connaissance aujourd'hui, même s'il a surtout dormi.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Books and Introverts

I wanted to share another meme about books, just for fun. Even though I shared one recently. So here is another one which I can related to very strongly. I am myself a shameless introvert, in fact I am borderline antisocial. Like a lot. And while I can have a big mouth, I am socially inept, so I often don't like to talk. So this is very me. I love reading for a number of reasons, one of them is that it allows you to just avoid socializing.

Les bleuets sont mûrs...

A la Sainte-Anne les bleuets sont mûrs. C'est le raisin de chez-nous, fils du feu; du sol humble et pierreux c'est l'offrande; c'est le miel des crans sauvages, le frère des éricales dans le royaume infini des sphaignes et des tourbières.

Cette année encore, je cite  Menaud maître-draveur, de Félix-Antoine Savard. Parce que le fruit sauvage de ma région est maintenant mûr pour être récolté et qu'il est bon de le souligner.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Cream Soda (and memories)

I recently stumbled on a can of cream soda from A.G. Barr in a local corner shop. I hadn't had cream soda in decades, so i decided to buy some. Growing up, my parents were fairly strict about the treats we could eat and drink and we never had cream soda or colas at home. My grandmother on my mother's side, however, was always spoiling her grandchildren and we had there were stocks of soft drinks with different flavours, including cream soda. Some cheap brands that don't exist anymore. My cousins, my brothers and I drank them eagerly. So I had that can last Saturday. It tastes exactly like I remembered: horribly sweet, more like liquid ice cream or cream cake. Absolutely vile and not at all refreshing. That said, I will drink more. It's only 49p, for one, and it does remind me of my childhood.

Les orages

Je l'espérais, je désespérais même, finalement c'est fait: nous avons eu un orage il y a deux jours. Au milieu de la nuit en fait, ça a tonné et ça a réveillé toute la maisonnée. On en prévoit d'autres. Ce soir, demain, puis de la pluie. Ça devrait rafraîchir le temps. Je l'espère en tout cas. Je sue sang et eau depuis une semaine.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Seagulls are a portent of doom

Recently, and even though we are far from the sea, I often heard the cries of flocks of seagulls. Even though I cannot see them, I can hear them. They cry is rather harsh and somewhat menacing, especially when you cannot see the birds when hearing it. I became increasingly distrustful and wary of seagulls, as I witnessed their daring behaviour when on holidays. I discovered that my distrust for seagulls might actually be justified: today I read this article from The Guardian, about seagulls )seemingly) becoming more aggressive, nasty, if not downright violent. Read this and tell me what you think. Of course, what comes to my mind automatically is a certain movie. It also reminds me that I have the book the film is based on and that I should find time to read it.

Les bleuets sont arrivés!

C'est en tout cas ce que j'ai appris sur la page Facebook de la Chocolaterie des Pères trappistes. Deux jours avant la Sainte-Anne, c'est assez tôt. Mais ça veut dire que bientôt, les chanceux qui vivent au Québec pourront manger du chocolat aux bleuets.

School Holidays

Schools have started breaking out from last week on in the area of England we are in. If I am not mistaken, today is the very last day of school everywhere. Pupils and students are on school holiday. It means nothing to me personally anymore, as I do not work in education. I have definitely left the teaching world in 2010, although I did not know it then. I don't miss it one bit, to be honest. I don't envy English students, as everywhere in the shops they start to advertise the return to school next September the moment schools break out. And that's not nice. I also think the school year ends far too late here. One of the many reasons I don't miss working in the teaching world.

Guille siempre!

Je partage un gag de Mafalda, pour le plaisir et parce que lorsque j'étais enfant, je lisais pas mal surtout ça comme bédé durant ce temps-ci de l'année. Mon personnage préféré de la bande est sans doute Guille, le petit frère de Mafalda. J'aime sa candeur qui n'est pas dénuée de lucidité. Guille, c'est l'enfant que j'aurais aimé être quand j'avais l'âge. Enfin bref, j'ai (re)trouvé ce gag sur une page Facebook de fans. On n'a pas besoin de savoir l'espagnol pour comprendre.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Blast from the sun

I was dreading it, I was half hoping that we would avoid it this year, but there will be no escape: it was hot yesterday, it will be hotter today and the upcoming days as a heatwave is forecast. There will be a 34 degree Celsius  blast, apparently. The horror, the horror. We are bracing ourselves. Better brace ourselves, keep hydrated, put suncream on, and just hope it will not last too long.

Fleurs noires

Mon père a pris cette photo il y a deux ou trois jours et me l'a envoyé. Il n'a rien dit d'autre que "fleurs noires" dans le titre du courriel. J'avoue qu'elles sont assez saisissantes. Rien que pour ça, je partage la photo ici.

Monday, 22 July 2019

#MoonDay Books

I did not do anything to celebrate the anniversary of the moon landing, except this post. Our local bookshop did far much and far better: they made it a special event, with one display of books about the moon and space travels (and space travels to the moon). Abd they shared this picture on social media, with the hashtag #MoonDay. I did not share it on the anniversary then, but decided to do it today because... Well, because it is Monday. I haven't been to our local bookshop recently. I wish I had paid it a visit then, if only for a moment. But any excuse is good, so I should find one soon.

Chronique d'une canicule avancée

Deopuis le début de l'été, on avait réussi à l'éviter jusqu'ici: il avait surtout fait frais, parfois chaud, mais sans plus. La chaleur était toujours endurable, sinon confortable. Mais cette semaine, nous aurons droit, pour la première fois depuis l'été 2019, à une vraie de vraie canicule: le mercure devrait monter à plus de 31 degrés Celsius. L'horreur, l'horreur. Je n'ai vraiment pas hâte et j'espère que la canicule sera de courte durée.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Cutting grass with Wolfie and his granddad

My parents-in-law came today to see their grandson. Wolfie adores his grandfather, so he was overjoyed. He also wanted us to play in the garden with him, therefore we spent a good deal of time outside. His favourite game today was to go around the garden with his little toy tractor and the trailer that goes with it and filling the trailer with grass. He was enthusiastic tearing off bits of grass from the lawn and putting it there. Moments like this makes me glad to be a lousy gardener: I don't have a lawn that is worth saving from the games of my son. When my mother-in-law asked if he wanted to sit down on the chair, grandpa (or daddad as he is called) said: "Of course not. We are very busy cutting grass and you can't cut grass sitting in a chair, everybody knows that." Grandfather's logic. I think it deserves to be a new great unknown line.

Dimanche: en faire le moins possible

Je crois avoir enfin découvert une manière de ne pas avoir la mélancolie du dimanche et de pleinement profiter de la journée: en faire le moins possible, voire même paresser. Ne pas faire de grand ménage, éviter les tâches ménagères et les corvées, éviter même de sortir trop loin de chez soi, bref respecter cette tradition du repos dominical. Jusqu'ici, ça marche assez bien.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

All that washing up!

I took this picture at the National Railway Museum in York,as usual I put it here because it goes with tonight's topic. No, I am not talking about traveling with fragile items (Eggs? Who carries eggs in his luggage?). I am having a break from house chores at the moment. And there is a massive amount of washing up to do. My wife started it, but we need to carry on. Hence this picture. I thought it was a good excuse as any to share it.

Partys chez les voisins

Au moment où j'écris ces lignes, il n'y a pas un, mais deux partys chez les voisins. Notre voisine immédiate a une fille qui fête la fin de ses études secondaires, et deux maisons plus loin on fête pour je ne sais quelle raison. Je sens que la soirée risque d'être longue...

Friday, 19 July 2019

Man on the Moon

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. I didn't witness it, in fact my parents hadn't even met yet. The bad thing about it is, I miss an important historical event by almost ten years. The good thing is, I am almost ten years younger than said event. Nevertheless, I think such an important event needs to be celebrated on this post, so tonight I decided to put here Man on the Moon. Yes, it's truly about Andy Kaufman, but it's a lovely song and the moon landing is mentioned. Sort of. But I love the song in any case, and it is as good as any and better than most to mark the anniversary of that first step outside our world.

Demain l'orage?

Nous n'avons pas eu d'orage depuis le début de l'été, ce qui ne me plaît pas du tout. En fait, jusqu'ici ça a été plutôt sec, même s'il n'a pas fait de chaleurs insupportables. Hier soir il a plu un peu, aujourd'hui il a plu beaucoup plus. Et la météo annonce maintenant qu'il y aura sans doute (peut-être?) des orages demain. Je l'espère. J'adore les orages. Et je ne me rappelle plus la dernière fois où j'ai assisté à un vrai orage.

KLM is against motherhood

I never liked KLM. Back when I was a young boy and we were traveling as a family to Europe, we used this airline a lot. I dreaded it. I disliked the food, the entertainment, everything. Now I see that the company is even worse than I remembered. I read that a KLM flight attendant told a breastfeeding woman to cover herself while she was breastfeeding her baby daughter, as of not to offend other passengers. Now it produced a huge backlash on social media and yet another Twitter storm. This time, for good reasons. Because that policy is stupid, prudish and downright anal... Their excuse about not offending people of certain cultures and backgrounds (gee, I wonder which ones). They literally put the (ahem) "cultural" susceptibilities of some hypothetical passengers ahead of the most needs of a baby and her mother. I thought that in the XXIst century, mothers had the right to breastfeed their baby when and where they deemed fit. Period. A baby should feed when hungry. Period. I never liked KLM, I now have the proof that this was not just an impression. KLM sucks. Pun completely intended.

Les feux d'artifice (à l'année longue)

Il y a un peu moins d'une semaine, nous avons entendu des feux d'artifice. Ils devaient être assez loin, car je ne les ai pas vus. Mais on pouvait les entendre vers dix ou onze heures du soir. Je me demande toujours pourquoi il y en a autant, aussi souvent, mais on dirait que dans ce pays, les feux d'artifice sont produits à l'année longue.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Never too many books

I was looking for a good meme about books, something that is funny, but not too silly. Preferably wise, even. Then I found that one, at total random, apparently from the For Reading Addicts website (which I know zilch about). This is, in a nutshell, how I take things and the reality of my own ever growing stocks of books. This is what I say to my wife when she complains about my new purchases: we just need more (a lot more!) bookshelves.

Un grand requin blanc aux Îles-de-la-Madeleine

Je suis en retard dans le rapport de nouvelles, mais je ne voulais pas l'ignorer: un grand requin blanc a été aperçu au large des Îles-de-la-Madeleine. Quand je dis un grand, celui en question est en fait petit. Qu'à cela ne tienne, c'est quand même impressionnant de savoir qu'elles ont eu un pareil visiteur. Alors chers lecteurs, si vous çetes fatigués, allez vous baigner au large des Îles-de-la-Madeleine, ça va vous requinquer. Désolé, il fallait que je commette ce calembour atroce. Dans un registre plus sérieux, Vraie Fiction fait dans la nouvelle marine ces temps-ci (voir il y a deux jours). La vie sous-marine me fascine depuis des années, je suis servi ces temps-ci.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

The stench of tobacco

Yesterday in the afternoon, my wife opened our bedroom windows (on the first floor) for some fresh air. Then when I got home, she went to get something in the bedroom, only to find it stinking with the smell of cigarettes. It was the next door neighbour, or one of her friends, who was smoking in her garden. The smoke and the smell, oh the vile smell, had gone up to our bedroom. I am not sure if I should bring it up, but it was really unpleasant. It took ages for the stench to go. There is nothing I find more disgusting than the smell of cigarettes. I hate it even more when it invades my private space.

Seul au bureau

Aujourd'hui, je suis seul au bureau. Enfin, ce n'est pas tout à fait ça: de toute l'équipe de gestionnaires à être au bureau. Un collègue est en congé, un autre travaille à l'extérieur aujourd'hui, je suis donc le seul directeur de département au bureau. Ça a l'air important comme ça, comme si je gardais le fort, mais dans les faits, comme c'est une toute petite entreprise, ça ne devrait pas trop changer la journée. J'espère quand même que tout va bien se passer. Touchons du bois.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Giant Jellyfish

When I was a kid, I used to love stories, real or invented, about the deep blue sea. Part of me is still fascinated by sea creatures. So a piece of news recently caught my attention about a giant jellyfish that was spotted and filmed off the coast of Cornwall. Apparently, the creature is quite gentle and the sting is not lethal. I would not risk getting too close to it though. Watch the video, you will find the jellyfish quite impressive. It is the stuff of legends. I found the this discovery fascinating. It shows that even in our day and age, the ocean still hides mysteries that we can unveil.

Bizarreries de la langue française

J'ai trouvé cette image sur la page Facebook d'une amie. Ce n'est pas une amie très proche, c'est la femme d'un ami d'enfance, qui est par ailleurs comme vous l'avez sans doute deviné enseignante. On trouve bien des niaiseries sur internet en général et sur les réseaux sociaux en particulier, je trouve que ça c'est au contraire subtil et assez érudit. Comme exercice de diction (si jamais la fantaisie vous prend de lire à voix haute), c'est assez amusant aussi et ce n'est pas trop difficile.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Apples growing

We recently went to a charity event held in a nearby primary school. Before leaving, I quickly took a picture of the apple tree. I find it quite nice that there is an apple tree there, but I took the picture for another reason: the apples looked quite red and already large for this time of year. Maybe (most likely) it is wishful thinking of my part and I know that apples of different varieties ripen at different times, but I thought it could be a sign that autumn is on its way. Apple is of course the fruit of autumn, so I always check apple trees to see how advance the fruits are, even though I know than an apple does not make the season.

Chercher "L'Auberge de l'abîme"

Vous comprendrez que je ne parle pas d'une auberge proprement dite dans mon titre, mais bien d'un roman, que je ne trouve nulle part. Vous pouvez lire les détails de mon histoire avec L'Auberge de l'abîme dans ce billet. C'est un des grands regrets de mon enfance que de ne pas avoir eu la patience de lire roman jusqu'à la fin. Je ne sais pas ce que ma mère en a fait, mais à un moment donné, il a disparu. Il y avait aussi un autre roman dans la même collection (Bibliothèque verte?), mais j'en parlerai dans un autre billet. Toujours est-il que je vais mettre ma belle-mère, ma mère et d,autre monde là dessus, je vais le chercher dans toutes les librairies que je visiterai et je compte bien le lire un jour.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

A fireman and a paramedic

Last weekend, we went to a fire station open day. It was a very small event, with only a few people, a few displays, but also some freebies: free pencils, free pens, free rulers, but also free little fur balls critters. We got two for my collection of cute critters, one fireman and one paramedic, with his ambulance frame. I think they look really cool. I'm glad I got the fireman, as I hadn't had one yet.

Le 14 juillet

J'ai failli l'oublier: joyeux 14 juillet à tous! Plus que la Fête nationale française, c'est une fête républicaine. C'est en tout cas ainsi que je la vois et je passe la journée (si je peux) en regardant des documentaires sur la Révolution française. Je n'ai pas le même esprit festif qu'avec le 24 juin, ou même le 17 mars, je la célèbre de manière plus intellectuelle et académique. Et vous?

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Blofeld will Return...

You know I am a huge James Bond fan and I am getting very excited about the untitled yet "Bond 25", which is being filmed and coming next year. Well, I am getting more and more excited, as we learned recently that actor Christoph Waltz, who played Bond archenemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld, is most likely going to be in the next movie in some capacity. The Daily Mail article on the subject here. I am very, very happy about this development. There were a few things I did not agree with regarding the way they developed the Blofeld character in Spectre, but overall I thought Waltz was competent and gave a chilling performance as the criminal mastermind. So I am glad we will see more of him.

Un reverbère ce soir

Nous sommes sortis au restaurant ce soir. Lorsque nous sommes retournés chez nous, nous avons marché dans un quartier plus chic de notre petite ville. Il y a des lampadaires qui ont l'air de vieux réverbères. Il n'y en a pas ailleurs comme ça en ville. Enfin bref, il était encore tôt en soirée et tous les lampadaires étaient encore éteints, sauf un. Je l'ai pris en photo, parce que justement je trouvais ça assez singulier. Le soir n'était pas encore vraiment tombé que le réverbère prenait de l'avance. Ma femme m'a trouvé drôle de le prendre en photo. Je sais que c'est un peu bête, mais je trouvais juste ça singulier et joli.

Friday, 12 July 2019

The Haunted House Game

I took this picture in Devon, if I am not mistaken it was in Dartington. I think I took a picture of it because it looks like a haunted house (of the abandoned kind), looking very sinister in spite of its sunny and flowery surroundings, the kind of place that would fit perfectly daylight horror spooky stories. When I was a child imagining a haunted house in a quaint English setting, I imagined a place like that. I used to think a lot of haunted places then. In fact, during the summer holidays (but not exclusively) one of the many make belief games my brothers and I was playing haunted house (or haunted manor, or haunted castle). We were ghost hunters looking to exorcise such place as on this picture, or simply ordinary guys who ended up staying at the wrong B&B and had to deal with spectral apparitions, animated skeletons and the likes. We had many spooky games, this was one of our recurring ones. I guess a part of my mind was always on Halloween.

Pique-niquer


J'ai pris cette photo en 2017, lorsque nous avions fait un pique-nique avec des amis. Il fait assez beau ces temps-ci, juste assez pour que l'on puisse manger dehors dans le jardin. On l'a donc fait pour les deux derniers soupers, à la demande de petit loup. Alors nous avons l'intention de pique-niquer encore et proprement, si le beau temps se maintient. Ce serait bien de le faire avec beaucoup de bouffe et des amis, comme c'était le cas dans l'occasion prise sur la photo. Et je dis si le beau temps se maintient, mais mon grand-père nous faisait manger dehors jusqu'en novembre, tellement il aimait ça.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

New train journey ahead

I took this picture at the National Railway Museum in York, as usual I share it tonight as it illustrates tonight's topic. So it is official: we are going on holiday in a few weeks. Which means that we will travel by train. To then take a plane to see my wife's parents, but all the same: I haven't been on a train in nearly a year and I am really looking forward to it. Nothing beats traveling by train: it is comfortable (when not too crowded), it is exciting, and every station has its charm and unique atmosphere. I will repeat it again: I can barely wait. There are other things I look forward to of course, but right now, I am anticipating the train journey.

De l'histoire... ancienne

J'ai failli oublier de le souligner, mais le crucifix a été retiré du Salon bleu de l'Assemblée nationale. Excellente nouvelle. Et je vais le dire d'emblée: quant à moi ce n'était pas un compromis, mais une condition sine qua non pour que l'état québécois soit dans les faits et en apparence laïque. Bon, il va falloir les enlever des mairies également et de tous les lieux de pouvoir politique, mais c'est un début. Et, sans faire de jeux de mots, l'exemple vient de haut. Quant à ceux qui vont jouer la carte patrimoniale, je suis d'accord avec eux: le crucifix représente notre histoire, une page peu glorieuse quand le pouvoir politique était au lit avec l'Église catholique et inféodé à celle-ci. Maintenant, c'est de l'histoire... ancienne.

Glimpse of Liverpool

A friend of mine, who studied in Liverpool a few decades ago, before I even came to England, recently published on Facebook a picture of her from that time. I easily recognized it, as it was a place I walked by every day when I used to live there. And it reminded me that I have not seen the city in a decade. Funny how things that are familiar once remain familiar to you years later, yet you are really out of touch with how they are now. Liverpool is not a good looking city, but I do miss it sometimes. I wonder if it will feel familiar then.

Les lumières éteintes le jour

Ceci est un petit billet trivial sur un truc que j'utilise au travail pour baisser un peu la température quand il commence à faire chaud. C'est les lumières au néon qui rendent les choses pires l'été: la température augmente au bureau de quelques degrés, on le sent encore plus quand on est au premier étage, comme c'est mon cas. Alors j'éteins les lumières, tout simplement. Ça ne fait pas des miracles, mais ça fait la différence entre une atmosphère étouffante et une atmosphère endurable.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

About an alleged bank robbery

No, no, I did not rob a bank, in fact it has nothing to do with a real bank robbery and it did not happen to me. Fellow Godless heathen and former atheist celebrity Ariane Sherine told on her own blog (on WordPress now, the horror, the horror) about a time when she was 17 and a bank manager called the police because she tried to force herself into a NatWest branch after business hours to bank a cheque. But read her post yourself, it is her story after all. I thought it was very funny. The kind of story I wish I could have told. This was my comment on it: "Given all the trouble this manager and the police went through, I think you should have robbed that bank." I think it deserves to be a great unknown line. If I don't have such anecdote to tell because I was not so rebellious at 17, at least i can say something funny about it.

Nounours noir

Je fais une allitération dans le titre, mais dans le fond, je veux seulement partager cette photo d'un ours noir, prise par les caméras de surveillance dans le lot de mes oncles. Mon père me l'a envoyée pour que je la montre à son petit-fils (ce que j'ai fait bien entendu). Rien que parce que c'est aussi beau qu'impressionnant, un ours noir, surtout en pleine forêt comme celui-là.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Baklava Selection

I mentioned last Friday that there was a food festival in town. We went there the next day for lunch (more on that in another post), then bought a few items of food. One stand was selling Mediterranean stuff, including baklavas. I have a sweet tooth and I love baklavas since I am seven or something. So I bought a selection. Baklavas is like crack made of honey and nuts.It is so very delicious. Unfortunately, my wife does not like it, so only Wolfie and I will have to eat the content of that box. I just gave him a few small bites, I don't want him to eat too much sugary food, but he loves it so much that he now knows the name!

L'imagination pour combler l'ennui

Je ne sais pas si j'ai déjà blogué sur le sujet. Ça doit, je finis par me répéter après plus de dix ans de blogue, mais enfin bref. Tout ça pour dire que, lorsque j,étais enfant, Il y avait de longs moments où je m'ennuyais beaucoup, surtout les soirs de semaine, quand on n'avait pas assez de temps libre pour jouer ou se divertir après avoir fait nos devoirs et l'heure du coucher. Mes frères et moi avions donc inventé des "entre jeux", où l'on jouait nos personnages des jeux (ceux de la police et des voleurs, ou de notre "jeu de Dracula" ou peu importe), mais alors qu'ils n'étaient pas en aventure. J'avais même perfectionné la méthode lorsque j'allais à l'école: quand je m'ennuyais (c'était souvent le cas au primaire) je me prenais à imaginer ce que mes personnages faisaient à la même heure. Je le fais encore parfois, quand ma journée est monotone.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Summer blues

Those who read this blog regularly know that I am not a fan of summertime and I have not been since I no longer work in education. And even before then, I slowly became less and less of a summer enthusiast. Come summertime, I often feel melancholic, if not downright disheartened. I thought I was a rarity. in that situation, but some Google search made me discover that I am not the only one. Apparently, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) also affects some people in summertime. Summer blues, or summertime melancholy, or whatever you wish to call it, is caused by a number of factors: heat and sun setting late causing lack of sleep, expecting too much of holidays, working while others are on holidays, etc. You can read about it here. In my case, I just don't like the heat and the sun being up so late. I don't find it relaxing or comfortable. So I am glad I am not the only one. This year, I have been lucky so far, as we haven't had many scorching hot days. All the same, I dread the season and what it can bring. So I am glad to know I am not alone.

Les cerfs-volants

J'ai demandé à mon père de m'envoyer des photos de cerfs-volants pour montrer à petit loup. Il m'a envoyé cette photo de quelqu'un qui fait du kite surfing (je crois). Elle me semble familière, je l'ai peut-être vue et partagée la première année de Vraie Fiction. Enfin bref, mon fils en a fait un dans sa classe d'arts plastiques, mais c'est un cerf-volant trop délicat pour utiliser lorsqu'il vente. Je voulais lui en montrer un vrai. Quand j'étais enfant, mon père nous faisait faire du cerf-volant les jours venteux. On faisait surtout ça sur le terrain de l'UQAC, du temps que c'était un grand terrain vacant avec à peu près aucun stationnement. Mes frères et moi adorions, même si on ne faisait pas grand-chose à part regarder. J'aimerais revivre cette activité avec Wolfie. Mais il faudrait trouver le bon terrain et surtout, le bon cerf-volant.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Cobra, Crimes and inspiration

I blogged before about Cobra by South African crime writer Deon Meyer, back in 2016 when I was reading it. I love all his books, but this one is one of the best I read. I say this for a number of reasons, which I might blog about one day, but suffice to say that one of these reasons was the character of professional pickpocket Tyrone Kleeibooi (more about him here and here). And it struck me recently than both the novel and Tyrone were an inspiration to my own writing project, which features a pickpocket (more about her here). There are substantial differences between Tyrone and her, and between the plots they get involved in, but I think I came up with her in a writing workshop (I am still doing them in spite of one bad experience) because since I read about Tyrone Kleeibooi, I have wanted to write about a well-intended small-time criminal, particularly a pickpocket. I don't think I can beat Meyer, not just yet anyway, but it's funny to see that I subconsciously about what I like to read.

Paella

Chaque année, mon père fait une paella, d'habitude au coeur de l'été. Chaque année, il m'envoie des photos et je les partage ici par fierté familiale, parce que c'est toujours bien impression et queça fait de l'excellente food porn. Alors voilà, tout ça pour dire que voici la paella cuisinée cette année. J'ai une confession à faire: je n'ai jamais mangé la paella de mon père. Il a commencé à s'intéresser à ce met après que je sois devenu expatrié et je n'ai pas visité le Québec en été depuis au moins dix ans.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

I want more Action Men

It struck me a few days ago, when we walked by the fancy clothes shop that used to have Action Men or an imitation of them in their window as marketing tool. I need more of them. On my birthday, I received one Action Man as a present. It is still in its box, on display in the dining room. Don't know if I'll ever take it off the box to play with it like an overgrown nostalgic child. Unboxing it might devalue this British icon. be that as it may, I want more Action Men, whether it is to have them on display like this as a collection, or to play with Wolfie. I find them far cooler than GI Joes and other action figures.

Dites smoothie

Les cafés dans la petite ville anglaise où je vis vont et viennent (allitération involontaire ici). Quand il y en a un nouveau qui ouvre, il dure un an ou deux, parfoid moins, puis il ferme. Il y en a deux ou trois qui ne sont pas des chaînes et qui ont survécu jusquici et dans chacun d'eux, ils offrent des smoothies fraîchement pressés. Je ne consomme pas assez de fruits, alors le smoothie est devenu mon breuvage de prédilection. Quand ma femme était enceinte, j'essayais de lui en faire boire autant que possible, car j'avais lu quelque part que c'est bon pour les femmes enceintes. Mais elle aime ça moins que moi. Petit loup, quant à lui, essaie d'habitude de boire ceux que je bois.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Food festival (and a gyros)

I blogged last year about the local food festival, with stands serving various world food, some exotic, some less so. It is a world food festival. It was a huge success, so much in fact that they have decided to do it again this year. It started tonight, but we will go tomorrow and maybe Sunday as well. Last year, I had (among other things) this delicious gyros. Or at least I think it was a gyros, it was Greek in any case. Not sure what makes a proper gyros, but this one was filling and I hadn't had a gyros (or anything resembling one) in years. I haven't had one since. So tomorrow I might go Greek, or I might go for something more unusual and exotic. I will of course keep you posted about my gastronomic discoveries, or rediscoveries.

Jeux dans l'eau

Photo prise l'année dernière à peu près à la même époque de l'année durant la canicule qui a duré des semaines, voire des mois. Cette année, l'été est moins collant, plus modéré, plus endurable, et j'en suis heureux. Cela dit, nous avons eu une canicule il y a une semaine et il y en aura d'autres. Ma femme aimerait bien qu'il achète une barboteuse pour notre petit loup, en tout cas elle essaie de me convaincre. C'est vrai qu'il aime beaucoup, mais je trouve qu'il est assez gâté comme ça et les jours de grandes chaleurs, on est supposé économiser l'eau, si je ne me trompe pas. Alors je ne suis pas encore convaincu.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

A bookmark for a book (but which book?)

I blogged earlier this week about the freebie bookmark I got with my purchase at the local bookshop during the Independent Bookshop Week. Here is its other side, but I am not blogging about the other side. I said in my first post about it that it is a bookmark for summertime. I think it is fitting that I use it on summertime books or, to be more precise, on books which atmosphere, topic, subject matter, what have you, fit this bookmark. And it struck me after publishing my previous post that I don't have that many summer books at the moment, not unread ones anyway, and I fear that I have no book whatsoever set on a beach or anything approaching. So I need to find a book that goes with it. If you have any suggestions, please put them in the Comments section.

Traversier, pas ferry

Photo prise à Dartmouth dans le Devon. On y voit entre autres un ferry. Ferry est le terme utilisé par les Français pour désigner la même chose que les anglais: un bateau qui traverse un cours d'eau, rivière, Manche ou autre. Au Québec, on dit plutôt un traversier. C'est beaucoup plus joli comme terme, plus francophone aussi, et c'est notre mot du jour.

The United States of (South) Africa

Today is a day to celebrate and I wanted to mention it on the blog. I don't do it every year, but decided to do it today: it is the birthday of South African crime writer Deon Meyer. You didn't expect that, did you? He is one of my favourite crime writers and from my contacts with him through social media, a bona fide nice guy. It is kind of fitting that his birthday is on the 4th of July, as in many ways South Africa has tried through history to emulate the United States of America in many ways. Or so I have been told by my brother-in-law, who visited the country a few times when he was a child, his father (my father-in-law) being South African himself. Old racial tensions, high crime, the violence, the gun culture even, but also the economic development, they are shared by both countries. So happy birthday Mr Meyer (not certain if sayong "oom" is too familiar).

"Travailler, c'est trop dur..."

C'est le 4 juillet, Independence Day aux États Unis et je cherchais à le souligner, surtout pour mon frère PJ qui y vit et travaille. Et qui aujourd'hui est en congé férié, le chanceux. Alors j'ai pensé tout de suite à cette célébère chanson du (sans doute) plus célèbre francophone américain, Zachary Richard. Je ne crois pas que mon frère soit un fan, mais c'est je pense approprié. Et puis on a peut-être de la parenté en Louisiane, sait-on jamais.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Two years in the office

Today is my second year in my current job. It is my working anniversary. I do not say "my new job" anymore, as after more than a year, it is no longer a new job. I said last year that I don't celebrate work anniversaries. I will make a quick confession here: this year I don't feel like celebrating anyway. I had issues at the office in the past, mainly due to a nasty colleague who no longer works there. But I still often feel demotivated. And I know I am not the only one feeling like this. Even though I have a managing position, I feel undervalued, ignored by the decision makers and overall bored. I also don't like the pettiness of office politics, the lack of flexibility, the inefficiency, the lack of communication. I cannot help feeling that if my nasty former colleague spent about four years in the company unopposed, it was because the bosses let him do what the heck he wanted. So today, like every other day, I will do my very best, work as hard as I can, be very professional, because I am the breadwinner in the family, trying to discreetly look at the clock from time to time, because my heart is not into it.

Petit loup et le ballon rond

Nous sommes allés récemment dans un évènement caritatif. Il y avait des stands et une aire de jeux pour les enfants. Les enfants n'y étaient pas, trop occupés je crois dans le château gonflable plus loin, alors notre petit loup a eu l'aire de jeux pour lui tout seul. Il a aimé bien des choses, mais il changeait de centre d'intérêt à tout bout de champ. Ce qui m'a étonné le plus, c'est que ce qui l'a intéressé le plus longtemps est ce genre de filet fermé avec des ballons de soccer. Ou de football, comme on le dit ici. Je ne suis pas très porté sur le foot, une vraie religion en Angleterre. Il semblerait que notre petit loup va suivre le sentiment national.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Jack O'Lantern on a wall

Last Saturday, we visited another preschool on an open day. I don't think we will send Wolfie there when the time comes, as he loves another one very much (more on that in another post, maybe). That said, there is one thing that caught my attention: this picture of a mean looking Jack O'Lantern on the outside wall. The Halloween obsessed and eternal child that I am loved this very much, like a perpetual reminder of what is coming. There is not so long to wait now, come to think of it.

Question existentielle (348)

Une question existentielle que je ne crois pas avoir posée, du moins je l'espère:

-Que représente le mois de juillet pour vous?

Monday, 1 July 2019

Bond 25's first footage

I haven't blogged in a while about the upcoming Bond movie (aka NOT Shatterhand) and I wanted to do it tonight as they released the first official behind the scenes video last weekend. Taking into account that I am very much biased as a Bond fan and that I love Daniel Craig's tenure so far (yes, even Spectre) as well as his take on the character, I find this bit of footage very promising. The aesthetic looks great, it has a feel of the early Connery movies and it oozes exoticism, sensuality and violence (Bond is all about Eros and Thanatos). I can't wait to watch. Now if only we knew the title...

Pelleter à Fermont

Je partage ce soir une nouvelle photo de Fermont datant des années 70 que m'a envoyé mon père, parce que petit loup a une fascination pour la machinerie lourde. Quand j'étais enfant et que les maisons se construisaient dans le voisinage, j'étais très impressionné par les travaux et la machinerie utilisée. C'était la pelle mécanique que j'aimais le plus, allez savoir pourquoi. C'est aussi le cas pour mon fils, qui en a quelques unes en version jouet. Je ne sais pas si c'est l'hérédité ou un hasard.

Summertime Bookmark

This year's Independent Bookshop Week is already gone, but I did find time to stop at our local independent bookshop when it was going on and make a few purchases. I also received as a bonus this cool bookmark. (By the way, that is one thing I love about buying from a bookshop instead of ordering online: you get a free bookmark with your purchase). They made the bookmark it very summery looking, showing the image of people reading on the beach they put everywhere in their promotional material. When it was going on, it was not very fitting, and it did not look like summer was here. But now that the season has come back in full force, this bookmark just fits perfectly with this time of year. Which means that I now have a new summertime bookmark, to use for the light and maybe not so light reads of the next few weeks.

Le Jour du Déménagement, trois ans plus tard

Photo prise à Totnes dans le Devon, que je partage ici avec mon billet, de manière un peu arbitraire, rien parce qu'on y voit des toits. Tout ça pour dire que le premier juillet, c'est ce que font bien des Québécois: ils se trouvent un toit. Nous, le hasard a voulu que l'on devienne propriétaires le 1er juillet 2016. Ça fait trois ans que l'on vit dans notre maison. Je ne sais pas trop comment célébrer notre pendaison de crémaillère, mais on va essayer de le souligner.