Monday, 28 September 2020

The T-Rex on the street

I was walking in the street doing some errands two days ago, when I saw this plastic dinosaur on the ground, just by a fancy furniture shop. This is of course a tyrannosaurus rex, the most fearsome of all dinosaurs. And he was lying there, rather vulnerable looking and not terrifying at all. I did not touch it, but I took this picture. It made me a bit sad, as this probably belongs to a little boy (or a little girl who knows) who might miss his (or her) scary little t-rex, maybe the prize of a large collection of dinosaurs. I hope whoever lost the t-rex will find him again. I might put this picture on social media, just like my wife did with that plush mouse. I'm not really present outside this blog, but it might be helpful.

Playmobils en grève

Ce billet appartient à la catégorie: les niaiseries que l'on peut retrouver en ligne sur les réseaux sociaux. Les petits bonhommes Playmobil font partie de ma vie quotidienne de père, mon fils les aimant beaucoup. Quiconque est familier avec eux sait qu'ils n'ont pas de coudes. Ils ne peuvent donc pas tousser dedans, ce qui est temps de pandémie est problématique. Ils ne peuvent pas non plus lever le coude, ce qui est tragique quand t'es travailleur.

Sunday, 27 September 2020

Hippie Wolfie

My son hasn't had a haircut since the beginning of the pandemic. There is a simple reason for this of course, as the barber shops were closed, for one and we didn't want to risk going there when they reopened. We did not risk it for ourselves (I even bought a clipper to cut my hair myself), let alone for Wolfie. It also happens that Wolfie is absolutely terrified of haircuts, so this makes every normal visit to the barber shop rather difficult. He had a few of course, but every time it is a struggle to get him (and us) through the ordeal. Thankfully he had one right before lockdown, otherwise I don't know how he would have coped. Because right now, he has quite long hair. I often tease him and say he looks like a hippie, he always reply "you're the hippie daddy." Be that as it may, we will cut his hair soon. My wife bought scissors and we intend to give him a quick haircut, enough so he will not look so hippie.

Rotoculteur

Il fut un temps où mon père et deux de ses voisins, dont le père de mon plus jeune ami d'enfance, avaient acheté en groupe un rotoculteur. Ils en avaient fait l'acquisition parce qu'apparemment c'était une affaire bien utile pour leur jardinage, mais pas assez pour justifier l'investissement pour un rotoculteur dans chaque jardin. Alors ils avaient acheté le truc en copropriété. La machine m'avait beaucoup impressionné, même si je ne savais pas et ne sait toujours pas à quoi ça sert. Je pense que mon père s,en est servi une fois ou deux, puis quelques années plus tard le voisin qui en avait la garde nous a dit qu'il l'avait vendu. Ça n'a pas fait un pli sur la différence à papa. C'est quand même étrange que des souvenirs comme celui-là me reviennent parfois en tête. Je ferai peut-être une question existentielle sur le rotoculteur, parce que c'est quand même une drôle de patente à gosse. Je crois comprendre que ça bouge la terre. Sûrement une pelle ferait aussi bien l'affaire.

Saturday, 26 September 2020

Time for mushrooms

It seems that this autumn, more than any other in recent years, will be the one of mushrooms. I was out yesterday and saw this in the communal area near our home. It's not as impressive as what my father saw, but it is just one of these details that make the season.

Anticonstitutionnellement

Vous avez reconnu bien entendu dans ce titre le mot le plus long de la langue française. C'est toujours le mot le plus long de la langue française, malgré un article de La Presse qui a dit, par erreur, qu'il aurait été détrômé par "intergouvernementalisations". Ils ont envoyé un correctif. L'autre mot a beau être plus long (je ne vais d'ailleurs pas le retaper), il n'est pas reconnu. Anticonstitutionnellement demeure donc le mot le plus long de la langue française, on respire. Et, rien qu'à cause de ça, il mérite d'être notre mot du jour.

Friday, 25 September 2020

Proper Autumn

I hope you don't mind me blogging about the season again, as this post is a new entry in this year's autumn chronicle. The equinox was three days ago and it seems that it has been a signal for the season to show up. The temperature has dropped significantly and suddenly, the wind keeps blowing and I can finally wear the warm clothes I had kept in my drawers since April (at least). Thick socks, thick jumpers, fleece, I'm in autumnal heaven. The colours in the trees are not quite there yet, but they generally arrive later in the season. Anyway, that is my autumn so far, how is yours?

Paris-Brest

Je ne savais pas ce qu'était un Paris-brest, enfin je n'en avais qu'une vague idée, jusqu'à il y a quelques semaines. J'en avais vu sans doute, peut-être, dans des pâtisseries. J'ai appris que mon frère Andrew en faisait maintenant. Je crois que c'est à la demande de sa blonde. Comme vous pouvez le voir sur cette photo, il pourrait être pâtissier professionnel. Il ne l'est pas.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

I am a Cryptkeeper

If you haven't noticed, there is a badge on the sidebar of Vraie Fiction, representing a rather stylish Grim Reaper. I got it because the official Countdown to Halloween will start very soon. I say official as I personally start it in August, as you may have noticed. Come October, I will post daily about Halloween on the blog. All aspects of the holiday will be touched upon, but Vraie Fiction will be mainly focusing on scary stories.

Le drame de la bouteille d'eau

 Gros drame hier pour Wolfie au retour de la garderie: un autre enfant est parti avec sa bouteille d'eau, celle avec des dinosaures qu'il aime tant. Il en a d'autres, mais c'est sa préférée. Bien entendu, c'était la seule qui n'était pas identifiée à son nom. Nous avions collé une étiquette dessus, mais elle n'a pas duré longtemps avec les lavages répétés. Il était très triste et inquiet à propos de sa bouteille. Nous ne sommes pas certain de la personne qui l'a "volée", mais selon notre petit loup c'est une fille, qui portait un gilet rose et portait des souliers de fille. Ce qui ne nous avance guère. Wolfie bien entendu ne veut pas de nouvelle bouteille avec des dinosaures, c'est celle-là ou rien. Alors j'espère que l'on pourra la récupérer.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

The slow reader

 I noticed something recently: I have been a slow readers these last few weeks, maybe even these last few months. I check the list of books I had read last year and how many books I have read so far this year, and while it is not dramatically low there are far less. I also noticed that it takes me longer to get through a book. I suspect it is because I am working from home: I had plenty of time to read during my commute. I even had a good thirty minutes to kill every morning before walking to the office. Since working from home, I have little commute time, but the free time I gained I don't spend as much of it reading. It is a question of adaptation of course. With a bit more discipline, I should be able to read a lot more, maybe even start binge-reading again. I need to, as I have a lot of books to go through and to share on this blog.

La femme de ménage en télétravail

Je sais que les internets et les médias sociaux sont pleins de niaiseries, mais j'ai trouvé ce gag vraiment très drôle, même si c'est un brin franchouillard. Je ne connais pas Laurent Salles, faudra que je vois d'autres "oeuvres" de lui.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Autumnal cake

Sometimes I take pictures thinking they would be interesting for a good blog post, but I only share them years later. This is the case for this one, which I took at the National Railway Museum of York. Maybe my favourite museum, even when I have to choose a dessert in its cafeteria (and not its luxury one). This is a piece of a vegetable or a garden cake, I don't remember the name. Basically a cake made of garden vegetables. I thought it was such an unusual idea that I had to try it. I also thought that it could be a sort of autumnal cake. Any cake made with the products of harvest is autumnal in my book. When I ate it, I remember thinking that autumn was coming soon and it felt very fitting.

Un 22 septembre...

Comme à chaque année sur ce blogue, je partage Le vingt-deux septembre de Georges Brassens. Parce que devinez quelle est la date aujourd'hui. Après vérifications sur mon blogue, il semblerait que je partage de moins en moins de Brassens. Après après année, c'est cette chanson que je mets ici, à la même date ou à peu près. C'est une chanson parfaitement automnale, mélancolique à souhait.



Monday, 21 September 2020

"I'm too tired to sleep"

"I'm too tired to sleep." This is what Wolfie was saying recently, explaining why he could not, or did not want to sleep. He fell asleep literally seconds after, which is reassuring. But it took him a long while until that moment. In any case, this is a new Wolfism and I wanted to share it here. And it kind of makes sense. I don't know for you, but I sometimes have felt too exhausted to be able to sleep, even though I really wanted to. How about you?

La St-Ambroise à la citrouille

Petite nouvelle brassicole québécoise d'intérêt: la bière à la citrouille de McAuslan est maintenant en vente. Je ne sais pas si j'ai déjà fait cet aveu, alors pardonnez-moi si je répète. Enfin bref, même si McAuslan est ma brasserie québécoise préférée (bon, c'est pas mon premier amour, mais c'est celui que j'ai depuis ma première année à Montréal), je ne suis pas un grand fan de cette bière en particulier. Mais rien que parce que c'est la bière d'automne de McAuslan, et ma bière d'Halloween à Montréal, je me fais un point d'honneur d'en boire chaque fois que je suis au Québec en automne. Autre détail d'intérêt: cette photo promotionnelle est vraiment superbe et parfaitement automnale. Et la cannette également. Rien que pour ça, je l'achèterais, même si je préfère les bières en bouteille.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

The gardening game

 For some reasons which I don't quite understand yet, Wolfie really loves when I do gardening sometimes. Not when I mowe the lawn (that he borderline hates, because of te noise), but when I take out the weeds, cut down the rosemary plant (more of that one day), or indeed any plant in the garden, and put all this in the green bin that is for green waste. He just loves it, seeing me taking the gardening gloves, the secator or the spade. He often helps me with his plastic rake and his toy wheelbarrow, he fills the wheelbarrow with grass or what have you and brings it to the bin, where I empty its content. Sometimes, he just tells me: "Daddy, I want you to do gardening now." It is really for him some kind of game.

Dimanche

Il fut un temps où je n'aimais guère dimanche, enfin à partir d'une certaine heure le dimanche, quand je sentais la fin de semaine se terminer. J'étais alors pris de mélancolie. Je suis toujours mélancolique, mais beaucoup moins. C'est un peu parce que j'ai réappris les vertus du farniente le dimanche, mais ce n'est pas que ça. C'est en fait depuis le début du confinement que le dimanche n'a plus cet effet désagréable, comme si la pandémie avait "adouci" le jour de la semaine. Enfin, c'est mon expérience et ma perception des choses. Qu'en est-il de la vôtre?

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Missing the local carnival

 I blogged about this in French last year, using the same picture. Every year, the third Saturday of September, our little English town hosts her "carnival", a little fête done in a nearby park. The celebration starts with a procession with allegorical cars which ends in a local park where the celebration takes place. There is music, stands, local breweries seeling their stuff. I love it because although not made to celebrate autumn consciously, it is still set around the equinox and it can be quite autumnal. And because there are probably no better way to spend a Saturday of September than drinking beer in an English park. It's just so perfect. And because we live in a fine town. Sadly, this year's carnival has been cancelled, for obvious reasons. And we missed the procession last year. I hope we can appreciate it next year.

Depuis l'automne...

 Il m'est récemment venu à l'esprit que dans le répertoire de chansons automnales que j'écoute ces temps-ci, il y en a une que je n'écoute pas assez souvent. Il m'est aussi venu à l'esprit que je n'ai pas mis de musique d'Harmonium sur ce blogue depuis des années. Et cette chanson du groupe, tiré bien entendu de leurs cinq saisons, est pas mal puissante, alors la voici (c'est la première fois que je partage un vidéo de YouTube avec la nouvelle interface de Blogger, alors j'espère que ça va bien sortir). Dites-moi ce que vous pensez des paroles et de leurs significations. Pour ma part, je crois qu'elles étaient politiques et prophétisaient, ou voulaient prophétiser, la victoire du Parti québécois dans la prochaine élection. Prophétie qui s'est avérée exacte.

Friday, 18 September 2020

No more legacy interface

 Well, I was dreading it, but it seems that the option to keep the legacy interface of Blogger is not available anymore. So I will be now stuck with the new interface forever. Unless, that is, I decide to move this blog somewhere else. That said, as I always liked the look of Vraie Fiction and changing host seems to be tedious, I will keep blogger for now. At least, the navigation and editing are easier than it has been before, so I guessed they worked to improve this "new" blogger. Maybe I just have to get used to it.

"Beau-thé"

 "Beau-thé" comme dans "Aujourd'hui, vous êtes en beau-thé". Tel qu'écrit sur une l'étiquette d'une poche de thé, prise chez mes beaux-parents il y a deux semaines. Il y avait aussi une version anglaise de l'autre côté, je ne l'ai pas prise en photo et je ne m'en rappelle plus (je ne me rappelle pas non plus de la marque de thé), mais c'était aussi atroce. Le thé était bon, ne me méprenez pas, mais ce calembour est vraiment imbuvable. Je me demande qui est le génie dans l'équipe de marketing qui a pensé à ça. C'est peut-être intentionnel que le jeu de mots soit aussi mauvais, qui sait.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Seasonal pasta bake

One of the many things I love about autumn, is the hearty food you eat. I am always on the lookout for more autumnal dishes. My wife is vegetarian and she likes to try new veggie recipes, either from her many, many recipe books, or from the internet. So around this time of year, she generally cooks something we could both enjoy. We are not always lucky, but sometimes she strikes gold. She did this week, when we found a pasta bake recipe from a book (booklet really, it's only a few pages) I bought during our holiday in Devon a few years ago: Vegetarian Recipes from the West Country. At £2.99, it was a bargain. What got our attention was the "Devon farmhouse cheddar, bramley apple and pasta bake". I am not sure how authentically Devonian, but it is definitely an autumnal dish: because it is hearty for one, with plenty of milk, cream and cheese to fill you up, and also because it has apples in the recipe. Apples being of course the fruits of autumn.

It might seem strange to mix apples and pasta, but it turned out really good. Of course by hindsight it made perfect sense: apples go well with cheese and thus it enhances the cheese sauce flavour. There is so much tasty stuff in there: the cheddar, the apples, the leeks and the tarragon (my wife is not a fan of the latter). A lot of the dish we had tried in last autumn had not gone so well, so we are really happy to have found something we both enjoy (Wolfie is a bit more fussy, if you were wondering). Anyway, as the book is out of print, I thought it would be okay to share the recipe here. If you bake it, tell us what you thought of it. We will definitely do this recipe again.

Trouver les feuilles d'automne

J'ai pris cette photo à Wallingford, le petit village anglais plein de cachet que j'aime tant. C'était vers la fin août, quand le temps était plus automnal, ironiquement, qu'il l'a été durant les derniers jours. Mais ça se tasse encore une fois et la saison devient un peu plus typique, alors je ne me plaindrai pas. Cela dit, il y a une chose qu'il y a (avait) à Wallingford et que nous n'avons pas encore beaucoup ici: des feuilles qui ont changé de couleurs. Ici, elles sont encore rares. Je sais que la saison est encore jeune, mais je suis à l'affût des couleurs automnales. Hier, il a venté et quelques feuilles sèches sont tombées dans le jardin. Ce n'est pas tout à fait ce que j'espérais, mais c'est mieux que rien.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

A toad in our garden

You may remember that I blogged a few weeks ago about a possible frog hiding in our garden. Well, it turned out we were only half right: it is not a frog but a toad. We found it this week, when I noticed that Domino was trying to bite something in the grass. I thought it was another mouse (Domino is a merciless mouser), then I saw this little fella. I managed to hold Domi and bring him back inside, so the toad survived unscathed. I even had the time to take this picture. Now I have no idea how the toad got there, or if he is a permanent resident or just a regular visitor. In any case, this is pretty cool news.I think we must find it a name.

Revisiter Le port de tête

Je ne sais pas trop quand je vais revoir Montréal, avec tout ce qui se passe avec la pandémie ça risque d'être plus tard que je le voudrais. Quand j'y retournerai, j'espère avoir le temps de bouquiner dans les librairies où j'allais d'habitude, mais aussi celles que j'ai à peine eu le temps de découvrir quand j'y suis retourné. Dont notamment Le Port de tête. C'est un tout petit commerce, une librairie comme on n'en fait plus, mais j'y ai toujours trouvé au moins un titre que je voulais acheter. J'espère que la pandémie ne leur a pas fait trop mal.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Autumn Chronicle Again

I thought it is time for a quick blog post about autumn as it is in this part of the world. As since the beginning of this week it has been very hot, with temperatures above 25, approaching 30 even. It would be an Indian summer but for the fact that we haven't had a first frost yet (which would be quite early in September anyway). I don't like it much generally, I find it too sticky. That said, it has been strangely bearable overall, although I had to wear my short sleeves, which I hate this time of year. But I will not complain: after tomorrow, the temperatures should gradually go down. I can't wait to wear warmer clothes. Otherwise, I can at least take consolation in the fact that sundown comes noticeably earlier. So not the ideal autumn, but the month is still fairly young. And how's autumn where you are?

Le franglais de petit loup

Mon fils comprend très bien le français, en tout cas quand c'est son père qui le parle. Il le parle moins souvent, mais parfois il insert des mots français dans ses conversations anglaises. Il m'est arrivé hier avec cette perle: "When will daddy's barbe grow back?" Il préfère que je sois rasé de près et fraîchement rasé, voyez-vous.

Monday, 14 September 2020

Some beavers were there

My father recently sent me pictures of the piece of woodlands owned by my uncles (his brothers). They have beavers dwelling in the lake on their property. They don't always see them, but they can see their work: these trees have been gnawed by them, as you can see. I must say, I find this very impressive, it's like beavers have teeth that do the work of a chainsaw. They look all cute and fluffy, not as cute as otters, but still, yet they are like the ravenous vandals of the forest.

Encore le pâté à la truite

Mes parents ont encore fait un pâté à la truite il y a quelques jours. Je dis "encore" le dernier datait de juillet, mais ça faisait un bail (quelques années?) qu'ils n'en avaient pas fait. Et moi, ça fait des années, au moins une décennie, que je n'en ai pas mangé" Ça me manque.

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Autumn Birthdays

It was recently little Wolfie's birthday. As expected he was spoiled with lots of presents, among them this combined harvester from Playmobil. Spoiled, but thankfully always grateful: he was happy and even enthusiastic with every single present he received. We probably have done something right with him, but I also think this in part due to the fact that his birthday is in autumn. I was discussing this with my brother PJ, who also celebrate his birthday in autumn, and it seems that from what we can remember, the birthdays of our childhood we celebrated in that season always seemed cooler somehow. The presents at his birthday always seemed more inspired than the ones my brother Andrew or myself received. Maybe there were better toys on sales due to the coming winter season? Maybe because I was already unconsciously an autumn lover and thought it was nicer to celebrate during this season? Maybe it is just the nostalgia talking and twisting my old memories. I am not sure why, but I often remember more PJ's birthday presents than my own. But I cannot complain now that Wolfie has his birthday in autumn. Having a young child, it gives you a second childhood.

Le gâteau d'anniversaire de petit loup

Le gâteau de fête de notre fils cette année. Ma femme voulait quelque chose de plus élaboré, mission accomplie de ce côté: glaçage à la vanille, confiture de fraises entre les deux étages, Kit Kat, Smarties et Maltesers pour faire beau, avec la pelle mécanique et le camion en plus parce que ben, notre petit loup, c'est ça qui l'intéresse. Pour la présentation, il n'y a pas à dire, c'est réussi, contre toutes attentes parce que mes gâteaux sont souvent des gâtastrophes de ce côté. Même si parfois la confiture s'est mélangée au glaçage, ça ne paraît pas. Le problème, c'est que riche comme ça, il est pas mal indigeste.

Saturday, 12 September 2020

How to celebrate the big 4-0

Here is a little anecdote that happened yesterday, when I was buying icing sugar for Wolfie's birthday cake. I went to a small local grocery shop, the one where I buy my tea. The lady at the shop asked me what we were going to do for our boy, I told her: "Given the circumstances, not much apart from eating a cake and giving him far too many presents." So we chatted a bit about how we need to adapt with the pandemic and everything and she said: "Oh my boyfriend will be turning 40 soon, and I have no idea what to do on a 40th birthday. How do you celebrate it?" My reply: "Speaking from experience, by drinking your sorrow." I think that deserves to be a great unknown line. It made her laugh anyway.

La pomme McIntosh en voie de disparition

Je partage pour la deuxième fois cette photo prise par mon père au Marché Jean-Talon. J'ai appris hier une très triste nouvelle en lisant la grosse Presse en ligne: la pomme McIntosh est en voie d'extinction, parce que de moins en moins populaire. Ça m'a scié les jambes. C'est LA meilleure variété de pomme. Il n'y a pas plus pomme qu'une pomme McIntosh. Et comme la pomme est le fruit de l'automne pour moi (ainsi que le fruit des récoltes d'automne), c'est un peu un aspect de l'automne québécois que l'on risque de perdre avec elle. Alors j'espère qu'elle regagnera en popularité pour survivre.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Another year of 9/11

It is a sad anniversary, but every year I commemorate it on Vraie Fiction. So it is the 19th anniversary of 9/11. I have very little to say apart from mentioning it, and as usual poiting you to my post of the previous years: from 2008 and from 2009 especially as I am very proud of them. My posts from 2011, 2012 and 2013 you may also find appropriate to read today. In a year of pandemic, a few (some who were too young then perhaps?) may find the actions of the terrorists almost trivial in scope, but let's not forget that the vicious murder of so many innocent lives to religious fanaticism is also the symptom of a disease that is still sadly a threat to us all.

Question existentielle (364)

Alors que l'on prépare la fête de petit loup et que nous sommes en pleine opération d'emballage de cadeaux, il m'est venu cette question existentielle:

-Est-ce moi, ou est-ce qu'il y a de moins en moins d'emballage dans les rouleaux de papier d'emballage?

Thursday, 10 September 2020

The Autumn Chronicle

So how is your autumn so far, since the beginning of September? I say this and here it felt like autumn had started at least a week before, as the temperature was cool and we had started wearing warmer clothes. Even the leaves on the trees had started changing colours. It has been warmer for the last few days, enough to wear short sleeves, but it should cool down today and remain fairly cool during the weekend. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I am not complaining anyway: even when it is warmer, it remains in lower twenties, and only in the middle of the day when the sun is out. Otherwise, the air keeps a certain chill. Even when it is warm, there is that unmistakable autumn smell, something that reminds you that we are this time of year. Oh and you can finally notice the evening coming earlier and earlier. In fact, even daylight in September seem to be somewhat tainted and not as strong. I don't know about you, but I'm really enjoying it.

Rosa, rosa, rosam...

Je sais que j'ai déjà blogué la chanson Rosa de Jacques Brel, mais ça fait dix ans, alors je me permets de le refaire. Je la partage encore une fois pour un peu les mêmes raisons: c'est le retour à l'école depuis quelques jours ici et même si on n'apprend plus guère les déclinaisons latines ni le catéchisme (heureusement!), on doit bien s'ennuyer un peu sur les bancs d'école, comme durant la jeunesse de Grand Jacques ou durant la mienne. Moi qui suis en général un incorrigible nostalgique, je ne m'ennuie pas de tout ce qui concerne la partie catholique de mon éducation.

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

M&S: first Halloween display

Oh, I am really loving it these days: after seeing a pumpkin growing in the local allotment, I saw the first Halloween display at the local Marks & Spencer. Even though it s a very small M&S, almost exclusively for food. Which is all right: however small, although I cannot always find what I need, I always find something I want. Such as: Halloween delicacies. People must have thought me crazy, but I took a picture of the display anyway. So it was fairly modest, but still, there was the usual features of Jack O'Lantern, mostly chocolate delicacies, some sweets and even some cheese puffs in the form of vampire fangs (I bought a bag, because I'm a sucker, pun intended.) I can't wait to see more in the upcoming weeks.

Les canards et le héron

J'ai pris cette photo la fin de semaine dernière, lors d'une promenade avec une famille de nos amis. C'était dans une ville voisine, qui est assez laide, mais qui a d'assez jolis parcs parfois, dont celui où l'on marchait. Et dans la rivière du parc, nous avons vu des canards et un héron. Je n'ai rien d'autre à dire, sinon que j'ai toujours associé les canards à l'automne. Ce n'est pas encore la photo la plus automnale, mais quand même, on commence à reconnaître la saison, je crois.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Twix and Tea

A few years ago, back in my old job (not my last one, but the one before) a then colleague told of a way to enjoy a Twix bar and tea: you dip the Twix in your tea, bite the bit that had been in the liquid, then do the same for the other end, then finally use what is left of the bar as a straw. You get hot tea mixed with warmed up caramel, the rest of the bar is all gooey and warm and it is allegedly delicious. Well, I have been curious about it since then, so I decided to try it yesterday after my lunch as my wife had bought some Twix for dessert. While there was not much possibility to drink all that much tea, it did taste quite nice. I will try it again, next time hopefully I will be better at it.

Pizza maison

Non, non, ce n'est pas moi qui ai fait ça. C'est mon père, pour mon frère Andrew et sa blonde. Ou alors c'est Andrew lui même, je ne suis pas certain. Toujours est-il que je regarde ça et je me dis que ma famille n'a pas grand-chose à envier aux Italiens, en ce qui concerne la pizza faite maison.

Monday, 7 September 2020

One birthday to prepare

Soon it will be Wolfie's birthday. I should also add that it will also be is maternal grandfather's birthday (his daddad), as they share the same birthday, but truly, once there are children in the picture, all other birthdays get somewhat sidestepped (but daddad does not mind one bit). So it will be soon and this has been keeping us busy for a while. We have been preparing it for weeks, buying presents, a bit too many probably and asking Wolfie how he'd like it to be. Yesterday, I went to buy wrapping paper at WHSmith. It dawned on me on how imminent the celebration is now. Wolfie is very excited, but I think we are just as much.

Fête du Travail

Nous sommes la fête du Travail aujourd'hui, étant donné que c'est le premier lundi de septembre. En fait, c'est le cas en Amérique du nord, mais pas ici. Ça fait des années que je la manque et c'est dommage, parce qu'un jour férié en septembre, je l'apprécierais plus maintenant qu'il y a des années de cela, quand je pouvais en profiter. Plus jeune, je n'aimais guère le nom, ça sonnait comme si on fêtait le retour au travail après les vacances. Je trouvais ça vaguement masochiste. J'imagine qu'il faut être travailleur pour vraiment comprendre l'intérêt d'un jour consacré aux travailleurs. Ici, on la célèbre en mai, mais je trouve que c'est plus logique de la fêter en septembre. Comme je préfère le mois de septembre, je trouve que ça adonnerait mieux pour moi aussi.

Sunday, 6 September 2020

The Countess of York

This is the picture of the Countess of York, which you can find in the National Railway Museum of York. It is a restored railway carriage reconverted into a tea room. Apparently, they serve truly indulgent afternoon teas. I don't know why we did not go there when we visited the museum. Prohibitively expensive, maybe? (It is £25.50 per person for an afternoon tea). Not enough time? Be that as it may, we ate in the "ordinary" cafeteria, like the pleb we are. I must say, by hindsight I kind of regret it. Because for the experience of eating in a luxurious carriage, even though this one is not in motion, it would have been worth the expense. Anyway, whenever we revisit the NRM, I think we will go there for tea.

Nouveau calembour atroce

J'ai commis celui-là hier et je le lègue ici pour la postérité. Un ami sir Facebook mentionnait sa ruelle montréalaise. J'ai commenté: "On s'y rue." Je sais, je sais, votre estomac se tourne rien qu'à lire cette horreur. L'histoire me jugera (sans doute sévèrement).

Saturday, 5 September 2020

First Saturday of September

Happy first Saturday of September everyone, I hope that it is a very autumnal one for you, wherever you are. I can now enjoy the month and the season fully. This was not always the case: while I always loved autumn, I had mixed feelings about September as a child, because it was the beginning of school. So early September was always bittersweet for me. But the first Saturdays of September were always the highest point of the month, when I could really make the best of it. Saturday was the beginning of the autumn TV schedule and Saturday meant lots of new and exciting Tv programs to discover, as well as finding old ones I loved. I still look back upon these moments fondly. In the age of streaming, we tend to forget the excitement of watching things when they were available on television. That said, as I do not go to school anymore, or work  in a school, I don't have that vague feeling of dread come September, and the first Saturday of the month is spent fully enjoying the new season.

Le quai de Robe noire

J'ai blogué récemment sur le site du tournage du film Black Robe, lequel est ou a déjà été une attraction touristique au Saguenay. Mon père m'a également envoyé cette photo, montrant le quai du même site. Le Saguenay faisait figure de Saint-Laurent. Morale de l'histoire, en une image: il n'y a rien de petit au Saguenay.

Friday, 4 September 2020

First sign of Halloween

Last week, while it was still August, I saw the very first sign of Halloween. Interestingly enough, it was not in the window of a shop, but in one of the town's allotments. First sign of Halloween, and also another sign of the autumnal season which is finally upon us. I got so enthusiastic, I took the time to take a picture. So here it is. It is very small, but you can see it among the foliage. A little pumpkin, but already in fiery orange, growing nicely there. I envy whoever had the brilliant idea to grow pumpkins on the allotment and I wish him or her the best for the weeks to come. Hopefully this little fella will grow to become a fearsome Jack O'Lantern.

Du bureau à chez soi

Hier, lorsque je revenais de faire quelques commissions, j'ai vu l'autobus que je prenais chaque soir pour le retour du bureau, lorsque j'avais mon ancien travail. Au trois quarts vide, chaque passager dedans portant bien entendu un masque. Ça m'a rappelé à quel point j'en étais venu à détester le chemin du retour vers la fin, presqu'autant que ma job elle-même. Trop souvent en retard, toujours après une journée épuisante, le confinement et le travail de la maison m'ont fait un bien immense. Et puis je sais que mon ancien employeur a ramené mes anciens collègues au bureau, et ce depuis juin, alors que moi dans mon nouvel emploi je vais encore travailler de la maison pour un temps. Et je termine ma journée plus tôt en plus. Je suis désolé pour les quelques anciens collègues avec qui je m'entendais bien (deux ou trois au maximum), mais pour tous les autres, je ne peux pas m'empêcher d'avoir un sentiment de schandenfreude. Je pense que je peux me le permettre.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

No Time to Die (new trailer)

Like many of you I hope, I got some exciting news today: the secon trailer for No Time to Die, the upcoming James Bond film, has been released. I loved it. I even preferred it to the first one. Of course, the movie itself might disappoint me, but at least it looks very good so far, I love the whole look and feel of the film. Anyway, here it is:

Relire Le fantôme de l'opéra

J'ai lu Le fantôme de l'opéra de Gaston Leroux il y a très, très longtemps. Avant même, en fait, de voir et de lire toutes les autres adaptations du roman. Ce dont j'ai toujours été assez fier. C'était l'édition que vous voyez ici, que mes parents ont encore à Chicoutimi. Mon programme de lecture dans les semaines avant l'Halloween est déjà bien costaud, j'ai des histoires d'horreur, qu'elles soient classiques ou non, pour durer jusqu'au 31 octobre, facilement. Je ne crois pas trouver assez de temps pour ce classique en particulier, mais je songe de plus en plus à me le procurer pour l'année prochaine. Je vais sans doute le réacheter, parce que 1)je ne pourrai sans doute pas mettre la main sur celui qui est à Chicoutimi et 2)c'est celui de la famille, pas le mien à moi tout seul. Et ça me permettra en plus d'acheter une autre édition.

Mummy bear and her cubs

My father recently went to the piece of forest land owned by his brothers. He discovered from the surveillance cameras that a few minutes before he went there, they've had visitors: this black she bear and her two cubs. I must say that I was a bit scared when I found out: female bears can be very aggressive when they fear for their youngs. I asked my dad to be careful. That being said, I love black bears and I can't help but find the pics of this family very cute.

Tarte aux bleuets

C'est une tradition gastronomique obligatoire ces temps-ci de l'année pour toute famille saguenéenne qui se respecte: on doit faire une tarte aux bleuets. Des vrais de vrais du Lac. C'est ce que mes parents ont fait et juste pour le plaisir et par fierté familiale et rérionale, je partage la photo ici.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

About Binoculars

We recently visited my in-laws recently. Wolfie was very happy to see his daddad and grandma. They had prepared the garden for him, with lots of plastic animals as a sort of safari, but also these binoculars. He got interested about them for a few minutes. I think I got more enthusiastic about the binoculars than he did. When I was his age, my dad had binoculars as well, like these, although from what I can remember they were bigger. My brothers and I loved it. Dad had it for birdwatching, but we used it in make-belief games, or to spy on the neighbours and the people walking by. There was a spot in the garden of a friend, where we could see the street without being seen, and we could spend ages there, imagining we were secret agents on a mission. I guess it is maybe for the best that Wolfie did not get too interested about these binoculars.

Le site de "Robe noire"

Mon père m'a envoyé cette photo. Ce sont les cabanes rondes du site Black Robe, film historique avec Lothaire Bluteau.Ils ont filmé ça au Saguenay. Je me rappelle vaguement du film, je l'ai vu en anglais une fois qu'il passait sur CBC ou PBS ou ailleurs. Comme mon anglais était alors très limité, je n'ai pas saisi grand-chose. Mais le film ne m'avait guère impressionné, même à l'époque. On en avait fait grand cas, si je me souviens bien, parce que c'était une grande production internationale filmée au Québec, en région en plus, et un Québécois jouait dedans. Toujours est-il que le lieu de tournage existe encore et a longtemps été, est peut-être encore, un site touristique. Il n'y a rien qu'au Saguenay pour faire d'un film obscur, tombé dans l'oubli, une attraction touristique.

Too late at the bookshop

We recently went to visit Wallingford, one of my favourite English towns. I had been wanting to go there for quite a while, so it was nice to be able to revisit it again after such a long time. I had also wanted to see its local Bookshop. But unfortunately, we had not checked its opening hours and we arrived a few minutes too late at the door. So I could not browse around it. I should not complain, we have our own local bookshop, but I also want to encourage other independent bookshops, whenever I can. So it will have to be be for another time. Thankfully, we intend to go back to Wallingford fairly often, so next time might be fairly soon.

Un champignon

Mon père a pris cette photo il y a quelques jours, sur le lot de mes oncles, en se souvenant de mon billet récent sur les champignons. Il me l'a donc envoyée. C'est l'automne à toutes fins pratiques, ici comme de l'autre côté de l'Atlantique, et comme Vraie Fiction suit les saisons, je partage cette photo d'un champignon aux couleurs bien automnales.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

All Hail September

Happy first of September to all the readers of this blog! This is for me (and for many of you I know) the true beginning of autumn and it could not arrive early enough.So to celebrate the month and the season, I share here, as it is the case every year (one of Vraie Fiction's many tradition), this sort of cornucopia, made by my parents. A basket with apples, crab apples, apple jelly and crab apple jelly. Autumnal harvest, in sum. Let's hope this year's is bountiful.

Chocolatines

Je partage encore une fois une photo des croissants que mon père a faits, mais cette-fois-ci on voit un peu plus de quoi ils sont faits. Ceux-ci sont des chocolatines. On les appelle "pains au chocolat" en Angleterre, moi je préfère les appeler chocolatines. Et vous?

Monday, 31 August 2020

Panama hats in Wallingford

I was blogged a few weeks ago about my wish to buy a hat, possibly a Panama hat. We were visiting a few days ago in the quaint little English town of Wallingford when lo and behold, I say this window. They have a shop selling hats, including... Panama hats. Very nice, very stylish, very everything Panama hats. They sure look good. That said, I was taken aback by the pricing: the normal price of £85 is too much, even at the reduced price of £68, that is asking a lot and there are other, better ways I can spend my money, even to spoil myself. I still took this picture, just because they look stylish. Anyway, if I ever want to buy a Panama, I now know of another place to get them from.

Encore le chocolat aux bleuets

Mes parents ont acheté il n'y a pas longtemps du chocolat aux bleuets des Pères trappistes. Et des bleuets sauvages "ordinaires", donc sans chocolat. Mon père m'a envoyé cette photo. C'est le supplice de Tantales, rien de moins.

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Happy Birthday Mary Shelley!

I took this picture in Totnes in Devon. It was during their carnival and I know it might be a rather cheap way to illustrate today'stopic, but here it is anyway: today is the birthday of Mary Shelley.The genius author of Frankenstein and thus the accidental mother (or grandmother?) of one of Halloween's and horror's most iconic monsters. Which in his original incarnatios has nothing to do with the popular image of its Hollywood adaptations. In other words: read the novel. On a side note, it will be my wife and my wedding anniversary very soon, so this picture is kind of fitting for that too.

"Couleurs de l'automne"

Je ne dois pas être le seul à trouver que l'automne est en chemin ces temps-ci: mon père m'a envoyé cette photo hier, avec comme titre de courriel "couleurs de l'automne" Bon, elle est floue, mais ça donne une idée. C'est vrai que ce sont des couleurs automnales.

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Bookshelf Personality Types

I found this image totally at random and found it quite interesting and revealing. For those who are not helpless geeks like me, here is some context about the references: the so called "personality types" are in fact alignments from Dungeons & Dragons. I thought at first I was Neutral Good in the way I organize my books, but come to think of it, I am most definitely Chaotic Neutral. Basically, I shelve them, in order of importance: by genre, by author, by height and in order of how much I like them (i.e. I have a few on a special shelf near my bedside.) Anyway, this is how I mix and match, I am thus Chaotic Neutral. Tell me what you are in the comments section.

Bouquiner aux Bouquinistes

Bien que je sois expatrié, je suis de manière assez assidue la page Facebook des Bouquinistes, la librairie indépendante de Chicoutimi, toujours là après toutes ces années. Comme je ne reverrai pas mon coin de pays d'origine pour un bout de temps, je suis heureux d'avoir pris le temps d'aller aux Bouquinistes à la fin de l'année dernière. La librairie n'a pas beaucoup changé depuis toutes ces années, à part qu'elle a pris de l'ampleur et qu'elle a en plus un café. Même si je n'ai jamais vu qui que ce soit dans la section café, en tout cas je n'en ai aucun souvenir. Non, les Bouquinistes, tu y vas pour acheter des livres, puis tu vas dans un autre café par après, le Cambio ou le Café Croissant, ou tu y vas avant si ça te chante. Mais le mieux, je pense, c'est de passer une bonne heure à bouquiner, puis de revenir chez soi avec le pactole et lire, lire, lire.

Friday, 28 August 2020

Mushrooms: the new signs of autumn

Well, autumn is on its way, getting closer and closer every day. There are signs all around: the cooler evenings, the sun going down earlier and earlier, that kind of smell in the air and now, mushrooms. My father sent me these pictures, so it is from the other side of the Atlantic (either in my parent's garden or the forest), but I know for a fact that they have appeared here too:one of my Facebook friends shared pics of mushrooms too. But they were not as cool as these ones.

So autumn is almost here. And I am not the only one saying it: my friend made the same comment about the mushrooms she saw. Even my wife is feeling it and is actually happy about it. She caught me by surprise two evenings ago when she said that it felt autumnal and that it was lovely. She changed her mind about the season, as she used to be sad when summer and the holidays ended. I am not sure what changed her mind, maybe the fact that Wolfie was born in autumn, maybe  just finally got her enthusiastic about it. In any case, these pictures got me very excited.

Besoin de chouclaques

Pas pour moi cette fois-ci, mais pour petit loup, qui n'a pas eu de nouveaux souliers depuis environ un an. Et il a beaucoup grandi comme la dernière fois. La pandémie n'a pas aidé, bien entendu. Alors c'est notre nouveau projet pour la fin de semaine: lui trouver des chouclaques et, de préférence, des Clarks. Ce sera difficile, parce que le plus proche magasin Clarks n'est pas à côté, celui de notre ville a fermé et idem pour celui de la ville voisine. En plus, avec les règles de distanciation sociale, on ne pourra peut-être même pas entrer dans le magasin. Mais ça sera une excuse pour sortir et voir autre chose que notre petite ville, peut-être aussi acheter autre chose dans ce qu'on trouvera d'ouvert. Après des mois de confinement, toute sortie devient excitante.

Thursday, 27 August 2020

No more gloom and doom

It's been a little bit over a month that I started my new job and more than two months since I officially lost the old one. Due to the current pandemic, the last time I was in an office and had to commute was back in March. So it might be time for a bit of reminiscence and pondering about my old and my new professional situation. For a bit of context, I did not my my previous job one bit. Something both my wife and my mum noticed almost before me, is that I don't drag my feet going to work. Partially of course because for the time being I don't have to commute. I don't have to walk for long. But it is also because I completely lost, at least for now, this feeling of dread that I had. In a month in my current position, I am still learning the trade, but feel like I am naturally better at it than my previous job, I appreciate my colleagues better and I am more appreciated by them than my previous colleagues, I feel far more valued as well. It has been day and night. I know there will be hard days, but it is as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. So I am carefully optimistic about the future.

Question existentielle (363)

J'ai récemment blogué sur les conseils que j'ai donnés à mon frère Andrew quant à son rôlede futur père. J'ai pensé que mes lecteurs en auraient aussi, alors j'en fait une question existentielle:

-Qu'est-ce que vous conseilleriez à de futurs parents pour les préparer à leur nouvelle situation?

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Trinity: Titoli

I thought I would put some music on this blog, as I haven't had much recently. I don't know why, but recently I got in mind the theme song of the spaghetti western They Call Me Trinity. Which to my great shame I have never watched (I intend to correct this one day), but I know it from Django Unchained. I loved that movie, but I also fell in love with that song, which is simply uber cool. So here it is:

Les bourrasques (mot du jour)

Ça fait un petit bout de temps que je n'ai pas donné de mot du jour sur ce blogue, alors voici celui d'aujourd'hui: "bourrasque". Une bourrasque est, selon le Larousse, un "coup de vent violent survenant brusquement". Il vente très fort depuis ces derniers jours et les bourrasques ne manquent pas. Ça ne me dérange pas, parce que j'aime le vent, surtout quand il est fort. En autant qu'on peut demeurer en sécurité et confortable, bien entendu.

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

A frog in our garden?

Last night, as I was putting the rubbish in the bin, I saw something small jumping. I could not even see the shape clearly, but I could see the movement, if that makes sense, and it leapt like a frog would. I was still skeptical about it, but when I told my wife she said she thought she heard a frog this afternoon, although she did not see anything. If it is the case, I wonder how it got here, as there is no pond nearby and the nearest one is not so easy to access. It would have needed to travel quite a lot to end up in our garden.

Offre de la Bouquinerie

Pour les étudiants à Montréal (et dans les environs j'imagine), j'ai appris une bonne nouvelle sur la page Facebook de la Bouquinerie du Plateau. Ils offrent un rabais de 10% pour vous. Détails dans l'image ici. J'aurais aimé en profiter, rien que pour trouver une excuse pour visiter ma librairie de seconde main préférée à Montréal, mais l'offre arrive presque 25 ans trop tard.

Monday, 24 August 2020

Best Wolfism yet?

Wolfie said a new Wolfism recently, that was so funny, even though he said it in a grumpy and impatient way. I don't think it needs a context, as it can work with almost any situation. So anyway, he told me this: "When I say "please" I need it now." I don't think he quite understand manners yet, but this was in a twisted way quite sweet. And maybe it is his best Wolfism so far.

Conseils à un futur père

Comme vous le savez sans doute, mon frère Andrew va devenir père dans quelques mois. Nous avons récemment chatté sur la paternité, et je lui ai donné quelques conseils basés sur mon expérience sur comment aborder les premières semaines. Je les reproduis ici:

-On n'a jamais assez de vêtements pour le bébé qui arrive.
-On n'a jamais assez de couches pour le bébé qui arrive.
-Parce que ça prend beaucoup, beaucoup de son temps, vaut mieux faire des réserves de bouffe autant que possible, comme ça on n'a pas à préparer de repas.

Il y en a d'autres, mais ce sont les plus évidents.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Emperor Augustus

This picture comes from the Facebook page of the British Museum, which reminded me earlier this month that August is named after Emperor Augustus. I wanted to share the photo on the 18th of August, which is the anniversary of his death, but I forgot. So anyway, here it is. I have to say, when I see one of his portraits, I'm always surprised that he doesn't look like Brian Blessed. (I hope you can guess why I said that.) Be that as it may, you can easily believe just looking at this portrait why this man once ruled the Western world for 40 years. Anyway, on a side note the British Museum is reopening on the 27th of August. I won't go there any time soon, although I hope to visit it at some point in the future.

Des frelons (correction)

Concernant le billet d'hier sur le guêpier dans l'un des pommiers chez mes parents, j'avais tort: ce ne sont pas des guêpes, mais des frelons, frelons à tête blanche pour être plus précis, lesquels sont moins agressifs. Ils vont quand même défendre leur nid s'ils se sentent menacés, la récolte sera donc tout aussi difficile et mes parents cherchent à s'en débarrasser.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

The wasp nest in the apple tree

Scary moment for my parents: they found a wasp nest in one of their apple trees. This is the first time in a long time we had a nest, especially this size. As my brother PJ said, it will make harvesting more difficult this year. I hope they get rid of it safely, as harvest time is pretty much right now.

L'ours noir

Photo prise il y a quelques années déjà dans le lot de mes oncles, grâce à une de leurs caméra. Je la partage ici rien que parce que c'est cool un ours noir et parce que ça change un peu des photos de bouffe.

Friday, 21 August 2020

Milky Way Midnight

We have a local sweetshop, a "new" local sweetshop which is in fact not very new anymore, but it replaced the "old" one that was independent. I miss the old one, as the new is part of a chain and I thought I could find more unusual stuff in the old one. All the same, sometimes I make discoveries. Which is what happened recently: I stopped there briefly to buy a few sugar fixes and saw this Milky Way Midnight. I knew the normal Milky Way, which is all right and enjoyable enough, but was never my first choice when it comes to chocolate bars. Then there is this one, with dark chocolate (always a plus for me), vanilla flavoured nougar and caramel. I bought one for me, one for my wife and well, suffice to say that if it wasn't considerably more expensive than the normal one, it would be my got-to bar for a chocolate fix. Seriously, this tastes so good it's evil.