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 like 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.

Pierre et Yves (#calemboursatroces)

Je ne suis pas un gros adepte de partager des memes ici, mais des fois je le fais rien que parce que je les trouve vraiment drôles, ou alors parce que je les trouve vraiment mauvais. Toujours est-il que j'ai trouvé celui-ci récemment au hasard des médias sociaux et j'ai voulu le partager tout de suite. Parce que c'est vraiment mauvais. Et des fois, c'est les deux à la fois. C'est le cas de ce meme.

Thursday 20 August 2020

The Horrors of H.P. Lovecraft

Last year I got it wrong by one day and I wanted to make sure I got it right this year: today is the birthday of H.P. Lovecraft. For horror fans,Lovecraft is THE father of modern horror. And, although I read him more during summertime, he is also an essential part of my countdown to Halloween reading program. As we are slowly getting closer and closer to the season, now would be the right time to read and reread his work. I would also love to play a game of Call of Cthulhu, the role-playing game based on Lovecraft's work. I must confess that I probably spent more time playing the game than reading his work, and it was often to find inspiration for the game that I read him. Be that as it may, now is a good time to read, play and... watch Lovecraft, as there is also a brand new TV series adapted from his work, which I intend to discover as well.


Photo prise par mon père, à ma demande: mes parents ont fait un bouilli il y a quelques jours. À défaut de pouvoir en manger, j'ai voulu voir de quoi il avait l'air. Le bouilli, c'est pour moi le repas parfait de fin d'été et/ou de début d'automne, le premier à utiliser les récoltes potagères. C'est simple et c'est bon.

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Samson killing a Philistine

This post is a bit of a correction of an another one: I blogged on Sunday about a statue that you can find on the garden of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. I thought that it represented Cain killing Abel. I was wrong. My wife made a research and found that it is Samson killing a Philistine. More details about it here. I know far less about Samson than I knew about Cain, but I think it is the weapon that threw me off: in many traditions, and even some creative translations, Cain is described as killing his brother with a donkey's jawbone. Even though in Genesis, it is not specified how he commits the murder. Well, I thought this was quite interesting.

Vieux calembour atroce

J'ai retrouvé ce vieux calembour atroce parmi mes souvenirs sur Facebook: "Je maltraite mon foie encore une fois." Je ne crois pas l'avoir commis ici sur Vraie Fiction, sinon pardonnez-moi d'avance. Avouez que c'est mauvais à vous en donner la migraine.

Tuesday 18 August 2020

Home Office

It struck me that I have been working from home, on and off (since in my past job I was furloughed then unemployed), since the last full week of March or so. So far, I have been getting on with what I call guerilla working: I have been using a garden chair as my chair and an old bedside table as desk. The bare neccessities of life. Because of all the advantages I've had with it and because my previous job was on very thin ice, I did not think of investing into turning my work place into a more formal home office. As I will keep on working from home for the months ahead and I may even work partially from home after the pandemic is over, it might be time to turn my improvised working space into a proper home office. For a start, a new chair and a new desk are in order. But please give me your suggestions for improvement in the comments section.

Framboises en dessert

Mon père m'a envoyé cette photo il y a quelques jours, en intitulant son courriel "dessert de saison". Parce que c'est le temps des récoltes de framboises. Je la partage aujourd'hui parce que ça montre qu'il en faut de peu pour transformer des framboises (ou tout autre fruit): du sucre d'érable et de la crème suffisent.

Monday 17 August 2020

The Storms

I blogged a few days ago about the thunder and lightning that were seen and heard, but were not followed by a proper storm. As I said then, I was getting seriously desperate for a good storm. Well, I gor my wish shortly after: later on that morning, I saw a first storm. Nothing too big, but a proper one, with a decent amount of rain, which cooled the day down considerably. Then during the night, we had another storm, and a gigantic one this time: lightnings big enough to light up the bedroom, a proper rumbling of thunder that shook us up a bit, heavy rains, it was simply magnificent. And since then, the temperature has been quite comfortable, not unbearably hot as it had been. Hopefully it will remain like this for a while They are still forecasting storms for the next couple of days, so I might be able to enjoy some more, although I doubt they will be as spectacular as the last one we had.

Récolte de tomates

Mon père m'a envoyé cette photo hier. La récolte de tomates de mes parents. On y trouve une grande variété, de formes, de tailles et de couleurs. Je n'ai rien d'autre à dire, sinon que j'aime les photos de récoltes alors comme d'habitude je partage ici.

Sunday 16 August 2020

Cain and Abel?

I took this picture in Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, during our last visit there back in September 2019. Its ground has many statues, some modern and abstracts, some older and often representing characters from Greek or Roman mythology. I have not made any research on this one, but my bet is that it pictures not any dramatic moment of a greek myth, but the murder of Abel by Cain. I guess it could just as easily be Romulus killing Remus, and maybe it was the intention of the artist to remain ambiguous as to who they were, but my money is on Cain and Abel. The murderer looks plain nasty and does not show the dignity one would expect to find for the founder of Rome. The man giving the blow looks like an enraged savage. I know I could probably find it online with a bit of research, but just looking at the sculpture as it is, what's your take on it?

Mystérieuse flèche rouge

Mon père a pris cette photo à Montréal l'an dernier, je crois que c'était dans le Vieux-Montréal, je peux me tromper. C'est en tout cas assez impressionnant, même si je n'ai aucune idée de ce à quoi c'est supposé faire allusion. Quelqu'un pourrait m'éclairer?

Saturday 15 August 2020

"On the 15th everybody got drunk."

"On August 5th Hiroshima was blasted, with over seventy-eight thousand dead.(...) On August 8th Russia declared war against Japan and, the following day, was perhaps present in spirit at Nagasaki when seventy-five thousand were blasted. On the 14th Japan surrendered unconditionally. On the 15th everybody got drunk."

A Vision of Battlements, Anthony Burgess

 To celebrate and commemorate Victory over Japan Day, the very end of World War II, I thought of this quote from the very first novel of my favourite writer. The novel is in fact a rewritten Aeneid, set in Gibraltar during the war. It is also a very fictionalised account of Burgess' own wartime experiences. I could have pondered a lot about the anniversary, but I don't think one can beat this brief yet very lively account. In essence, this is what it meant for the conscripts, maybe not so much the heavy loss of lives in a nuclear blast, but the end of a long time of servitude. And I will add that you read A Vision of Battlements for lines like these.

L'escoufle qui vole bas

Petit billet ornithologique ce soir. J'ai vu en fin d'après-midi un milan royal, ou escoufle comme on le disait avant (je préfère le nom plus ancien), voler à très basse altitude au dessus du jardin. Je n'ai malheureusement pas eu le temps de prendre une photo, à ma grande déception. Il était un peu trop rapide. On voit souvent des milans royaux voler au dessus de nos têtes, mais c'est assez rare qu'on puisse les voir d'aussi près.

D&Dr Anniversary

I blogged about it before, but thought it was time to celebrate it again: my brothers, my friends and I started playing our Dungeons & Dragons campaign at some point in August. Sadly, we do not remember the date, which is a shame. It must have been early August. Anyway, our early days of D&Dr campaigning were flawed, but we had a solid first game nevertheless, with lots of good things that made for a memorable start: a forest setting (my character was a ranger, so I was in my element from the beginning), lots of atmosphere, characters that we learned to develop but were already pretty rounded, etc. I remember it to this day as one of the best games we played. This is the very same campaign we play in nowadays, my brothers and I, whenever we can find time to meet. And it all started one August afternoon.

Immortel Michel Dumont

Triste nouvelle que je tenais à souligner: l'acteur Michel Dumont est mort à 79 ans. Un gars du Saguenay comme moi, j'ai même appris qu'il était le frère d'un oncle d'une amie. Je crois que ma mère l'a déjà connu un peu avant qu'il ne devienne acteur. Pour moi, il aura été Gilbert Tanguay dans Omertà, la loi du silence, ainsi que la voix du Saguenay dans La fabuleuse histoire d'un royaume. Parlant de voix, il avait l'une des plus belles voix du Québec. Je ne l'ai malheureusement pas connu au théâtre, parce que je n'avais pas encore la piqûre des planches à l'époque. Mais enfin bref, vous, quels sont vos souvenirs de Michel Dumont?

Friday 14 August 2020


Yesterday, Wolfie built a with his Duplos a sort of vehicle, which he called an "ice cleaner". My father got really impressed and explained to him that it was what we call a Zamboni, used to smoothen up the ice in an arena. It was an occasion for me to get my son interested about hockey, or ice hockey as they specify here to distinguish it from the other sort of hockey which is not hockey at all. So that was that and he had his tractors play a sort of hockey, but I digress. My wife could not for the life of her get the name properly, so she started calling it a "Zamborghini". Which made me laugh a lot. It sounds like a mix between a Zamboni and a Lamborghini. As strange as it sounds, I would absolutely love to see the hybrid vehicle.

"La Proie"

Bonne nouvelle pour les amateurs de polars exotiques francophones: le dernier Deon Meyer est sorti hier en France. Son titre français est La proie, wui est pas mal plus fidèle au titre sud africain que la traduction anglaise. Publiée par Série noire, rien que ça. Moi je l'ai déjà lu dans sa traduction anglaise, mais je serais tenté de l'acheter encore une fois rien que pour sa couverture. À la fin de l'année dernière, ça a été ma découverte littéraire policière. Il y a tout à aimer dans le roman: de la violence, de la procédure comme dans un Ed McBain, des (anti)héros troublés, les fantômes de l'Apartheid, une conspiration politique dont les ramifications s'étendent jusqu'au plus haut sommet de l'État, avec en plus une portée internationale, même un train de luxe comme dans les vieux romans à clé. Mais le train de luxe, il est 100% authentique et 100% sud africain. Enfin bref, lisez-le.

Thursday 13 August 2020

Wandering storm

There has been a yellow warning of thunderstorm for the last few days. I have been expecting it, hoping for it even, as it is scorching hot for about a week and I find it utterly unbearable. Two days ago, we heard thunder, but there was not a drop of rain. Yesterday afternoon, there were more thunder and a few lightnings that scared Wolfie a bit and a cool wind that seemed to announce a proper storm. We had a bit of rain, barely any. I think our area caught the fringe of it and we missed it. Again. I am getting desperate, but the storm warning is on until Monday, so we should get at least some rain and hopefully a proper thunderstorm that will be magnificent and will finally cool things down.


J'ai oublié de le souligner: c'était le 12 août hier, le jour où on achète un livre québécois... Quand on est au Québec en tout cas, ou dans un coin où on peut en acheter. Ce n'est pas mon cas. Alors donc, j'en ai pas acheté. Cela dit, j'ai découvert qu'il y avait une variante saguenéenne au 12 août: en plus d'acheter un livre québécois, on encourage à acheter un livre d'un auteur du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. On lit bleuet, donc, avec le hashtag et tout. Moi, je ne me rappelle plus trop la dernière fois où j'ai lu bleuet, à ma grande honte. Mais bon, j'ai une bonne nouvelle pour mes compatriotes: il semblerait bien qu'il y aura un Salon du livre dans la région cette année! Voir le poster plus haut.

Wednesday 12 August 2020

The lions of the British Museum

This picture comes from the Facebook page of the British Museum. They shared it recently because it was World Lion Day. I did not know such day existed, but I digress. The information given by the Museum regarding the statue: "This is one of the old British Museum Lions – cast-iron statues designed by sculptor Alfred Stevens in 1852 to sit on a low railing outside the Museum. The lions are around 35cm tall, and it’s thought that the regal posture was inspired by a particularly impressive cat belonging to one of the sculptor’s friends. " As a cat lover, I have no difficulties believing this. Now the railing has been dismantled and from what I understand there are no lions at the British Museum. Be that as it may, it reminded me that I want to go there not only for what's in it, but to enjoy the building itself.

Le franglais de petit loup

Pour continuer comme hier dans le registre d'affaires cute que mon fils dit, il a récemment dit quelque chose de très mignon en mélangeant comme il le fait parfois anglais et français. En général, il comprend la langue de Molière, mais ne la parle pas, sauf quelques mots ici et là. Alors donc, il a dit récemment, alors qu'on était dans le jardin: "My water bottle is on the gazon". Ça m'a vraiment étonné, parce que je ne me rappelais pas lui avoir enseigné le mot gazon, mais on dirait qu'il m'a entendu le dire.

Tuesday 11 August 2020

New Wolfisms

Wolfie has made a few new Wolfisms in the last few weeks, and I wanted to share them here for posterity:

-"I don't want to wear shorts, I want to wear longs." (For some reason he hates wearing shorts.)
-"The outside is really dirty."
-After I tuck him in bed: "Daddy, I go to sleep and you go and tidy up the mess I made."
-"I don't know what to play with." (Said when the floor of the living room is covered with his toys.)
-And last but not least and one of my favourite: "I want pieces of water." (He wants his glass or his bottle filled.)

It is challenging to keep up with them, as he comes up with real inventions. Quite witty, I'd say, but I may be biased.

L'écharde sous l'ongle

Hier, il m'est arrivé une chose qui ne m'était pas arrivée depuis quinze ou vingt ans je crois: j'ai pris une écharde. Dans le majeur gauche, rien qu'en dessous de l'ongle. Une écharde toute petite et très mince, franchement je me demande comment elle a pu percer ma peau. Dans tous les cas, ça m'a donné une douleur juste assez douloureuse pour être agaçante êndant toute la journée. Elle fut très difficile à enlever, mais j'ai fini par réussir en une vingtaine de minutes, avec l'aide d'une aiguille, d'une pincette à cheveux et d'une généreuse quantité de peroxide. Et mon majeur est encore engourdi. il pince un peu quand je tape sur l'ordi. Morale de l'histoire: ouch.

Monday 10 August 2020

The right shop to buy a hat?

I was walking downtown recently to buy a few top up items, when I saw one of the clothes shop and it struck me: there were straw hats for men on their mannequins. Now, as you may remember from this post and that one, I have been wanting to buy a hat for a long time, either a Panama or a fedora. or maybe something else, come to think of it, because what the hell to I know about hats. And it struck me that it could just be the shop I needed. I would not need to go online, I could be helped by someone who knows about these things and if it is not too expensive it might just be the right place. Funny that it is so close to home and that I walked pass it so often without noticing the hats in the shop windows, or even the shop itself.

Lièvre de profil

Je partage encore une photo de "Bozo" (faudra vraiment le rebaptiser je crois) le lièvre qui semble avoir élu domicile chez mes parents. Rien que parce que c'est une autre photo que j'ai de lui et qu'il est pas mal mignon.

Sunday 9 August 2020

A skein of geese

Yesterday, as evening was falling, we were trying to put Wolfie to sleep, when we heard a skein of geese. A "skein" of geese is apparently the name you give to a group of geese when they fly. So "skein" is our new word of the day. Anyway, they were very loud and Wolfie got quite curious about them. I also got quite excited, because for me geese flying this time of year is a reminder that autumn is on its way. Even though it is very hot right now, nature will run its course and my favourite season will be here.


Parce qu'hier c'était le 32e anniversaire de la mort de Félix Leclerc (je me sens un peu honteux de l'avoir oublié), je partage encore une fois une chanson de lui. C'est Le bal, une chanson aujourd'hui peut-être un peu moins connue de son répertoire.

The fig tree

I went to the town centre yesterday, for a quick top up. For the first time in months, I walked in the narrow alleyway that has branches of a fig tree from a nearby garden covering it as if was a roof of greenery. I blogged about it before a number of times. It is maybe my favourite spot in this town. I am not entirely certain why, although it probably has a lot to do with the fig tree. When I walk there, I feel as if I'm in Italy for a moment, which I guess is enough to make it my favourite bit of street in this town. So anyway, I quickly took this snapshot for the blog. It's not exactly a perfect shot, but quite I like the display of green leaves and daylights.

20 minutes de lecture par jour

J'ai trouvé ça par hasard sur les médias sociaux il y a quelques jours et j'ai décidé de le partager ici. Cela démontre de façon éloquente les bienfaits de la lecture chez les enfants. Je crois que ça pourrait aussi s'appliquer à bien des adultes. Inutile de dire que je tente de prêcher par l'exemple avec petit loup: nous lisons avec lui et j'essaie de lire en sa présence aussi. 20 minutes par jour, ça devrait être assez facile, mais je crois que dans bien des familles on ne fait même pas ça en comptant le temps passé à lire de chacun des membres mis ensemble.

Saturday 8 August 2020

Bozo the hare?

As I hoped, the hare that has been seen in my parent's garden has come back and again. He is (I say he even though it could be a female) now a regular visitor, maybe even a lodger now. I don't say a squatter, as my parents seem to be enjoying his presence. But my father decided to name him... Bozo. Which is kind of lame for a hare, or indeed any wild animal. I guess now that he has been named, I will have to get use to it. Still, if you have better suggestions (that should not be difficult), please give them in the comment. Or tell me if you like Bozo and why.

Le chocolat aux bleuets

Le chocolat aux bleuets des Pères trappistes est disponible partout en région il semblerait. Un ami m'a envoyé quelques photos sur Facebook, dont celle-ci. Mon ami est diabétique, mais j'imagine qu'il peut se permettre des chocolats aux bleuets de temps en temps, surtout que c'est du chocolat noir et que le sucre vient des bleuets. Morale de l'histoire: y'a rien que du bon dans le chocolat aux bleuets.

Friday 7 August 2020

The Bell Bookshop

Okay, so I might be blogging a lot about bookshops a lot these days, but sometimes I guess I have specific topics on my mind. Anyway, I recently discovered something I did not notice about Henley-on-Thames: it has its own independent bookshop. It is called The Bell Bookshop and it has been opened since 1966. We don't go very often to Henley, but we do go there from time to time as it is not that far. It is a lovely town, just big enough to have a good deal of things to enjoy there. I think I had seen its bookshop before, but I doubt I even went there. I have no idea when we will go to Henley, but I want to visit The Bell and get a book or two when I stop there. You know, to encourage local businesses.

Question existentielle (362)

Une question existentielle pour ceux qui savent le reconnaître et ne sont ni Saguenéens ni Jeannois:

-Qu'est-ce que l'accent du Saguenay a de si distinctif?

Thursday 6 August 2020

A bat in the bookshop

Here is a little bit of anecdote I learned about our local bookshop which I found very cool: recently they had a bat in the place (in their storage room I believe). God knows how it got there, but there are a lot of bats in our little town/village. The staff managed to get it out and send it to an animal hospital. I am glad the bat turned out okay, but part of me is sad they didn't keep it. They could have given it a name and made it their new mascot.

Felipe, Miguelito et l'école

Eurêka! Enfin, enfin, enfin, j'ai trouvé ce gag de Mafalda que je cherchais depuis des années. Celui où Miguelito essaie de convaincre Felipe de ne pas trop s'en faire avec le retour à l'école et les vacances qui terminent. Ça fait des années que je veux le partager ici, le voici. Un peu de contexte, que ceux qui lisent ce blogue depuis des années connaissent sans doute: enfant, lorsque août arrivait et que je voyais les vacances sur le point de prendre fin, je chassais la mélancolie en lisant Mafalda. Et ce gag-là, il touche toute la psychée de mon enfance et de mon adolescence et mon rapport conflictuel à l'école. Je sais que faut bien y aller, mais quand tu cherches des raisons pour trouver du plaisir à passer tes jours dans une classe, tu rames pendant des heures et tu te ramasses avec deux ou trois arguments de merde. Ce gag est beaucoup plus profond qu'il n'y paraît et il est cathartique.

Wednesday 5 August 2020

Return to Mountain Warehouse

This weekend I did something I had not done since the beginning of the pandemic: I went to our local Mountain Warehouse. It was a very brief visit, ten minutes at the most, to see if they had discounted garden chairs (they did not) and to buy new water bottles, one for me, one for my wife. It might sound silly, but it felt great to be back. I am not really an outdoorsey person, but I love Mountain Warehouse for some reason. If we had to go and live in the wild, this would be the first and maybe the only shop I would go to.

Orage montréalais (wow)

Photo trouvée dans les internets, d'un orage qui s'est récemment abattu sur Montréal. J'ai rien d'autre à dire que wow. Je dis souvent que rien n'est petit au Saguenay, mais en tant que Montréalais d'adoption, je dois avouer que Montréal ne donne pas sa place.

Tuesday 4 August 2020

THE hare

Those reading this blog in French know it already, but I wanted to blog about the news in English as well, because I think (and I hope) this will be a new recurring chronicle on Vraie Fiction. So anyway, for the last few weeks, my parents have received the visits of a wild hare. He first showed up briefly in their front lawn, after hopping on their next door neighbour's, then later on my dad saw the hare eating an apple that had fallen from one of the garden's trees. Apparently, he also dug a few holes in the garden. To my surprise, my father did not seem to mind. So they have a visitor, if not a squatter and a fairly rare one at that. I don't remember seeing a wild hare so close to humans in our neighbourhood. I thought they'd be too shy for it. Just like for the chipmunks, squirrels and even spiders we saw during our childhood, I think my brothers and I should give this hare a name (we were pretty good to find names. You can give me suggestions in the comments.

Voir le sanglier

Nous sommes allés au zoo en fin de semaine, avec des amis. Ce fut notre première "vraie" sortie depuis le début des mois et des mois. Notre dernière datait de début mars. Enfin bref, j'aurais voulu aller me promener dans les bois, j'aurais trouvé ça plus prudent, mais petit loup voulait le zoo, alors au zoo nous sommes allés. Allez savoir pourquoi, mais les animaux qui m'a fait la plus forte impression, ce sont les sangliers. Ce ne sont rien que des cochons sauvages, mais les voir comme ça dans leurs enclos, j'étais impressionné.

Monday 3 August 2020

Time for clothes shopping?

I hate this, but I cannot deny the current sitution in my wardrobe: too many of my clothes are really worn out and have been for quite a while. If it had not been of the pandemic, I would have had bought new ones months ago. But COVID-19 came and there was a lockdown and I did not buy anything new. I did not really need to, as I spent most of my time inside and when I did go out nobody cared about someone in shabby clothes. But I will have to go clothes shopping, particularly jeans. Clothes shopping is something I have always hated. Now, in this age of pandemic, I dread it for for a whole lot of new reasons. Serves me well for postponing it indefinitely.

Les canicules du moment

Il a fait une canicule vendredi dernier et il y en aura une autre ce vendredi, en tout cas on l'annonce. D'habitude je déteste les canicules, d'abord parce qu'elles sont inconfortables, ensuite parce qu'elles ont tendance à perdurer. Mais pas celle-ci: elle a disparu comme par enchantement à partir de la fin de l'après-midi. L'été 2020, s'il continue comme ça, aura été le plus raisonnable et le moins désagréable depuis très longtemps.

Sunday 2 August 2020

Cops and Robbers

Wolfie has quite a few toys from Playmobil, it is one of his favourite brands. Among them, he has a number of police officers and police equipment, either bought new or second-hand. But he had no badguy to chase, so the criminals his cops were chasing were invisible. That is, until now. To give him a villain for his ever growing police force to fight (or "méchants" or "naughty badguys"as he calls them), I bought him this Policeman and Burgler set. It's not much, but boy does he enjoy it! So we have now a proper adversary for his cops to fight, with a cool mask, stubbles a beanie hat, black gloves and most importantly, a bag. In a bag there is a MacGuffin of some sort, maybe jewellery, maybe money, maybe a harddrive, maybe something else. Who knows. What matters is, Wolfie enjoys playing our own crime fiction games. The cop has no name yet, but I named the burglar Max the Menace, although this might change. So anyway, it really fired up his imagination.

Y aura-t-il un Salon du livre?

Je ne sais pas trop pourquoi, mais je me suis posé la question hier: y aura-t-il un Salon du livre du Saguenay Lac-St-Jean? Mon Salon du livre préféré, qui m'a fait passer beaucoup de bons moments par le passé. Il semblerait que oui, si l'on en croit leur site en ligne. Changement dû sans doute à la pandémie: ce sera du premier au 4 octobre. Dans mes souvenirs, ça a toujours été en septembre. Mais il n'y a pas d'horaire pour le moment et comme il se fait tard dans l'année, je crains qu'il ne soit annulé. Espérons qu'il sera au moins virtuelle cette année, à défaut d'avoir un Salon normal.

Saturday 1 August 2020

"Classic" Blogger

I blogged last Thursday about the new interface of Blogger, telling that I did not like it much. I tried it for Friday's blog, and for the ones I posted this morning as well. And I could not take it anymore. I really hate it: labelling is simply awful, slow, clunky, manipulating pictures is maybe just as difficult and unpleasant now, so I sent feedbacks and I reverted back to the legacy version. I just hope they force it upon us very late, as I cannot see myself blogging on a regular basis with the "improved" (sic) interface. It is just so slow and hard on the eyes that it makes the experience too complicated to be worth it.

Nouveau mais vieux calembour atroce

Ça fait un bail que je n'ai pas commis de calembour atroce sur ce blogue, en voici un de mon frère PJ, je ne sais pas s'il l'a inventé ou s'il le tient de quoi que ce soit: "Il faut battre son frère pendant qu'il est chaud". Avouez que c'est un calembour épouvantable. Je ne crois pas l'avoir partagé ici auparavant, mais PJ l'a inventé ou en tout cas l'a prononcé pour la première fois il y a plus de 25 ans.

Lammas Day

Today is Lammas Day, which in layman's terms is the first day of August. I have ambivalent feelings about August, you can read more here about it, but I have grown more fond of the months as years went by. Anyway, back on Lammas Day, I know very little about it, but I know it has something to do with harvest, and that is good enough for me to like it. I think I should try to commemorate it in the future.

Le lièvre et la pomme

J'ai déjà blogué sur le lièvre qui a rendu visite à mes parents il y a quelques jours. Il est de retour chez eux et s'est servi parmi les pommes déjà tombées de leurs pommiers. Il a même paraît-il creusé des terriers sur le terrain. J'espère qu'il reviendra, parce qu'il reviendra alors sur ce blogue.