Saturday 31 July 2021

A treasure (for pirates?)

My parents went to Quebec City for a few days and sent me many, many pictures. I am sharing some of them, which fascinated me. One of them is this one, of a open treasure chest full of coins with the fleur de lis. I wished this chest had been there when I was a child. Because back when I was very young, we often went to Quebec City for a few days during the summer holidays, or indeed any holiday. For me, it was the tourist destination and even though it was only a two hours drive, Quebec City felt at the edge of the world. There was something about the place that fired up my imagination. Back then, I often play pirates with my brothers, as a make belief game and our stories often involved treasure hunt. Boy would I have loved to see that treasure back in those days.

Manon (le dessert)

Mon père n'est pas allé de main morte avec les photos prises à Québec, il a aussi décidé de m'envoyer encore plus de food porn, dont des photos prises à la Chocolaterie E.L.. Cela dit, j'en partage quand même une: celle-ci. J'ai déjà entendu le terme Manon pour désigner un dessert, mais je ne sais pas ce qu'il y a dedans. Quelqu'un pourrait m'expliquer, s'il le sait?

Socks for the railway journey

Maybe because we will not go there any time soon, I spend a lot of time looking at the online shop of the National Railway Museum of York. And I found this pair of socks, with the colours and image of the Flying Scotsman. Now I hate clothes shopping, but shopping whatever in the shop of a museum, that is a different matter entirely. And these are very cool socks, so when I go back to the Museum, whenever that may be, I will buy some. It will be my new pair of socks to wear on railway journeys.

L'Hôtel de Ville de Québec

Mes parents sont à Québec pour quelques jours, ils ont pris quelques photos, dont celle-ci de l'Hôtel de Ville. Ce que j'aime (surtout) de la Vieille Capitale, c'est l'élégance de son architecture. Ah oui, et on peut lire sur le mur "Ayowentsa' Yawenda", qui est je crois en Huron. Il était un temps où je pensais que la ville de Québec, c'était le bout du monde.

Friday 30 July 2021

Fish & chips in Quebec City

My parents are in Quebec City and they sent me a few pictures. They had fish and chips (they did not tell me where), so mum sent me this pic of her meal (and her thumb). Now I find this particular plate of fish and chips a bit odd (a salad?), but all the same, it looks good enough. And it struck me that I did not had fish and chips since Good Friday. Today is Friday, it should mean Fish Friday, so maybe I should have some tonight.

"Soleil rouge"

Mon père m'a envoyé cette photo du coucher de soleil il y a quelques jours. Et puis rien d'autre. Il a titré le courriel "Soleil rouge".

Thursday 29 July 2021


My wife has been watching the Olympics. She always does for some reason, even if she never follows any sport any normal time of year. Nevertheless, she follows the football's World Cup and Euro Cup, tennis at Wimbledon and... the Olympics. I don't, except distractly, sometimes, the winter ones, if a Quebecker is playing. But anyway, so to my and my wife's surprise, she spent a lot of time enjoying taekwondo. I know nothing about this martial art, except that it's Korean. I do remember, when I was doing Krav Maga (I need to get back to it by the way) that some of my fellow students had done taekwondo in the past. They had stopped for the same reason: a martial is very nice as a competition sport, but it's at best limited as a self-defence method. Still, it's weird to see my very sweet wife enjoying a violent sport.

Bleuets et framboises en dessert

Nouvelle photo de food porn, j'en ai bien peur, de mon père encore une fois . Cela dit, des fois, c'est de saison: c'est le temps des bleuets, ce sera bientôt le temps des framboises, si ce n'est pas déjà le cas, alors ila fait un dessert bleuets et framboises. Avec de la crème et du sirop d'érable. Et du sucre d'érable aussi. Rien que ça. Faudra que je prépare des trucs du genre à petit loup, même s'il n'a jamais besoin de se laisser convaincre pour manger des fruits. Dans tous les cas, c'est une belle coupe.

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Mushrooms: new sign of autumn?

It's been hot, then it's got cooler (but still quite warm), overall this summer so far has been bearable. But I am here to talk about the earlysigns of autumn, although maybe it is wishful thinking. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I saw leaves changing colours already. In July. A few days later, walking back home after some errands, I saw these mushrooms. Again, maybe it is wishful thinking, but mushrooms are one of the signs of autumn. In July, it is still a fairly unexected sight. Maybe it was just because of the wet weather we've had this month. All the same, I think we might just have an early autumn.

Les Sorcières (le vin)

Il y a une épicerie fine tenue par un Français dans la petite ville anglaise où je vis. Je vais parfois y acheter du vin, parce qu'il a une assez bonne sélection. Je suis tombé sur celui-là la dernière fois, qu'il m'a recommandée pour aller avec je ne sais plus quoi. Je suis philistin en ce qui concerne le vin, alors je l'ai acheté à cause du nom et de l'étiquette. J'espère qu'il va l'avoir en stock à l'Halloween, car j'ai déjà décidé que ce sera mon vin de l'Halloween.

Tuesday 27 July 2021

First family gathering?

 My wife's brother contacted her yesterday, asking about our availabilities in the coming weeks. So we arenow planning for a full family gathering, the first since... Well, since a long time ago. If everything goes well, there will be grandma and daddad, the sister-in-law, her boyfriend and their son (Wolfie's little cousin), th brother-in-law, his wife and if we are really lucky our niece. And us of course, somy wife, Wolfie and me. I hope it works out for everyone, because that has been long overdue.

Un bouquet de fleurs

Bon, petite photo de fleurs pour faire changement de la food porn. Mon père acheté ce bouquet pour ma mère. Il y des lis (enfin je crois) et ce qui ressemble à des chardons jaunes, en plus joli. Les chardons que l'on trouve dans la nature ont toujours un air assez sauvage. Mais bon, peut-être que ce n'est pas du chardon, allez savoir, je suis mauvais en botanique. Dans tous les cas, ça ajoute de la couleur à leur salon et à Vraie Fiction, en plus d'avoir une apparence vaguement automnale (c'est le jaune foncé et l'orange) alors je partage.

Monday 26 July 2021

Sockeye salmon filet

 My dad sent me a few pictures of his meal two evenings ago. He had sockeye salmon. I love all fish or almost, I love salmon especially, although I don't eat it very often now. I don't have the cooking skills of my dad and since I live with a vegetarian and Wolfie is not too sure about fish unless it's in a fishcake. I cannot complain: since lockdown my wife has been on a cooking mood so we have been trying a lot of new delicious recipes and we have beene ating very well. All the same, when I see dad sends me a picture like this one, I seriously crave salmon.

Menaud, maître-draveur

À chaque année, je cite Menaud maître-draveur, de Félix-Antoine Savard. C'est toujours la même citation. Je tiens cependant à dire que j'ai lu le roman au complet, l'un des grands de la littérature québécoise. Je crois que c'était en 1990. Je sais que c'étaitl 'édition Fides que vous voyez ici sur cette image, sauf qu'elle était aussi couverte d'une jacquettes avec pour image un tableau de Riopelle, je crois. Je n'ai pas retrouvé cette autre image. Mais enfin bref, c'est une tradition sur ce blogue, alors je partage aujourd'hui la citation de Menaud: "À la Sainte-Anne les bleuets sont mûrs. C'est le raisin de chez-nous, fils du feu; du sol humble et pierreux c'est l'offrande; c'est le miel des crans sauvages, le frère des éricales dans le royaume infini des sphaignes et des tourbières." Avec la page couverture du roman, ça fera changement des photos de bleuets.

Sunday 25 July 2021

Mozart: The Man Revealed

Here is a bit of a reading suggestion for classical music lovers. Those who may not be artists or specialist themselves, but are not totally clueless. Anyway, my wife bought me last year for my birthday a biography of Mozart: Mozart: the Man Revealed, by John Suchet. I had asked her to get me a book about Mozart, not specifying which one in particular, just any biography of Mozart would do, providing it is a good one. She got me that one and I was not disappointed. In fact, of all the books I read last year, it is the one I read wih the most interest. I got through it really quickly and I wished I had taken more time to enjoy it. Suchet made the subject really accessible to anyone with even the slightest interest in classical music. Apart from one point of contention (he seems to think little of the brilliantly subversive plot of Cosi fan tutte), I thoroughly enjoyed it. Suchet also made me far more knowledgeable about Mozart, his time and his entourage, whether familial or professional. Anyway, I cannot end a post on Mozart without sharing a piece of his music. Here's the opening duet from Le Nozze di Figaro, with Markus Werba as Figaro and Golda Schultz as Susanna. At the moment, Schultz might actually be my favourite soprano, for many reasons, but this is for another post.

Les bleuets déjà

Mon père m'a envoyé cette photo hier. Il semblerait que même si ce n'est pas encore la Sainte-Anne, les bleuets du Lac sont disponibles. Bon, je le savais déjà, mais quand même, c'est toujours plaisant de le voir, en photos, même si je ne peux pas en profiter. Et je partage la photo rien que parce que c'est le fruit emblématique de ma région et que je demeure un Saguenéen très attaché à celle-ci.

Saturday 24 July 2021

Hoping for a Storm

 I don't like the heat of the summer and I am getting quite fed up with it. There is one thing I still genuinely love about summertime and it's a good thunderstorm. I was waiting for one a month ago, it didn't happen. Recently, there's been a few alerts on the BBC in our region and elsewhere in England, forecasting heavy storms. So far they missed us. I cannot wait for it, as it would cool down the temperature overall. And it will look gorgeous. It might happen today, although we are going out to see some friends, so it might not be the best time for us. Maybe I should be careful what I wish for, but all the same, I can't help but hoping for a thunderstorm.

Le chocolat aux bleuets, cuvée 2021

Photo prise sur la page Facebook des Pères trappistes. C'est pas la meilleure, mais c'est ce que j'ai pour l'instant avant que mon père m'envoie des photos de ses achats. Tout ça pour dire que le chocolat aux bleuets est maintenant disponible, en fait il l'est depuisle 22 juillet. C'est très tôt, bien avant la Sainte-Anne. Pour ceux qui peuvent, vous pouvez donc vous sucrer le bec.

Friday 23 July 2021

N.Y. Chase (Mr X in New York)

My readers know that one of my favourite board games is Scotland Yard, which features the Met against the mysterious and elusive criminal Mr X. The stock villain fascinated me as a child. Now I found out years later Scotland Yard had a number of sequels (can we say sequel when it comes to board games?), among them N.Y. Chase, where Mr X goes to New York. I must say I am quite curious about it, but I am skeptical. I've read in a number of reviews that the game is too easy for the detectives, who can use road blocks and other means. Mr X becomes a trivial fugitive, not the master criminal I always imagined him to be. Also, if you change settings, you also change dramatically the atmosphere of the game. The original channels on old English crime fiction, a certain nostalgia in a city that is still for many timeless and exotic. You kind of lose this if you switch London to New York. All the same, I am curious about it.


Bon, on va faire autre chose que de la food porn, alors je partage une photo d'ours prise sur les caméras de surveillance du lot de mes oncles. Belle bête quand même.

Thursday 22 July 2021

Barefoot at work

So we have been going through a heatwave, which I always hate, but hey, I guess it's the downside of summertime and there is nothing else to do with it than trying to survive. Thankfully, I work from home and one of the advantages of working from home is a rather lose dress code. So for the last few days, I haven't put any socks on and my colleagues have been none the wiser. It's not a miracle, but it does make the heatwave a tad more bearable. And it saves washing up. My wife said it best: "It's all right, it's called caveman living". Which I think deserves to be a great unknown line.

Dessert aux framboises

Je sais, je sais,je fais souvent dans la food porn ces temps-ci, mais que voulez-vous. Mon père a fait ce "dessert flamboyant aux framboises" (c'est le nom qu'il lui a donné dans le courriel). Il ne fait pas dans les demi-mesures et rien n'est modeste dans mon coin de pays et dans ma famille, surtout pas les desserts. Et en passant, le bras que vous voyez, c'est celui de mon frère Andrew, qui était en visite avec sa blonde et son fils.

Wednesday 21 July 2021

Railway Keyring

It feels like forever ago, but shortly before the start of the lockdown, in March 2020, we went to visit the Didcot Railway Centre. It was going to be our last big day out for quite some time and we really enjoyed it. At the souvenirs shop, I bought this keyring, because I could not find a bookmark and because I wanted a super cool keyring. And it is a super cool keyring, almost as cool as the bottle opener keyring, albeit not as practical. All the same, it looks sleek and elegant, it has sentimental value to me, because it reminds me of train travels, the ones we had, the ones we will have once this is all over. My wife is thinking about a short holiday somewhere for us before Wolfie starts school. If we do take one, I don't care where, as long as we can travel by train.

McAuslan, la distillerie

Je viens d'apprendre quelque chose de cool à propos de la Brasserie McAuslan: elle ne sera plus seulement une brasserie (et une terrasse, et une marque de moutarde, et une marque de miel, alouette),mais aussi une distillerie. Elle est donc en train de développer du whisky canadien, qu'elle devrait mettre en marché dans pas long. Va falloir que j'essaie. C'est ma microbrasserie québécoise préférée (à cause de la Griffon rousse), je ne sais pas s'ils vont faire mon whisky préféré, mais comme je n'ai pas encore pour le moment de marque de whisky préférée... Et puis une petite shot de whisky avec une bière, surtout une rousse, ben c'est pas mal bon.

Tuesday 20 July 2021

Neptune? No, Poseidon!

 Here's a bit of old news which I wanted to comment on, but forgot about. It's not very old, it's from the 8th of July, but I still think it needs to be adressed. I say this because the news sort of slightly irritated me. So anyway, the BBC reported that the face of Neptune appeared in the waves during a storm in Newhaven. My initial reaction was: "Neptune? Surely this is Poseidon!" Those darn Brits conquered by the Romans and since then having no idea what the true god of the ocean is! I blame them and Caligula of course (I hope some of my readers know the historical reference here). Anyway, if this was indeed a good showing up, it was Poseidon.

L'humour tendre du Chat

 Nous ne visiterons sans doute pas d'hôtels dans un avenir proche (quoique ma femme commence à me parler de courtes vacances et l'idée fait son chemin) et je n'ai jamais dormi à la belle étoile, mais j'ai trouvé ce gag vu Chat à la fois drôle et tendre.

Monday 19 July 2021

When Summer is Hell

So far, we'd had a fairly cool summer, a bearable one and I was counting my blessings. But of course, you can't have what I would call a nice summer, i.e. a summer that does not feel too summery, forever. Since last Friday and moreso during the weekend today, we've been having scorching heat. Now is the time for discomfort: I feel like I'm covered in swet, then I feel sticky due to suncream and I bloody hate eerything about now. French poet Arthur Rimbaud wrote a poem called Une Saison en Enfer (A Season in Hell). Well, right now it is my season  in Hell.

Il y a 25 ans, le Déluge

C'est aujourd'hui le vingt-cinquième anniversaire du Déluge du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.Pour mes souvenirs sur cette page d'histoire régionale, lire ce billet de 2016, sur le vingtième anniversaire. Pour d'autres souvenirs de ma famille, lire cet autre billet de 2016. Et il y a aussi, de manière plus générale et sans doute pour la plus grande histoire, cet article de La Presse que j'ai bien aimé. Moi, je l'ai toujours vécu à travers les écrans de télé plus que d'autre chose. Mon amie Françoise l'a bien résumé récemment: "L'odeur. Le bruit. Le sentiment d'être impuissant." En résumé, c'est pas mal l'expérience de la plupart d'entre nous, je crois. Notre part d'Apocalypse.

Sunday 18 July 2021

The quest for new clothes

This title might sound dramatic, but this is exactly how I feel it is going to be very soon. A bit of context first: it struck me yesterday that my jeans were getting seriously worned out. I bought my last pair in 2019, it feels like eons ago already. Generally speaking, I need to buy a new pair of jeans every year or so. For PJs, it is every three years or so, sometimes more. I don't like to go clothes shopping and with the pandemic I was lucky enough in that regard: my clothes didn't get used nearly as much (hence the two years gap) and I didn't have to look presentable in society because misanthropy was de rigueur. But now there is no way I can avoid it: I will need to buy new jeans ad probably a few other stuff. I am dreading it. Even though the government will lift many restrictions by tomorrow, I'd rather be careful, for one, and well, I don't hate clothes shopping any less after a year of avoiding shopping centres. So I might just make mypurchases online, even though I prefer to try before I buy. It will do wonders to my peace of mind, if nothing else, and surely as long as I know my size (obviously this may have changed within a year), things should be all right.

Qui est Giovanni Baresto?

Qui est Giovanni Baresto? En fait je sais qui c'est (enfin, un peu): un barista, ou en tout cas une marque de café. Café italien ou café français qui se donne des airs italiens. Bref, je suis tombé sur cett photo dans un vieil album qui date de 2008,lors de l'un de nos séjours en France. Le café a fait une impression assez forte sur ma femme pour qu'elle le prenne en photo, avec le nom de la marque et tout. Je déteste le café (sauf parfois quand il est italien,justement), mais ça m'a assez intriguépour faire une recherche Google sur le nom et tout ce que je trouve sur le mystérieux Giovanni Baresto et son café jusqu'ici est cette page, qui n'en dit pas beaucoup. La compagnie a peut-être fait faillite, qui sait. Ou alorsc'est une marque encore obscure. Dans tous les cas, c'est un mystère entouré d'une énigme.Y a-t-il un vrai Giovanni Baresto?

Saturday 17 July 2021

Invoking October

I found this meme recently and I envy whoever invented it, as this illustrates my state of mind perfectly. I know we are in the middle of summer, it's actually hot again (but hopefully not for too long), but my mind is already set on Halloween. I have already started reading horror stories, for instance. So yes, October, get yourself here. I'm glad I'm not alone feeling like this (since there's a  meme on it and all) and wanting to invoke October and all its spookiness.

Shortcake déconstruit

 Vous vous rappelez du "dessert royal" que mes parents ont fait pour des amis et dont j'ai publié une photo le 12 juillet? Bien je partage une autre photo du dessert royal. Le dessert royal est en fait un shortcake aux fraises déconstruit, avec fraises, crème douce (et/ou crème fouettée?), sirop et sucre d'érable et je crois que c'est tout. Et je partage parce que, ben, food porn et tout ça. C'est une raison comme une autre.

Friday 16 July 2021

The return of the hare

My readers might remember Bozo the hare, who has been squatting and/or visiting my parent's garden in the alst year or so. My dad gave him that stupid name. Well, he's recently returned, or maybe it's another hare, but anyway, there's been a visitor and my father managed to take a few snapshots. He is very cute.

Le nouveau logo de la Panthère verte

J'ai une bonne et une mauvaise nouvelle tirées de la page Facebook de La Panthère Verte. La bonne: leur local sur Mont-Royal est réouvert. Pour les chanceux qui veulent essayer, c'est le meilleur resto vegan que j'ai essayé dans la ville (ma femme n'est pas d'accord). La mauvaise: qui c'est qui a eu l'idée de changer de logo? Ils ont sorti celui-là en octobre 2020 et franchement il est pas vargeux.

Thursday 15 July 2021


 I mentioned a few days ago that I went briefly to a food festival and bought a box of olives, to share with Wolfie and me. I also purchased baklavas from the same stand. I haven't eaten baklavas in two years. And I don't have to share them with anyone in this household, because I am the only one who enjoys their taste, apparently. I don't know why I love them so much. Maybe because I thought they were Greek (according to Wikipedia, they are not, and these ones were purchased in a Turkish stand anyway), maybe because I justlove the mix of nut and honey.


J'aime parfois faire dans le billet animalier, surtout que mon père m'envoie des photos prises par les caméras sur le lot de ses frères. Ainsi donc, il m'a envoyé cette photo d'un chevreuil dans la forêt. Rien d'autre à dire, c'est une superbe créature.

Wednesday 14 July 2021

The local White Stuff shop is closing

My wife gave me some sad news today: our local White Stuff shop is closing. Now I hate clothes shopping in general, but I happen to like their clothes. It's where I found my favourite jumper, which if nothing else made me very grateful that we have one nearby. It also has (had) a cool Kid's DeN and Manky Franky. So it makes shopping there at least bearable and often useful, even if there are more affordable shops. Well, we'll have to find another White Stuff. There are plenty in nearby towns, so it might not be all so bad, but I wish we still had that one close and I hope the chain survives.

Prise de la Bastille (chant révolutionnaire français 1790)

Tiens, je viens de découvrir une nouvelle chanson du temps de la Révolution française, je la partage ce soir rien que parce que. Drôle qu'une chanson aussi bonhomme et sympa soit inspirée par un évènement aussi sanglant.

The Queen and her Knight

It is the 14th of July, so how about a joke disguised as a fable about an unreasonable queen with a terrible plan? I found this comics online recently, in my Facebook feed, and I thought it was absolutely hilarious. So I decided to share it here. I don't know from which series it is from, as soon as I know I will give credit where credit is due. It is a fairly slow burning gag, but the punchline (well,the Epilogue) is just, well, really, really funny. And pretty clever as well. I don't want to spoil it for you, just read it.

Parce que c'est le 14 juillet

Parce que c'est le 14 juillet, parce que j'ai tujours aimé cette minisérie sur la Révolution française, je mets ici la version orchestrale de l'Hymne à la liberté.

Tuesday 13 July 2021

The football at the door

You must all know the news now, that England lost to Italy in the final game of Euro 2020. I don't follow football, I never managed to enjoy watching it, so I did not care much, but it created a lot of hope and enthusiasm around here, including in this household (my wife only watches football when England is playing) and in the end, disappointment. I could even say sorrow. But I have a little anecdote about it: when we got out for our daily walk on Sunday, there was this football in our front garden. I took it as a good omen: it's coming home, so to speak. Probably a neighbour thought it belonged to Wolfie, instead of the little boy a bit older than him who lives a few doors away and tend to leave his toys in communal area. I kicked it away by the net that was nearby. When England lost, my wife said I should have brought it in so it could work its magic. Oh well, maybe next time.

Ani couni

Les personnes de ma génération et de celles d'avant doivent se rappeler de cette chanson autochtone, qui vient semblerait-il des Iroquois, et que l'on chantait parfois lorsque nous étions enfants. Je crois me rappeler que c'était populaire chez les scouts et guides, autour d'un feu de camp ou lors de randonnées. Je n'ai jamais su ce que ça voulait dire, jusqu'à ce que je tombe sur cette image dans les internets. Beaucoup plus grave que j'aurais imaginé. Bien entendu, je ne peux même pas être certain que ce soit une traduction exacte, ou même un peu fidèle, mais quand même, j'ai trouvé ça intéressant.

Monday 12 July 2021

Getting the school uniforms

This week, my wife will go to Wolfie's future school to pick up the uniforms and other official school stuff we purchased for when he starts school this September. For a while I was not keen on the British policy of having mandatory school uniforms, but it does make things way easier for parents, if nothing else. The school colour is green, which is our son's favourite colour, so let's hope it will be a reason for him to enjoy it it there, because I know he is getting a bit nervous about it. So is his father, come to think of it. Time is truly flying and it is flying way too fast for my taste.

"Dessert royal"

Mes parents ont invité des amis pour souper en fin de semaine. Un couple et leur fils de l'âge de Wolfie ou à peu près. Mes parents leur ont servi ce qu'ils ont appelé "un shortcake aux fraises déconstruit": gâteau blanc style shortcake, crème, fraises et sirop et sucre d'érable. Avouez que c'est décadent. Mon père a titré le courriel "Dessert royal". Je crois que c'est en effet le cas.

Sunday 11 July 2021

Time for olives

 There is a local food festival this weekend. It was cancelled last year but is going on this year. I went there quickly yesterday and we might go back today as a family for lunchtime. Anyway, I bought olives for myself and Wolfie, because we both love olives and buying special olives during special events is a daddy and son tradition. He got very excited. To be honest, the selection wasn't that great, but it's nice to eat olives all the same.

Edmond le prince des ratons

J'ai déjà blogué sur Edmond l'affreux raton, livre racontant les aventures d'un enfant raton-laveur quilit beaucoup trop et en a développé une mythomanie. Je l'ai d'abord acheté pour mon petit cousin, puis pour ma femme (pour lui faire apprendre le français) et enfin mon fils en a hérité. Je l'ai relu avec lui hier et il a semblé être assez intéressé à l'histoire. Cette histoire a deux suites, dont Edmond le prince des ratons. Comme petit loup a bien aimé le premier livre sur Edmond, je songe à acheter les autres, si je peux les trouver. Ils ne semblent plus très connus et donc difficiles à trouver, hélas.

Saturday 10 July 2021

Very early sign of autumn?

A few evenings ago, as I was going out to buy some stuff, I saw these leaves in an alley of bushes. They had already changed colours. I was very surprised. It has been a fairly cool summer so far, with a week of heatwave at the most, but we're only in July and autumn is still a long way down the road. I know I should not get my hopes up, that it might just be a freak accident, but it I can't help it. Every summer I get dreary, worrying I might feel barbecued. Now it is... well, almost nice. And then, there are these leaves, reminding me that my favourite season will come.

Le héron de la Gacilly

Je regardais des photos de Bretagne datant de 2008 et je suis (re)tombé sur celles de la fontaine avec le héron à La Gacilly. Je ne sais pas si j'ai partagé cette hoto en particulier, mais je me rappelle avoir partagé une autre photo de la même fontaine au moins une fois. C'est parfois drôle de penser que nous avons passé beaucoup de temps là-bas, à une époque pas si lointaine, et maintenant plus du tout.

Friday 9 July 2021

The cover of Rosemary's Baby

 I am already reading horror stories, because yes, although it's early, I am thinking about the countdown to Halloween and I am getting myself already slowly in the spirit of the season. Besides, there are some horror novels that fit summertime. Such is the case of Rosemary's Baby, which I finished reading two days ago. I watched the film before, numerous times, and I wanted to see the original work. It was a great read, but I digress. The cover caught Wolfie's attention. He asked me a few questions about it and was perceptive enough to guess it was "a Halloween book". I triedto give him a vague idea of what the plot was about, but really could not, so he gave me his own plot synopsis: "It's about a baby monster, and he's very naughty so he is kept in his pram and can't get out, because monsters are often naughty." Not that far from the truth, come to think of it. And that is our next Wolfism.

La récolte des tomates

 Ma belle-mère nous a donné des plantes en cadeau, de quoi faire un modeste potager. Un potager à la mesure de mes talents de jardinier. Parmi celles-ci, les tomates ont commencé à mûrir, assez pour qu'on en fasse la cueillette. Petit loup a insisté pour qu'on le fasse en famille et j'ai étéheureux de voir son enthousiasme à prendre soin du potager familial et de vouloir en récolter les fruits (ou les légumes, mais dans le cas des tomates ce sont bien entendu des fruits). Il reste encore des tomates vertes, alors on en aura pour quelques jours. Je compte aussi mettre les plants dans de plus gros pots, afin qu'ils puissent pousser. Et je vous tiendrai au courant des prochaines cueillettes dans une prochaine chronique potagère.

Thursday 8 July 2021

The milk option

We are preparing Wolfie's first year at school these days. Yes, time goes way too quickly and yes, I freak out when I think about it. But anyway, I learned recently that for lunch and snack, the school he will going to provides an optional glass of milk, for a small extra fee. Wolfie coul either drink milk or water. We are not certain what to decide. While I think milk is an abomination in tea, I love it by itself and I grew up on milk, both at home and at school. I know humans should not drink as much milk as we do, but I nevertheless associate it with a good source of calcium and proteins. Sure, milk is in essence barbaric, but isn't childhood a barbaric age and a time for wild  anarchy? Now Wolfie has never been a big milk drinker at home, generally he just have sips of mine, as a special moment he shares with daddy, but he seems quite keen to have a glass of milk at school, for some reason, to his parents' surprise. Maybe I am old-fashioned and traditionalist, but I am tempted to pay for the milk option.

Le drôle d'été

 Je relisais un billet de l'année dernière, en juillet 2020, où je mentionnais notamment que le mois de juillet était frais et que c'était un juillet atypique. Je ne sais pas si c'est une torpeur qui a pris le dessus depuis le début de la pandémie, mais nous avons encore une fois un juillet frais, où il fait rarement soleil longtemps et où je porte souvent un petit gilet pour demeurer comfortable. En fait, c'est tout l'été qui est atypique cette année. Je ne m'en plaindrai pas: je n'aime pas les étés trop chauds. Alors comme l'année dernière,je m'accomode assez bien de ce drôle d'été.

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Accursed leaf blowers!

 Yesterday, 6:30AM or thereabout, my wife and got woken up by a darn leaf blower! It was not the first time. Some guy in the parking of the office behind our home does it every Tuesday or so. I wonder why: the offices have been mostly empty for the last year and a half, and so was the parking, and we in the middle of summer! I already hated them in autumn, when at least you could make a rationale for using them. Even though let's face it, why can't they use a good old rake? Leaf blowers must be the most useless thing ever invented by man: it's noisy, it's polluting, it's clunky and probably as heavy as it looks and you just move leaves from one spot to the next. Like I said, use a rake, or let the wind blow them, if you really must get ri of the leaves. It's just properly ridiculous. And I, for one, love leaves on the ground. It looks pretty and it's a natural fertiliser. Anyway, my wife emailed the town council and apparently the guy who did the job (at 6:30 in the morning!) was very nice and promised the councillor that he would be more considerate next time. If he was truly considerate, he'd switch career.

Bientôt la deuxième dose

Hier, j'ai réussi à fare devancer de quelques jours ma deuxième dose de vaccin. Tant mieux: je me sentirai plus en sécurité lorsque ça arrivera. Ce sera sans doute encore une fois AstraZeneca, mais ça ne me dérange pas du tout. La première fois, c'était passé comme du beurre dans la poêle et je n'avais eu qu'un petit frisson en fin d'après-midi et un léger engourdissement du bras, alors je crois que je serai encore fonctionnel à l'ouvrage, mais sinon j'irai mollo. L'avantage de travailler de la maison et d'avoir le centre de vaccination à quelques minutes de marche seulement.

Tuesday 6 July 2021

The Big Ugly Casting

A month ago exactly, I blogged about The Big Ugly. A crime movie that was neither great nor inventive, but that I enjoyed a lot. One of the reasons why is that Malcolm McDowell and Ron Perlman play in it, and this casting was a stroke of genius. I also thought that it was quite interesting, as both have played in films that were direct or indirect works of Anthony Burgess. McDowell of course for A Clockwork Orange and Ron Perlman for Quest for Fire, which language was created by Burgess. So they in a way Burgessian actors. I think The Big Ugly is the only film they played opposite each other, in which case it's another reason to cherish it. In any case, whoever did the casting for this movie sure did his job well.

L'équipement de barbier

Comme vous le savez sans doute, depuis le début de la pandémie, je suis devenu le coiffeur officiel de la famille. J'ai d'abord été mon propre cobaye, en utilisant un clipper cheapo acheté sur Amazon, puis j'ai utiliséles ciseaux et coupé les cheveux de ma femme et de mon fils. Pour un amateur, ce n'est pas mal. Comme j'ai brisé leclipper le mois passéen l'échappant, j'ai racheté récemment un équipement complet un peu moins cheapo: ciseaux, clipper avec différents réglages (y compris un pour le rasage de la barbe), peigne et ciseaux, puis d'autres trucs. Des fois je me demande si j'ai raté ma vocation. En tout cas, je crois que j'ai dépensé des fortunes dans les salons de coiffure.

Monday 5 July 2021

Overlook Hotel, July 4th Ball, 1921

Well, I forgot to celebrate a very important anniversary yesterday: as it was July the 4th (as the Americans say), it was... the 100th anniversary of the July 4th Ball 1921 of the Overlook Hotel. Thankfully this meme reminded me. I don't know what happened then, but we can agree that it must have been a very special ball. And I hope that yesterday all my American friends partied like it was 1921. On a side note, Halloween is only 118 days away, so I have started reading horror stories.

L'anxiété en deux diagrammes

Une amie de longue date a partagé ce dessin sur sa page Facebook et j'ai pensé la partager ici. Mon amie comme vous pouvez le deviner souffre souvent d'anxiété, ce qui m'attriste beaucoup et m'inquiète toujours un peu. Je ne suis pas cliniquement anxieux, mais il m'arrive parfois d'angoisser (moins depuis que j'ai changé de job il ya un an) et je me reconnais au moins un peu dans ce graphique (surtout en ce qui concerne l'insomnie). Comme ces deux dernières années ont été un terrain plutôt fertile à l'anxiété, je partage ici.

A red kite at sundown

Two days ago, the evening was falling and I heard the distinct cry of a red kite. There are many of them around here, they are our most famous avian neighbours in this part of England. I often see them flying but they are quite difficult to . Then I heard the distinct cry again and saw where it was coling from: the top of a nearby tree, where a red kite was perched. I am not good at taking pictures, but I took a few snapshots and I think they look quite nice and very atmospheric. There is just something about the shadow of a bird of prey at sundown. So I decided to share it today.

Spaghetti tunisien

En fin de semaine dernière, j'ai fait un spaghetti tunisien pour la famille. La première fois cette année. Je l'ai fait sans sauce harissa, ce qui m'a paru une hérésie, mais ma femme n'aime pas ça trop piquant et petit loup non plus. J'ai rajouté la sauce dans mon assiette, ça fait quasiment aussi bien. Le seul vrai ennui, c'est que je n'avais pas d'échalottes, mais on a fait sans et ce fut quand même assez bien. Et j'ai des réserves pour le dîner d'aujourd'hui.

Sunday 4 July 2021

The BBC is talking about the Habs

I seldom blog about sports, but those who also read my blog in French know that I have been blogging about hockey recently, more than ever blog about it before and that I ever blogged about other sports, all put together. So anyway, although they are now struggling and it looks that they will not win the Stanley Cup this year, the Montreal Canadiens have done very well this year, enough to get into the finals for the first time in 28 years. I have always been a Habs fan, although I havefor long stopped following hockey, so I am very happy about this (or rather I was until they ran short of whatever had made them successful this year). Their status as the NHL's new Cinderella team got some attention this side of the pond, where I saw yesterday a BBC article about them. I am always happy when things like that happen. Sadly, I think it won't be this year, but all the same, just in case, from this Montreal expat: Go Habs Go!

Le temps de relire Mafalda?

Photo prise par mon frère PJ, qui a acheté l'intégrale de Mafalda . je pose la question de façon réthorique, car je n'ai pas d'album ici et je crois qu'ils sont difficiles à trouver en Angleterre. Mais toujours est-il que je me sens d'humeur à lire du Mafalda. J'ai souvent blogué sur Mafalda et sur l'effet qu'elle a pour me calmer de ma mélancolie. J'imagine que je me sens d'humeur mélancolique ces jours-ci.

Saturday 3 July 2021

Our neighbours de hedgehogs

Two days ago, as night was falling and I was looking for Domino outside, I heard a sort of gnawingor snarling sound coming from a nearby piece of shrubbery. I walked where the sound was coming from and as I expected I saw hedgehogs. Now I can recognise them from the noise they make, I am that familiar with them. I took this picture. I wonder if they were the same visitors we had in our front garden back in May. I found these two pretty far away from our home, but I have no idea of large the area covered by hedgehogs can be. If theyare the same and if I see them again, I must start thinking about giving them names.

Les orchidées en fleur

J'ai blogué il y a une dizaine de jours sur des orchidées sauvages que mon père, son frère et ma cousine Amy la photogaphe ont vues quand ils ont marché sur le lot de mes oncles. Comme quoi il y a des orchidées sauvages dans les forêt du Québec. Amy avait pris des photos, même si les orchidées n'étaient pas en fleur. Elles ont fleuri depuis et ma cousine a été assez gentille pour prendre de nouvelles photos des orchidées rien que pour ce blogue. J'en partage donc une aujourd'hui. Ah oui, et petite note linguistique: en fleurest au singulier, parce qu'il s'agit de plusieurs fleurs de la même espèce.

Friday 2 July 2021

Coffee and me

 As my readers know, I am not a coffee drinker. Not anymore anyway, or at least not outside extremely rare circumstances. I think the last time was back in 2009. I think it tastes vile and looks even worse. It has not always been the case, I used to drink it fairly regularly before or between classes, when I was at college and uni, then back in 2007, I went to an induction at my then job and one of the seniors there mentioned that he always hated coffee. I had a sip of mine at the break and just thought: "Wait a minute, I'm not enjoying this." I noticed the taste, the smell, in fact I could almost perceive the bad breath I would get afterwards. It was a sort of epiphany. So that was the end of it.

Question existentielle (371)

Nouvelle question existentielle. C'est un été assez frais jusqu'ici et donc endurable, mais j'ai toujours peur que la température augmente, ce qui m'a inspiré cette question existentielle:

-Qu'est-ce qui est pire, chaud et sec, ou chaud et humide?

Thursday 1 July 2021

Railway Watch

As I mentioned in this post, I often think about the National Railway Museum of York. Also spend a fair deal of time browsing through its online shop. And I saw this limited edition NRM Flying Scotsman Silver Plated Pocket Watch. Also available in gold. Both are at £145.00, both are amazingly low in stock. I willnot buy it, but I'd love, love, love to have one. Funnily enough, my brother Andrew received from my parents an old pocket watch like these when he was a child, although I hope my parents didn't buy anything that expensive. It was a silvery one, with the image of a steamed locomotive on it. We were very spoiled as children I guess. My bro even had his intial on his watch. Even though it was not meant to be a toy, we sort of used it as one, albeit a precious one to be treated with great care (wewere spoiled, but sometimes knew the value of things). The watch was a prop in our make believe, sometimes even a MacGuffin. It was then part of a treasure, or had a secret microfilm in it, or something of the sort. Be that as it may, I'd love to have a watch like this one.

Cinq ans de crémaillère

C'est aujourd'hui un jour très spécial: nous sommes le... Jour du Déménagement. Je n'ai jamais déménagé un 1er juillet au Québec, pas dans ma vie consciente en tout cas. Mais ironiquement, nous sommes devenus propriétaires de notre maison il y a cinq ans aujourd'hui. Alors j'ai vécu une fois dans ma vie un Jour du Déménagement, mais dans mon pays d'adoption. Je dis ça et nous avons vraiment emménagé le 2 juillet, mais bon. On n'avait pas vraiment fêté pour pendre la crémaillère alors, puisque petit loup s'en venait. Il y avait tellement de choses à régler. Nous n'avons pas vraiment célébré d'anniversaire de déménagement par la suite, contrairement à ce que l'on faisait dans notre ancien appart. Faudrait pourtant bien qu'on le fasse un peu, devenir propriétaire est quand même une étape importante dans la vie.