Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Ghosts in the House

For today's countdown to Halloween reading suggestion, I go for forgotten classics: Ghosts in the House: Tales of Terror by A.C. Benson & R.H. Benson. They are the brothers of E.F. Benson, who is nowadays far more famous. These are old fashioned ghost stories in the vein of M.R. James. When they were not writing spooky tales, A.C. was a school master, R.H. a Catholic priest, so they belong to a long tradition of mild mannered British writers with a dark imagination. You will get a few shivers reading the stories, but they are pretty much devoid of the fatalism and cynicism of modern horror. The forces of evil might be a threat, but they are seldom triumphant.

Lulu pour l'Halloween

J'ai trouvé cette photo sur la page Facebook de la Chocolaterie Lulu. Ils se mettent aussi en mode Halloween. C'est vraiment une belle photo, délicieusement macabre. Et pour vendre des sucreries. Pour ceux qui peuvent, je recommanderais d'aller vous chercher du chocolat de chez Lulu pour les Halloweeneux.

Monday, 3 October 2022

The Halloween Ghost

I saw this ghost in the souvenirs shop of Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight. It was one of the earliest sign of Halloween I saw this year and the nicest Halloween ghost I have ever seen. The Halloweenest ghost I have ever seen, in fact. I love the colour and the bats on it. Sadly, as it was fragile and we had a long journey back, I did not buy it. It would have been so perfect among our Halloween decorations. Maybe I should have just taken the risk. Because it is one fine ghost. I will try to find it online I think.

Les outardes et les canards

Mon père est allé à La Baie hier et a pris des photos, dont celle-ci. Je peux identifier des outardes, des canards et des goélands (et/ou des mouettes). Je trouve cette photo très automnale.

Haunted Desk

For today's countdown to Halloween post, something cute Wolfie said recently. My six years old son and I were putting Halloween decorations on display on the 1st of October, as it is tradition in this household. My wife is not really into Halloween, so it's a boys' thing here. So we were putting lots of things everywhere in the living room and on the shelves when he looked at my working desk and asked: "Daddy, daddy, can I haunt your desk?" I thought tit was very cute and deserved to be a new homologated Wolfism. So now I have a haunted desk.Not haunted by much, but it looks spookier than usual.

Chouette effraie

Nous sommes allés pour la première foishier à Hogshaw Farm et ce fut une très belle visite. Ils se préparent joliment pour l'Halloween, dans tous les cas, ce qui n'est jamais garanti dans ce pays. J'y ai retrouvé plusieurs animaux que j'aime, dont les barn owls, qu'on appelle en français les chouettes effraies. Parce qu'elles effraient, justement. En tout cas elles effrayaient: leur apparence dans le noir et leur cri ont été à l'origine de bien des histoires de fantômes. Je l'ai déjà mentionné sur Vraie Fiction, mais je le rappelle encore une fois, parce qu'elle mérite de faire partie de la faune de l'Halloween.

Sunday, 2 October 2022

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (Discovering Lovecraft)

For today's (first?) countdown to Halloween post, a trip down nostalgia lane and a bit of a reading suggestion. You know that I like reading H.P. Lovecraft. His stories are often part of my spooky reads for the months leading to Halloween. I first discovered it when I was a teenager, learning about the role-playing game Call of Cthulhu. But before I started playing it, I wanted to discover the source material as inspiration, so I borrowed in the library The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. The very version you see here, with the psychedelic cover. The same way I discovered other great horror stories, come to think of it. I thought Lovecraft was a lesser writer than Stoker or Stevenson, but I enjoyed the story and the atmosphere tremendously. I haven't reread it in years, but I might revisit it one day during one of the countdowns to Halloween. You can find it online for free here. It has a Jekyll and Hyde feel to it, even the title is a call back, but in spite of the influences it is very much its own thing, with notions of a vast arcane conspiracy of necromancers that can threaten human civilisation. This is horror on a grand scale. So if you haven't read it, I suggest you make time in the coming weeks.

Les feux de l'automne

 Autre photo envoyée par mon père il y a quelques jours, encore une fois prise lors d'une promenade dans Chicoutimi. Je la partage parce que c'est beau l'automne au Saguenay.

Saturday, 1 October 2022

The Frankenstein Game

I already blogged today, but all the same, let's have another countdown to Halloween post. And another nostalgic post. You may remember that I blogged before about the "Dracula Game", in 2011 and in 2021. Well, a year before we played that game, my brothers and I had started another game based on a horror classic. Author J.H. Brennan had written another gamebook called The Curse of Frankenstein, based on, well, Frankenstein. Neither the gamebook nor the game we played based on it were as good as the other. The premisse was simple, even simplistic: the Monster of Frankenstein had escaped to the Arctic, his creator is in pursuit, youeither play the Monster or Frankenstein himself. The setting was far less interesting: it had less atmosphere and the horror tropes less frequent. In our make-belief game,we played a team of scientists trying to capture or kill both the monster and put a stop to Frankenstein's activities. I knew nothing of the tragic story of the source material see, so our characters just fought a mad scientist and an ugly brute.As for the Dracula Game, we never finished it. I think we lost interest,partially because the North Pole has far less possibilities than a Carpathian castle. That said, Brennan's got me curious about the original story and it played a role in my discovery of gothic horror. And for all its flaws, what a cover!

L'automne à Chicoutimi

Mon père m'a envoyé hier des photos de l'automne à Chicoutimi lors de sa marche. Il n'y a pas à dire, l'automne n'a pas autant de couleurs ailleurs, pas de sitôt en tout cas. Ici, c'est commencé, les feuilles des arbres commencent à changer et c'est joli, mais c'est en général plus tardif et plus modeste. Je n'ai pas grand-chose à dire à propos des photos, sauf que c'est magnifique l'automne là d'où je viens et que je vais les partager sur ce blogue.

Countdown to Halloween

We are the first of October, so the Countdown to Halloween has officially begun. Officiously, I think I have been counting the days since last Halloween. I took this picture in a shop in Sandown on the he Isle of Wight. I blogged about that... thing here. So for a month, this blog is going to be all about Halloween and all its aspects. To each and everyone of you, old readers and new, happy countdown! Let's have a spooky time.

Le temps des citrouilles

Mes parents ont acheté des citrouilles décoratives, de celles qu'on ne peut pas creuser. Je ne sais pas trop où, mais ils ont pris cette photo et me l'ont envoyée. C'est octobre, le coeur de l'automne, l'Halloween est proche.

Friday, 30 September 2022

Autumnal Happiness

I found this image recently online and I thought I'd share it as part of my autumnal chronicle. Because it explains in a nutshell why I love autumn so much. These are all the details that makes the season great: warm comfy clothes, hot drinks (tea for me), books and yes, even the rainy days. In so many words: comfort. You just can't get any better than that.

Les tambours du marathon

J'ai déjà blogué sur le le Marathon de Montréal. Qu'importe: cette photo est meilleure, même si l'on ne voit guère de coureurs. Ce que l'on voit, cependant, ce sont des percussionnistes. Ce qui est notre mot du jour. Des tambours pour un marathon, c'est assez peu orthodoxe, mais ça le rend plus festif.

Thursday, 29 September 2022

London in Autumn

This blog is an autumn chronicle until further notice, so let me muse about my favourite season again. I know this blog is read by autumn lovers anyway. I stumbled on this picture online and I fellin love with it I know it is most likely photoshopped, but I have been to London in autumn many times and I know how glorious it can look. In fact, I'm not so sure this has been photoshopped, come to think of it. We are planning to go to London soon, so I might be able to take pictures to share on the blog. Maybe not as good looking as that one, but watch this space.

Le Salon du Livre 2022 est ouvert

Bon, je sais que c'est un peu vain de le bloguer encore, mais j'ai quelques lecteurs qui vivent encore au Saguenay (mes parents et ma cousine), alors donc je fais l'annonce pour eux: le Salon du livre du Saguenay Lac-St-Jean est officiellement ouvert. Allez-y si vous le pouvez, c'est un bonheur. Vous y trouverez des auteurs régionaux et aussi pour les enfants c'est vraiment bien. Enfin c'était bien quand j'étais enfant. Je partage une autre image du salon, avec un petit monstre qui ressemble un peu à un bleuet, ce qui est assez inspiré.

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

The goose and the pumpkin

This could be the title of a great story, but it will merely be for now the title of a blog post. And a picture. So my father is getting ready for Halloween early and really caught up with me in his preparaions: he bought his pumpkin for the night. And he sent me this picture, right next to the wooden Canadian goose he has in the living room. I thought it looked gorgeous and so perfectly autumnal, I decided to share it here. I could not wait until October.

La Grande Bière à la Citrouille

J'ai déjà blogué plus tôt ce mois-ci sur la bière à la citrouille de McAuslan. Au Québec, c'est ma bière de l'automne (sans oublier de l'Halloween), même si elle est loin d'être la meilleure bière. C'est simplement que je ne peux pas, en mon âme et conscience, ne pas boire de bière à la citrouille en automne au Québec.Je n'en bois pas beaucoup, mais j'en prends une bouteille de temps à autre, par exemple à l'apéritif. Et puis j'aime le nom qu'on lui a donnéL La Grande Bière à la Citrouille.

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

My old Kanuk coat

There is a moment in autumn which I always love, it is the time when it gets cold enough to start wearing my old Kanuk coat. I have three Kanuk coats: one for winter (the very first I bought), one for summer and for springtime and autumn, which in this country I wear from autumn until spring inclusively. Maybe this is why it is the oldest looking one, albeit still in a good state and very wearable. It was my father's coat originally, but it did not fit him very well, so he gave it to me back in 2013 and I have been wearing it ever since. Kanuk is not a brand that is well known outside Quebec, but it is easily recognisable because of the snowy owl it has on its collar (although I think recent models might not have it anymore). Anyway, yesterday the temperature dropped dramatically and for the first time since last April I wore my old Kanuk coat. And it felt so good. Especially since it is fairly early in the season to wear something that warm.

Les chouclaques spatiales

Petit loup ne rentrait plus dans ses souliers, moi les miens étaient usés (parce qu'ils ont beaucoup voyagé), alors donc, nous sommes allés chez Clarks en fin de semaine. Et nous avons trouvé des chaussures à nos pieds. Pour Wolfie, ce n'est pas banal: ses nouveaux souliers ont des fusées spatiales dessus et des lumières qui s'allument quand il marche. Il a des chouclaques spatiales. Bien entendu, il les adore.

Monday, 26 September 2022

Pumpkin Patch

Here is a new sign of Halloween I have seen while I was walking to Wolfie's school to get him. I was walking near one of the local allotments and I saw this pumpkin patch. The pumpkins are already big and with the fiery orange colour. In a few weeks, they will be scary jack o'lanterns. Whoever is the gardener who planted them, I envy him. My attempt this year was absolutely pathetic. All the same it is heartwarming to see pumpkins growing, almost ready to be harvested. Oh and it looks and feels like autumn too these days, but this is for another post.

Le Marathon de Montréal

Mes parents étaient à Montréal récemment. Ils devaient partir hier, mais ils avaient oublié que c'était le Marathon de Montréal. Certaines rues du Plateau étaient bloquées, ils n'ont pas pu partir immédiatement. Ils ont fait contre mauvaise fortun bon coeur et ont pris quelques photos. J'en partage une maintenant. Je me rappelle avoir assisté à un marathon de Montréal, celui de 2015. C'est dire à quel point je ne suis pas sportif.

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Henley Literary Festival

The things you sometimes stubmle upon. We were at my in-laws' house today and I saw this among a neatly organised pile of leaflets and magazine. (my wife's mother is very organised). I knew there was a Henley Literary Festival, but I had forgotten about it and did not know it was held round this time of year. Now we don't live in Henley, however it is not too far from where we are so we might be able to go there in a week time. I think it would be a nice activity. In any case, I love literary festivals and I am so happy to see there is one nearby.

Souvenirs d'un journal dominical

 Photo prise sur la page Facebook du le Salon du livre du Saguenay Lac-St-Jean, qui commence le 29 septembre. Ils ont une cahier spécial disponible dans le Progrès de ce samedi, donc hier, mais ce n'est pas de cela que je veux parler. La photo m'a rappelé qu'il y avait il y a longtemps un autre journal au Saguenay, dominical celui-là, qui s'appelait Le Progrès-Dimanche. Enfant, il me semblait énorme, comme un gros journal et non pas un tabloïd. Je l'aimais beaucoup, j'y dévorais les bédés, l'horaire des films de la semaine, les critiques de jeux vidéos et des cahiers spéciaux comme celui-ci, qui me faisaient oublier pendant quelques heures la nostalgie du dimanche. Le Progrès me semble bien mince par comparaison. Enfin, tranches de vie, je ne crois pas qu'on puisse trouver de nos jours, au Saguenay ou ailleurs, un journal en papier qui faisait autant de bien au bon moment, qui nous donne de petits bonheurs alors que la fin de semaine achève.

Saturday, 24 September 2022

New sign of Halloween

 Last weekend, exactly a week ago in fact, we saw a new sign of upcoming Halloween, which I wanted to share here. I cannot wait until October and the official countdown, there are simply too many signs to hold back. So anyway, we were walking by one of the new local bakeries when Wolfie saw these pumpkins in a basket. Okay so they are small, but still. Pumpkins on display mean harvest means Halloween means jack o'lanterns. Oh and on a side note, you can see Wolfie's hand on the bottom left. I didn't notice it when I took the picture. Cute.

Le gâteau arc-en-ciel

Vous vous rappelez sans doute que j'ai blogué plus tôt cette année sur le rainbow cake, un gâteau aux couleurs arc-en-ciel que l'on trouve à la cafétéria du zoo pour enfants local. On peut même y acheter une boîte avec les ingrédients et la recette pour le faire à la maison. Il semblerait maintenant que ce gâteau soit devenu fort populaire, maintenant on le retrouve partout: aux fêtes pour enfants, aux cafés et aux évènements festifs. Je crois que c'est en passe de devenir le gâteau de prédilection de notre petit loup. Peut-être un peu le mien aussi.

Friday, 23 September 2022

St Pancras' Tree

I took this picture at St Pancras, the last time I had to go to the office. I commute by train (and I connect at the station. St Pancras is my favourite train station in London and it might be my favourite train station, period. It always had some very picturesque things. It is meant to be "St Pancras' Summer tree" but seriously, with colours like this, it looks more like a tree in autumn. So today being the equinox, let's say this is Saint Pancras' Autumn Tree. I should be going back to the office soon for my monthly visit, maybe there will be a different tree then, a proper autumn tree. Who knows. In any case, I thought this was fitting to share this picture today for the autumnal equinox.

L'araignée est de retour

Je ne sais pas si vous vous rappelez, mais il y avait une araignée qui avait élu domicile près de la remise. Elle avait tissé sa toile entre ladite remise et la clôture. Je m'en suis débarassé assez vite en la capturant dans un verre, puis en la balançant par-dessus bord. Peine perdue: quelques jours après, que vois-je près de la remise? La même araignée. Ou peut-être une autre, c'est pas impossible. Dans tous les cas, je n'ai pas osé jusqu'ici la déporter dans le stationnement derrière notre jardin. Un peu par paresse, un peu parce que si c'est bien la même, j'ai un certain respect pour sa détermination.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Late Equinox

Today should be the day of the autumn equinox, but this year, as it happens sometimes, it will arrive a day late, on the 23rd of September. I don't really care: for me, autumn starts with September, not with the equinox.  Read what they say about it on Wikipedia and I'm not the only one thinking like this. So we are 22 days into autumn, I don't care what astronomers say. Sorry if this post sounds like rambling, but it irritates me so much when people thinks September is still summertime. So yeah, it's been over for some time, autumn is here, the temperature is dropping, the leaves too and well, you just need to accept it now. But I know I am preaching among converts here. My regular readership is made of autumn lovers. All the same, I had to get it off my chest.

Un 22 septembre...

Une tradition sur ce blogue, chaque 22 septembre. Voici donc Le vingt-deux septembre de Georges Brassens. L'équinoxe est pour demain, mais c'est tout comme.

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

The best carrot cake?

I eat, or at least try to eat, following the seasons. When autumn comes, I eat hearty food and I also have seasonal desserts. For me, the most autumnal one might actually be the carrot cake. So come September, as soon as the temperature cools down a bit, I buy a carrot cake for the family, or a piece for myself. With tea on a cool day, it's just the ultimate comfort food, at least this time of year. Of course, you cannot go cheap: you need to find a really good one, or bake one if you have the skills (I don't).

Well, I am lucky, as I believe I found what may be the best carrot cake I ever ate (bare maybe this one). And in a chain, not in a quaint little café or shop. At COOK, of all places. But their carrot cake is really out there. Unlike a lot of those you can find in shops, it's very moist, not dry at all. And it's triple layered, thus very indulgent. And at £14.00, it's very reasonable for a cake this size. Since 2020, when I bought one just to try it, it has become an autumnal tradition in this household. My wife is not too keen on carrot cake, so she has very little, but Wolfie and I just wolf through it. So yes, maybe it's the best carrot cake ever.

Le programme du Salon du Livre

Nouveau rappel pour ceux qui peuvent, donc les Bleuets qui lisent ce blogue: le Salon du livre du Saguenay Lac-St-Jean commence le 29 septembre. On a publié le programme complet. Du temps que j'y allais, je ne planifiais jamais vraiment ma visite: je m'y rendais quand je pouvais et je visitais leskiosques au petit bonheur la chance. J'ai en fait acheté assez peu de livres au Salon du Livre. Assez pour me rappeler de ceux que j'ai (ou que l'on a) achetés, voir ce billet. Ce que j'aimais, que j'ai toujours aimé, c'est l'atmosphère, c'est l'ambiance de kermesse littéraire qu'il y avait.

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Idyllic Autumnal Picture

I found this picture online,in one of the many autumn pages I am now following on social media and I wanted to share it here, as this blog is followed by many autumn lovers. I know that the image has been photoshopped, but all the same, I think it shows many things I love about autumn: fiery colours, chilly weather, warm comfy clothes, warm comfy blankets, hot black tea (and said tea without milk) in big but fancy tea mugs and, well, everything. Oh and I am no dog person but there is a cute dog too. Of course this picture is idyllic and borderline allegorical, but if it does not reflect reality it reflects my current state of mind. Right now, even though it is not very cold, the temperature still dropped a few degrees down, enough so I can finally wear long sleeves and jumpers as well as thicker socks, I wrap myself in blankets to read just for the fun of it, trees are starting to show colours and I drink a lot more tea. And you, how is your autumn so far?

Tarte aux pommes

Mon frère PJ a fait une tarte aux pommes, l'une de ses tartes préférées. Hélas, Je n'ai jamais aimé la tarte aux pommes. J'ai blogué sur le sujet ici. Mais je tenais à partager la photo pour une raison bien simple: la pomme est le fruit de l'automne et des récoltes. Comme Vraie Fiction devient une chronique automnale quand arrive septembre, à défaut de manger de la tarte aux pommes ici (puisque personne n'aime assez ça, pas même Wolfie), autant en partager une photo, ne serait-ce parce que c'est automnal, une tarte aux pommes.

Monday, 19 September 2022

Spiced Pumpkin Pie Tea

I wanted to share one happy discovery I made last year. As I was getting desperate for some tea for Halloween, I found after a quick Google search the Spiced Pumpkin Pie Tea from Bird & Blend. I bought some last year,went through it, the experience was conclusive, so I stocked myself this year as well. I don't care about coffee and thus don't care pumpkin spice latte, so I needed some tea equivalent, both for autumn and Halloween. You know, sometimes you just want to taste the season. So I am very happy I found it. For the tea drinkers among you who also love autumn and Halloween, this is the real deal.

Salon du Livre (rappel)

Petit rappel: le Salon du livre du Saguenay Lac-St-Jean aura lieu dans moins de deux semaines. Moi si je pouvais y aller, j'aurais l'entrée gratuite (explication ici), mais sinon, les prix sont dans la bannière plus haut. Allez-y, c'est génial.

Sunday, 18 September 2022

South African Chardonnay

My father bought recently a Chardonnay and sent me the picture of the bottle. Why send me a picture of a wine, you may ask? Well, because it is a South African wine and my father-in-law (aka "daddad") is South African, so my dad thought about his opposite number, so to speak, in my wife's family. When I told my in-laws that my parents drank a South African Chardonnay, my father-in-law said: "Well of course, South Africa makes the best wines, because many Huguenots settled there and they used French vines on fertile African soil." Did I mention that my wife's father is a proud South African? Apparently, he is patriotic even when it comes to wine, even if he barely drinks any himself. In any case, I had a quick lecture on why South African wines are the best: French vines and French know-how, best soil, ideal weather and temperatures. I'm sure many would beg to differ, but there you go.

Une longue fin de semaine impromptue

Parce que la reine est morte et que demain est son jour de funérailles, ce sera jour de deuil national. Ce qui veut dire un jour férié impromptu. Je ne m'en plaindrai pas: j'ai toujours pensé: 1)que l'on avait besoin de plus de jours de vacances dans une année et 2)qu'une journée de vacances en automne serait une bonne chose. Ce qui veut dire que ça nous fera un beau dimanche. Je crois que l'on devrair avoir une journée de congé en septembre à chaque année. Mais bon, c'est sans doute juste moi qui aime les mois d'automne et qui aimerait avoir plus de temps libre durant ma saison préférée.

Saturday, 17 September 2022

Postponed Carnival

Today, we were supposed to go to the local Carnival. I always loved that carnival, mainly because it is set in the biggest park in town during the second half of September and often feels very autumnal. It's like a carnival welcoming the equinox, in a way. I blogged about it before. But due to the death of Queen Elizabeth and subsequent national grief, it has been postponed. At first, I was gutted, as I feared the carnival would be cancelled. But they decided to postpone it until... the 1st of October. Which is deeper into autumn. Hopefully it will be chilly. So anyway yes, the carnival has been postpone, but I think we will just appreciate it more when it happens.

Spaghetti tunisien... avec saucisses

Petit billet gastronomique: le mois dernier, je me suis fait un spaghetti tunisien. Jusqu'ici rien d'anormal. Mais, comme ma femme et petit loup étaient chez les beaux-parents et que je soupais en célibataire, j'ai décidé d'ajouter des saucisses. C'était la première fois que je faisais ça, mais je sais que beaucoup rajoutent de la saucisse à leur tunisien et je songeais à le faire depuis un bout. Enfin bref, c'était vraiment un repas cochon. Mais c'était bon en tab. Je vais le refaire c'est certain.

Friday, 16 September 2022

Running to school

This week, while we were getting Wolfie to school, we chatted with one of his best friends' father at the gate, while watching our kids walking in. First the two boys were walking, but as soon as they passed the teachers doing surveillance, Wolfie's friend started running to his class. The father said: "My son has been told off for running to school, so now walks, unless he thinks he can get away with it." We said it might make some kind of sense for security reasons to forbid pupils from running to their class, although truly they can't expect young children full of energy not to run when they feel like it, and they should be happy to see a pupil eager to get in class. He laughed and said: "Yes, God forbid some kid enthusiastically runs to school!" I thought it was very funyn and deserves to be a new great unknown line. For the record, I never ran to school, unless I was late. How about you?

La St-Ambroise à la citrouille

Grosse nouvelle dans le monde brassicole québécois, en tout cas en ce qui me concerne: la bière à la citrouille de McAuslan est maintenant disponible. Pas leur meilleure, mais un incontournable de mes  automnes et de mes Halloweens au Québec. Je vais m'en ennuyer encore cette année.

Sign of Halloween at the sweet shop

Last weekend, I went to the local sweet shop. I did not stay very long: there were a few too many customers and service was slow, so I did not buy anything. But I did see the very first sign of Halloween in town: these short of candied kebabs with a Jack O'Lantern, wicked witch and ghost. I think the bottom one is a bat or a cat, I'm not sure. You could see more Christmas based sweets, but this should change as we are getting closer to Halloween. I hope so anyway. In any case, I will purchase a few and share my sugary discoveries here.

Le pactole de cadeaux

Photo prise lors de la fête de notre petit loup. Je voulais y revenir encore une fois, rien que parce que je voulais la partager. Il a eu beaucoup, beaucoup de cadeaux. Pas tous les nôtres: le gros sac vient de ses grand-parents maternels et il y en a quelques uns de nos amis. Mais quand même, nous n'y sommes pas allés de main morte. La plupart étaient des jouets, mais pas seulement. Chaque année, je me dis qu'on exagère, chaque année, c'est la même chose.

Thursday, 15 September 2022

The Corps! Air Command

I found a new brand of toys thanks to my son's birthday: The Corps!. Okay, so the new website and the company is Lanard Toys, but anyway I know it as The Corps! because that is what's on the label. A military helicopter, a military motorcycle and a commando in one hell of a great packaging. It was a present from the family of Blonde Tickler, who actually chose itespecially for Wolfie. He loved it. So do I: it reminds me of my old GI Joe toys, especially the action figure, whose limbs are flexible like our old Joes. I suspect it was their inspiration for it. We will be very careful with it: I remember they have a short life expentancy and are prone to get maimed. Be that as it may, this toy sent me down to nostalgia lane again. As I always say, being the father of a little boyallows you to live a second childhood.

Les annonces de McAuslan

J'ai découvert une chose récemment: la Brasserie McAuslan fait des annonces. Je l'ai découvert sur leur chaîne YouTube, mais on les retrouve aussi sur leur page Facebook. Elles sont très courtes et franchement assez drôles, en tout cas elles m'ont fait sourire. Je me demande si elles sont présentées aussi à la télévision, ou si c'est seulement en ligne qu'on les retrouve. Quelqu'un du Québec peut me le dire? Dans tous les cas, McAuslan joue dans la cour des grands et j'en suis heureux. En passant, j'ai pris cette photo en septembre 2015, je ne crois pas l'avoir partagée sur ce blogue avant.

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Say it with a dragon

It was recently the birthday of Wolfie. He turned six. Time goestoo fast. My parents could not be here this year, so they sent him money, to be spent on something useful, and a card. This card. They bought it months ago, because when they saw it they knew it was going to be the birthday card for Wolfie. Their grandson insisted on unwrapping it in the morning, as he knew it was going to be a special one. He loved the dragon. I must say, I loved it too and it just made sense that our son had a friendly dragon on a birthday card. A cheeky one too, or at least he looks cheeky.

Martre (des pins)

Encore une fois, je partage une photo prise lors de notre séjour à l'Isle of Wight dans la section d'animaux empaillés à Amazon World. C'est une martre des pins. Et c'est cool: j'aime tout ce qui est martre, hermine et furet. J'aime bien comment ils ont mis les dents, très acérées, elles lui donnent un air féroce.

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

Monster Plants (Monstrum)

Monstrum has just released a video on Monster plants. As always, fascinating. Malevolent plants are a common trope of both horror and science-fiction. So you might to check this video if you are looking for inspiration for some Halloween reads, or simply scifi stories with a more sinister element. In any case, it is a very thorough history of the birth and evolution of a modern myth. That said, I am a bit sad they did not mention The Pavillion by E. Nesbit, my favourite horror story featuring a monster plant.

Automne au Québec: la bonne et la mauvaise nouvelle

J'ai lu en diagonale cet article dans la grosse Presse. Apparemment, l'automne devrait être doux, avec des températures plusélevées que la normale. C'est hélas devenu la norme, justement, avec le réchauffement climatique. C'est donc la mauvaise nouvelle: un automne trop chaud. C'est un peu le cas ici en ce moment, mais les températures devraient finir par baisser dans les prochains jours. Je regarde les prévisions avec anxiété. La bonne nouvelle, c'est que les couleurs seront magnifiques. C'est au moins ça de gagné.

Royal Python

One of our favourite places to visit during our trip to the the Isle of Wight was to Amazon World. They had many exotic animals, including a handful of scary reptiles. Among them, the royal python. Can you see it through the glass? I know I'm not the best photographer, but still. My wifewas scared, I had a delicious chill, both afraid and fascinated. It is amazing how well camouflaged it is. You could easily get caught unaware, ensnared and strangled.

Trottoir aux cerises

 Nous étions allés, lors de notre dernière visite à Wallingford, à une sorte de festival avec des stands qui vendaient bien des trucs, dont bien entendu des desserts. Nous en avons acheté pour notre repas du soir. Je ne sais pas pourquoi, mais j'avais envie d'un truc aux cerises. J'ai donc acheté un trottoir aux cerises pour moi. Les Anglais appellent ça un cherry slice, ce qui m'amuse, parce que c'est le même nom qu'on leur donne au Saguenay, slices. Sauf que ceux qu'on faisait chez nous étaient aux fraises ou aux framboises. Enfin bref, c'est ce qui m'est passé à l'esprit quand je l'ai acheté.

Monday, 12 September 2022

Orchard Thieves

I saw this bar mat in a pub in the Isle of Wight. I had already drunk my share of beer, so i did not try the cider, but I wanted to try it just for the name. Orchard Thieves sounds sovery cool. I think cider is an autumnal drink, because it's made from apples, the autumnal fruit if there is one I also associate foxes with autumn, because of their fiery colours. So I will try to find this cider somewhere, so I can drink it this season. Even though it's owned by Heineken. I'm terrible.

Demillionnaire

Un certain débat de chiffres au Québec sur qui est un ultra-riche (je n'en dirai pas plus) m'a inspiré ce calembour atroce: "Quand tu as un demi million de dollars, tu es un demillionnaire." Je sais, je sais, c'est vraiment atrocieux. Ne m'en voulez pas.

Sunday, 11 September 2022

9/11

I almost forgot that today is the 21th anniversary of 9/11.  I will be brief this year, or at least I hope to be. Read this post from 2008 and this one from 2009. They are from a long time ago, when I was much younger, nevertheless I am still very proud of them and I consider them my best posts. Youcan also read my posts from 2011, 2012 and 2013. As for my current state of mind, you can read my post from 2021. Sometimes I wished we still lived in the nineties.

Thé noir dilué

 Hier, nous sommes allés à la fête d'un ami de notre petit loup. On nous a offert à boire et comme il n'y avait pas d'alcool (je m'en suis discrètement enquéri), j'ai demandé du thé. J'ai précisé que je le voulais noir et... Ben, il semblerait que noir c'est noir avec du lait. J'imagine que c'est du thé noir dilué. L'horreur, l'horreur. Ce n'est pas aussi pire que ce que j'ai reçu dans d'autres célébrations, mais je me dis quand même parfois que je dois être le dindon de la farce anglaise.

Saturday, 10 September 2022

Guerilla Wargames

 Today, we went to the birthday party of one of Wolfie's best friends. I am always a bit wary going to big children birthday parties, they can be fun, they can be boring and everything in-between. This one ended up quite fun. The hosting family had prepared a room for a battle game, with Nerf Guns and ammo a plenty. And also goggles for security. Wolfie was not sure at first, seeing the shooting. I think he thought it was a bit daunting. The father of the birthday boy tried to divide the children between two teams, one blue and one orange, but it didn't catch on. Not until after the lunch, when the kids were more relaxed, didn't care about the rules of engagement one bit and a bunch of teenagers (friends of the birthday boy's big sister) decided to play too. I loaded Wolfie's gun, explained how to pump it and shoot and... I joined in too. We decided to target the teenagers, I thought they can take it and won't get hurt as much as the children might. We had lots of fun and the teenagers were good sports. I think we won the war, but maybe that's just me. Anyway, I said it before and I will say it again: being the father of a boy allows me to live a second childhood.

Georges Brassens - Le temps passé

Je sais que j'ai partagé ici du Georges Brassens le 7, je sais que j'ai déjà partagé Le temps passé en 2010, mais qu'importe. Mon frère PJ l'a mis sur Facebook il y a peu de temps et c'est de circonstances.

Devil's Peak, the TV Series

Now you know that I am a big fan of South African crime writer Deon Meyer and the characters and universe he created. I learned a few days that a TV adaptation of his novel Devil's Peak had started filming. Cool! It is the novel where reformed alcoholic detective Benny Griessel truly developed. It's not the first of his novels that has been adapted. I have watched a few adaptations and want to watch them all. I just need to find where and when it will be released here in the UK, if it gets released here. In the meantime, I am up to date with his novels, but if you haven't read Meyer's novels, I suggest you start. Like right now.

Des araignées encore

 Je bloguais le 7 septembre à propos des araignées que l'on retrouve partout dans le jardin ces temps-ci (mais assez curieusement, pas tant dans la maison). Or, pas plus tard qu'avant-hier, que vois-je près de la remise? Pas une mais deux araignées, une grande (la femelle?) et une petite (le mâle?), sur une toile entre la remise et la porte du jardin. Les voye-vous sur la photo? Je crains que je n'ai pasété bien bon avec mon focus, je suis un piètre photographe. Je m'en suis débarrassé assez vite merci, parce que ma femme déteste.

Friday, 9 September 2022

The Early Cryptkeeper

The countdown for Halloween has not officially started (unofficially that is different: I have been starting the countdown since last month), but I decide to get ready early this year and I added to my blog layout this year's badge. There is a wide choice of badges, all very nice, but I hesitated a moment until I chose this one. I had to go for the Jack O'Lantern with the skeleton bodyand the clawed fingers. It's scary, sinister, ghostly and so very perfectly seasonal. Anyway, I will be reporting for duty on the first of October, until then I will of course post about Halloween anyway, to get myself in the spirit.