Monday, 23 May 2022

The Irish accent

We went to see a circus this weekend. A very small circus doing a special event to raise fund for a school in a nearby town. A Catholic school, I may add, because it might explain what happened next. At the intermission, a lady asked me where was the loo. Once I told her, she smiled and say: "Oh, you are Irish too! How lovely!" I replied: "It would be, but unfortunately I'm not, but thanks anyway, I love Ireland." Which I think deserves to be a new great unknown line. Apparently, according to the Irish lady, I have a Northern Irish accent. She is from the South, so she is maybe less familiar with the Northern one, hence her mistake. But my wife thought maybe I have a bit of an Irish twang when I speak English. Which would be cool if I did. That said, I don't want to create a confirmation bias: we were in a place where they were a higher number of Catholics and I think the lady assumed I must have been Irish when she did not hear me speaking with a British accent. Oh well. One can dream.

Tornades au Québec

 C'est pas aprce que je suis un expatrié que je ne me tiens pas au courant de ce qui se passe chez nous. Même en ce qui concerne la température. Enfin bref, j'ai lu cette nouvelle sur la météo et les prévisions météo au Québec. Les orages, ça ne m'étonne pas: j'y suis habitué. Mais les tornades? Ca c'est plus rare. En fait, je ne me rappelle pas avoir entendu des prévisions de tornades au Québec très souvent. La dernière fois ça date de quelques décennies, durant mon enfance. Et d'apprendre que les tornades pouvaient se produire chez nous avait créé une certaine commotion chez moi et mes frères, mais ce sera pour un autre billet. Toujours est-il que c'est plus dramatique, une tornade, j'associe ça surtout aux états américains du Sud. J'espère que ma famille et mes amis seront en sûreté et ne souffriront ni de l'un, ni de l'autre.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Jubilee Bookmark

We went to downtown yesterday and... in the bookshop. My wife was hesitant, because she feared that I would buy books, which I did. Books and one bookmark: this one. It was only £3.00. It is a special bookmark to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The Brits are getting crazy about it. I am not a monarchist, you will not see this house covered with Union jacks or see portraits of ol' Betty hanging on these walls. That said, I am a collector of bookmarks and I love to encourage local businesses, especially bookshops. So I bought this bookmark. I will give it to my wife, it looks very feminine anyway. When in Rome, and all that.

À Québec

 Mes parents sont à Québec et mon père a pris le temps de prendre quelques photos et de me les envoyer. Y a pas à dire, la ville a bien des défauts, mais elle est belle en ta...

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Manor (HQ)

Sometimes my mind wanders and I muse about things. Recently, it was about manors. Probably because Wolfie asked me questions about Batman and I ended up talking a lot about Wayne Manor. Wolfie seemed greatly interested in it. When I was a child (albeit a bit older than he is now), I had a similar fascination about manors in general, even though I only had a vague notion of what manors were. They seemed to be the absolutely coolest dwelling places and in our make belief games, it was often the headquarters of our heroes and villains. Of course they were full of secret doors and passages, sometimes they were even haunted, in any case they were places of adventures. Or at least the starting points of many imaginary ones. This country is pretty rich in manors, so every time I pass by one or visit one, I remember our old childhood games and wonder if this particular manor has everything it takes to be a proper HQ for a self-respecting hero or a sinister villain.

Frites "Patio"

 Je partage beaucoup de food porn ces temps-ci, j'espère que ça ne vous dérange pas trop. Peut-être que je manque d'inspiration ces temps-ci. Peut-être que j'ai juste toujours faim. Toujours est-il que je partage une autre photo des frites "patio" que mon père a fait il y a une semaine. Les premières de l'année, si je ne m'abuse. Mais cette fois-ci, une photo alors qu'elles étaient en train de frire. Il faut les frire dehors, autrement ça empeste la friture dans toute la maison. Enfin bref, je m'en ennuie.

Friday, 20 May 2022

Luxury Trains

I found this picture on the Facebook page of Rovos Rail,  the South African luxury train company, apparently the most luxurious in the world (or so they claim). I am developping an obsession about it. I am also preparing our next holidays with my wife and I can't help but think that traveling on their trains would be my dream holiday. And I know this picture has been most likely photoshopped, but still. How lovely is this? It is probably more comfortable than our house. Heck, if money and time were no objections, I would be happy to live there. Of course I would need to be filthy rich.

Paris sur le Plateau?

Mon père m'a envoyé cette photo d'une nouvelle(?) pâtisserie sur le Plateau Mont-Royal. Il ne semble jurer que par elle. Mais il ne m'a envoyé que des photos de sandwiches jambon beurre, et il n'y a rien que je déteste plus que ça. Enfin bref, elle s'appelle Ô Petit Paris, si vous êtes curieux. Je vais sans doute essayer de visiter lors de mon prochain séjour à Montréal.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

First Wasp

Two days ago, my wife and I cleaned cleaned and cleared the windows of the bedroom, which we hadn't done in a long while. It was about time. My wife left the windows open to let some fresh air in, forgot to close it and, surely enough, a wasp got in. The first wasp to get in the house this year, as far as I can tell. I hope it will be the last. Last year, I received the fairly regular visit of wasps, often enough to make me suspect there was a nest nearby. This year has been much quieter so far on the wasp front, but I am always wary when I see one. While I don't have a phobic fear of them, I do not trust wasps one bit. So I will remain vigilant.

Le mystère du bijoutier

 En relisant ce billet sur l'histoire du spaghetti tunisien (un grand moment sur Vraie Fiction, soit dit en passant), un ami m'a fait remarquer une chose: la mention d'un bijoutier du nom prédestiné de Pierre Laroche. Mon ami se rappelle de lui, il était en effet venu parler de pierres précieuses à l'école. Je ne pense pas avoir vu la présentation. Je me serais rappelé de son nom, d'une part, d'autant plus que les pierres précieuses exercent une certaine fascination sur moi depuis longtemps (parce que). Un bijoutier nommé Pierre Laroche aurait donc été à l'origine du spaghetti tunisien dans la région et aurait eu une carrière de bijoutier au Saguenay. Je me demande ce qu'il est advenu de lui et quelle a été son histoire. Tout ce que je sais du commentaire de Germain Bonneau, c'est que Monsieur Laroche aurait vécu en Tunisie un certain temps.

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Drinking beer for Ukraine

As you may know, I love the products of Rebellion Beer, the brewery from Marlow. Their products are sold everywhere down in the South East. Well, they have a beer of the month and they have rechristened their beer for May Solidarity. In honour of and, well, in solidarity with the Ukrainian people. For every pint sold, 10p are given to charity to help them. So when you drink this beer, you are literally drink for Ukraine. Which I did a few times already.

La poutine ici

 Lors de l'évènement Pub in the Park, j'ai acheté comme repas une... poutine. Enfin, ce qu'ils appellent une poutine ici, j'imagine. Il y avait du fromage, mais pas en grain et et très peu. Il s'était ramassé au fond. Sinon, on y a mis du poulet. C'est quoi la variation de poutine avec du poulet, les connaisseurs? La portion était frugale et c'était trop cher à sept livres, mais outre cela ce n'était pas mal, en variation d'une poutine gentrifiée. Cela dit, et ça m'a beaucoup déçu, nulle part on n'a crédité le Québec pour l'origine de la poutine. C'est quand même agaçant.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

A walk in the rain and the mud

 Last Sunday, we went to Pub in the Park and we didn't take the car: we decided to walk it. The nearest parking was at a ten minutes walk from the main event and about the same time away from home. So we walked. It was supposed to be a rainy day, but I foolishly said Wolfie didn't need his rubber boots (called wellies in this country). So... when we arrived atthe park, it started raining a lot and we quickly got soaked. And our shoes all got very muddy. Wolfie was very grumpy. Like pretty much every Englishman I know, he hates rain. Which is a kind of tragedy, in this country. It made the experience more exhausting as well: walking in the mud does that, as if you spend more energy for each step. And it feels like the rain drains you too, if that makes sense. We ended up enjoying ourselves, but my boy and I were glad to walk home a bit earlier, while his mummy stayed when her friends. Moral of the story: always bring boots. And I need proper wellies myself.

Guille et les pantoufles

De tous les personnages de Mafalda, c'est son frère Guille qui est sans doute mon préféré. Je ne sais pas trop pourquoi, peut-être qu'il a un peu le même nom que moi. Mais enfin bref, je le trouve à la fois drôle et adorable )même quand il est grognon comme ici). J'ai donc décidé de partager un nouveau gag le mettant en scène, rien que pourle plaisir. Mafalda pouvait être très profonde, mais parfois c'était une comédie de situation, qui ne perdait cependant rien de sa justesse.

Monday, 16 May 2022

South African Flag

We went to a "pub in the park" event yesterday (more on that in future posts). I was surprised to see the South African flag floating there. Probably at a stand serving biltongs or something of the sort, but I did not have time to check. It felt a bit strange, because my brother-in-law (the brother of my wife), who is half South African, has been recently trying to get his nephews interested about that part of their national heritage. In fact, no later than that very morning he had send usa video of Pata Pata to share with them (but Wolfie knew about the song already). So seeing that flag was a strange moment of synchronicity. Or it is Fate telling me that Wolfie is at heart, like his daddad, very much South African.

Les cigares

Nous sommes allés à une journée spéciale hier, une journée "pub in the park" dans un parc local. Comme un grand pub à ciel ouvert, avec des kioskesqui offraient de la bouffe, tous les alcools imaginables, des boissons sans alcool, etc. Comme de raison, il a plu à boire debout. Il y avait même un stand qui vendait des cigares. Je déteste le tabac et encore plus le tabagisme, mais j'avoue que j'aime l'odeur des cigares, même si je me sens incapable d'en fumer (voir cette anecdote pour en savoir plus sur le sujet). C'est encore drôle de voir que les cigares sont encore glamour (ceux-ci sont même roulés à la main). Je n'ai pas vu qu'une seule personne en fumer un de toute la journée d'hier, cela dit. Et une femm assez âgée, qui plus est. Je ne sais pas trop quoi en conclure.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

The Adopted Teddy Bear

A few weeks ago, my wife and Wolfie went to a garage sale nearby. The money from the sales was given to a charity (for Ukraine?), so it was all for a good cause. They didn't buy much, but they bought this little teddy bear. Wolfie got really fond of him. He called him Good. Sometimes Wolfie gets suddenly into teddy bears. I used to be like this at his age. But I also find it kind of altruistic, if that makes sense, that we "adopt" like this teddies and give them a second life in a good home, where they will be loved and cuddled.

L'horloge du Jura (encore)

 Voici une photo de l'horloge du Jura, prise par mon père à Québec. J'en ai mis d'autres ici l'an dernier. Cette horloge me fascine, je ne suis pas certain pourquoi. Peut-être que c'est simplement parce que ses murs sont en verre, ce qui crée un effet de distance et de proximité à la fois.

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Happy birthday Cate Blanchett!

Well, she will most likely never stumble on this blog, but I have to mention it anyway: today is the birthday of Cate Blanchett. As you know (and if you don't, you most likely have guessed), she is my favourite actress, bare none. Because she shines in every role she plays (and steals the show when she is not the main character). Oh and I found this picture on this fansite, which I might visit more.

Trop chaud, trop tôt

Mes parents vont à Montréal en fin de semaine, juste quand une canicule historique s'annonce. La canicule la plus précoce depuis qu'on enregistre les données, paraît-il. C'est dans ce genre de moment que je m'ennuie moins du Québec. Je sais qu'il peut y avoir des températures estivales au mois de mai, mais c'est pousser la note un peu trop. C'est trop chaud, trop tôt. Et ça n'annonce rien de bon pour la planète ou pour les mois qui viennent.

Friday, 13 May 2022

Friday the 13th: an anniversary

Well, it is Friday the 13th and I hope nobody here is superstitious. For me, 13 might actually a lucky number: it was on the 13th of May last year that I started my then new job. Since then I have changed account, but I still work for the same company, which is great. I needed a bit of professional stability after the tumultuous years that were the years 2017 to 2020. This is what I was hoping for when I started working for them, and this is what I got. As it is Friday, I might actually do something to celebrate.

Georges Brassens - Le parapluie

Il a plu passablement il y a quelques jours, alors pour une raison quelconque ça m'a mis cette chanson de Georges Brassens en tête.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

A portrait of Marilyn Monroe

Sometimes I kind of follow news about art and auctions, not sure why. But anyway, you have probably heard about it before and I know I am late in the news, but one of Andy Warhol's portraits of Marilyn Monroe has been sold to a record sum of $195m. I used to be a big fan of Marilyn Monroe, I still quite like her a lot as an artist and an icon. But never cared all that much about Andy Warhol, I must confess. And as a great artist as he was, I prefer Marilyn Monroe witthout weird colours added, or on black and white. Be that as it may, if I had that much money, I'd keep it for something else and watch one of her movies instead.

Frites et mayonnaise

Mon père a fait des frites patio (voir ici pour la définition) récemment et il m'a envoyé des photos. Des fois il aime m'envoyer de la food porn, que j'aime ensuite partager sur ce blogue. Je sais pas si c'est cruel, ou masochiste, mais enfin bref. J'ai rien d'autre à dire que ça a l'air vraiment bon, surtout avec de la mayonnaise. Hélas, la mayo n'est pas maison, enfin je ne crois pas, mais c'est très mangeable pareil.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Tea by the gallons

I have a new manager at work, because I work on a new account, with a new team. Nice guy, pretty smooth, gives us all the space we need to work, does not breathe over our neck (although since I work from home, I guess that would be hard anyway). But I digress. At one of our team meetings, I saw that he drank from a huge bottle of tea, like one of these big travelling tea mugs. So he's a big tea drinker, which is always a good sign in my mind. He told us he gets through the bottle in his working day. I don't drink nearly as much tea, not these days anyway, but maybe I should. When it is cold in the office (or at your home home), when there's a lot of work to be done and you haven't slept enough the night before, well... Tea is like the proper working fuel. Productivity fuel, even. Unlike coffee, it keeps you awake and alert. So yes, I might just try to find myself a big bottle like that and drink it through the day.

Le gazon... encore

J'ai tondu le gazon dimanche dernier, pour la première fois depuis l'automne dernier (je crois que c'était en septembre). Seulement le gazon de la cour avant, pas la cour arrière. En fait, quand je dis cour, je veux dire la jungle qui tenait lieu de jardin. Je déteste tondre le gazon, je sais pas trop pourquoi, toujours est-il que je le remets au surlendemain, mais parfois il faut le faire. J'espère pouvoir en être quitte pour le mois prochai. Cela dit, il va me falloir raser la jungle qui est le jardin d'en arrière. Et je n'ai plus l'excuse d'attendre que la clôture soit remontée: c'est fait.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Beauties and the Beasts

Oh the manyt reasures one find in the local bookshop. Things I would never thought to look for, because I never suspected they existed. So last time I went to the local bookshop, I behaved and only bought two books, including this one. An anthology of tales and stories following the themes and plot of Beauty and the Beast. Which is truly a tale as old as time. I have already a lot of books on my reading list, so I have no idea when I will read this one. Be that as it may, my motto is buy now, read later. You don't want to miss buying a book when you see it available.

Rouge Burger Bar

J'ai un nouvel objectif lorsque nous retournerons à Chicoutimi: manger au Rouge Burger Bar. Mes parents y sont allés avec des amis il y a peu de temps et ils m'ont envoyé des photos. Même la salade de ma mère était... copieuse. C'est le moins qu'on puisse dire. Voir la photo si vous êtes sceptiques. Le seul ennui, c'est que je doute que ma femme, qui est végétarienne, apprécie l'endroit. Et je ne crois pas que ce soit le genre d'endroit pour petit loup non plus.

Monday, 9 May 2022

The Snakes

If you remember, I blogged about a month ago about these plastic snakes we played when we were kids, you held the end of their tail and it slither like the real thing. They were cheap toys we really loved. Well, I did not receive them for my birthday, so instead I bought a pack. I received five for the price of four, there were two yellow ones in the bag. That makes for a rather nice bunch. Of course, Wolfie absolutely loves them. He has the blue one, that is "his" snake and I have the green one. His mummy has the red one. They are generally up to no good and when we play with them, they go for all sorts of mischief. I love having a son.

"Ménage du printemps"

 Mon père a pris cette photo pour son petit-fils, parce que Wolfie aime ce genre de grosses machines. Il l'a intitulée "Ménage du printemps". À noter: il y a encore de la neige (très sale) au sol. Le printemps, c'est pendant longtemps une saison un brin dégueulasse.

Sunday, 8 May 2022

Anti-Terror Forces

 We went to the local May Fayre yesterday and Wolfie played one of these special games when he needs to catch a rubber duck to win a price, a toy of his choice. He chose this "Anti-Terror Forces" toolkit, basically police equipment (a gun, a knife, handcuffs, a badge, etc.) Wolfie is getting obsessed with the police these days, he even told us he wants to become a police officer when he grows up. So his games have become more brutal as of late, involving police officers (himself and mummy) and badguys (me). It makes a change from the vehicles he still obsesses about from time to time. And it also reminds me of my own childhood games. At his age, I loved police and robbers type games, I was also fond of such cheap toys, especially weapons, that usually didn't last long. This kit was very cheap, £3.50, and already the gun's trigger has broken down. Oh well, it can still be of use. Anyway, I hope Wolfie's choice has nothing to do with the rather, *ahem*, interesting looking policewoman on the top right corner of the packaging.

Premier burger sur barbecue

Nous sommes allés au May Fayre hier et ce fut pour moi l'occasion de manger pour le lunch un burger sur barbecue. Le premier de l'année, si je ne trompe pas. C'est une tradition pour moi lors des foires: je mange un hamburger. En fait un cheeseburger avec oignons frits en veux-tu, en voilà, moutarde "américaine", et sauce barbecue. Des fois il faut savoir se faire plaisir. J'ai mangé de meilleurs burgers, mais juste le fait qu'il soit sur barbecue, ça le rend spécial.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Plants for Adoption

I don't like all my neighbours (being generally rather antisocial), but some of them are rather nice. So I was walking yesterday and say this in the common area of our street. Somebody is giving their plants for adoption. I'm not much of a gardener, but that is the only reason why I didn't pick one of them. That and I have no idea what to do with these plants or what they are. But that is a sweet and quirky gesture, giving free plants for adoption. I don't know who the neighbour is, I suspect it's not the first time he/she is doing this (see this post), I hope to see more things offered for free in future months.

La maison des hérissons

J'ai pris cette photo chez mes beaux-parents. C'est une cabane à hérissons, afin de leur trouver un abri s'ils en ont besoin. Il y a beaucoup de hérissons dans notre coin de pays et ils ont parfois la vie dure. Alors on essaie de leur rendre la vie facile en leur donnant des demeures comme celle-ci. Je songe à en acheter une pour ici aussi,parce qu'il nous arrive d'avoir des hérissons qui visitent notre jardin. Pour les moment, mes parents n'ont pas de locataires, mais ça ne devrait pas trop tarder.

Friday, 6 May 2022

Dracula in Whitby

On the 26th of May, it will be the 125th anniversary of the publication of Dracula by Bram Stoker. It is my favourite horror novel. I learned on t the Facebook page of English Heritage (where I found this picture) that they are organising an event to celebrate: a gathering of vampires (well, people dressed as vampires) in Whitby Abbey. A large portion of the novel is set in Whitby and the abbey is featured. It is a perfect place for a vampire to dwell. I have been wanting to do my vampiric pilgrimage to Whitby for years, I don't think I can get holidays on such short notice and it is not during my son's midterm in any case. Neither would it be a suitable event for a young child, come to think of it. Even if Wolfie has a spooky mind. That said, I might make it a holiday destination one year. Nearer Halloween, perhaps, say the autumn midterm? It would be fitting. I will do my pilgrimage there one day, in any case. It's long overdue.

Le campus de mon alma mater

J'ai trouvé cette photo sur la page Facebook de l'université où j'ai fait mes études supérieures en Angleterre. Celle où j'ai rencontré ma femme. L'université n'était pas belle de partout (les édifices ici sont assez moches d'ailleurs), la ville encore moins (lire: la ville était pas mal laide), mais le centre du campus pouvait être joli à certains endroits. Cette photo avec les marguerites me rappelle bien des bons moments.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

My name at work

 We had a meeting today at work (a virtual meeting of course) and one of the seniors asked me: "Guilly, do I pronounce your name right?" I made the mistake, when I started working there a year ago, to give them the name I received during my Krav Maga training, because they could not say Guillaume to save their life. So now I'm Guilly at work too, which I don't hate, but I don't like either. I said: "You can pronounce it the way you want, it's not my name." People thought it was quite witty (the senior laughed anyway). And I tink it deserves to be a new great unknown line.

Le retour de la foire

Après deux ans de pandémie, la foire du mois de mai, appelée "May Fayre", est de retour. Bon elle était de retour l'année dernière aussi, mais cette année ça risque d'être plus imposant. C'est un festival local qui dure toute la fin de semaine et qui est vraiment l'un des plaisirs du mois de mai ici. Pour petit loup, qui est maintenant conscient de ces évènements, ça devrait être très excitant. J'ai aussi très hâte. Les foires locales, grandes ou petites, surtout celle de mai et celle de septembre, font parties de ces nouvelles traditions que j'aime beaucoup.

Boat cleaning services

Boy the things you discover during a school run. Last week it was the sight of a coffee van that caught my attention. Yesterday in the morning we were behind a van and I noticed that it was a... boat cleaning company. Call me silly, but I didn't know there was such a thing. I thought boat owners cleaned their bot themselves. But hey, it makes sense that some don't. After all, there's car wash, so why not boat wash? We are relatively near the Thames, so there must be plenty of occasions round here for this van to do business. But it's the very first time I have seen a boat cleaning service.

Domino à la porte

L'ennui avec les chats, surtout les chats qui sont encore un peu sauvages, c'est qu'ils prennent souvent la maison pour un long corridor avec toit. Donc, Domino, qui est encore très sauvage (et pas rien qu'un peu), passe beaucoup de temps dehors, puis il rentre de manière impromptue, puis il traverse la maison... pour ensuite se planter devant l'autre porte. Et il miaule de façon plaintive, jusqu'à ce quelqu'un décide de jouer le portier. Moi, plus souvent qu'autrement. J'ai immortalisé le moment dans une photo.

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Checkers

During one of our last time with Wolfie's maternal grandparents, our son found a game of checkers (or jeu de dames as we call it in French) and he received his first lesson in the game. I think he got the gist of it. I did not play much checkers when I was a child. My brothers and preferred chess, even then. Checkers was more a game played at school, during break time when it was too rainy to go out, or near the end of the year, when we had lots of free time. I was never a big fan of checkers, that said I think it's good that Wolfie can learn to play it and hopefully it will develop his interest in other games as well.

Boudin noir en tranche

Mon père m'a envoyé cette photo d'un repas que mes parents ont pris il y a peu de temps. Je sais, je sais, mon père m'envoie de la food porn rien que pour le blogue. Mais enfin bref, c'est du boudin noir, comme ils aiment en prendre parfois, mais celui-ci coupé en tranche comme un pain de viande. Et puis? Et puis c'est pas mal tout, je n'ai rien d'autre à dire, sauf que ça a l'air mieux que le dernier boudin noir que j'ai mangé ici, qui était très sec.

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Majestic Griffin

Monstrum has released today a video on the ancient, mythical, majestic, magnificent creature that is the griffin. I have nothing more to say, enjoy, it's really fascinating:

Le 3 mai 1992

Voici un souvenir saguenéen d'avant les réseaux sociaux. Et c'est pour tester et je l'espèredémontrer que j'ai bonne mémoire. Alors donc, le 3 mai 1992, il a neigé au Saguenay. Je m'en rappelle encore. Je pourrais même vous parler de ma journée du 3 mai 1992, mais je vais laisser ça pour une autre fois (il se fait tard). Si vous vous rappelez du 3 mai 1992, surtout (bien entendu) si vous êtes du Saguenay, laissez-moi un commentaire.

Where to go in Liverpool?

 I recently stumbled on this article about the places to go when you are in Liverpool. I found it quite interesting and in a way a bit surreal, for one reason. As those of you who have been following this blog for a while, I lived in Lovverpool for about a year (well, nine months), before getting married. It was for professional reasons: I workedt here. I only returned there once, for a day. But living in a city for nine months leaves a certain impression in one's mind, and while I never felt like a local, I still have a certain affection for the city. Yet, I never truly experienced it as a tourist. In fact, I have barely been in the city's main tourists attractions. So I am neither a Scouser nor a complete stranger. I don't think we will go there for our holiday, but I would like to revisit it again and see how much the city changed. I do miss it, sometimes.

La nouvelle clôture

Nous avons fait refaire la clôture du jardin, qui état tombée en mars à cause du vent. Je suis heureux que ça soit enfin terminé: les rénovateurs étaient difficiles à trouver, parce que nous n'étions pas les seuls à avoir besoin de travaux de réparation après la tempête. Le travail a fasciné Wolfie: il a passé l'après-midi à regarder ce qui se faisait dans le jardin. Bon, maintenant, la bonne nouvelle dans tout ça, outre que c'est moins embarrassant pour nous, c'est que l'on a enfin accès complet à notre jardin. En plus, comme la clôture est plus haute, on ne verra plus la vieille grebiche d'à côté.

Monday, 2 May 2022

Clue: The Great Museum Caper?

As my long-time readers know, one of my favourite board games is Clue. Or Cluedo as it is called on this side of the pond. I have played the classic version more time than I can even count, it was my go-to game as a child. Now I have here one variant of it, the Game of Thrones one, but I want one day to get my hand on the classic version. The original one of course, but also some of the variants. I know among them of The Great Museum Caper, which I once saw in a shop years ago. That would be right up my alley: a game set in a museum? Involving burglaries, fine art and antiques? And it's in 2D as well. That is like a dream board game which I sadly never played yet. I hope they are still publishing it, or will release it again one day.

Portrait de Domino

Mon fils m'a dessiné ceci (avec l'aide de sa maman) pour ma fête: un portrait de notre chat Domino. C'est je dois dire assez ressemblant, même si Domino n'a pas l'air d'une humeur aussi souriante. Enfin, en général. Ce n'est pas le premier cadeau que Wolfie me fait, ni le premier dessin, mais c'est le premier dessin qu'il a pris le temps d'emballer comme cadeau de fête. J'ai trouvé ça assez émouvant, je dois dire. Mon fils a le don de me faire plaisir et il prend déjà plaisir à donner, pas seulement à recevoir.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

May Day, Maypole and Snoopy

 Today is May Day. And what better way to celebrate it than with a Maypole, albeit a virtual one (and a drawn one at that) and of course Snoopy and the Peanut gang. I got this image from Charlie Brown's Fourth Book of Questions and Answers. They have a short entry on May Day, giving little info, but the sweetest image to go with it. You just can't go wrong with a cheerful Snoopy.

Une Perdriole (qui va, qui vient, qui vole...)

Parce que nous sommes le premier jour de mai...

Saturday, 30 April 2022

Walpurgisnacht!

We are the last day of April, which means that tonight is Walpurgis Night. Also known as Half-loween, a sort of crypto Halloween for the heart of spring, like Halloween is in the heart of autumn. More to the point, it is a spooky night for people who like me have a spooky mind, time to read a bit of horror stories and make you wait until October. It is also a time to beware: don't go out tonight, you might see ghosts, devils and of course witches. You never know, there might be a Sabbath near you. There might be one near me, in any case: where this picture had been taken, a few weeks ago. This is the ensign of a nearby village hall, which features a witch. I often share it on this blog to commemorate Walpurgis Night. I suspect that this is not merely an ensign, but a sign indicating a gathering point for the witches. It is probably very easy to spot from the air, when you are flying on a broomstick at low altitude.

Qui aime le chardonnay?

Des fois, je bois du vin plutôt que de la bière. Assez rarement, mais des fois. Je suis plus amateur de vin rouge, cela dit j'en bois de moins en moins, car il me fait éternuer. Alors je dois me rabattre sur le vin blanc, qui n'a jamais été mon fort. Au moins, je peux partager avec ma femme, qui aime le blanc (en très, très petite quantité), mais pas le rouge. (Elle aime la couleur du rosé, rarement son goût, ce qui la désole à chaque fois, mais c'est une autre histoire). Cela dit, grâce à mon magasin local tenu par un Français, j'ai la chance d'avoir une sélection de vins blancs fort honorables, en plus d'avoir les bons conseils pour les choisir. Et donc je me suis rendu compte, à ma grande surprise, que j'aime de plus en plus le chardonnay. Ce qui ne finit pas de m'étonner. Enfin bref, qui d'autre ici aime le chardonnay? Si c'est le cas, veuillez me donner des suggestions dans les commentaires.

Friday, 29 April 2022

Rovos Rail Mornings


I found this picture on the Facebook page of Rovos Rail, the South African luxury train company. Apparently the most luxurious train in the world. I know it is a promotional picture, I know it is photoshopped, but oh to wake up like this, in a place like that! If only time and money were no objections. That would be my dream holiday. Maybe one day, if I win the lottery or something.

La Coupe Stanley

Avec la mort de Guy Lafleur, mon père a trouvé des photos de la dernière année où le Canadien a gagné la Coupe Stanley. Donc en 1993, après les séries, il y a eu un évènement à Québec (repêchage? je ne m'en rappelle plus) qui réunissait les joueurs et les décideurs de la LNH. On y a paradé la Coupe Stanley et nous avons cette photo en souvenir. Au oui, et nous avons aussi vu Guy Lafleur, mais c'est pour un autre billet.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Sighting the Flying Bean Café

 Yesterday, during the morning school run, I saw a van of the Flying Bean Café going in the opposite direction. They were most likely going to one of the local business estates. It was not the first time I had seen it, but it dawned on me: it means that after lockdown(s), with more people working from home and so on, they are still in business. I'm glad. I never used it much, not being a coffee drinker, but I used to get some treats from them from time to time. Back when I was working at the job I hated, seeing their van used to provide me with an excuse to get out of the office for a few minutes. Call me silly or sentimental, but I have always been kind of grateful towards them. So I'm happy that it is still, well, flying.

Casse-croûte et québécismes

J'ai trouvé ce meme bien niaiseux dans les internets, mais je l'ai trouvé bien drôle. Je doute que quelqu'un d'autre qu'un Québécois puisse vraiment le comprendre, en tout cas saisir tous les québécismes et régionalismes dessus. Et dans tous les cas, casse-croûte est maintenant notre mot du jour. On dit aussi snack-bar.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

A Bag for Bookshop Day

I learned via Books Are My Bag that there's going to be a Bookshop Day in October. It's far away, but that means I'll have time to prepare. Because there will be a limited edition book bag and look how gorgeous it is, with a fox on it and everything. So on the 8th of October, I plan to head to the nearest participating indie bookshop.

"Mon" Guy Lafleur

Je voulais commenter le décès de Guy Lafleur et je ne voulais pas juste écrire des platitudes. Alors je vais bloguer sur mon expérience de Guy Lafleur. J'ai toujours été un fan du Canadien, d'autant que je m'en rappelle. Mais j'ai commencé à suivre le hockey des années après que Guy Lafleur ait pris sa première retraite. Cela dit, je connaissais très jeune son nom et son association avec les Glorieux. J'avais même une "poupée",ou une sorte de "toutou" Guy Lafleur, avec son nom et le numéro 10. Mais il n'avait pas les cheveux blonds. Je sais que j'ai eu cette "poupée", mais je ne me rappelle plus qui me l'avait donnée. Nous ne savons pas où elle est rendue non plus. Le mystère demeure entier.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Volvoville (Stellenbosch), South Africa

I'm currently reading The Dark Flood, written by South African crime writer Deon Meyer. He's one of my favourite crime writers and one of the many things I love reading his books is how he gives a sense of place simply in a few lines. Okay, so many writers do it, but he's really efficient about it. For instance, he mentioned that the town of Stellenbosch is nicknamed Volvoville by police officer Vaughn Cupido, because many citizens drive Volvos there, apaprently. As Cupido explains: "if the world is your oyster, and you can buy any luxury car, why buy the most boring one known to man? Rich whiteys. I just don't get them." It made me laugh. My mother drove a Volvo in years and for me it was always a solid, reliable brand, but I know it is often perceived as a boring car. Anyway, I now have a pretty good (if somehow unflattering) feeling of Stellenbosch.

Le pommetier des beaux-parents

J'ai pris cette photo en fin de semaine dernière, quand nous sommes allés voir mes beaux-parents. Ma belle-mère a planté un pommetier dans leur jardin. Ca n'a l'air de rien pour le moment, mais quand il va prendre des dimensions il devrait être superbe. Et j'espère qu'il donnera des fruits cette année, comme ça petit loup et moi pourrons aller les cueillir (il faut bien se rendre utile quand vient le temps des récoltes). J'ai grandi avec des pommetiers partout sur le terrain, je suis heureux que petit loup pourra profiter de cet arbre.

Monday, 25 April 2022

Wolfie's Favourite Spot

In various places, cities or town we lived in, or those we visited, we have favourite spots. I blogged about mine in Montreal before, I have a few in our little town I really like, because it's quite a nice town. During one of our recent family walks, we discovered at random Wolfie's favourite spot. We were walking while he pointed at these trees and said he really loved them and that it was his favourite spot. He even asked me to take pictures. We are lucky, because there was some talk about cutting them down a few years ago, but the citizens complained against the project and the trees remain. Apparently they are very old. Anyway, Wolfie explained to us that he loves how tall and beautiful they are. I think he loves the majesty of the trees. So yes, that's his favourite spot in town.

Premières fleurs

 Mon père a pris des photos des fleurs qui viennent de se montrer dans le jardin, après le très long hiver. On est presqu'en mai et le printemps est toujours très timide chez eux.

Sunday, 24 April 2022

Autumn Gnomes

My wife bought me these three gnomes for my birthday. I know, I know, they are out of seasonand they might be put in a drawer soon, to be taken out in September, but aren't they cute? We haven't decided of names yet, but Wolfie (who loves them as much as me) and I are working on it. We might actually keep them on display, just so I can look at them when I long for autumn. Which often happens when autumn is not there as of yet. In any case, I believe we never have enough gnomes and other magical creatures in the house, so I'm very happy we have three more.

Jouer 1000 Bornes

Je voulais Mille Bornes, j'ai eu Mille Bornes. Enfin bref, ma femme m'a acheté Mille Bornes comme cadeau de fête. J'ai relu ses règles hier, c'est encore plus simple que ce dont je me rappelais. Heureusement, parce que la version qu'elle m'a achetée a les instructions seulement en français, il me faudra alors faire la traduction. Sinon, Wolfie est encore un peu jeune pour jouer (c'est à partir de six ans), mais je crois qu'il va pouvoir comprendre les grandes lignes et je suis confiant qu'il va s'amuser aussi. J'ai vraiment très hâte de m'y mettre.

Saturday, 23 April 2022

Saint George's Day

 Happy Saint George's Day everyone! It is a day seldom rarely celebrated here, which is ironic because: 1)Saint George of Lydda is the Patron Saint of England and 2) as a dragonslayer, he is one very cool saint. We try to do something about it every year, or at least I to do something to commemorate. That said, this year I'm not sure whatwe will do, if we do anything. There are no special events we know of being organised nearby, so we might not even go anywhere. Which is kind of sad. But if anything happens, I will of course blog about it in the coming days or hours.

Morbier

J'ai acheté du Morbier dans le magasin local tenu par un Français. Pour deux raisons:1)je voulais du fromage pour faire un vins et fromages, qui a fini en lunch sans vin, pour ma fête et 2)ça faisait un bail que je n'avais pas mangé de Morbier. C'est le genre de fromage qui pue (mais alors ça pue vraiment), mais qui est bon quand même. Ma femme n'a même pas voulu essayer, dégoûtée par l'odeur et par le filet de moisi au milieu. Wofie non plus. Je l'ai donc tout pour moi.

Friday, 22 April 2022

Birthdays, books, cats and cards

M parents-in-law send me a birthday card every year. This is the banal, mundane part. What is worthy of mention and of a blog post, is that they send me a birthday card that is always very thoughtful and even more inspired. You may remember the one from last year. Well, this is the one they sent me this year, with cats, books, old stuff, everything I love. There is even a teapot. Okay, so there are mice, but they look kinda cute and even friendly with the cats. I showed this to my wife, syaing this was very me in a nutshell and she said: "Oh my God! You're like an old lady!" A bit cruel, but not untrue. In any case, it deserves to be a great unknown line. Anyway, can you identify everylittle thing that is adorable in this card? The picture is called Kitty Curiosity Shop.

Emballage de bière

C'était ma fête hier et ma femme a emballé les cadeaux avec Wolfie. Elle a passé tout le papier d'emballage avec les motifs de bouteilles de bière. C'est quand même un bien bel emballage et je ne m'en lasse jamais. Ca me rend presque triste de devoir les déballer. Mais ne boudons pas notre plaisir: j'ai vraiment été gâté hier. Cela dit, il va falloir acheter plus de papier d'emballage d'ici à l'an prochain. Faudrait pas oublier: un an ça passe (hélas) très vite.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

45

I'm 45 today. Half my way through my forties. Time runs so fast. Okay, so enough of clichés, commonplaces and banalities, but it does feel like time is slipping through my fingers. Thankfully, I have a little boy who makes everything worth it, even getting old(er). As an adult, I enjoyed my birthday less and less, until he came into my life. Now, he is an enthusiastic party organiser and party guest, getting excited about everything regarding today's celebrations. Most of the presents I will receive I am sure, are going to be enjoyed by the two of us equally, and it is all right like this. I said it often before and I will say it again here: being the father of a boy gives you a second childhood. And I am grateful for it.

"Marquise si mon visage..."

J'ai 45 ans aujourd'hui, donc... J'ai les traits un peu (plus) vieux. Comme le vieux Corneille le disait dans les Stances à Marquise, chantées ici par Georges Brassens. Une tradition sur ce blogue.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Wolfie's new blanket

We went to see Wolfie's maternal grandparents a few days ago and as usual he received a few presents. Including this blanket, which is grandmother knitted herself a while ago. Wolfie loves it and I must say I love it just as much. I don't know if it was intentional, but I think the colours are very autumnal. Which is not only my favourite season, but a recurring state of mind in this household, at least for the men in the family. But even Wolfie's mum is getting used to it. Anyway, Wolfie has a new blanket, handmade with love and it looks absolutely gorgeous.

Le printemps en éclosion

J'ai pris cette photo il y a quelques jours, lorsque je suis allé en ville. Il faisait un temps chaud, presque estival. Mais l'été, c'est surtout vert. Le printemps, c'est jaune, mauve, rose, violet, ça prend les couleurs des fleurs en éclosion. C'est la raison pour laquelle j'ai pris cette photo. C'est joli, même si ça peut donner le rhume des foins. Je vais le confesser encore: le printemps n'est pas, n'est plus ma saison préférée. Mais dans des moments comme celui-ci, je m'en accomode encore un peu.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

This week has four days

Well, after a four days weekend, due to bank holiday, we are back to normal today and I am back to work. I say this and I cannot complain too much: we have only a four days week and it will be my birthday very soon. Which means I have to prepare for it, which should keepme pleasantly busy. Plus, I might have a few other exciting things to look forward to, but I will let you know in another post, should they materialise. Watch this space, as the saying goes. Be that as it may, I hope these four days will not be too exhausting.

Première limonade

Signe que le temps et (surtout) que les températures changent, j'ai acheté il y a quelques jours cette limonade de Square Root. C'est une petite compagnie dont j'aime beaucoup les produits. Enfin, le produit que j'avais essayé jusqu'ici. C'est encore un peu tôt dans l'année pour boire de la limonade, mais il faisait assez chaud en fin de semaine. La limonade, c'est bien entendu la boisson de l'été (celle sans alcool s'entend) et je n'aime pas beaucoup voir l'été se pointer trop tôt, comme cela semble être le cas en ce moment. Mais je sais qu'il faut se méfier du mois d'avril, quand le printemps prend parfois l'air d'un faux été. Morale de l'histoire: on peut dire bien des choses à propos d'une limonade.

Monday, 18 April 2022

Hot Cross Buns

This is the last Easter post until next year. So much happened, so much to blog about, I hope I have timeWe went to my in-laws' home on Good Friday for a Easter eggs' hunt and lunch. It was very nice, Wolfie met not only his grandparents, but his little cousin, whom he does not see often enough. For the afternoon snack/dessert, we had hot cross buns. Traditional ones and chocolate ones. My mother-in-law is not really into sweet things, but she does have a weakness for hot cross buns. A very British preference for a very British food and a very Easter tradition. I must say Ireally enjoy them this time of year. But I still find them exotic and this makes me feel oh so foreign!