Saturday 31 December 2022

December, in a nutshell

 Before the end of the year, I thought I would blog one last time with a silly meme I found  few days ago. This is december in a nutshell for me and it is so very accurate. Before Christmas Day I am in a festive mood and it is all about the anticipation. Then right after the 26th, it hits me like a brick wall and I lose track of time. I don't know what date it is, what time it is and what day of the week it is. And yes, cheese seems to be my main diet. This meme is as funny as it is scary.

Le casse-tête des Fêtes, 2022

Nouvelle tradition familiale depuis l'année dernière: mes parents font un casse-tête pour Noël, avec mes frères s'ils sont là. Ils en ont fait un l'an dernier, un puzzle que j'avais acheté pour mon frère PJ. Qui a récédivé cette année avec un nouveau casse-tête, plus compliqué à faire. Mes parents l'ont terminé hier. Nous tentons de créer la tradition ici aussi. Je crois que l'on devrait avoir un casse-tête pour chaque saison, voire chaque célébration.

Thursday 29 December 2022

Snowy Train Station

My brother PJ went to visit my brother Andrew recently and he thus had to take the train from Montreal to the suburbs. Travelling by train is a fairly rare occurence in Quebec, which is a shame as it is the coolest way of transport (and my favourite). So I envy him for having done it, but mainly for travelling by train on a snowy day. And he took this picture as evidence. I have never been to De La Concorde for a train journey, however small. This looks like the dullest train station there can ever be, yet adding the snow gives it a certain charm. And at least in Québec trains run when there's snow.


 Photo prise par mon père le lendemain de la tempête. Les Fêtes achèvent, mais c'est toujours l'hiver, du moins au Québec, alors je partage une autre photo hivernale, celle d'une énorme butte de neige. La butte de neige, c'est LE monticule hivernal québécois par excellence, LE signe de l'hiver. Quand il a assez neigé pour faire des buttes, c'est qu'il a assez neigé.

Wednesday 28 December 2022

A Forgotten Monopoly Rule

The Christmas holidays is for many the time to play board games with the whole extended family. It used to be for us, anyway in our family gathering. And if there is something that irritated me when we played board games with our family, is people making up rules or ignoring them altogether because they did not know any better. Like, for instance, having whoever has the highest roll of the dice starts in Cluedo. (It's Miss Scarlet who does.) But anyway, I wanted to point out to a forgotten rule in Monopoly which has got some public attention recently. Read this Daily Mail article. So basically, if someone lands on a property and they don't buy it, the property goes to auction and it goes to the highest bidder. Moral of the story: read the complete rulebook thorougly.

Le Couche-Tard disparu

 Photo prise par mon frère PJ, à Chicoutimi coin Bégin et Champs-Élysées. Il y avait un Couche-Tard là, pendant des années. Il a disparu, mais ma question est: pourquoi? Qu'est-il advenu du Couche-Tard? Non mais sérieusement, il était pratique en mozusse. Je dirais donc que c'est une grosse perte. Et il était plus vieux que moi, je crois. Alors ça me fait quelque chose de le voir disparu.

Tuesday 27 December 2022

Post. Christmas. Blues.

 It might sound early, but I'm already feeling the post-Christmas blues, even though there's plenty of holiday left. Christmas has come and gone and after the 25th, it really go downs quickly. It may be earlier this year because I was sick on Christmas day and the days leading to Christmas. On the plus side, I have been relaxing and enjoying the quieter days. So yes, I have the post-Christmas blues, but I can live with my melancholy, as long as I acknowledge it. And you, feeling bluesy now?

Résidus de tempête

 Mon père m'a envoyé des photos après la tempête de neige qui est tombée sur le Québec. Chicoutimi semble ensevelie par endroits.Mon père a appelé son email "résidu de tempête", j'emprunte le même thème pour ce billet.

Monday 26 December 2022

Good King Wenceslas

No, no, this is not Boxing Day. It is Saint Stephen's Day and that means I am listening to and sharing the carol Good King Wencesla. So yeah, enjoy.

Bûche de Noël

 Voici la bûche de Noël que ma famille de l'autre côté de l'océan ont mangé hier. Avec un nom pas PC pour deux cennes: c'est pas une bûche des Fêtes, c'est d'ailleurs écrit clairement sur son glaçage. Nous, on a mangé hier une bûche du commerce.

Sunday 25 December 2022

The Christmas Train

 First and foremost: merry Christmas everyone! Been quite busy today so I haven't had time to blog until now. Although we had a fairly quiet day, as both my wife and I are sick. But Wolfie enjoyed himself a lot and made our Christmas joyful. But I don't want to be all gloom and doom, so I'm sharing a picture of the LGB train my parents have at the foot of their Christms tree, which for me is the Christmas family tradition. Wolfie saw it yesterday via Facetime. Even via video, it is still an experience. He remembers it vividly from his Christmases abroad. My wife summed it up perfectly: "It's three generations on the same train." (One of her great unknown lines by the way). So yes, this is truly for all my family, the Christmas train.

La dinde de Noël

 Tout d'abord, je souhaite à tous et à toutes un joyeux Noël! Que nous avons passé ici malades. Enfin, Wolfie était correct, mais ma femme et moi toussions comme des pneumoniaques. Mais ce fut quand même plaisant. Ca fait une semaine à peu prèsque nous sommes souffrants. De l'autre côté de l'Atlantique, mes parents ont fait une dinde avec leur première farce maison depuis des années. La Boucherie Davis ayant changé de proprio et de recette de farce, ils n'ont pas trop aimé celle de l'année dernière, alors ils ont décidé d'en faire eux mêmes. L'originale de Davis me manquera.

Saturday 24 December 2022

Christmas Thrillers

 'Tis the season to be watching and I thought I would share something with you today, if you have time to read this blog preparing for Christmas. Anyway, I stumbled upon this article giving ten thrillers set in part or in full during Christmastime. I watched most of them, so will try to find the other ones to enjoy this season or the next. They are not exactly Christmas movies, but there is enough Christmas elements in them to give them a Yuletide feel. In any case, I prefer to watch thrillers to romcoms, migh as well make them seasonal.

Tempête de neige sur le Québec

 Pas de chance pour moi: une tempête hivernale a frappé le Québec récemment. Il neige, il vente, c'est la totale. Ce genre de tempête que je n'ai pas vécu depuis que je suis ici. Ce qui veut aussi dire que le Québec aura un Noël blanc. Je sais que beaucoup de foyers seront privés d'électricité et que c'est vraiment difficile pour bien du monde et je ne veux pas minimiser ça. Cela dit, dans le confort de la maison de mes parents, une tempête de neige, c'est toujours joli.

Friday 23 December 2022

A Bookshop during Christmastime

I found this picture on the Facebook page of the Wallingford Bookshop. I had to share it here, just because this window is so gorgeously seasonal, with the fox, the robins and the rabbit. The bookshop always makes wonderful window displays, but their Christmastime one is particularly gorgeous. I haven't been to Wallingford in months, haven't visited its bookshop in ages and I really regret not going there for Christmas shopping. We have a local bookshop which I love, but the Wallingford one always had a special place in my heart, as it made me discover indie bookshops in England.

"J'ai dans la tête un vieux sapin..."

C'est le temps de 23 Décembre de Beau Dommage. C'est tout.

Thursday 22 December 2022

The Haunting Season

 'Tis the season to be reading and also 'tis the season to be spooky. Because, as you may know, Christmastime is indeed traditionally a time when ghost stories were told, read and set. So anyway, I stumbled upon The Haunting Season: Ghostly Tales for Long Winter Nights on my bookshelves. I don't know if I will have time to read it before the end of the year, my to read list is already pretty full, but I will try to get started, so I can review it for next Christmas. I mostly read crime fiction and Norse stories this time of year, this would make for an interesting change.

Le marché de Noël

 Je partage encore une fois une photo du marché allemand de Noël que mes parents ont visité à Québec. Avec des chandelles géantes. Pas mal mieux que le marché de Noël que l'on a visité la semaine dernière et qui était d'une laideur...

Wednesday 21 December 2022

A Storm for Christmas

 'Tis the season to be watching and I surprised myself in that regard recently. I wanted to watch something Christmassee but not silly and stumbled upon A Storm for Christmas, a Netflix miniseries. It is set in Oslo airport right before Christmas, when a snowstorm forces the flights to be cancelled and the passengers to be stranded. It follows an ensemble cast of characters who must face their own demons through the crisis that the storm brings. I started watching it not expecting much (it is usually the case when I watch something on Netflix) and I think I fund my ew Christmas classic. Julestorm, as it is called in Norwegian is touching without ever going soppy, people earn their happy endings, although for some they are bittersweet. I finished it today after binging it.

Voyez-vous le geai bleu?

 C'est le solstice d'hiver aujourd'hui, je le mentionne et le souligne avec une jolie photo hivernale prise par mon frère PJ chez mes parents. Voyez-vous le geai bleu?

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Christmas Carols and Christmas Jumpers

'Tis the season to be listening. I thought I shared some music tonight, as since the beginning of Christmastime I have not been sharing much music here. As the Royal Opera House has done a nice little rendition of Angels We Have Heard on High with their singers sporting cool Christmas jumpers no later than earlier today, well, I am sharing it.

L'arbre de Noël de la famille

Mon père m'a envoyé hier des photos de l'arbre de Noël monté et décoré par lui et mon frère PJ. Avec à sa base le train LGB qui est devenu sa marque de commerce, ainsi que le village de Noël qui vaut bien celui de bien des magasins. Nous l'avons développé au fil des ans. Dans un monde idéal, nous aurions été là aussi et petit loup ainsi que son petit cousin auraient contribué au travail de décoration. Trois générations sur le même sapin, ça a quelque chose de très touchant.

Monday 19 December 2022

Radio Times (because 'tis the season to be watching)

At long last! The Christmas edition of Radio Times is out and I bought it last Saturday. I never miss it, even though I don't watch much tellie and there are other TV schedules that are much cheaper. But this is a tradition here in England and the articles are always enjoyable. And we can always find one or two hidden gems, a movie or a TV special, which we would not have found otherwise. In any case, when I hold this, it feels like Christmas. And what a great cover it has this year, very lush and elegant.

Les lumières de Noël et la neige

 Photo envoyée par mon père. Je le partage ici rien que parce que c'est idyllique, les lumières de Noël avec de la neige.

Saturday 17 December 2022

Advent Street

'Tis the season to be reading. Today's reading suggestion is Advent Street, by Carol Ann Duffy. Illustrations by Yelena Bryksenkova. Duffy write a poem like this every year for Christmas. I seldom read poetry, but reading her work has become a new Christmas tradition for me. This one is particular as the protagonist is actually the reader, as it is written using the second person. So whoever reads this is renting on Advent Street after a break up and explores the street and its inhabitants one December night. It's a lovely melancholic piece, where a lingering pain is treated but never fully cured by moments of festive happiness. It might sound dreary, but it is actually quite heartwarming.

Marché de Noël à Québec

 Photo prise au marché de Noël allemand à Québec par mes parents.

Friday 16 December 2022

The Coolest Christmas Jumper Ever

 A couple of weeks ago, we bought clothes to Wolfie. Because he needed new clothes, also because he needed some Christmas jumpers for school and home. We bought a few, maybe more than he needed, but especislly this jumper. Because it is the coolest Christmas jumper ever. The image on it is like a revamped, seasonal version of Donkey Kong, with a snowman as the antagonist. At least from what I can understand. And Rudolf and Santa as players' characters. It just looks so darn cool. Needless to say, this is now Wolfie's home jumper tokeep warm and it has already been used and stained a bit.

"Notre" Ciné-Cadeau

Au Québec, Ciné-Cadeau est commencé depuis samedi dernier. Je ne sais pas si ça passait aussi tôt dans mon enfance, mais c'est bien qu'il commence le plus tôt durant l'Avent. Après Noël, c'est déjà moins le temps des Fêtes. Mais enfin bref, même si je ne peux pas le regarder au Québec, j'ai décidé d'écumer YouTube et de faire ma propre programmation, pour Wolfie et pour moi. Et ça marche assez bien jusqu'ici: il est intéressé et curieux. Je vais écrire plus en détails sur le sujet, mais disons qu'à partir de manintenant, nous avons dans notre famille en Angleterre notre propre Ciné-Cadeau.

Thursday 15 December 2022

Greggs' festive drinks

Since I have started living in England, there are not many treats I like more than the food we can find at Greggs. Over the years, it became one of my go-to place when I wanted a quick yummy sandwich. I got quite happy when a franchise opened in our little town. I am generally not a fan of big chains, but I make an exception for this one. Come Christmastime, my wife loves to try new festive coffees . So when I stop there to buy lunch for us, I always buy a Mint Mocha for her. Now I loathe coffee, but I enjoy the festive cups. Moral of the story: Christmas is not only a Starbucks thing.

Un parc sous la neige

Photo prise le 12, lorsque nous avons eu la "bordée" de neige.Je l'ai prise dans un parc local, pas loin de là où on restait avant de déménager. C'est l'hiver et Noël approche.

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Christmas Goodies

 'Tis the season to be eating and drinking and thanks to my employer, I have some extra party food and dirnk this Christmas. So I recently received this box of goodies: red wine, tea, coffee, biscuits, jelly stuff, salted nuts, fancy crisps, etc. I haven't started it yet, but will do tonight with Wolfie. It may look like nothing, but this box made me very happy. Because it shows that I am appreciated. Not so long, I used t have rubbish employers, in a working place so toxic that they had to cancel the Christmas dinner because nobody wanted to go. Now because of the distance from my office (I go there once a month, if that), I cannot attend events very often, yet they still send me that box. It feels like a sweet revenge.

La "dernière" bûche de Noël

Pour moi, le dessert de Noël, c'est la bûche. Mes parents en font deux: une en gâteau, une avec de la crème glacée. J'ai essayé d'en faire, avec des résultats catastrophiques. Alors au lieu de tenter ma chance et de me planter encore une fois, je les achète. L'une de nos pâtisseries locales va fermer bientôt, alors j'ai acheté pour la dernière fois une de leurs bûches. Pas mal, avec un glaçage au beurre. Glaçage que petit loup n'a pas aimé. Alors ma femme et moi en avons eu plus. J'aime bien l'ajout de la cocotte en chocolat, avec les copeaux. Enfin bref, c'est peut-être la dernière bûche que l'on mangera de cette pâtisserie.

Monday 12 December 2022

A Scandinavian Christmas

'Tis the season to be reading. And here comes my very first new Christmas reading suggestion thus year. A Scandinavian Christmas: Festive Tales for a Nordic Noël. An anthology of Christmas stories by Scandinavian writers, old and contemporary, famous and less famous. There's so much to love in there. Classic tales, some with tragic endings (you know the ones), you also take a detour via Ancient Rome with the Nativity as seen by Emperor Augustus in a mystical experience (Selma Lagerlöf's The Emperor's Vision). But my favourite Vigdis Hjorth's Christmas Eve, about a alcoholic mother trying to satisfy her addiction and hide it at the same time. Showing the dark side of the season in all its bleak simplicity, it is a haunting piece. Anyway, the Scandinavians pretty much invented Yuletide, so you can't go wrong with this one.


Devinez ce que j'ai vu en ouvrant la porte ce matin. De la neige! Enfin! Je dis ça et c'est deux semaines trop tôt: ça risque de partir vite, ça ne reviendra pas de sitôt et je doute que nous aurons un Noël blanc. Quand même, il a neigé la nuit dernière et une bordée honnête pour ce pays. Et puis sans dire que j'ai de l'espoir pour Noël, je me dis qu'il se pourrait qu'il en tombe encore. Ce serait bien. Et sinon, bien nous aurons au moins une journée enneigée avant la fin de l'année.

Sunday 11 December 2022

Ski Run (the board game)

Our family went yesterday to my son school's Christmas fayr. One of the holiday activities we all love. It's great fun, often far more in fact than other bigger Christmas events, albeit too short. So anyway, lots of things were sold to fund the school, second-hand stuff. I found by total chance this board game, called Ski Run. It is also meant to be "the ultimate Skiing Board Game." I did not know there were others. Apparently, it is the compelte board game, there is nothing missing. Even if it did, it cost me £2.00, so hardly a big investment. Wolfie got quite curious about it. I was sold right away: it has mountains as a setting, ski slopes and a yeti! The yeti made me buy it. Anyway, 'tis the season to be playing and this looks like the perfect Christmastime game.

Château Frontenac à Noël, prise 2

Nouvelle photo du Château Frontenac prise par mes parents. Rien que parce que c'est beau durant les Fêtes, Québec. Et le Québec.

Saturday 10 December 2022

The Prose Edda

'Tis the season to be reading and I haven't blogged all that much about, well, literary Christmas. I haven't really made one suggestion this year. Well, I have prepared myself to read and reread a lot this Christmas and one book on the list is The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson. That's right, I am going Viking this Christmas. Again. Because yeah, we owe the Norse so much of the imagery and the rituals of Christmas, I always love to go back to its most Pagan roots and ennjoy it as Yuletide. So far, I have only explored the Edda indirectly, through adaptations or works inspired by it. This year I will go for the real thing.


 Photo prise il y a quelques semaines chez mes parents. Je me suis laissé dire que la neige est à peu près toute partie à cause de la pluie. J'espère que ce n'est pas le cas, sinon j'espère qu'elle reviendra. Et qu'on en aura ici.

Thursday 8 December 2022

The Fifth Horseman (a Yuletide read?)

I learned a few days ago, that French writer Dominique Lapierre died recently, at 91. He was, with Larry Collins, the author of The Fifth Horseman, a spy thriller which I received as a present for Christmas in 1988. My father thought it was the greatest thriller ever written, or something of the sort, and I remember enjoying the novel quite a lot, albeit I never revisited it in adult age. I guess I outgrew techno-thrillers. The Fifth Horseman is very much a product of its time, so it made a lot of buzz when published and the years after, because it was so topical with its time, then kind of faded away. Be that as it may, I remember it for being a pleasant read. And I it also struck me that it could be a pretty good novel to read during Christmastime, as the action is set in December. It starts on the 13th of December, if I'm not mistaken. Anyway, it came to my mind when I learned that Lapierre had died. And you, ever read the novel? What did you think of it? Tell me in the comments.

Dindon Santon

Lors de la visite de mes parents au marché allemand de Québec, mon père a acheté une dinde en santon. Enfin, un Santon dindon, ou un dindon santon. Il veut la mettre avec la crèche, mais je crois qu'elle irait mieux dans le village sous le sapin.

Tuesday 6 December 2022

A wreath in a Brio box

This weekend, Wolfie and I started building what he calls "Christmas City", basically use a lot of toys, among them a lot of Brio train set, to make a town around the Christmas tree. He got this idea from his Christmastime with grand-papa and grand-maman, as we have a proper Christmas village at home at the foot of the tree. But Wolfie has huge ambitions, so he build a city. So anyway, he told me: "Daddy, daddy, we need the Brio Christmas wreaths for Christmas City. They are in the Brio box." (This is a new Wolfism, by the way). Problem is, this is the Brio box we have. So I was looking for a needle in a haystack.

Be that as it may, I did not get discouraged. Because I also wanted the wreaths. We have two, one green, one white, which Wolfie got from his Brio Advent calendars. As this year he did not want a Brio calendar, we had to find the wreaths of old, not being able to just wait for new ones to show up. Anyway, of course this is a daddy's job (anything games or toys related in this household is pretty much a daddy's job). But in the end, after methodically emptying the content of said box, I found both wreaths. I'm quite proud of myself. So this is how I spent my Saturday morning, but at least Christmas City has its wreaths.

Ils étaient trois petits enfants

Nous sommes  la Saint-Nicolas , donc je partage l'une des légendes, la chanson avec les enfants assassinés par le boucher, puis sauvés par le futur Père Noël. Une tradition de l'Avent sur ce blogue.

Monday 5 December 2022

Requiem Aeternam

Today is the anniversary of the death  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I commemorate it every year. Was not sure how to do it today, but since I know that his Requiem is played in Vienna on that day, so here it is. I tried to find a good enough version, not sure it's the best one on YouTube, but you have subtitles on it, which gives a new perspective on the work. Amadeus knew he was dying when he composed it, or at least he was pretty sure of it, so the suffering in the music is pretty much his own.

La cuvée Ciné-Cadeau 2022

Parlons de la cuvée 2022 de Ciné-Cadeau, dont on fête les 40 ans. Ma mère m'a envoyé pleins d'articles sur le sujet. Mais aujourd'hui, j'aimerais parler du contenu de l'horaire: que pensez-vous de la cuvée 2022? Je vous partage mes observations: outre les classiques, il y a de plus en plus de films modernes, plus bonbons. Je ne suis pas certain d'aimer. Je remarque aussi l'heureux retour de La flûte à six schtroumpfs. Excellente nouvelle. Aussi, dernière observation: est-ce moi ou on assiste au retour des films non animés? Enfin bref, faites-moi part de vos observations.

Sunday 4 December 2022

Santa's Fun Run, 2022

 This morning, we had the local Santa's Fun Run passing by our street. Wolfie and I watched it. I took a few pictures, not great, but better than last year. It was like watching an army of Santa Claus running. We were lucky to witness it, as I had completely forgotten. I opened the door just in time to see the Santas running.

Le Château Frontenac à Noël

Autre photo de mes parents prise à Québec en fin de semaine. Le château Frontenac durant les Fêtes, enfin l'Avent.

Crime Novel ('tis the season...)

I cannot believe Christmastime started and I have not given any new reading suggestion, as I usually do. For me, 'tis the season to be reading,as the holidays give me the opportunity to read a lot, particularly crime fiction. And I know I plugged this one back in 2016, but this was late in the season and I thought I would mentionit early on this year so you can have time to get your hands on it. Anyway, there are novels I stumble upon, there are others I specifically choose to read around Christmas. Deon Meyer's Icarus belongs to the latter. To this day, it remains one of my best seasonal reads. For the reasons stated in 2016, among them it gives a new perspective to the holiday, being set in summery South Africa. If you are a bit tired of sugary Christmas stories and would rather have yours with sex and violence, but with character and soul, this is the novel for you.

Calendrier de l'Avent géant

Ma mère et mon pèreont fait une visite à Québec, je crois qu'ils y sont encore. Mais enfin bref, ils sont allés dans un marché de Noël, un marché allemand comme il y en a pleins ces temps-ci partout, sauf peut-être en Allemagne. Mon père m'a envoyé plusieurs photos, dont celle-ci d'un calendrier de l'Avent en bois(?) gigantesque. Je n'en sais pas plus, mais je trouve ça magnifique.

Saturday 3 December 2022

The town's Christmas tree

Two days ago, we went to the year's Christmas market downtown. It was the first time we went there since we became parents. They had blocked the main street to have stands. We did not buy much, but it was fun, although too crowded. I did not take many pictures, that said I tthought I had to take one of the town's official Christmas tree. It's not as nice as the one my parents have at home, although it's way bigger, but it's a lovely Christmas tree in any case. So I decided to share the picture here.

Le Polar de l'Avent (chapitre de quête)

J'ai blogué par le passé sur ce roman publié par Série Noire. Le polar de l'Avent, donc lecture parfaite pour ce temps-ci de l'année. Je ne l'ai vu qu'une seule fois à Olivieri et j'ai commis l'erreur de ne pas l'acheter. Je ne l'ai toujours pas et donc je ne commencerai pas à le lire cette année, ça ira à l'an prochain au plus tôt. Cela dit, j'ai fait quelques progrès dans ma quête. les Rois Mages ont suivi l'étoile, moi je google. Enfin bref, je sais qu'il y en a au moins une copie sur et quelques unes usagées sur Je vais voir si je veux prendre le risque d'en acheter un de seconde main. Si cela était, je le lirais pour l'Avent 2023. Enfin rbef, je crois que ma quête touche peut-être bien à sa fin.

Friday 2 December 2022

Waiting for the Radio Times Christmas Edition

This year, we are again spending Christmas here in the UK, we will not go home to Québec, as I had wanted. It was a difficult decision to make, but the right one. That said, it's not because I will feel homesick that I will not enjoy myself here. When I spent the festive season in the UK, I make sure to buy the Christmas edition of Radio Times. It is a double issue, covering the whole two weeks of Christmastime, showing both radio and television schedules for the holidays. It's not that I watch all that much tellie, but it's just a nice edition that puts you in the Christmas mood. And it always has some interesting articles, if nothing else. Looking online, I found out that it will be out on the 13th of December. Not so long to wait.

Le calendrier de l'Avent cette année

Nous avions failli l'oublier, mais nous en avons: trois calendriers de l'Avent, tous les mêmes (le temps pressait), celui de Cadbury's. C'est pas aussi beau que les calendriers nostalgiques que j'achetais, mais il y a un Père Noël, des sapins, un bonhomme de neige et le reste. Avec des activités dans le dos du calendrier. Wolfie aime bien et grâce au calendrier, il n'a pas été dur à sortir du lit ces deux derniers jours. Un miracle de Noël.

Thursday 1 December 2022

Wolfie's New Penguin

We are the first day of Advent, Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat and we are now the happy new owner of a penguin. Long story short, last weekend, we went to WHSmith to buy a few things. And my wife and Wolfie saw this cute Penguin, with a Christmas jumper. My wife said: "Should we buy it? It's half price!" I replied: "Isn't it a bit early? Wolfie has lots of teddies already. And it's probably still going to be half price in two weeks anyway." WOlfie was not listening. He held the penguin in his hands and said: "I'm calling him Antarctica." So my wife: "Well, not he already has a name, so..." So of course we bought it and she uttered a new great unknown line. Now the penguin changed name twice since we purchased him, from Antarctica to North Pole to Poppy, or maybe he has all these three names. Be that as it may, this is Wolfie's new penguin and our new addition to the family's menagerie. He cost us about £5 or something, a bargain, so I can't complain.

"De bon matin, j'ai rencontré le train..."

Nous sommes le premier jour de l'Avent. Donc, Noël s'en vient et je peux commencer à écouter de la musique de Noël sans m'agacer moi-même. Je commence aujourd'hui l'Avent en partageant La marche des rois. Tradition oblige. J'accompagne aussi ce billet avec une photo de la crèche chez mes parents. Parce que ça aussi, c'est une tradition.

Tuesday 29 November 2022

A Walk Among the Tombstones (#Noirvember)

I seldom read Lawrence Block and it is a shame, as he is an amazing crime writer and he always delivers. I plan to change this in the coming year. I thought about this when I stumbled upon an adaptation of A Walk Among the Tombstones on Netflix. So I have started watching it as part of my #Noirvember season. I cannot judge how faithful the film is, but so far it is very Noir indeed and very enjoyable. And it features Liam Neeson as private eye and reformed alcoholic Matt Scudder and I think it's a pretty good casting. Neeson delivers anyway. So yes, I will read more of Block in the next year, especially during #Noirvember of course.

La cabane sous la neige

Photo prise par mon père récemment, encore une fois sur le lot de mes oncles. C'est leur chalet, enfin leur campement. Une cabane dans les arbres (bon sur piloris, mais c'est tout comme), c'est pas mal idyllique. Je n'ai jamais été dans le lot en hiver. À l'intérieur, le confort est assez réduit (enfin selon mon souvenir), mais c'est quand même situé dans un coin magnifique.

Monday 28 November 2022

Foggy Hill

 This morning, we dod the school run, as usual. But we witnessed something rather strange. When we left home, it was sunny outside. The school where Wolfie goes is on the top of a hill. After parking on a street midway across the hill, we started walking up to school and saw that the top was actually foggy. It was beautiful and eerie. I could even say that it looked a bit surreal and actually magical. And that's it. That's my anecdote for the day.


Photo prise par mon père dans le lot de mes oncles. Rien d'autre à dire: quand les Fêtes arrivent et je vois ça, j'ai le mal du pays.

Saturday 26 November 2022

Christmas Books

I found this image via d by Books Are My Bag and I am sharing it today because I think it needs to be promoted. If you bookshop for Christmas, whether it's for you or for your loved ones, please do this in your nearest bookshop, not via Amazon. Today we went to the locak bookshop, sadly the free guide (which looks absolutely gorgeous) was not there yet. Maybe it's still a bit early.

23 décembre - Le film

Je sais que mon lectorat québécois doit déjà être au courant, mais il y a maintenant un film sorti en salle qui s'appelle 23 décembre. Exactement comme 23 Décembre de Beau Dommage. Je ne le verrai pas cette année, malheureusement, mais j'espère me rattraper pour Noël prochain.D'ici là, voici la bande annonce. La chanson de Beau Dommage n'y figure pas, mais elle doit forcément faire partie du film à un moment donné.

Friday 25 November 2022

Dead at Daybreak (#Noirvember)

There are only a few days left to #Noirvember and I haven't exatly binge read crime fiction as I wanted. That said, I have been wanting to make a few suggestions before the end of the month. Recently, I bought Dead at Daybreak, the first crime novel I read of Deon Meyer. Details about it here. Anyway, I read it in French about fifteen years ago or so, I thought it would be time to revisit it. Not this month as I hoped, but some time after the new year. It struck me that it would make a perfect #Noirvember read (for this year or the next) and for those who never South African crime fiction, a great starting point.

Complainte Pour Sainte Catherine

Nous sommes la Sainte-Catherine, alors je crois que c'est le temps de partager ceci à nouveau:

Thursday 24 November 2022

Plugging Krav Maga

I haven't blogged about Krav Maga in a long while, partially because I haven't gone back to it, to my great shame. But a few years ago, I started thinking about it again. I was buying a few things at a nearby corner shop, when a mother and her daughter walked in. The daughter must have been around ten, twelve top and she was wearing a Jujutsu uniform, with belt and all. I don't know if she was coming back or going to practice, must be back as it was not very early and they didn't seem to be in any rush. So anyway, I told them that if the girl was interested in self-defence, there was local Krav Maga lessons given nearby and that it was a great method, very efficient. I don't do Krav Maga anymore, but I am still evangelising. At some point, I ought to preach by example and get back to it.

Une anecdote sur le bureau et le rasage

 Petite anecdote humoristique qui je l'espère vous fera bien rire. Ca s'est passé lors d'une conversation entre ma mère et moi via Facetime hier. Je vais la raconter comme une comédie en un acte et une scène, à la manière de ce billet datant de 2020. J'en ferai peut-être d'autres ainsi.

-Moi: votre humble narrateur et bloguer, 45 ans, marié à une Anglaise, père d'un garçon, travaillent de la maison depuis le début de la pandémie, sauf un jour par mois où il doit se rendre au bureau.
-Ma mère: donc, ma mère, qui lit ce blogue parfois, je vais pas dire son âge, mariée, mère de trois garçons et grand-mère gâteau. 

Moi: "Bon, finalement, je n'aurai pas besoin d'aller au bureau demain, ce n'est pas nécessaire."

Ma mère: "Tant mieux, ce sera moins épuisant.

Moi:"Oui c'est certain que je n'avais pas envie de me taper tout le voyagement."

Ma mère: "Et puis il aurait fallu te raser."

Moi: "Oui, c'est certain."

Ma mère: "On dirait qu'il vous faut tous une bonne raison pour vous raser la barbe, votre père, tes frères et toi. Avoir de la barbe n'en étant pas une."

Morale de l'histoire: je ferais mieux de me raser avant notre prochaine conversation.

Tuesday 22 November 2022

20 years of mince pies (an anniversary)

 I met my wife 20 years ago today, around this time in the evening. I lived and I was eating a mince pie. You can read more about it in this post. Because it is an important anniversary, every year since then, I eat a mince pie in the evening. At least one. Even though I don't like them all that much.

Le Salon du Livre de Montréal

Petite plogue pour ceux qui peuvent: le Salon du livre de Montréal commence demain. Je le confesse, je ne l'ai jamais autant aimé que celui du Sag-Lac, mais c'est sans doute parce que je n'ai pas le même rapport nostalgique avec. Si je pouvais y être cette année, j'y serais.