Tuesday, 31 May 2022
Bon, ceci est encore un billet de food porn. Photo prise par mon père au Rouge Burger Bar de Chicoutimi. Lors de mon prochain séjour au Saguenay, je crois que ça sera dans ma liste places à visiter, quoique ce sera difficile avec ma femme, qui est végétarienne. Vous voyez ici bien entendu des rondelles d'oignons frits, ou, comme on les appelle au Saguenay parfois, des "nyonyon rings". Avec de la moutarde, je crois, enfin une sauce à la moutarde. On mangeait ça avec du miel dans mo temps.
Monday, 30 May 2022
Yesterday afternoon, we went to the nearest garden centre. It might come off as surprising to my readers, as I am a terrible gardener, for one, and there are more exciting ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. But it was actually inspired. My wife was afraid that Wolfie might get bored and therefore difficult. He was enthusiastic. I think he received quite a lot of gardening classes at school recently, as a way to teaching the children about insects, environment and so on. So he wanted to buy everything in there and the most trivial thing was a great artifact for him. We didn't buy nearly as much as he wanted. This reminded me of my own childhood, when my father also liked to spend his Sundays in a garden centre and often dragged us there. But nowadays, gaden centres have more than just seed, soil and gardening tools. In the one we went to, there is a books section, a section for garden furniture, one for local products, etc. It's like a small local shopping centre, but with far less people, plenty of space and much quieter. We might turn it into a Sunday tradition. Not that I want to go every Sunday, just from time to time.
Sunday, 29 May 2022
Saturday, 28 May 2022
Friday, 27 May 2022
Thursday, 26 May 2022
Wednesday, 25 May 2022
Tuesday, 24 May 2022
Monday, 23 May 2022
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.
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
Saturday, 21 May 2022
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.
Friday, 20 May 2022
Thursday, 19 May 2022
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.
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
Tuesday, 17 May 2022
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.
Monday, 16 May 2022
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.
Sunday, 15 May 2022
Saturday, 14 May 2022
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
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.
Thursday, 12 May 2022
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.
Wednesday, 11 May 2022
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.
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
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.
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
Sunday, 8 May 2022
Saturday, 7 May 2022
Friday, 6 May 2022
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.
Thursday, 5 May 2022
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, 4 May 2022
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.
Tuesday, 3 May 2022
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.
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.