Sunday 31 July 2022

Ending July

This is the last day of July and am I glad the month is ending. I am one of these rare breeds of people who don't like summer (you know this by now) and July is the peak of summertime. It is generally when the temperature gets way too hot for comfort. Surely enough, July this year hs been the worst July I had in,well, decades, with the worst heatwave on record. It felt here like living through an inferno. Things might get bad come August, but generally it is not nearly as terrible (touch wood). Otherwise, this month has been expetedly exhausting, stressful and generally unpleasant. So yes, that was my month of July. How was yours?

Ah les fraises (encore)...

C'est encore le temps des fraises et mon père m'a envoyé cette photo, alors je la partage rien que parce que. Je n'ai pas grand-chose à dire sur le sujet, ce sera la dernière photo du mois de juillet (sans doute). Je dis souvent que Vraie Fiction prend l'image et la couleur des saisons et du temps de l'année. Et de juin à août, c'est le temps des fraises, peut-être plus que tout autre fruit, enfin que toute autre baie. Alors c'est de circonstances.

Saturday 30 July 2022

Bloodfeud of Altheus

 My brother PJ made a great purchase recently. We've always been fascinated by Greek Mythology, so we were happily surprised to find when we were children a gamebook freely based on the myth of Theseus, titled Bloodfeud of Altheus. The first of a trilogy called Cretan Chronicles. In this version,Theseus got killed by the Minotaur and you play his brother Altheus, who goes on a revenge quest. From memory, if the rules were often iffy and difficult to apply (but we never really played the rules in a gamebook), the story was great fun, allowing the reader to live many Ancient Greek stories. The writing was also pretty good and trying for a pseudo epic feel. Anyway, that is how I remember it. Sadly, ina foolish moment I gave the book away in exchange of another one. But thankfully, PJ corrected this. We never played the other two entries of the Chronicles, apparently they are much weaker. We should still try to get our hands on them, of course.

Mafalda siempre!

Je partage encore une fois aujourd'hui un gag de Mafalda, parce que c'est dans ces temps-ci de l'année que j'apprécie Mafalda le plus, quand j'ai tendance à me sentir plus mélancolique (enfin encore plus que d'habitude). Je me rappelle vaguement de sa signification en français, mais je crois qu'on peut comprendre ce qu'elle veut dire même si comme moi on ne connaît pas l'espagnol.

Friday 29 July 2022

50 Things to Try in Autumn

I know we are still early to think about it, but after last week's heatwave it got considerably cooler and this got me in an autumnal mood. It feels like the weather is giving me a sort of promise of autumn, if that makes sense. Anyway, I'm preparing myself for it. So last year, I bought 50 Things to Try in Autumn at the Wallingford Bookshop. I love of it is called an adventure journal. I bought it for Wolfie, but truly for myself as well. It is a book of games and ctivities to do through the season. As I had bought it quite late last year, we didn't do any of it Wolfie and I. But I hope this will keep us busy at weekends. I intend to start the journal it as soon as September kicks off.

Chocolat aux bleuets: trouvez votre point de vente

Photo prise sur la page Facebook des Pères trappistes. Je la partage ici parce que leur chocolat aux bleuets sont disponibles à nouveau et vous trouverez votre point de vente grâce à ce lien. Ne me remerciez pas. Je vous envie.

Thursday 28 July 2022

Camping Jammies

A couple of years ago, my wife bought me pajama trousers in a new year sales. She bought it in the local FatFace before it closed down. For some strange reason in this country, they can sell pj trousers and the top separately. So anyway these pjays, or jammies as they often call it here in the UK (and if you didn't know that term before, keep it in mind, it is our new word of the day) quickly became my favourite pair of trousers. Even though they were not right in many little ways: a bit too long, a bit too wide, not quite warm enough for winter, a bit too warm for summer. Oh, and I always needed to find a tshirt or a top when I wanted to wear it. But I loved the design on it: it had images of tents, campfire, logs, fish, trees, as if the trousers were designed for camping trips. I never did proper camping, except a few nights in the back garden when I was a teenager. So the trousers are all worn out now, too worn out so I won't take them on our holiday, even though I am very tempted. It is funny, because I think it is the design that made me like them, even though I'm not into camping at all. And I feel like I never did my ol' jammies justice.

Spaghetti tunisien

Il est assez rare que je fais à manger, mais quand je le fais, c'est en général apprécié pour toute la famille. Enfin bref, j'ai préparé un spaghetti tunisien il y a quelques jours. Je crois que c'est le repas préféré de ma femme, enfin celui que je sais faire qu'elle préfère. Sauf qu'elle ne veut pas trop de harissa, Wolfie pas du tout, alors je rajoute la harissa dans ma portion. Et il faut que je fasse cuire les champignons, car ma femme ne les aime pas crus. C'est un peu plus d'ouvrage, mais bon. Mais enfin bref, je suis quand même assez fier de mes talents pour faire un spaghetti tunisien qui a de l'allure, alors je partage ici une photo rien que pour la food porn.

Wednesday 27 July 2022

What's in Any Old Iron

I recently finished reading Any Old Iron by Anthony Burgess. One of my favourite novels from my favourite writer. I first read it some 25 years ago or so. I had not forgotten how great it was, but I had forgotten a lot about it. It has many great lines, but one near the end struck me in particular. Here, the main character Reginald Morrow Jones sums up his experience with rediscovering in the middle of the XXth century legendary sword Excalibur: "I had to grasp a chunk of the romantic past and find it rusty. I had to fit myself to the modern age." This is, in essence, what nostalgia is all about. So I found it both moving and profound.

Cueillir les framboises

Photo prise par mon père d'un casseau de framboises achetées il y a quelques jours. Les framboises sont énormes. Quand je vois des framboises, surtout ce temps-ci de l'année, ça me rappelle lorsqu'on allait les cueillir chez mon oncle. Lire ce billet de 2014 et celui-ci de 2019 pour plus de détails sur cet épisode de mon enfance. Je m'en ennuie encore. J'aimerais bien ramener cette tradition au goût du jour pour Wolfie et en faire un nouveau rituel familial, comme c'était le cas dans mon enfance. Mais il faudra me trouver des plants de framboises, ou en faire pousser.

Tuesday 26 July 2022

Jigsaw Puzzle Tag

 In preparation for our upcoming holidays, I recently ordered (and received) new tags for our luggages. The old oness were getting, well, old. And these are colourful, so they are easily identifiable. Each one has a different motif on it. I let Wolfie decide which one should go to why and he decided that I should have the one with the jigsaw puzzle. I'm not sure why. My wife is far more into jigsaw puzzles than me. All the same, it's a cute tag.

"C'est le raisin de chez-nous, fils du feu..."

 "À la Sainte-Anne les bleuets sont mûrs. C'est le raisin de chez-nous, fils du feu; du sol humble et pierreux c'est l'offrande; c'est le miel des crans sauvages, le frère des éricales dans le royaume infini des sphaignes et des tourbières."

Les lecteurs qui suivent mon blogue depuis quelques années savent que c'est la Sainte-Anne et qu'à Sainte-Anne, je cite Menaud maître-draveur, de Félix-Antoine Savard. Mon père a acheté ces bleuets sauvages il y a quelques jours. Tout ça pour dire que je me sens très Saguenéen aujourd'hui.

Monday 25 July 2022

Billy the Black Bear

A few weeks ago, I bought Wolfie a teddy bear, a black bear to be precise. For two reasons: 1)I had been wanting to buy him a black bear, just like the bears we have in Québec and 2)he had asked me for a black bear. So I ordered a small one from Amazon, who looks very cute. Wolfie named him Billy, not sure why. Like many of his teddy bears, Billy has the power to chase away nightmares, so when he sleeps next to Wolfie at night, he keeps his mind at rest.

Ah les fraises, les framboises, les bleuets...

Mon père m'a envoyé des photos de fruits qu'il a acheté d'un kiosque dans le stationnement de Place du Royaume (pour ceux qui peuvent y aller). Des fraises, des framboises, des bleuets et... un oignon? Les bleuets sont des bleuets sauvages, m'a-t-il dit, pas des bleuets de serre. A! les fraises,les framboises, les bleuets et le temps des récoltes...

Sunday 24 July 2022


You may remember (or maybe not) that back in 2017Rebellion Beer brewed an ale called Excalibur for September. Well, this year they released it again, but for July (a more fitting month for a blonde, by the way). As I had enjoyed it the first time and because I'm a medievalist, I thought it was only fitting for me to buy it again. So I ordered some. It should really be called Excalibeer. That said, if you remember my first post about it, or if you know a bit about the Arthurian legend, you will find three mistakes on the label. I listed them again here:

1)When King Arthur pulled the sword from the stone, he was a child or a teenager, a very young man at the most, not a full grown adult.
2)Obviously he was no king yet when he pulled the sword from the stone, therefore hehad no crown on his head. (That one must be the easiest)
3)The sword in the stone, contrary to popular belief and years of Hollywood misinformation, was not Excalibur, which he obtained in different circumstances.

Be that as it may, I still enjoyed drinking it.


Mon père m'a envoyé des photos de morilles prises dans le bois, dans le lot de mes oncles, il y a quelques mois de cela. J'aime les champignons dans le bois en général, car ils annoncent l'automne. Mais pas les morilles, hélas.

Saturday 23 July 2022

The Coolest Chess Pieces

I found this picture in the Facebook page of the British Museum a few days ago. They are called Lewis Chessmen because they were found on the Isle of Lewis, but they were carved in Norway around 1150-1200. You can read more about it here. I shared them on this blog today because,while I have played chess since childhoodand owned many sets, I never ever seen such beautifully, meticulously crafted ones. And although I haven't played chess for years, I want to own a set like this one.

Vous rappelez-vous de Ruby le chat?

En fouillant dans de vieilles photos (ça m'arrive), je suis tombé sur des clichés du chat que j'avais acheté à la Roche-Bernard en Bretagne en août 2008 et que mes lecteurs avaient baptisé Ruby. Pendant des années, il a été notre seul chat de maison. Il est maintenant dans un racoin de la maison, où je l'ai laissé depuis notre déménagement en 2016. Il faudrait bien que je le ramène dans un endroit plus visible, parce qu'il est assez mignon.

Friday 22 July 2022

Seeing the bats

I had not seen my elusive neighbours in a long while, not since a few months, maybe not since last year. But two nights ago, I saw them flying around in the night. I am talking about the bats of course. I was waiting for Domino to get home from his evening stroll and they were flying low. I think I even heard a few squeeks as well. I like the bats: I find them mysterious, a dash sinister (in a good way) and they eat insects. I hope to spot them again soon.

Un marque-page des Bouquinistes

Il y a quelques jours, je cherchais un livre à commencer bientôt, quand je suis tombé sur un marque-page de la librairie Les Bouquinistes. Il était dans l'un des bouquins. Je crois qu'il date de 2016. C'est une heureuse (re)trouvaille que celle-ci. Pas que j'aie vraiment besoin de marque-pages, j'en ai en masse, cela dit on n'en a jamais assez. Mais parce que c'est un marque-page de notre librairie indépendante régionale. Une librairie qui demeure l'une de mes préférées. Et aussi parce que je collectionne officieusement les marque-pages. Les Bouquinistes ont produit beaucoup de signets depuis leur ouverture en 1979, vous pouvez voir l'éventail ici. Celui-ci est mon préféré, parce c'est le plus élégant, enfin je trouve.

Thursday 21 July 2022

Falling into Mount Vesuvius

 Here's a bit of silly news that I heard about recently which discouraged me about mankind. You may not know about it, but I kinda like volcanoes, as long as they don't erupt and that we keep at a safe distance. My brothers and I were fascinated by them as children, PJ was borderline obsessed about volcanoes. So I have always been curious about seeing the legendary ones, such as Mount Vesuvius. Is there a volcano more famous than this one? Well, recently, an American tourist fell into it trying to take a selfie. I mean, really? That's all some people can think about? Taking a selfie next to nature's most terrible creation? Part of me thinks if Mount Vesuvius had to erupt again, now would be a good time. If you are superstitious, forget what I just said.

Première "gardienne"

 Aujourd'hui, comme c'était le premier jour de vacances scolaires de petit loup et que sa mère et moi travaillons, nous avons pour la première fois demandé de l'aide d'une "gardienne" pour s'occuper de lui l'après-midi. Autrement dit, nous avons demandé l'aide de Blonde Tickler, la fille d'une amie qui reste à deux pas d'ici, littéralement. C'est pas vraiment une gardienne, parce que nous ne sommes pas partis de la maison, mais c'est tout comme. Wolfie a adoré son après-midi: il l'a passé à rire et à s'amuser. Alors bref, je crois bien qu'on a trouvé notre Mary Poppins.

The Wisdom of Steve Carella

You know I love the work of Ed McBain, especially the 87th Precinct. I wlove it in the smallest anecdotal details, which I was reminded again recently, when I saw this quote from Cop Hater, the very first novel of the series. I have nothing more to say, except that Detective Steve Carella is extremely wise.

Fontaine géante, prise 3

Nouvelle et dernière photo de la fontaine géante sur le Plateau Mont-Royal. Parce que je m'ennuie du Plateau.

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Last Day of School

Today is Wolfie's last day of school until next September. In fact, it will only be a half day. After today, he is on holidays and no longer at Reception. It feels like his first day was yesterday. I am feeling a bit... conflicted. It has been a long year and often a rollercoaster, but in a way it went way too quickly. He made himself a lot of friends, way more than he did in preschool, seeing him finding his place among his peers and in his school has been very moving. Our baby grew up to be an amazing little boy and we are very proud of him. He accomplished so much in a single year. Yet I can't help but think... This is just too fast.

Des VTT dans la rue

Il y a quelques jours, quand le soir tombait et qu'on essayait de faire dormir petit loup, ma femme et moi (et petit loup: il en a perdu le sommeil) avons entendu un vrombissement pas très loin. C'était très bruyant. J'ai jeté un coup d'oeil à la fenêtre, je pensais que c'étaient des motos ou une voiture qui déconnait dans le stationnement du bureau derrière chez nous. mais non: c'étaient des quatre roues (le terme exact maintenant est VTT je crois) qui passaient deux rues plus loin. Des quatre roues. On n'est pas une très grande ville, à peine plus qu'un village, mais quand même, on ne vit pas en campagne! Voulez-vous bien me dire ce qu'ils crissaient là? Je n'ai jamais aimé les quatre roues ni les trois roues: j'ai toujours trouvé que c'étaient des véhicules vulgaires, colons et épais. Et je n'ai pas trop envie d'en voir dans les environs de notre quartier résidentiel.

Tuesday 19 July 2022

"Hotter than in Africa"

So we are in the worst heatwave in UK history at the moment. I hate it. Wolfie said coming back from school yesterday, with a bit of pride in his voice I must admit: "It is hotter than in Africa." He might actually be right. His maternal grandfather, who is South African, even told me that South African heat is far more bearable, because it is try, and not damp like this one. Hopefully we won't have to tolerate it much longer. And in any case, "hotter than in Africa" is a new Wolfism and the one that will define this week.

Notre ancien appart

Photo prise il y a quelques semaines, une journée chaude (mais pas autant qu'aujourd'hui) où nous passions par là. Vous voyez ici tout en haut l'ancien appartement où l'on demeurait avoir de devenir propriétaires et parents. Je m'en assez ennuie peu, je dois dire, parce qu'il était devenu trop petit. Mais il était proche du centre-ville, ce qui avait ses avantages. Quand même, puisque je suis un incorrigible nostalgique, le voir m'a quand même rappelé quelques bons souvenirs.

Monday 18 July 2022

Like Melting Sugar

Taken from the best years of The Simpsons, my current state of mind:

Mafalda, Quino et le Google Doodle

La page Facebook officielle de Mafalda m'a appris que c'est l'anniversaire de Quino hier et que Google avait présenté un Doodle dans certains endroits pour lui rendre hommage.

"Keeping cool"

 We are in a heatwave, which I hate, that said it is as good a reason as any to share with you a page from What to Look for in Summer, one of the Ladybird Books I bought at the local bookshop for Wolfie. It might give you a few ideas on how to keep cool. Personally, I find their depiction of heatwaves far too idyllic. But this image is quite nice, if nothing else.

Des olives et des biscuits Ritz

J'ai déjà blogué sur ce snack en 2020. Enfant, c'était l'une de mes collations préférées: du fromage Philadelphia (ou un équivalent) sur un biscuit Ritz et une olive pour couronner le tout une olive, ce qui lui donne de la saveur. En 2020, je le recommandais pour traiter la mélancolie d'après les Fêtes (ou de fin des Fêtes), mais ça peut faire à tout moment lorsqu'on se sent mélancolique. Par exemple quand il fait trop chaud pour autre chose et que la crème glacée vous tombe sur le coeur. Les olives, c'est pas malma version salée du chocolat.

Sunday 17 July 2022

Queen Sono

I know Netflix is in trouble these days, but you can still find interesting stuff on it worth watching. Recently, thanks to its algorythms, I stumbled upon Queen Sono, a South African spy/crime tv series. Just the kind of things I love to watch. I was not expecting much, but I was happily surprised. The series follow a female operative (Queen Sono) who is also the orphan daughter of an anti-Apartheid revolutionary. While at work she fights criminal organisations and terrorist groups, while struggling against the obstacles thrown at her by corrupted elements in the South African government (including the president), she investigates the murder of her mother 25 years earlier. There is also a Russian corporation of mercenaries that is more like a Russian mob who is manipulating events in Africa, an ex-boyfriend of Sono who has turned terrorist and a few other things going on. It is flawed, sometimes soap operaish, often far-fetched, but it has solid production value, nice plotting, great characters and it's great fun. I binged it. Sadly, the second season was cancelled due to Covid. I hope they shoot it soon, because I was just starting to enjoy it.

Anecdote sur le fromage

 Voici une anecdote qui date de deux ans, lors de l'un de nos vins et fromages. J'apprenais à Wolfie les différentes sortes de fromages qu'il y avait dans la sélection. Alors c'est allé comme suit: "Regarde Wolfie, ça c'est du Brie, c'est du fromage mou que tu n'aimes pas. Ca c'est du morbier et je sais que quand c'est bleu tu veux pas y goûter. On a aussi du Stilton, du fromage anglais bleu et encore une fois je sais que tu ne veux pas y goûter. On a aussi du cheddar que je sais que tu vas aimer, et le rouge là c'est du Leische... du Leischeche... Du Lesichecheche... Bon, okay, tu demanderas à ta mère pour la prononciation."

Saturday 16 July 2022

S.W.A.T. Police Playset

I took this picture in the local toy shop during our last visit. My son is obsessed about police and he wants to become a police officer when he grows up. Don't ask me why, he just does. So that means he suddenly developed a keen interest in police games and toys. This one caught his and my attention(s). It reminds me of the old toys I had as a child, except a tad less realistic. My parents did not like that we play with them and reluctantly bought us toy guns, because they thought the toys were too violent. But I don't care, I just love a bit of escapism and catharsis. At £6.99, it is quite cheap, so it might be on his birthday presents list.

Un héron

J'ai pris cette photo d'un héron en 2021, je ne sais plus ni quand ni où, même si je crois que c'était sur un site du English Heritage. Je l'a retrouvée dans mes archives. C'était lors d'une de nos sorties familiales une fin de semaine d'été, enfin je crois. Je la partage ici parce que, ben, pourquoi pas. Nous ne sortirons sans doute pas de la maison en fin de semaine pour cause de canicule, j'aimerais bien pouvoir sortir pour voir de la faune anglaise.

Friday 15 July 2022

St Swithin's Day

 You may remember last year that I blogged about What to Look for in Summer, a book I bought at the local bookshop for Wolfie. The book taught him (and me) a lot of things about the season, among other things that today is St Swithin's Day. Today, according to folklore, we will know if summer will carry on and be hotand sunny, or will slowly dwindle and be cool and rainy. Anyway, you can read about it on the picture left. A part of me kind of dreads St Swithin's Day, but I do like the folklore associated to it.

Les Caramels du Chat

 Mon père m'a envoyé cette photo. Il semblerait que le Chat vende des caramels au chocolat, en plus d'être un personnage de bédé. À $10.99 en spécial, c'est mieux d'être bon.

Thursday 14 July 2022

Did I see a raven?

I was walking to go and get Wolfie from school and passing by one of the town's allotments. And I saw a huge corvid. It was really big. I suspect it was a raven, but I cannot be sure as I am not really an ornithologist, not even an amateur one. Either that or a really big, oversized crow. But I think it was a raven. I tried to take a picture, but unfortunately it flew away before I could. I will keep my eyes open for next time.

Observations sur le 14 juillet vu d'ici

C'est mon second billet sur la Fête nationale française aujourd'hui. Après ma journée de travail sur le marché français, j'ai quelques observations à faire concernant le 14 juillet:

-J'ai vraiment rien eu à faire de la journée.

-Non, sérieusement. J'ai jamais autant glandé de la journée.

-Comme bien des Français prennent le 15 de congé, demain risque d'être aussi tranquille.

-Quand tu es francophone dans un milieu de travail anglophone, tes collègues vont faire comme si tu es Français le 14 juillet.

Sinon comment ça a été chez vous?

Ukrainian Voices

Two days ago, I was walking to Wolfie's school to pick him up and I heard a woman and her daughter speaking to each other. I think they were Ukrainian, it sounded Eastern European in any case. If I am not mistaken, they were the same Ukrainians we saw back in June. Apparently, Wolfie's school has a few pupils who are Ukrainian refugees, but we haven't been interacting with the families as of yet. One day, their voices might become familiar to us and Wolfie might become friend with some of them. But right now, knowingwhy they are here, their presence still seems a bit surreal.

14 juillet

Je le souligne à chaque année sur ce blogue, parfois je le célèbre un peu aussi. Nous sommes donc le 14 juillet, la Fête nationale française. Ce qui veut dire pour moi, dans un premier temps, une journée tranquille au travail: c'est jour férié en France et je travaille sur le marché français. Je vais prendre ça pépère. Le lendemain sera tranquille aussi: les Français prennent souvent le 15 de congé si le 14 tombe un jeudi. Quant à ce que je pense du 14 juillet en soi, lire ce billet de 2017. Je ne me sens pas souvent francophile, mais le républicanisme est une des choses que je trouve le plus admirable en France, avec la laïcité sans complexes.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Amber Warning of Extreme Heat

 I'm bracing myself the best I can: it's been hot these last few days, last Monday was a heatwave, now we have temperatures slightly below 30, but come the weekend and the heatwave will be in full force. In fact, we're BBC Weather is giving an amber warning of extreme heat for the weekend. 31 degree on Sunday, last time I checked, and 34 degree on Monday. This is no longer summertime, this is inferno and I hate it. It should go down afterwards, or at least I hope it will.

Fontaine géante, prise 2

Je partage une seconde fois (voir la première ici) une photo de la fontaine sur le Plateau prise par mon père. Construite sur une ancienne station-service, ça ne peut pas faire plus écolo. Je m'ennuie de Montréal et du Plateau ces temps-ci.

Tuesday 12 July 2022

The James Bond... Bingo?

 I blogged last Friday about a board game based on the universe of James Bond. Well, it's not the only game available based on my favourite spy: during one of my visits to the local bookshop I stumbled upon... the James Bond Bingo Game. As much as I am a 007 fan, I don't really like bingo and this looks like a very silly derived product, so I resisted temptation and I did not buy it. Nice box though, with the classic gunbarrel. And I might pay more attention in the future to what kind of games our bookshop sells.

Beau Bonhomme

Mon père m'a envoyé une photo d'un vin qui s'appelle...
Beau Bonhomme. Tu parles d'un nom pour un vin. Avec un nom pareil, j'aurais cru qu'il vient du Québec ou d'un pays francophone. Mais non: il vient d'Espagne. Je ne sais pas s'il est bon ou pas, à $13.70 à la SAQ, c'est cheap dans tous les cas. Mes parents ont bu ça avec du boudin noir. Je partage parce que j'aime le nom et l'étiquette. Faudra que je l'essaie un jour

Monday 11 July 2022

Gardening Wisdom (from my mother-in-law)

A few weeks ago, I was discussing gardening with my mother-in-law. She is a keen gardener and naturally talented at it, while I am absolutely hopeless. On my poor gardening skills, please read my post from the 5th of July. But she was generous enough to guide me with some general principles regarding the art of gardening, which I wanted to share here: "Gardening is not for the faint of heart, you must be brutal and merciless. It requires lot of cutting and killing. But it's mostly feeding the slugs." This was eye opening and it also deserves to be a new great unknown line.

Les pieds dans l'eau

Bon, nous n'avons pas de piscine, mais qu'à cela ne tienne: nous avons des amis qui ont des barboteuses, enfin ce genre de mini-piscines gonflables que l'on remplit d'eau. Hier, nous avons fait une réunion entre nos familles sept enfants en tout et pour tout, un sept de quatre, deux et un, le un étant Wolfie. Et ils ont donc profité des barboteuses. Wolfie était un peu timide, il a fallu que j'aille avec lui. J'ai croqué cette photo de nos pieds à lui et à moi. Devinez lesquels sont à qui. Une photo mignonne comme celle-ci, il fallait que je la partage.

Sunday 10 July 2022

Trees (A Ladybird Book)

I behaved myself when I went to the local bookshop for the last. In fact, I did not buy any book for me, I only bought a few for Wolfie. Among them, Trees: A Ladybird Book. Or maybe the title is A Ladybird Book: Trees. Or only Trees. Which may or may not be the same book as The Ladybird Book of Trees, only with a different title(s). Be that as it may, I was happily surprised to find Wolfie very interested about it and it has become the book I read to him before bedtime. Not sure why he took up to it so much. I guess because there is so much to learn about trees and they can become fascinating to a young child, both familiar yet mysterious.

Polixe, le nounours de la SQ

Je ne sais pas si vous le savez, mais la Sûreté du Québec a une mascotte: l'ourson Polixe. Il l'ont aussi en toutou, qu'ils donnent au enfants victimes d'un traumatisme et dans d'autres occasions. Or, Wolfie depuis un certain temps a développé une obsession à propos de la police. En fait, il a décidé qu'il veut devenir policier. Il s'est aussi mis à vouloir des ours dans sa ménagerie de peluches. Alors je me suis dit que je lui achèterais un toutou Polixe, histoire de développer son appartenance à ses racines québécoises. J'ai communiqué avec la SQ via les réseaux sociaux et on m'a dit que malheureusement, la vente d'objets promotionnels a été suspensdue. On ne m'a pas précisé pourquoi. Toutefois, cette suspension est temporaire, alors j'espère que Wolfie aura son Polixe lors de notre prochain séjour au Québec.

Saturday 9 July 2022

New Halloween Gnomes

 You might think I'm exagerating.Maybe I am. But summer is in full swing and I want to start preparing for Halloween to change my mind a bit, so I bought more Halloween gnomes. These two. They look quite cute and unique in their own way. One holds a candy cane(!), the other has two bats on a leash. With Spooky Spooky, that makes three Halloween gnomes. Added to them the three Autumn gnomes I got for my birthday and we are building quite a tribe. Wolfie loves them, but we haven't named these two yet. Any suggestions, please give them in the comments section.

P'tit Loup pour les vacances

Je me prépare aux vacances en famille, alors j'ai acheté pour mon petit loup... Le cahier d'activités de P'tit Loup. C'est pleins de petits jeux amusants pour quand il tombera en vacances. Peut-être que nous allons l'emmener avec nous pour les vacances, afin de passer le temps en soirée, mais il beaucoup des activités ont besoin de crayons de couleur et d'autres trucs du genre, alors je ne suis pas certain que ce soit une bonne idée. Cela dit, je suis heureux qu'il ait un autre livre de P'tit Loup et qu'il soit déjà vraiment heureux de son cadeau de vacances.

Friday 8 July 2022

SPECTRE: the board game

You know I'm a fan of James Bond, both the novels and the films. Well, I learned not long ago that there was a board game based on the films that was being made: SPECTRE: The Board Game. You play an agent of the nefarious terrorist organisation. That sounds like a lot of fun. It will be released in August-September, but you can pre-order now. It looks absoluely gorgeous and I love board games, but at £50.00, given that I don't have many occasions to play to the games I have, I might ask for it for Christmas or my birthday or something.

Fontaine géante

 Photo d'une fontaine prise sur le Plateau Mont-Royal (enfin je crois) par mon père. J'ai hâte de revisiter.

Thursday 7 July 2022

Summer Reading Challenge

Wolfie once got back from school with this new bookmark, advertising the Summer Reading Challenge. i love it, for two reasons: 1)it's a new bookmark and we never have enough of those, 2)it is promoting education and literacy. Regarding the challenge, we of course accept it and I am proud to say that our son is an avid reader.

Ah! Les fraises...

Je partage encore une fois une photo des fraises de l'Île envoyée par mon père. Les fraises sont parties dans le temps de le dire, ai-je cru comprendre. C'est un peu cruel de le savoir.

Wednesday 6 July 2022

The School Walk

Because my wife has started working and her work schedule makes her unable to pick up Wolfie from school, I switched my break at work so I can go pick up Wolfie for the next two weeks or so. I walk to school to pick him up, then we walk back home. Going there is not too long, but it is exhausting and it hurts like hell: I must go up a hill. I used to walk in my old commutes, but not nearly that much. The way back is slower, because I must carry Wolfie sometimes when he gets tired. It also hurts more. As I am typing this, my legs are killing me. But I do want to keep on doing it for one reason: I haven't beene xercising much in the last two years. At the beginning of the pandemic, we did a fair deal of walking, then for some reason we slowly stopped. So I want to get back in shape and be strong again. But gosh does it hurt.

Le pommier des beaux-parents

Mes beaux-parents ont planté un pommier dans le jardin, pour mon plus grand plaisir. Il est encore petit, mais il a des pommes qui poussent. J'ai déjà hâte de les cueillir. La pomme est le fruit de l'automne, mais comme tous les fruits, leur degré de maturité marque le temps et la saison. On regarde ce pommier et on se dit que ce sera encore l'été pour un bon bout de temps. Il me faudra prendre mon mal en patience.

Tuesday 5 July 2022

"Grow Your Own Pumpkins!"

We went to a special school fête a couple of weeks ago. It was a very hot day, far too hot for my taste. We did some voluntary work, to help Wolfie's school get financing for special activities and so on. When we had a minute, Wolfie and I went to explore the various stands and we found this one: they had a proper Halloween stand, in the middle of June. It made my day. They were selling pumpkin seed I think, as well as instructions on how to grow them. I was already growing pumpkins at home, as you may remember. Alas, they got eaten by slugs, to my chagrin. So will have to buy them this year. On the positive side, this was the very first sign of Halloween this year.

1000 Bornes

J'ai reçu le jeu de société Mille Bornes à ma fête, parce que je l'avais demandé. Hélas, nous n'avons pas encore trouvé le bon moment pour y jouer. Trop de choses à faire, pas assez de temps à ne pas savoir quoi faire, s'ennuyer, puis sortir les jeux de société. Alors il est sur ma table de chevet. Mille Bornes, c'est le jeu pour tromper l'ennui: on n'a rien à faire, il fait trop chaud, trop pluvieux, whatever, alors on sort le Mille Bornes.

Monday 4 July 2022

100 Things to do on a Journey

What I love about bookshops, it's that we can find books we didn't know we needed, but can turn out to be very handy. So last time I visited the local bookshop, I stumble upon 100 Things to do on a Journey, which I bought right away. We are planning our next family holidays we it will involve a lot of train travel, so this book will be very useful to keep Wolfie entertained. Although train journeys can be entertaining in themselves, it's good to spend time with a nice book and this one has lots of games and activities. When I showed it to Wolfie, he was enthusiastic.

Fraises de l'Île

Mes parents ont acheté des fraises de l'Île (dois-je préciser de quelle île il s'agit?) et il m'a envoyé des photos. Ici, les fraises sont en plastique, ou en tout cas goûtent le plastique. Misère.

Sunday 3 July 2022

Crusader Set

I mentioned not very long ago that we went to a birthday party with Wolfie where he got a sword and shield made of blown balloons. That got him very exicted about, well, sword and shields and other toy weapons for make belief games. The kind of toys I loved when I was his age. Don't judge me: I think violent ake belief games are cathartic for children. For adults too, probably. So we went afterwards to the local toy shop. I did not buy any for now, but I might for his birthday. I was thinking about this "3 piece crusader set". It has a nice fancy sword with some gold on it, a shield and a neat little ax. Okay, so it is utterly unauthentic, but what the heck, at £9.99 it's a reasonable price. Although I know from experience that such toy don't last very long.

Zone de Lenteur, Montréal

Mon père m'a envoyé des photos d'une zone de lenteur sur le Plateau. Il faudrait y en avoir dans chaque ville du monde...

Saturday 2 July 2022


I found this picture on social media, an old advert from McDonald's, it triggered some old memories. Anybody remembers the McDLT? Or McD.L.T. as it said on the box. Back when I was a child and my parents were buying us McDonald's as a semi-regular weekend treat, they were quite fond of McDLTs. It was their go-to burger. I never understood the appeal: what was the point of paying for a burger you had to assemble yourself? Beside, when you add cheese on a burger, you want it to melt, not stay cool like the tomato and lettuce. And who found so important to keep lettuce and tomato cool on a burger anyway? No wonder it got discontinued. If any of you remember the McDLT, tell me if you tried it and if you enjoyed it. For the record, at the time I was a McNuggets eater, until I switched to a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. But that high-tech burger thing? Sheesh!

Un héron

Mes parents sont à Montréal en ce moment. Attendez-vous à voir des photos de Montréal dans les prochains jours. Enfin bref, il a pris une photo d'une murale. Je ne sais pas pourquoi, je l'aime bien.

Friday 1 July 2022


This week, I got the worst case of man flu, so much so that I had to take a day off work. My manager (the best manager I had in years, by the way) was very understanding and he ever suggested his go-to medicine for man flu: Lucozade. For those who don't know, it's an energy drink, very popular in the UK. For me, it's allmy wife could have, apart from water, when she was in Labour. I had it in the past when I was sick and frankly because of this I think it tastes of medicine. I don't know if it truly is good when you have a cold, or whatever else, but I tend to give some credit to it. Something tasting that nasty must have some virtues. So I might stock myself in Lucozade for next time.

Jour du Déménagement

Nous sommes le 1er juillet, ce qui au Québec veut dire, ne le nions pas, le Jour du Déménagement. Parce que, bon, Dominion Day, c'est pas très célébré, en tout cas pas chez les francophones, ne nous contons pas d'histoires. Incidemment, c'est un premier juillet que ma femme et moi sommes devenus propriétaires. C'est donc un peu notre Jour du Déménagement aussi, même si nous n'avons emménagé dans notre maison que le lendemain. Nous n'avons fait qu'amener quelques boîtes le 1er juillet 2016. Mais c'est quand même un jour à souligner, puisque nous avons cessés d'être locataires.