Friday, 31 March 2023
Mon mars (et le vôtre)
Bon, ben mars se termine aujourd'hui (cliché retentissant ici). Comment a été votre mois de mars? Moi, assez ordinaire: je perds mon emploi (c'est ma dernière journée de travail aujourd'hui). Au moins il y a du mouvement dans ma recherche d'emploi et ma femme va commencer un nouvel emploi au cours du mois d'avril. Mais mettons que ça n'a pas été un mois facile et que je suis bien content qu'il finisse. Et vous?
Thursday, 30 March 2023
About Michelangealo's David (from The Simpsons)
There is a certain stupid controversy in the US at the mooment. I will not comment on it, I will just leave here this clip from The Simpsons. In this episode. Yes, they were prophetic. And I'm not the only one saying it. I hope the clip makes you feel a little bit better.
L'escoufle sur le chemin de l'école
Dans notre petite ville, nous avons comme voisins ailés des milans royaux (mais je préfère les appeler escoufles). On les voit souvent voler, parfois se percher sur les arbres, mais il est plus rare de les voir au sol. Or, c'est ce qui est arrivé, lorsque nous marchions de retour de l'école de petit loup. Nous sommes tombés presque nez à bec avec cet escoufle, qui mangeait je ne sais pas quoi sur l'asphalte. Il s'est envolé avant que l'on puisse s'en approcher plus, mais j'ai eu le temps de prendre cette photo.
Waterstones and me
Something struck me recently, I don't know why: it has been ages since I set foot in a Waterstones bookshop. There is one relatively close, in a nearby town, but I try to avoid said town because, well, it's ugly and dodgy. The Waterstones there is maybe the only place I love, with the library. Last time I went to this particular franchise. was probably two years ago or so, before going to the cinema, I only went briefly and did not buy anything. I used to love going to Waterstones, used to do it fairly often. I think our local bookshop really reduced my need to go there. Unless it is a big shop of the franchise, the choice isn't that different and I always prefer to encourage local businesses. All the same, I'd like to revisit a Waterstones at some point.
Le sable et l'eau
Wednesday, 29 March 2023
A Milwaukee stand?
Tuesday, 28 March 2023
Railway reading in a nutshell
Tintin: qui a enlevé le Professeur Tournesol?
Monday, 27 March 2023
Updates on the work front
As you may remember, I am being made redundant. It came off as a bit of a surprise and since then I have been job hunting. I have been to some interviews, but so far none have worked out, either I didn't suit the role or the role didn't suit me. Thankfully, things are nevertheless looking better. First, because my wife got a job last Friday. It will start in the middle of April. It's only a temping job, but it will keep pressure off me for a few months. Also, I will have at least one interview this week and I am fairly confident about this one: the role suits my background pretty much perfectly and I have a pretty good feeling about it. And I know I am getting noticed for other roles. So yes, things are looking better.
Bon, petit loup a été malade la semaine dernière. Pas beaucoup, mais une petite fièvre bien vilaine, qui l'a gardé à la maison le vendredi. Bien entendu, je l'ai chopé tout de suite après: dès samedi soir, j'avais le frisson et je ne me sens toujours pas tout à fait remis. Chaque année, c'est pareil: aux alentours du mois de mars je me tape une fièvre ou un rhume. Souvent, ça arrive au changement d'heure. C'est pire depuis que je suis papa. Je crois que le printemps est une saison plus porteuse de virus et de contagion que toutes les autres. Enfin, c'est mon expérience.
Sunday, 26 March 2023
I blogged back in January about the two torches my wife bought me for Christmas, to replace my old one that had broken now. I said how useful torches are, essential even. Well, yesterday I was reminded of another way a torch can be useful: when you walk out at night, especially when you are alone. My wife went to celebrate the birthday of a friend and our neighbourhood does not have very good street lights. So she borrowed one of my torches. She felt much safer and I felt reassured. I always carry a torch when I am out and about and I know I will have to walk back home at night time. I think you should never leave without one.
Le vieux foyer
Saturday, 25 March 2023
The Guinness Cake gentrified
Mercedes en bois de grange
Friday, 24 March 2023
Well, maybe it is a strange case of synchronicity, maybe I have just become more aware of that. So I blogged on Wednesday about orange vehicles. In January 2022, I blogged about orange coats. And since last Wednesday, I see orange everywhere. Particularly in pieces of clothing: coats, yes, but also woolie hats. Sometimes they are bright orange, more often the kind of dark, fiery, almost red, ochre type of orange. You know the one. It seems that orange clothes are everywhere, a sort of quiet fashion statement. I love orange as a colour, so I don't complain, but I just find it strange that I notice its omnipresence nowadays.
Au moment où j'écris ces lignes, il vente très fort dehors. Genre à écorner les boeufs. À chaque fois qu'il vente dans ce pays, j'ai une pensée pour le classique Wuthering Heights d'Emily Brontë, connu en français comme Les Hauts de Hurlevent. Le tire original, je n'arrive pas à le prononcer, soit dit en passant. Je l'ai lu au cégep, ça fai de cela plus de 25 ans. Je ne l'ai jamais relu depuis, il faudrait peut-être. Le nom Hurlevent prend tout son sens lorsqu'il vente dans ce pays. Ca devrait être un terme.
Thursday, 23 March 2023
Crime fiction from South Africa (and elsewhere)
Wednesday, 22 March 2023
You may remember when I blogged about a trend I had observed: people wearing orange coats. Well I found another trend, kind of weirder: the orange vehicles. I have seen in our little town a very distinctive orange Jeep and an orange... Porsche. The Porsche I have seen only once, during the school run. At first I was not sure it was a Porsche. But the Jeep I have seen a couple of times, if it is indeed the same Jeep. In both cases, they were the darker side of orange, the kind of orange I generally love. Although maybe not on vehicles. It made me wonder: what's up with the orange colour? I guess it makes them stand out more, but I'm not sure if I find it cool or tacky. I love orange though (guess why). Just maybe not for a car.
Tuesday, 21 March 2023
Un bateau à La Baie
Monday, 20 March 2023
Quick post for those who forgot (I know I wish I had): today was the vernal equinox. There is no way to deny it: it is the first official day of spring. Although it felt like spring since last week at least. Now, usually in March it still does not change all that much, especially not in this country. Nevertheless, the nights are getting shorter and evening falls much later. I used to love spring, but this is not the case anymore. I just dread long days and warmer weather. So yeah, I was not very happy today, to tell the truth.
About English snakes
Last week during our school run, waiting for Wolfie's day to be over, we were chatting with the mother of one his best friends. She was mentioning that her son was obsessed about snakes and for special days out they go to see snakes in zoos and other places. I then said: "Thankfully, there are no venomous snakes in the wild in England." She corrected me: "Apparently, adders are poisonous." I replied: "Well, that is not reassuring." which made her laugh. I think it deserves to be a new great unknown line. Later on, I checked on the NHS website and she was right: the adder is indeed poisonous, thankfully it is also the only one.
Le train de Chicoutimi
Sunday, 19 March 2023
A train themed birthday?
Fondants à l'érable
Saturday, 18 March 2023
The Guinness Cake
Friday, 17 March 2023
Something to read for Saint Paddy's
Corto Maltese et l'Irlande
Thursday, 16 March 2023
"I remember Dublin City..."
Tomorrow is Saint Paddy's Day and to get myself and my family in the mood I have been listening to a lot of Irish music, particularly the Dubliners. I thought this blog needed a bit more music, so I am sharing one Irish song here. I have been to Dublin only once in my life, for a week, I did not know it "in the rare old times", nevertheless it must have changed since. And in any case, I can relate to the nostalgic aspects of this song. We all have a Dublin somewhere, it may not be a town or a city, it may not be anywhere in particular, but it haunts us.
Les Ides de mars hier à Montréal
Je pensais hier aux Ides de mars, me demandant si je ne devrais pas bloguer sur le sujet. Puis je me suis dit que non, que j'avais fait le tour de l'assassinat de Jules César, en tout cas pour le moment. Je pensais que je trouverais une nouvelle approche pour en parler une autre année, quand j'ai vu que Leonardo Rizzuto a été victime d'une tentative de meurtre. Un 15 mars. Il semble être hors de danger, mais quand même, ça fait drôle (je n'oserai pas dire "approprié"). Des fois, il y a des coïncidences qui ne s'inventent pas.
Wednesday, 15 March 2023
Scotland Yard in Hamleys
Tuesday, 14 March 2023
A Guinness Cake for Saint Paddy's
I haven't blogged about the upcoming Saint-Patrick's Day yet, which is a bit of a shame, as it is one of my best holidays. That doesn't mean we are not preparing it. I say we, as this year my wife took the initiative with a great idea. For many of us, myself included, Saint Paddy's means drinking Guinness. Well, she suggested that we bake Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Guinness cake. We never made one, but enjoyed it a few times in cafés and restaurants. It is just so delicious. We bought alcohol free Guinness so Wolfie can have some too. We might fail miserably, but even if it looks terrible, it should be edible.
Monday, 13 March 2023
Cate Blanchett, Tar and Oscar
You must have read the enws already, if you've been following it a bit. But anyway, my favourite actress Cate Blanchett was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Tar. She did not win. I have neither seen the movie nor its competition, so sue me for that and say that I don't have sufficient information to make a judgment, but the fan in me can't help but suspect that she got robbed again, just like in 1999. Anyway, I will watch it and the other films/performances, I promise.
Aujourd'hui, il vente. Il a venté toute la journée, à écorner les boeufs. Ca s'est calmé un peu dans la dernière heure et ça sera plus tranquille demain, mais c'était impressionnant d'entendre et de voir ça aujourd'hui. J'adore le temps venteux, en autant que je puisse rester pépère chez moi. J'adore l'atmosphère que les bourrasques donnent à une journée, comme si elles annonçaient un certain drame qui va mettre fin à la monotonie ambiante.
The Bernina Express
La Tour de Londres, vue de haut
Sunday, 12 March 2023
The world's most expensive teddy bear?
Tower Bridge vu de haut
Saturday, 11 March 2023
Things to do on a train journey
Question existentielle (380)
Nouvelle question existentielle, ça faisait longtemps:
-Les bouteilles de vin sans bouchon de liège, pour ou contre?
Friday, 10 March 2023
Monstrum on Bloody Mary
YouTube/PBS series Monstrum has released a new video recently, about the folkloric character of Bloody Mary. I really loved it (as always) and I decided to share it tonight. Bloody Mary and divination in front of a mirror used to be a staple of Halloween, so all the more reason for us to enjoy this video.
A Scotsman in the snow
Thursday, 9 March 2023
I recently found on BBC iPlayer an old documentary series, in black and white, with David Attenborough. When I say old, it dated back from 1956. A piece of anthology. I only watched one episode, the one about Komodo dragons. When I was a child, my brother PJ had a book about dragons in general, and the Komodo dragon was mentioned in passing. It got me fascinated. The idea of a gigantic lizard with a venomour bite living in a remote part of the world seemed both thrilling and exotic. Like a mythical creature that turned out to be real. Seeing Komodo dragons in a black and white video, they seemed even more mysterious and strange. It reminded me of my old childhood fascination for them.
L'hiver chez nous et chez vous
Wednesday, 8 March 2023
Hawks (the police)
Concours de Pâques des Pères trappistes
Tuesday, 7 March 2023
I will start this post by a disclaimer: I love a bit of cryptozoology, however I know it is a pseudoscience. I will therefore relay this piece of news with caution: I remain very skeptical regarding the conclusions people have drawn from it. But anyway, a "panther" was caught on camera in a field in Gloucestershire. Or at least what looks like a black panther, or a rather large cat. The animal, maybe a feline, appears to be as large as a Labrador dog, but twice as long, or so says the article. Now I have seen the video, it is quite short and the image does not show all that much, so I don't think it is quite clear at all. I suspect an optical illusion and a mundane explanation. All the same, large cats sighting has been a staple of this country's folklore, so the news set my imagination on fire.
La cafétéria de l'UQAC(!)
L'avantage des réseaux sociaux et de l'internet, pour un expatrié, c'est qu'on peut en apprendre sur les enjeux de ta région même à distance. Ainsi donc, voici une petite nouvelle régionale: l'UQAC a un nouveau service de cafétéria. Il n'y en avait plus depuis... septembre 2020. Un ami qui enseigne à l'UQAC m'a mis au parfum. Franchement, un service de restauration dans une université, c'est pas mal le minimum syndical. je le dis sans méchanceté, mais des fois, le Saguenay a de la difficulté à demeurer civilisé.
Monday, 6 March 2023
We live in a small town here. We love it, that is why we remained where we are for nearly 16 years now. We saw a few strange signs in the years we have been here. Especially on the road. Old, vintage vehicles,mainly, and some other kinds of vehicles that simply have no place in town, however small. Last week, we saw an all-terrain vehicle on one of the main roads. It's not the first time. At least there was only one: last year I saw (and heard) three of them. And my question every time I see one is: what they is it doing here? I mean we are not a big city, but we're not exactly a remote little hamlet in the middle of nowhere. These things are from what I understand quite polluting. They are certainly noisy as hell, in any case (and noise is another form of pollution). I always found them kind of chavy too, in any circumstances, but especially in town. And I don't think they are very safe or driven by very safe people, for a town with lots of families and young children. So who is the genius who thinks it is a good, sensible idea to drive them here as if they were in the middle of the tundra? I really want to know.
Le bogue de l'an 2000 (Bruno Blanchet)
Pour vous mettre de bonne humeur ce lundi, voici un petit numéro d'humour, un classique, tiré de La fin du monde est à sept heures. Avec bien entendu le génial et inimitable Bruno Blanchet, qui fait le fameux bogue. Vous vous rappelez du bogue de l'an 2000? J'imagine que je fais mon âge en disant cela.
Sunday, 5 March 2023
I love brunch, I always have. When I was younger, from childhood well into my twenties, we used to go for brunches on special occasions, in my family. Especially on Sunday. It is the day for brunching. There is just something so very satisfying about a brunch on a Sunday, both at a physical and emotional level. So yes, anyway, a somewhat famous person I am following on social media shared not so long ago a picture of her brunch a few days ago. Cannot remember what it was exactly, but it looked very filling and very decadent. I commented that "If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, brunch is the most important meal of the weekend."I think this describes brunch in a nutshell and it deserves to be a great unknown line. I can be such a wise man when it comes to trivial matters.
Les goélands, les mouettes
Nerf Guns on sale
Saturday, 4 March 2023
The Flying Scotsman's Centenary
Oh the things you learn thanks to the National Railway Museum in York.I found out, checking their social media pages, that the Flying Scotsman is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It might be my favourite steam train. More importantly, the online shop of the museum is full of cool articles to celebrate: socks, caps, shirts, watches, mugs, tea towels, many sporting the trademark green colour of the train. Everything looks so nice. It is going to be my birthday next month, just in time for the celebrations. It is unlikely that we will be able to go to York, but I will put some of the things in the shop on my wish list. Maybe I will receive some as presents.
Mon billet d'il y a une semaine ainsi que la mort récente de Leiji Matsumoto m'ont fait penser à une chose: ça fait un bail que je ne me suis pas retapé la série Albator. Je parle du dessin animé de 1978, mais il y aussi la série manga originale, que je n'ai jamais lu au complet. J'ai le premier volume en français, que j'ai lu il y a plus de dix ans. Il faudrait que je m'y remette. Le capitaine Albator a été l'un des plus importants héros de mon enfance, certainement mon préfér de tous les héros de mangas. Il y avait beaucoup du héros romantique chez lui et puis l'idée d'un corsaire de l'espace résolument anarchiste affrontant tant un establishment corrompu que des envahisseurs d'une autre planète quasi-démoniaques me plaisait beaucoup. Enfin bref, je crois que je vais me retaper ce bouquin aussi, essayer de trouver le reste de la série et essayer de trouver la série originale en ligne.
Friday, 3 March 2023
Rediscovering Dead at Daybreak
Thursday, 2 March 2023
World Book Day
It was World Book Day today, which of course promotes reading. So here children went to school disguised as book characters. Wolfie went to school disguised as a Dalmatian. As per, well, you might have an idea. We might go to the local bokshop this weekend and buy a book or two. And English Heritage shared an article about historical places with literary links, which I thoroughly enjoyed and I am sharing it now. If you're wondering what to read where, this is the article for you. Anyway, I try to commemorate it every year, as I love all things books and literature.
Les parfums insidieux du vapotage
Excellente nouvelle: le gouvernement du Québec va finalement sévir contre les vapoteurs et interdire les parfums dans leurs produits. Vous savez, ce qui rendait ça plus attrayantpour les jeunes. Il était temps. J'exècre le tabagisme depuis toujours et pour moi les vapoteuses c'était une stratégie cynique pour rendre accro une nouvelle génération à la nicotine. On va se le dire: les producteurs de tabac, ce sont des barons de la drogue. Et puis on va se dire autre chose: les vapoteuses ont l'air de gros dildos. Fa que...
Oh darnit, it happened again: I am going to be redundant at the end of this month. Through no fault of my own, thankfully: my (soon to be ex) employer subcontracts work and the client I am working for has suddenly and unexpectedly ended his contract. So the account is shutting down and I cannot be moved on a different project. Henceforth, I am being made redundant. I am of two minds about it. I was not really expecting it and my personal performance was great, so on the one end, I am not too happy. Especially since I liked that job. And my wife is also looking for a job, so that makes me a bit nervous. But on the other end, my still employers are being very nice and helpful. They even told me they would definitely rehire me should new accounts open. Furthermore, I already rose the interest of some recruiters. So I don't feel as bitter as I felt when I lost the job I hated, in fact while I am nervous I remain positive that I should get something fairly quickly (touch wood). It's just frustrating that it happened so suddenly.
Wednesday, 1 March 2023
Of Saint David's Day and Welsh Cakes
Raton laveur empaillé
Tuesday, 28 February 2023
Tomasz Kot and me
I recently discovered one thing about Polish actor Tomasz Kot. I know very little about the man, in fact I have never seen (as far as I know) any movie or TV series with him in the cast. I learned of his existence when he was rumoured to be considered for the villain in the last Bond movie, which of course did not happen. But hey, him and me have one thing in common: we were born on the exact same date. Same day, same year. So we have the exact same age. And I just find this kind of a funny coincidence, if completely trivial.
Trains écolos en Allemagne
Voici une petite nouvelle dans la grosse Presse qui m'a bien fait plaisir: afin d'atteindre la carboneutralité, une compagnie ferroviaire allemande utilise de la vaisselle réutilisable dans ses trains. Je me réjouis de ça pas tant pour des raisons environnementales (quoique c'est bien), mais pour une raison de propreté. La quantité de déchets qu'on peut trouver dans un train me décourage toujours beaucoup. C'est mon moyen de transport préféré, alors qu'on améliore certains de ses aspects me réjouis beaucoup. Et j'espère ouvoir revisiter l'Allemagne et y voyager en train.
Monday, 27 February 2023
15 years of blogging
I forgot to mention something two days ago:the 25th of February was the date of my first post on this blog. I have been blogging for 15 years. To say that I enjoy it is an understatement: I love blogging. Not sure why. There are more modern channels/mediums on social media, but this is the one I love the most. It's like having a personal journal, but for anybody to read, if they are so inclined. When I started Vraie Fiction, I was unemployed, bored and thought I could use my free time like this. It was also a dreary, depressing February, like February often is, so I thought this could cheer me up. I guess it did. In any case, I have been blogging ever since and I try to write two posts daily, one in English and one in French, even if it is for trivial matters. So yeah, I hope you enjoy Vraie Fiction, in any case.