Sunday 3 December 2023
Saturday 2 December 2023
You probably know my love for The French Connection. What you might not know is that it is one of the movies I like to watch for Christmas. I consider it a Christmas movie, or to be more precise a Christmascrime film. I think I need to hashtag that term and make it a thing on social media. But I digress. The French Connection is a Christmas film because a good portion of it, from the beginning to its middle at least, is set around Christmastime. And main character Popeye Doyle is introduced wearing a Santa Claus costume, which is in itself an excellent reason. It happens in a scene that is both comical and yet genuinely immersive. Doyle comes off not as a joke, but like a driven cop ready to do what it takes to get his man. The chase and the subsequent interrogation scene are a piece of anthology and I am sharing it here for you to appreciate. For some people, Christmas is about Hans Gruber falling from Nakatomi Tower. For me, it's about Popeye Doyle dressed as Santa running after a drug dealer and not caring one bit about what he's wearing.
Friday 1 December 2023
Thursday 30 November 2023
Tuesday 28 November 2023
It is getting colder and colder here, which makes me very happy. It feels like winter in everything but one point: there's been no snow so far. In other words, it does not look like winter, not like the winters I know anyway. My wife told me yesterday that it might actually snow by the end of the week. I don't know where she got that from. I double checked the weather forecasts for our area and, while the temperatures will drop slightly below zero, there is so far no risk of snow, not even a low one. I will not hold my breath, I won't even hope. But maybe, just maybe, these lower temperatures are a sign of things to come, maybe not this week, but next month.
Sunday 26 November 2023
Saturday 25 November 2023
Friday 24 November 2023
Wednesday 22 November 2023
I had to commemorate it: today is the anniversary of the death of Anthony Burgess. The author of A Clockwork Orange , which made me discover him. I posted in 2017 about how I learned of his passing. It was the same kind of experience people have when they learned of the death of JFK. You might also want to read this post from 2008. Anyway, 30 years after his death, he is still my favourite author.
Tuesday 21 November 2023
Monday 20 November 2023
Sunday 19 November 2023
Je saisque je suis en retard sur les nouvelles, mais celle-ci est une nouvelle triste et je ne savais pas trop comment la commenter, sinon en musique. Voici donc une des chansons du répertoire des Cowboys Fringants, chantée avec l'OSM. Je crois que c'est de circonstances. Les Cowboys ont chanté le Québec comme peu de groupes. Ils sont les descendants directs de Beau Dommage et des Colocs. Je ne sais pas s'ils vont survivre à la mort de Karl Tremblay, mais l'étoile des Cowboys, comme celle de leur chanteur, brillera toujours pour le Québec et les Québécois.
Saturday 18 November 2023
Friday 17 November 2023
Wednesday 15 November 2023
We were waiting for Wolfie to get out of school yesterday when I heard a mum ask another mum, who was wearing some trendy suede shoes that looked like slippers: "How can you keep your shoes so clean when it is so muddy everywhere?" The reply of the trendy shoed mum: "I keep my children at arm's lenght when we go out." It made everyone laugh. It is true that kids can get quite messy. Anyway, this deserves to be saved here as a new great unknown line.
Je dois toutde suite commenter une nouvelle importante pour les Fêtes qui s'en viennent: la grille-horaire de Ciné-cadeau 2023 est sortie aujourd'hui. La cuvée Ciné-cadeau, comme je l'appelle. Qu'en pensez-vous? Je vais regarder ça tranquillement et donner mon avis (ou pas) dans un prochain billet. On peut commencer à penser à Noël au Québec quand on connaît la teneur de la cuvée Ciné-cadeau.
So as you know, I now spend my whole month of November celebrating #Noirvember, the month where people watch noir movies. That is my big activity this month. Not only watching crime fiction movies (and tv series), but also and especially reading crime fiction. I do this all year round, to be honest, but I have decided that I put the emphasis on it this month. People complain that November is grey, let's make it Noir. So yeah, I am very slowly reading a very noir book and in the meantime I have been binge watching crime films. Mostly on Netflix, sometimes on BBC. I intend to speed up my reading a bit, so I will binge read as well as binge watch. But I would love to receive suggestions from you: what movie or tv series would you recommend? And what crime novels? It has to be violent, maybe even nasty, it does not have to be pure Noir, but it cannot be light. Please leave a comment with your suggestions.
Monday 13 November 2023
It happened a few nights ago, just when I was in bed, trying to sleep. I heard a hoot, I think it was a hoot anyway. I heard it before, back in 2016, but I am not sure I heard an owl in the neighbourhood ever since. Or at least I don't remember. I got up and looked at the window, to check if I could see the owl in question. We have a few trees behind our house, I suspected it might be hanging nearby Not a trace, but obviously it was dark. I will be on the lookout for owls in the neighbourhood from now on, will eep my eyes and ears open. Owls are cool, so I'm glad we have one nearby.
Bon, j'ai passé la barre des 700 billets depuis un bout et l'année n'est pas finie. D'habitude, j'essaie d,avoir environ 730 billets, deux par jour, un en français et un en anglais. J'ai quelques projets d'écriture d'une autre nature qui vont me tenir occupé, sans compter le reste (lecture, vie familiale, etc.) Je vais donc tenter de ralentir le rythme d'ici à la fin de l'année. Le blogue va hiberner un peu, en quelque sorte. Je dis un peu, parce que je risque de trouver l'inspiration pareil, surtout que les Fêtes s'en viennent. Mais ne vous étonnez pas si je saute un ou deux jours de temps à autre.
Sunday 12 November 2023
Saturday 11 November 2023
Friday 10 November 2023
Wednesday 8 November 2023
Quick anecdotal post, I have something to tell. We have team building activities at work, about once a week, we spend time on a Zoom or a Teams call and we play a game or two, sometimes there are incentives with it (early finish on Friday, freebies, etc.) We played one this afternoon, when we had to guess what objects was hidden in a bag held by our manager. We could ask questions about the nature of the object. One of them, our manager explained that it was "something you put on your body to protect yourself". I could not help it, I said: "Is it a condom?" It made everyone laugh. But no, it was sunglasses. Still, I think my little witticism deserves to be a new great unknown line.
Tuesday 7 November 2023
Here is a bit of railway amd zoological news that caught my attention recently: a rescued bear travelled from Sweden to Devon via the Eurotunnel. I love bears and trains, I enjoyed my time in Devon a few years back, I love Sweden too on top of all that, so of course it caught my attention. No but, you read this and there are two things that come to my mind: 1)this is such a cute, heartwarming story, like most stories involving rescued animals, especially bears. 2)A bear travelling by train? That is epic, no matter the details. So welcome to your new home, Diego. I hope you like it here.
Monday 6 November 2023
Sunday 5 November 2023
Tonight is Bonfire Night. Not my favourite special day, I quickly get bored with fireworks, which seems to be all it is about, when you think of it. In this country, it is the big event in November, at least the biggest celebration in November. Unfortunately, it is also set early in the month. After that, all we are left with here are the fireworks. But hey, I do like the smell of bonfire if nothing else. That said, there are other fun things to do in November in this country. The English Heritage mentioned its top five. Here we have my wife's birthday in a few days. That should keep us entertained. And you, what are you planning to do this November?
Saturday 4 November 2023
With all the busy month I had last month, I did not have time to blog about one bit of exciting news that made my in-laws very happy. Well, my father-in-law that is: South Africa won the Rugby World Cup. He is South African and a lifelong supporter of the Springboks. Wolfie was happy too: he wanted South Africa to win. I have yet to watch a full match and understand any of it (I had a crash course, but that was a long time ago.) Yet, I have decided to support South Africa on principle: because of my in-laws, because Wolfie now supports South Africa, because I love many South African artists (okay, not that many, but those I love, I really love) and well, these are all very good reasons. So yeah, I come late at the party, but congratulations Bokke, you were, you are, amazing.
Thursday 2 November 2023
Wednesday 1 November 2023
Here we are again, here we go again. Halloween is over already. It goes way too quickly. And sorry for the clichés. And it is on a Wednesday on top of that, so the month starts right in the middle of a week, when I am at my most exhausted, generally. I have made my peace with November, a month I used to dislike, partially because it is still autumn. And for other reasons, which I mentioned before and will blog about soon enough. So now I kind of like November. Except, of course, today. On the first of November, I have the post-Halloween blues, no matter what. I think I have to process that there is a year to go until my favourite holiday is back again.
C'est une tradition de Vraie Fiction: je cite le début de La ballade de la mer salée d'Hugo Pratt, qui est aussi la première aventure de Corto Maltese. Parce que c'est la Toussaint, ou "Tarowean", comme ils disent dans le texte. Une fête que je n'aime pas, sauf dans cette page.
Tuesday 31 October 2023
Monday 30 October 2023
Sunday 29 October 2023
Bon, une fois par année quand l'Halloween approche, c'est une tradition sur ce blogue: je partage une vidéo de la la Danse Macabre, celle de Camille Saint-Saëns. Une vidéo toute fraîche d'hier faite exclusivement pour l'Halloween.