Saturday 30 September 2023
Friday 29 September 2023
Sad news which I learned earlier on thanks to the National Railway Museum: the Flying Scotsman crashed today. Thankfully, there seems to be no loss of lives and only two injured. I hope they get well soon. And I also hope the Scotsman itself will get repaired properly. I don't think of train crashes, it feels almost surreal. After the plane, it is the safest way of travelling, if I'm nor mistaken. It is certainly the most pleasant and the most comfortable.
Thursday 28 September 2023
Wednesday 27 September 2023
Petit loup a une amie avec qui il va parfois à l'école. Nous faisons du covoiturage avec les parents. Au retour de l'école et parfois à l'aller, ils vont ramasser des branches et des cocottes sur le chemin. L'amie de Wolfie est plus portée sur les branches, Wolfie sur les cocottes. Alors notre fils revient toujours à la maison les poches remplies de cocottes. Parfois, il me les donne, alors j'en trouve de temps en temps dans mes poches de manteau que j'avais oubliées. Pour les branches, ils ont trouvé un endroit ou deux où les stocker. Heureusement, ils n'en ramènent pas à la maison. Pas d'habitude en tout cas. Mais dans tous les cas, je me pose donc une question par rapport à tout ça: d'où vient cette fascination enfantine pour les branches et les cocottes? J'en ferai peut-être une question existentielle un de ces quatre.
Tuesday 26 September 2023
You may remember back in March, I blogged about the fact that I hadn't set foot in a Waterstones bookshop. A few months later, I found an out of date loyalty card I had totally forgotten. Well, last weekend we went to Windsor and I found time to spend a few minutes in the Waterstones branch there. A few years ago, I used to spend ages there, always finding a book or two to bring home. This time, ironically enough, I bought some stuff, but not a single book: a present formy wife's birthday and another for a friend. I think I did buy any literature partially because I did not spend much time there and partially because I want to encourage local businesses and thus keep my money for our independent bookshop. But hey, that was my last visit to a Waterstones.
Monday 25 September 2023
Sunday 24 September 2023
It is officially autumn everywhere now since yesterday, nobody can think otherwise. And I want to share some autumn music with you my readers. I may not be original, but I am sharing today the autumn concerto of The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi. You will notice subtitles in the video: they are taken from a sonnet written 300 years ago and they pretty much explain what the music represents. You don't really need them to ppreciate, but I thought it was interesting.
Saturday 23 September 2023
Friday 22 September 2023
L'équinoxe cette année, c'est demain. Et pour moi l'automne, c'est au début de septembre que ça commence, pas lors de l'équinoxe. Cela dit, c'est une tradition que de partager Le vingt-deux septembre de Georges Brassens sur Vraie Fiction, tant comme célébration de l'automne que de sa mélancolie. Alors donc...
Thursday 21 September 2023
I haven't shared a Wolfism for a long while, not since August, so I thought a new one was long overdue. I think all parents can relate to that one. But anyway, here it is. So Wolfie sometimes plays in his room, which of course gets in a sorry state, like a pandemonium of toys and other things. So he tried to reassure me once, telling me before playing: "Daddy, daddy, I will not make my room very messy, just a tiny little bit messy." Can't say I saw much of a difference, but it could have been worse I guess.
Très triste nouvelle que mon frère PJ m'a apprise: la boulangerie Le Fromentier ferme ses portes. Après 30 ans de service, autrement dit une institution. Pour diverses raisons: hausse des loyers, des taxes, concurrence, etc. C'est une énorme perte, je le dis sans ironie. C'est une partie du Plateau que j'ai toujours connu qui disparaît.
Wednesday 20 September 2023
This is what my manager told me this morning at the end of our one to one meeting: "Hey man, love your jumper!" I thanked him, told him that I had beenw aiting forever to wear warmer jumpers. Not that it is that cold now, but it is cooler and often rainy, so you need warmer clothes. This is an old turtleneck jumper my mum bought me a couple of years ago, kind of thin but it does the job when it is slightly beneath 20. Anyway, I am grateful for that reminder: autumn is most definitely here and I can now wear comfy clothes.
Tuesday 19 September 2023
Monday 18 September 2023
Sunday 17 September 2023
Saturday 16 September 2023
Tonight, we went to Pizza Express for dinner, to meet my wife's friend who wanted to introduce her new fiancé to us. I always loved Pizza Express: the food may not be fancy, but the quality is always reliable. But recently, there is something that has been bothering me: the Veneziana, my go-to pizza when i go there, is no longer on the menu. The Veneziana has everything I love in a pizza: capers, olives, and well, that's it. They also give a discretionary 25p to the Venice in Peril fund for every Veneziana sold. Well, they still do, except for every mushroom pizza sold, because they don't sell Veneziana anymore. My question is why? Why is it no longer on the menu? Because I don't care about mushroom pizza. I mean I really don't. And I am all for saving Venice, mind you, but I will donate to the charity directly rather than eat a mushroom pizza. In the end, the Veneziana allowed me to make a good deed while enjoying a dinner out. Since it is gone, I don't find the menu of Pizza Express so appealing anymore.
Friday 15 September 2023
Petite nouvelle pour les amateurs de train, donc pour les gens comme moi: on a trouvé des vestiges de chemin de fer à Montréal. dans le quartier Saint-Henri, au nord de la rue Notre-Dame. Pas grand-chose à dire, sauf que c'est une nouvelle cool.
Fair warming: today's post is another piece of autumnal chronicle. This is the case for pretty much all of Vraie Fiction when September arrives, but hey. I make the most of my favourite season. This post will also be about The Last Hunt, crime fiction novel by South African crime writer Deon Meyer, often mentionned here. There is a line that struck me when I first read it four years ago and that has remained in my mind since then. This line, in chapter 71, which starts Friday 1 September: "It was cool and overcast, as if autumn was recognising this offical date for change." You will have guessed that this part of the plot is not set in South Africa, as this would be the southern emisphere and the beginning of spring. But it just made me happy as the character whose point of view we are following this considers autumn to start with the first of September. Daniel Darret, you are a an after my own heart.
Thursday 14 September 2023
It was Wolfie's birthday a couple of days ago, as you may have guessed. This was his birthday cake, which I made myself: chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, KitKats on the side (two varieties) and Smarties on top (or rather the Smarties equivalent I bought at the local sweet shop). Delicious, but extremely fillin. When my wife saw it, she said: "I'm going to call this the Man Cake." I think this deserves to be a new great unknown line. As for the cake, I must say I'm quite proud of it. One of the best I've made, both in look and taste.
Wednesday 13 September 2023
Tuesday 12 September 2023
Monday 11 September 2023
Today is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. I have not forgotten. I will try to remain short, as I often blogged about it and I don't know if I can add all that much to what I have already said in the past. For my observations about this fateful day, please read this post from 2008 and this one from 2009. They are still the posts I am most proud of in all my years of blogging. Otherwise, there might be one thing that is worth adding: I find it tragic and often infuriating that nowadays, the United States is struggling with another sort of religious fundamentalism, not islamist this time, bu Christian, and that it brought its own homegrown domestic terrorism. Because I challenge anyone to tell me what is the intrinsic difference between a a MAGA supporter and/or a Christian fundie and an Islamist. No, cosmetic differences don't count.
Sunday 10 September 2023
Saturday 9 September 2023
Let's talk about cryptids for a moment. Monstrum has recently done a video on the Sasquatch, aka Bigfoot, which I found utterly fascinating (as always). And as usual with Monstrum, the art and animation are as interesting as the educational content.
Friday 8 September 2023
Thursday 7 September 2023
Well, here is a bit of good news for amateur of intelligent spy/action drama. You may remember from one of my previous posts that I got seriously hooked on Israeli tv series Fauda. It has suspense, gripping tension in fact, plenty of drama, heart, soul and also, on top of that, a fair bit of Krav Maga, which is always great. The series had so far four seasons, each outdoing the other in some way or the other. The last season had ended on a cliffhanger of sorts (I don't want to give too much away if you haven't watched it.) Well, I learned two days ago that there will be a fifth season. As Fauda is a drama where anyone can die and it ended on a cliffhanger, I am really eager to know more about what happened and who survived the last ordeal, if any. I know I will be tuning in as soon as it is released.
Wednesday 6 September 2023
Tuesday 5 September 2023
Well, what goes around comes around. I was so happy that we had a fairly cool summer, I naively expected September to be at least as cool. It turned out I was a proper fool: it is hot with temperatures above 25 and we are heading right into a heatwave. In bloody September. A heatwave. In autumn. This is not new, but this is disheartening. And the attitude of the people who apparently are happy to head to the beach and do one last barbecue is downright infuriating. We might have the hottest days of the year this week! In autumn? Oh bloody Hell!
Monday 4 September 2023
Today is the first day of shcool for Wolfie. Again. After a very short holiday (they do finish the year was too late in this country) of one month and a half or so, that gave us just the time to be all completely socially jetlagged as a family, it is back to the frantic morning routines. And it is a reminder that time goes way too fast. I always feel really sad when we kiss him goodbye at the school gate. Iam just not used to have my little boy growing up.
C'est la Fête du Travail aujourd'hui, du moins en Amérique du Nord. Ici, c'est un lundi comme un autre (en fait non, c'est la rentrée, mais pour un travailleur c'est un lundi comme un autre). J'essaie de souligner la Fête du Travail chaque année, même si je ne peux pas en profiter depuis que je suis un expatrié. Je préfèrerais et de loin un congé en septembre qu'un congé en août. Pour mes impressions sur aujourd'hui, lire ce billet de 2015 et celui-ci de 2020. Sinon, je vous souhaite un bon jour férié, chanceux que vous êtes.
Sunday 3 September 2023
Saturday 2 September 2023
Quick post today. I am so glad it is September at last, even though it is meant to be quite warm this week. But I digress. September means autumn is here and that is enough to make me happy. Fittingly enough, English Heritage published yesterday an article (blog post?) about the Top 5 Things To Do In September. They are a bit vague, but good for inspiration (not that I really need any inspiration, mind you). They are all good advices anyway, very autumn related and there is even a skip and you miss it link to Halloween (number 4 if you are wondering). Anyway, I might write my own list of things to do in September, but I am curious about yours. What do you intend to do this September? Please leave a comment.
C'est le premier samedi de septembre, une date spéciale pour les enfants et pour tous nos souvenirs d'enfance. C'est le temps de la rentrée télé et des émissions pour enfants, surtout les émissions du samedi matin, qui étaient sans doute les meilleures. J'ai déjà blogué sur le sujet. Je ne veux pas faire un blogue complet là dessus, alors je vais me contenter de poser une question existentielle:
-Quelle est la meilleure émission pour enfants ou dessin animé du samedi matin de tous les temps?
Friday 1 September 2023
Here is another food post about our holidays in Dorset. One day, we went to the Taste Café at Chesil Beach, just to see the, well, beach. Also to have lunch, as we had heard good things about it. I had the best meal of my whole stay. It's a fish platter: fried scampies, smoked salmon, prawns in sauce, some kind of mackerell pâté (the best!), tartare sauce, a baguette to go with that and some beetroot salad for vegs. I cannot stress how good it was. A simple café by the sea, next to the visitors centre. I wanted to go back there again, but we didn't have the opportunity. If you ever go this way, seriously, this is the café to go for lunch and this is the dish to order if like me you are pretty much pescetarian.
PS:Literally just after posting this I discovered that the café shut down yesterday, after ten years of business. This is heartbreaking. It's like I was writing their eulogy without knowing it. Really lovely place with friendly staff.
Ma cousine Amy l'artiste-photographe a, à l'instar de mon père (incidemment son oncle) pris des photos de champignons dans le bois. L'automne est bel et bien arrivé. Photo partagée ici avec la permission de l'artiste.