Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Missing trains


Well, no, I did not miss any train today. But I miss certain things about them: the atmosphere of an old train station, which I have not seen in a while, the family's LGB electric train, and old fashioned steamed train travels like we had in Devon. This picture, by the way, was taken in the Totnes Museum. Since trains exist, it seems that children think they are the quintessential toy, the perfect setting for make belief games and a thing of wonder and excitement. I never get bored of trains, even as an adult. I was thinking about all these trains this morning, waiting for the banal train that I take every day for my commute. The station in this town is only a platform, there is not even a ticket machine. But it used to be a proper train station, with many platforms and railways going to every town around, not only in one single track. I thought about it as there were workmen building something in the large vacant space next to the platform. I don't know what yet. I know it is not new tracks. I know this town will probably never regain its past railway glory. Still, I do hope they will turn the platform into something closer to a proper train station. With the atmosphere coming with it.

Un renard dans la neige

C'est la Sainte-Catherine, mais je n'ai pas envie de bloguer sur ce sujet. J'ai reçu de nouvelles photos de mon père, prises dans le lot de mes oncles par des caméras de surveillances infrarouge. Dont celle de ce renard. Je sais que Vraie Fiction pourrait s'appeler "vie animale" ces temps-ci, mais on voit vraiment bien le renard, alors j'ai décidé de la télécharger dès ce soir. Suis-je le seul à aimer le renards? Il fut un temps où c'était mon animal préféré.

Monday, 24 November 2014

English fog

If this picture looks familiar to you, it is because I uploaded it before. I could not resist to use it again this year. I have been waiting a long while for it. Because November so far has been... foggy. Well, more often it was misty really, but we had a decent display of fog. In any case, the town and its surroundings gets blurry. There was a beautiful mist on my train journey to work this morning. It was not very thick, sadly not enough to make my commute longer, but it was nevertheless very atmospheric. English November is as its nicest when there is fog around. And no fog is as beautiful as English fog.

C'est arrivé près de chez nous

Des fois on se dit que rien ne se passe dans les villes perdues loin des grands centres. Genre: pas de drames, pas de grandes catastrophe, pas de crimes scabreux, pas de crimes du tout, en fait. Bien ma mère m'a raconté une histoire chicoutimienne qui est arrivée récemment: un vol à l'étalage d'un dopé aux métamphétamines, qui s'est enfui du lieu du larcin en prenant une voiture qu'il avait volée sous la menace (au couteau)... Un vol à l'étale au Canadian Tire de Place du Royaume. Qui ensuite a mené au stationnement d'Archambault. Lequel est, sans donner trop de détails, assez près de chez moi. Des voisins ont même été témoins d'une partie de la poursuite et de la capture manu militari de l'homme. À glacer le sang, à y penser. Mais qu'on ne vienne plus me dire qu'il ne se passe jamais rien au Saguenay.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Time for mulled wine

I took this picture last Thursday, in the local restaurant above the main street. It is a picture of the mulled wine I had. I truly discovered mulled wine last year, when I had this particular one, which was completely out of this world. This one was decent, but not outstanding. In the weeks coming to Christmas, I will make it one of my new poisons. Not to the point of replacing beer, especially not since wintery ales can be delicious, but there is just something about warming up with mulled wine on a cold winter night. If you have any recipe to suggest, please tell me.

Un cerf aux bois

Cette photo a été prise dans le Derbyshire. Elle a été prise dans le même sanctuaire où j'ai pris les récentes photos de hiboux téléchargées sur Vraie Fiction. J'y ai pensé en publiant ce billet. C'est une photo plus automnale qu'hivernale, et on n'était pas vraiment dans un bois, mais le chevreuil a des bois assez impressionnants (même si on les voit très mal), donc j'ai pensé la mettre ici. Surtout que l'automne et l'hiver se ressemblent en Angleterre. Et puis il y a le calembour atroce du titre, rien que pour ça, il fallait une photo pour aller avec.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Anthony Burgess, In Memoriam

Today, 21 years ago, Anthony Burgess died. Back in 1993, I discovered his writing when I first read A Clockwork Orange, after having discovered a few months before the movie. A few weeks before he died, actually. It was an epiphany for me, as I mentioned before. He quickly became my favorite writer. Some people remember what they were doing when they learned President Kennedy's death. I remember how I learned of his death: on my way to high school, picking up friends, as they were watching the midday news. I had only read one novel of him, and it already affected me deeply. Years later, I had the chance to meet his widow a few months before she died. But I digress. I often blogged about Burgess, but never commemorated his death until tonight. It was about time.

Les soirs d'hiver...

Je télécharge une chanson de Félix Leclerc ce soir, parce qu'elle gagne à être connue. Une des plus évocatrice, je crois. Les soirs d'hiver, parce que nous sommes déjà l'hiver, à tout le moins en esprit. Je crois que c'est une chanson qui porte sur la perpétuation des traditions. J'aime son petit côté subversif: le Diable y est vu comme un créateur. Enfin, j'aimerais bien en faire une analyse poussée, mais pour le moment je vous l'offre ici. Dites-moi ce que vous en pensez.

The Signal Box Cafe in Totnes

It is Saturday and I am carrying my weekend tradition of plugging a restaurant or a pub to celebrate the weekend. This one is a restaurant of another kind entirely. It is barely a restaurant, in fact: a mere cafe in a tiny, tiny room. That is not as small as a signal box of old, but nearly. It certainly feels like it. It is the Signal Box Cafe in Totnes train station. My wife and I stopped there for a quick breakfast before taking the train home. It was an honest breakfast, nothing more, but nothing less. Perfectly filling and delicious. In an original and atmospheric setting. I love traveling by train, I love the atmosphere of train stations. The Signal Box Cafe was the most fitting place for a hungry traveler to have a meal and it completed the experience of the journey.

Le Salon du livre de Montréal

Si jamais vous êtes à Montréal et que vous ne savez pas quoi faire en fin de semaine: le Salon du livre bat son plein. Ca a commencé le 19 novembre, j'aurais dû souligner. J'y suis allé une fois dans ma vie, ce qui est étrange, parce que j'adore Montréal (mon deuxième chez-moi) et sa vie littéraire. Bon, son Salon du livre, je ne l'aime pas autant que celui du Saguenay, mais quand même, faudrait pas bouder son plaisir. Parce que c'est toujours plaisant, un Salon du livre.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Christmas lights

Christmas is more than a month away, yet I think it is time to start putting ourselves in a Christmas mood. And I am not the only one. It was yesterday that the good town's people of the little town where we live. I could not see the huge crowd that gathered then, because I was rushing home. I took this picture much, much later, in a local restaurant on the first floor of the large building facing the main street. My wife was playing flute in a local orchestra. It was the first Christmas concert of the Season, which has not even truly started yet. I enjoyed it drinking mulled wine.

So it was a lovely evening. It may have been a cool (sadly not cold or snowy) grey night, the streets were virtually deserted, but even though you see little of the lights, they do bring a festive atmosphere. The picture is far from great, but it is nevertheless a lovely view.

Un chevreuil et une pomme

Cette photo a été prise dans le lot de mes oncles par l'une des caméras infrarouge. Un chevreuil qui mange l'appât. Je vais faire un aveu tout de suite: je ne sais pas s'il a survécu. Mais le chevreuil est tout mignon, et d'un, et cette photo est joliment hivernale. Elle accompagne bien celle-ci, publiée par mois il y a peu de temps. Alors j'ai pensé la publier pour hivernaliser le blogue. Et parce qu'elle est mignonne.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Odin, In Memoriam

I had to blog about it, even though it is very hard for me: a year ago tonight, my beloved cat Odin died, hit by a car. My wife and I were heartbroken. We are still grieving, if I am honest. I often blogged about my beautiful feline friend, before and after his death, and it struck me that while I have many memories of him, probably some I have not shared yet, I have less and less pictures of him. Anyway, he was our cat for a very short period of time, only a few months, but he was our cat nevertheless. You can read his eulogy here, if you do not know about him. Today is Wednesday, the day of his namesake. A fitting time for an anniversary, however sad it is.

Question existentielle (246)

C'est à nouveau le temps d'une question existentielle, encore une fois une question littéraire. Et en passant, la 245 n'a pas été répondue. Mais voici la 246:

-Quelle est la meilleure librairie indépendante de Montréal?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Christoph Waltz as Blofeld?

I have blogged about a year ago about the possibility of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the nemesis of James Bond, to return haunting the British secret agent in future movies. Well, it seems that I may have my wish, at least according to the latest rumors about the production of Bond 24. Austrian actor Christoph Waltz has been apparently been cast in the movie, says the Daily Mail. And the role may be the villain of the movie and it may be Blofeld.

Now, Blofeld has been rumored to come back for a good while now, so it may be only that, the latest trend to an old non-story. But it would make sense to have Waltz in the role and I would love to see him in it. First, because like Blofeld, he is a bit of a chameleon: his face could look like the one of a wise, benevolent father figure (as in Django Unchained) or someone far more sinister, cold, efficient, lethal. He also has a face that could look a bit like Blofeld's in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, both aristocratic and malevolent even when amiable. While he is a bit older than Bond's nemesis, Christoph Ganz has about the same age and he is noticeably older than Daniel Craig, like Blofeld is older than Bond. While their respective nationalities are different: Waltz being Austrian and Blofeld Polish, Blofeld does have mixed blood and some of it is Germanic, at least this is what he claims in the novels. His name is Germanic.

So Christoph Waltz has the right look, the right background and more importantly the right acting skills. I am trying not to get too excited about the possibility, because there is truly very little evidence at this point, and far too much speculation. Still, if he plays the villain, it is a great casting choice. And he would be perfect for Blofeld.

Le pommier enneigé


Voici une photo du pommier familial sous la neige. Enfin, un des pommiers familiaux. Parce qu'il a neigé au Saguenay et partout sur le Québec. L'hiver là bas est bien arrivé. Première pensée qui m'est venue à l'esprit: les chanceux. Je veux de la neige. Ma seconde pensée: autant de pommes sont restées sur le pommier? À croire que mon père veut faire du cidre de glace. Ah oui, incidemment cette photo est une nature morte.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The owl of KANUK

Today, I am inspired about the changing seasons, as you can feel winter coming and autumn almost already gone. So I am shamelessly plugging a Quebec product, or rather its label.I have mentioned before, a couple of times, my KANUK coats. I have two: one for winter in Québec, a black one, the Coyote, and one lighter one, but which is perfect for mid-seasons and most of winter here in the UK, called the... Well, I have no idea: my father gave it to me as it didn't suit him.

What I love about Kanuk, apart from being quality clothes, is the label: the golden owl you can see on the picture. Kanuk has a bit of a bad reputation sometimes, partially because of its owl, which is very noticeable. So it has been accused to be a snobbish brand, too Montreal-centrist, too fashionable, too everything. But it keeps warm and it looks good, so I don't care. And I love the owl. Which is maybe a snowy owl. It looks like one anyway. In any case, it reminds me of home every time I wear it and makes me feel less homesick.

Message d'intérêt public

Tout d'abord, la photo du mois c'est par là. Mais ce n'est pas mon message d'intérêt public. Je voulais parler d'un récent billet du Pharmachien à propos de la vaccination. Il y dénonce de manière polie mais néanmoins mordante (c'est ce que j'aime das ses billets) le sensationnalisme de certains médias qui souvent essaient de donner une crédibilité à l'hostilité hystérique d'une partie de la population envers la vaccination. Il a écrit un autre excellent billet au sujet des vaccins par le passé. Je le recommande aussi.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

How time flies

A terrible cliché for a title, but I could not find anything better. Yesterday, the daughter of one of my best friends and the big sister of my godson joined Facebook. At 13. I remember holding her in my arms when she was a newborn. It is partially because she was so fond of me that I became the godfather of her brother. The other reason is that I have known their parents since my time in cégep, when they started dating. And now their older daughter is on Facebook. This was my moment of Memento Mori recently. Nevertheless, I am glad I can get in touch with her more often.

Voir la vie en rose (la photo du mois)


C'est le moment de la photo du mois, le thème est "voir la vie en rose", choisie par Arwen. Ca a été d'une simplicité désarmante à trouver: cette photo d'Odin sur la couverture à pique-nique. Parce qu'Odin était un chat noir qui avait l'air d'une petite panthère, comme tous les chats noirs. Parce qu'il y a une panthère rose. Parce qu'il est sur cette photo sur quelque chose de rose. Et surtout parce que lorsqu'Odin était vivant, il nous faisait voir la vie en rose, tout noir qu'il était. C'est la seconde fois que j'utilise Odin pour la photo du mois. À chaque fois, il s'est imposé d'emblée.

Vous pouvez voir comment/quand les autres voient la vie en rose aux liens suivants:

A'icha, Agathe, Agnès, Agrippine, Akaieric, Alban, Alexinparis, Angélique, Ann, Anne, Arwen, Aude, Autour de Cia, Ava, Bestofava, BiGBuGS, Blogoth67, Blue Edel, Brindille, Calamonique, Cara, CetO, Champagne, Chat bleu, Chloé, Christophe, Cocazzz, Crearine, Cricriyom from Paris, Cécile - Une quadra, Cécile Atch'oum, Céline in Paris, Dame Skarlette, DelphineF, Destination Montréal, Dr. CaSo, E, El Padawan, Estelle, Eurydice, Eva INside-EXpat, Fanfan Raccoon, François le Niçois, Frédéric, Gilsoub, Giselle 43, Gizeh, Guillaume, hibiscus, Homeos-tasie, Isa de fromSide2Side, Isa ToutSimplement, Isaquarel, Josette, Josiane, Julia, Kenza, KK-huète En Bretannie, Krn, La Dum, La Fille de l'Air, La Nantaise à Paris, Lau* des montagnes, Laulinea, Laurent Nicolas, Laurie, Lavandine, Lavandine83, Les bonheurs d'Anne & Alex, Les Filles du Web, Louisianne, Loulou, Luckasetmoi, Lyonelk, magda627, Mahlyn, Mamysoren, Maria Graphia, Marie, Marion, Marmotte, MauriceMonAmour, Memories from anywhere, Milla la galerie, Mimireliton, MissCarole, Morgane Byloos Photography, Nanouk, Nicky, Philae, Photo Tuto, Pilisi, Pixeline, princesse Emalia, Renepaulhenry, Rythme Indigo, Sailortoshyo, Salon de Thé, Sandrine, Sylvie, Tambour Major, Tataflo, Testinaute, Thalie, Tuxana, Vanilla, Woocares, Xoliv', Yvette la Chouette.