Tuesday, 25 October 2016

"Doing the exorcism"

For tonight's countdown to Halloween post, a silly anecdote regarding my life as a new dad. Everybody here knows The Exorcist and if you have not seen it you heard of it at least. It is not my favourite horror movie, not even my favourite William Friedkin movie. (I will let you guess which one it is. One clue: I have blogged about it a few times before.) Nevertheless, it is a solid, entertaining, more importantly intelligent horror film, even though it sometimes feels like Catholic propaganda. But anyway, most people remember the gross scenes in it, including of course the vomiting. So when I have to make little Wolfie belch, as he does burps a lot of milk, I call it "doing the exorcism". So that's it. There is nothing else to it. And I know it is not as dramatic as having his child possessed by the Devil, but when he throws up milk, it sure feels like an exorcism. And just for kick and because Halloween is coming, I thought I would add the theme music of the movie.

L'Halloween à Québec, prise 2

J'écris une fois de plus sur l'Halloween à Québec. Je regrette de n'avoir pas passé plus de temps dans la ville en automne. En fait, je me demande si j'ai jamais passé du temps à Québec en automne autrement qu'en transit entre Montréal et Chicoutimi. J'en fais l'expérience cette année par les photos de mon père. Celle-ci je l'aime beaucoup, parce qu'on y voit un épouvantable épouvantail qui se cache derrière un arbre, comme prêt à nous sauter dessus. Bon, il est peut-être plus espiègle que maléfique, mais j'ai vraiment beaucoup aimé. Comme je suis fasciné par les épouvantails et par leur potentiel terrifiant, il tombe sous le sens que je crois qu'ils ont une place privilégiée comme déccorations d'Halloween.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Daylight Horror

This my second countdown to Halloween post of the day, the first one was in French. I took this picture in Devon, between Totnes and Dartington I think, and I am merely using it to illustrate this post's topic. I have been thinking about it since I read this entry on TV tropes about daylight horrors. It is a beautiful autumn day today, the sun is shining with this particular autumnal light, and yet I find the day eerie as a dark Halloween night could be. We often forget that days can also bring its share of fear and that evil can also dwell in the sun. Ghosts and monsters do not have to exclusively manifest themselves when darkness falls. TV Tropes make an impressive but not exhaustive list of examples of daylight horror. I found many occurences of this trope in the reading of scary stories over the years. I think daylight brings a sense of vulnerability to the character and also of the unexpected: you don't think you could be in danger in such environment, especially not find a supernatural threat. And yet... it can happen. And if it does, you have nowhere to hide. Look at this photo and let this sink in.

L'Halloween à Québec

Mon père m'a envoyé des photos de Québec (la ville) prise en fin de semaine. La ville est décorée pour l'Halloween et c'est vraiment superbe. On y voit d'étranges créatures, dont cette dame-épouvantail qui garde une récolte de citrouilles pas encore lampions. Québec a toujours été superbe en automne, je regrette de ne pas avoir eu le temps de m'y attarder lors de mes derniers voyages. Les décorations de l'Halloween y sont vraiment utilisées à leur plein effet.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

The signs of the werewolf

This is tonight's countdown to Halloween post and is a simple anecdote. A week ago, we went to visit the family of the blonde Tickler. The Tickler was as usual adoring our little Wolfie, spending her time cooing and taking pictures of him. I told her: "I don't know if you have noticed something abour our son. He has hair from birth. He has pointy ears. His mother was never baptised and his father has not been to confession for more than seven years. These signs all point to one thing and we better face it: Wolfie is a werewolf." She laughed. She does not mind of course as she finds werewolves cute. Anyway, it is a new great unknown line.

Les soirs d'automne

J'ai récemment blogué sur les matins d'automne, j'ai pensé ce soir bloguer sur... les soirs d'automne. Juste quand les ombres s'allongent et que l'air devient plus frais. J'aime l'atmosphère des soirs d'automne et particulièrement le moment où la nuit commence à tomber, quand les ombres ne couvrent pas encore tout et que les couleurs sont encore visibles. Ici, elles ne sont pas aussi magnifiques qu'au Québec je crois, mais elles sont néanmoins jolies. Et puis le soir tombe de plus en plus tôt ces temps-ci, pour mon plus grand plaisir.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Childhood frights

As you know, I have a countdown to Halloween on this blog, but this year I decided to have one, albeit not as regular, on Facebook as well. So as no Halloween season would be completed without it, I decided to plug the ghost stories of M.R. James, accompanied with this picture of the copy I have of his work. One of my friends (I won't name her but she reads this blog) asked me if these were the bedtime stories I read for my newborn son. I replied: "No, he's a bit young for that and his mother would not allow me. I'll wait until he is five or something." I think this deserves to be a new great unknown line. Because albeit I don't intend to tell him such horror stories that young, I know children love to have a good fright for fun. In spite of an early fascination for horror stories, I only managed to discover them when I was a teenager as my own mother could not forbid me to read them anymore. I only found out the likes of M.R. James as an adult and I do think I missed something I could have discovered before. So I do not intend to be overly protective with my son regarding this, if he shares the same fascination I had.

Le dilemme du papa blogueur

Vous avez remarqué que depuis la naissance de petit loup, je blogue moins, pour des raisons évidentes. Enfin, une raison évidente: petit loup prend pas mal de mon temps. Pourtant, j'aimerais pouvoir bloguer plus souvent, paradoxalement parce que mon nouveau rôle de père me donne pleins d'anecdotes et d'observations à partager. Mais, outre le manque de temps, je manque d'énergie. Et puis je dois me consacrer à mon fils. Pourtant, il y aurait moyen de combiner un peu de ma vie familiale avec Vraie Fiction: ma belle-mère a lu à ma femme un journal que tenait son grand frère lorsqu'elle est née. Je pourrais faire la même chose avec le blogue. Enfin, on verra. Il me faut du temps et de l'énergie que je n'ai pas.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Fear the clowns

I could not have a countdown to Halloween this year without mentioning the recent clown scare. I took this picture last year in Montreal, proof that the association between clowns and horror is nothing new. In fact, according to this article from The Telegraph, creepy and scary clowns are as old as there are clowns. I have never liked clowns myself and often felt uneasy about them. You can guess I have a bit of coulrophobia. And for good reasons. Clowns are deformed, grotesque even, they spend time humiliating each other in slapstick and they don't act rationally. There is very little difference, intrinsically, between a clown and a madman. Pennywise is a devil in clown form. The Joker is a clown. Michael Myers commits his first murder (at five!) disguised as a clown. So fear the clowns.

Le retour du macaroni au fromage...

Bon, je ne voulais pas faire de billet gastronomique de si tôt, mais devinez ce qu'on a mangé récemment? Oui, le meilleur macaroni au fromage au monde (détails et recette ici). Le secret, ce sont les câpres et la moutarde de Dijon pour la saveur. Mais enfin bref, on avait décidé de le cuisiner pour de la visite (mon beau-frère, sa femme et notre nièce) venue voir le petit loup. Ils sont restés rien que pour un thé finalement, alors on a eu ça pour souper et pour nos autres soupers et c'est pas grave, parce que c'est aussi bon sinon meilleur réchauffé. Et c'est le temps idéal pour de la nourriture consistante. Morale de l'histoire: ils ont manqué quelque chose et vous aussi si vous ne l'essayez pas.

Monday, 17 October 2016

First Pumpkin

Quick countdown to Halloween post for tonight, I have simply one thing to mention: we bought our first pumpkin for our Jack O'Lanterns on Saturday, the 15th.We had ordered a "Monster Pumpkin" from Sainsbury's, for whatever reason they could only find us a "normal" sized one. Which means, by my standards of Halloween aficionado who grew up in a country that new decent pumpkin sizes, a borderline small specimen. But hey, that is our first one. We will have more and hopefully bigger.

Un dessert de l'Halloween (pour PS)

Tiens, dans ses billets récents, j'ai vu que Prof Solitaire a repris la guerre des photos décadentes de desserts.Oui, oui, allez voir son blogue, c'est plein de food porn. Alors je réplique en commençant par cette photo de gâteau d'Halloween, englouti l'année dernière. Un cupcake, comme ils disent, avec quasiment plus de crème que de gâteau. Et c'était bon pas rien qu'un peu...

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Halloween at the local sweet shop

I took this picture yesterday in the morning just before the local sweet shop opened and I thought I used it for today's countdown to Halloween post. I think they surpass themselves and did a far more impressive display than what I showed last year. You have the usual pumpkins, jack o'lanterns, ghosts a tad less spiders, but those witches, those witches! They look so evil! I wonder if there is any of their poisons that ended up in some of the candies there. Let this be a warning to the gluttonous trick or treaters. After going downtown to get a flue jab (in case you were wondering what I was doing there in the morning, I guess I was particularly sensitive to the presence of these malevolent old ladies. But in any case, what a great display!

Question existentielle (293)

Ceci est ma première question existentielle d'octobre cette année, peut-être la seule. Comme de raison, elle concerne le mois:

-Quelle est la température idéale du mois d'octobre?

J'ai comme une idée, mais je suis curieux d'entendre les vôtres.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Spooky minded child

This is tonight's countdown to Halloween post. I know I do not blog as often this October as I used to, because obviously I am adjusting to my life as a new father. And having a baby means receiving a lot of attention from family and friends. So we had two visitors today who came to see Wolfie: my wife's former colleague in her old job and her son of three and a half. He is a sweet sociable boy, very chatty, who seemed to like our baby, but was maybe more interested about Domino, the scarecrows we have in the garden and... the Halloween decorations. He asked me loads about them and got fascinated by the old skeleton mask I had bought years ago, with the skeleton gloves that came with it. So he spent half his time wearing this huge mask and playing the child skeleton with an overgrown skull. His mother observed that children love to be scared for fun. This is absolutely true, especially of this one. When it was time for them to leave, he said: "but I don't want to go!" because he loved the place so much. So I think I have found a Halloween disciple.

Le Silence (la photo du mois)

Pour ce mois-ci, j'ai décidé de télécharger à nouveau une photo du York Castle Museum. Le thème étant Le Silence choisi par Sinuaisons ma photo est celle... d'un orgue de Barbarie. Vous allez me dire que les orgues de Barbarie ne sont pas silencieux. Je vous demanderai donc si vous entendez celui-ci, ou un autre. En fait, entend-on encore des orgues de Barbarie dans nos villes? J'ai bien entendu celui-ci jouer et ce fut un moment magique où l'on était transporté dans une autre époque. Mais les orgues de Barbarie se font malgré tout bien silencieux de nos jours, d'où cette photo pour ce thème.

Allez voir ce qu'ont vu (mais pas entendu) les autres participants:

Akaieric, Alban, Alexinparis, Alice Wonderland, Angélique, Aude, Autour de Cia, BiGBuGS, Blogoth67, Brindille, Calamonique, Champagne, Chat bleu, Chiffons and Co, Christophe, Cricriyom from Paris, Cécile, CécileP, Céline in Paris, Danièle.B, DelphineF, Dr. CaSo, E, El Padawan, Escribouillages, Estelle, Eurydice, Evasion Conseil, François le Niçois, Frédéric, Gilsoub, Gine, Giselle 43, J'habite à Waterford, Je suis partie voyager, Josette, Josiane, Kenza, KK-huète En Bretannie, Koalisa, Krn, La Fille de l'Air, La Tribu de Chacha, Lair_co, Lau* des montagnes, Laurent Nicolas, Lavandine, Lavandine83, Lilou Soleillant, Luckasetmoi, Lyonelk, magda627, Mamysoren, Mirovinben, Mon Album Photo, Morgane Byloos Photography, Nanouk, Nicky, Noz & 'Lo, Philae, Philisine Cave, Pilisi, Renepaulhenry, Sense Away, Sinuaisons, Sous mon arbre, Tambour Major, Testinaute, The Beauty is in the Walking, Tuxana, Who cares?, Wolverine, Xoliv\', écri'turbulente.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Pumpkin carving party?

This is not one of my Jack O'Lanterns, but one I saw when I walked on Halloween night during trick or treat time. I make far better Jack O'Lanterns (see here) if I may say so myself. But anyway, we might have a bit of special event in the nights before Halloween, an idea I have had for a long time and which might happen this year: my wife and I invited the Ticklers to a pumpkin carving evening. They enthusiastically agreed. It will be time to tell stories, listen to spooky music (not too spooky as I don't want to scare my son) and of course smelling the lovely smell of pumpkin when you empty them. Overall, pure eerie fun. That is, if I can buy pumpkins in time. Which I intend to work on this weekend.

Les matins d'automne québécois

Photo prise ce matin (enfin je crois) par la blonde de mon petit frère Andrew.  Un matin d'automne au Québec. Elle l'a facebookée ("lumière et couleur au matin") et j'ai décidé de la voler (je lui ai quand même demandé la permission cette fois-ci). Elle a un oeil pour trouver les sujets de belles photos (voir celle-ci). On a de jolis matins automnaux ici, mais ils ne valent pas ceux du Québec. Et je m'en ennuie énormément, surtout quand je vois une photo comme ça sur Facebook ou dans ma boîte de courriels.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Spooky teas!

 I shamelessly took this picture from the Facebook page of David's Tea. Because I had to and I hope they don't mind as it gives them free publicity. So here is the big news: their Halloween collection has arrived. And they surpassed themselves in their designs this year: vampire coffins, bat infusers, colour changing Nordic mug with haunted castle... I cannot enjoy their new brews, unfortunately, but I believe this is their best Halloween designs yet. Absolutely amazing.

Beethoven pour PJ

C'était la fête de mon frère PJ hier et j'ai décidé de lui offrir en retard pour cadeau virtuel sur ce blogue... le même cadeau que celui de l'année dernière. Enfin presque: un abrégé de la Fantaisie Chorale de Beethoven. Je voulais chercher autre chose, puis je me suis dit que c'est son préféré et en plus, c'est cette fois-ci son interprétation préférée (il a l'original alors il pourra écouter le reste à sa guise). Alors au diable l'originalité. Avec illustration du livre-disque biographique raconté aux enfants du Petit Ménestrel, parce que c'est, comme toutes les images des vieilles éditions de ces livres-disques, vraiment superbe.