Archive for Brittany

a journal of the plague, sword, and famine year

Posted in Books, Kids, Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2022 by xi'an

Read two successive books about seeking lost sisters, The Last House on Needless Street and Second Sister, after finishing the third book in a row involving a dead god, aptly named Three parts dead. This third one was rather enjoyable, thanks to the world construction, except for a blah ending. The first one, by Catriona Ward, is perplexing, complex and frankly a bit stretched in its gradual exposition of a multiple personality (disorder) patient. The “horror” side never really set for me, which is fine as it never does. Furthermore, this is the very first book I ever read where I saw a few words (correctly) written in Breton, as well as a thread with the Breton myth of ar Ankou, the local Death personification. Kudos for that! The second one, a physical book that I picked rather instinctively / hurriedly in a Barnes & Noble in Philadelphia is a thriller set in Hong Kong. Despite a bit too much of infodump on internet (in)security and hacking, and some caricaturesque sides, incl. the final coup de théâtre!, I enjoyed it as a page-turner. (But I now wonder if I am not getting prejudiced against Kindle books..!) Except for the anti-protest paragraph. Also read a nice BD, Les Animaux Dénaturés, borrowed from Andrew, which is an adaptation the 1952 book by Vercors, that I saw eons ago as a theatre play. The interrogation on what constitutes humanity (vs. simianity) is the driving force of the story, but it is somewhat marred by the killing of a newborn child that seems to negate the whole fight of the main characters.

Thanks to a short (train) visit to Coventry, I stayed overnight in the center of the city and enjoyed a fabulous dinner with friends at Jinseon Korean BBQ Restaurant, recently reviewed by Jay Rayner in The Guardian. Marinated thin slices of beef, pork, and lamb almost immediately cooked on the white hot (ring) coals, along rice and plenty of kimchi and hot sauce. And a sip of soju. Not an everyday fare, for sure, but quite delightful (and even more as my single true meal over two days!)

Watched a fraction of Swedish Black Crab, with Naomi Rapace playing the central character, but despite potential connections with the current survival war of Ukraine against the Russian terror, I quickly lost interest in the very shallow plot and in the accumulation of unrealistic scenes and heavily programmed eliminations of the characters (sorry for the spoiler!). For one thing, expert skaters skating 100km should not take days to cover the distance. For another, a military commando operating in the far North should wear appropriate clothes, not a sweater and a loose scarf!  Luckily enough, I have had no screen nearby [me] to distract me on my round trip flight to NYC from reviewing Biometrika submissions. (The flight back to Paris amazingly took less than 6 hours, thanks to extremely strong tail winds.)

busted!

Posted in University life, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on September 6, 2022 by xi'an

My 2017 EliteBook HP laptop broke in the most bizarre fashion, in that the battery started inflating to the point of pushing the back cover (and stopped functioning as well). It happened at the worst moment, of course, as I was boarding a train to Brittany for family matters, whose power plug kept cutting every five minutes. I did not realise the entire issue with the battery until I reached my final destination and rushed to a computer repair shop, which did not want to do anything on the spot (of course!) but pointed out to me the problem with the back cover.  Which I removed a few minutes later in a lawnmower repair shop, held by a dear cousin of mine. Now, the laptop is still working, but waiting for a new battery I ordered as soon as I saw the state of the old one..!

raving…

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on June 19, 2022 by xi'an

Atlantic swim [jatp]

Posted in pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2022 by xi'an

angelic visit to Mt St Michel

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , on May 24, 2022 by xi'an

%d bloggers like this: