Quetzalcoatl – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday afternoon, my peeps! Hope your day is as fabulous as mine! (Got cut from work coz of the rain so… a rain day – think snow day in winter.)

I looked at this picture and thought… dang.  Then I sent it to my lovely buddy Marco (a man can be lovely, right?) over at Sorryless who said: Huitzilopochtli! And I said:  “How the fuck do you remember a name like ‘Huitzilopochtli’?” His response:  “Because he was an Aztec God.” Uh. Okay then. The man is brilliant, what can I say?  A whole discussion ensued and using bits and pieces and The Wickepedia, this nonsense was born. 

Thanks to our birthday girl, Rochelle for hosting this weekly party and thanks go out to Penny Gadd for causing me grief, I mean making me work… 🙂

As always, click on Monsieur Frogue below to add your 100-word story inspired by this image or to read others…

     Clique-moi

Quetzalcoatl

 

“Good God, Grace. What the hell kinda plant is that?  It’s positively evil-looking!”

“No idea, Steve.  I call him ‘Quetzalcoatl‘.

“Quetzal-what?”

“Quetzalcoatl.  Looks more like Huitzilopochtli but he was into sacrifices. Can’t have that.”

“You’re weird. It looks like tentacles waiting for me to come close enough to grab.”

“You watch too many horror movies. It’s affected your perception.  I call him that because I’ve been reading about the Aztec gods. He was the god of wind, air and learning or wisdom and it seemed fitting to put him up there. Don’t you think?”

“I think you read too much.”

 

Going Home Again – What Pegman Saw

This week Pegman takes us to the capital of Latvia, in Riga’s Old Town. Your mission is to write up 150 words inspired by the location. Feel free to use the image supplied, or venture around Riga for something that inspires you. You may write fact or fiction, poetry or prose. The only only requirement is to keep your piece at 150 words or less, as a consideration to others.

Once your piece is polished, share it with others using the linkup below. Reading and commenting is part of the fun!

Thank you Karen and Josh for giving us the opportunity to go digging about places we might not know at all. It makes this challenge all the more worthwhile!

©Reinis Hofmanis

Click me to play!

Going Home Again

The three blocks from the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto to the waiting car were the longest Misha had ever run. He could feel the fear of missing his chance burn his throat, leaving an acrid taste on his tongue. He could not know the Soviet Union would respond so calmly to his defection or that his family would not suffer repercussions for his betrayal.

Born in Riga, Latvia in 1948, he took his first ballet lesson at eleven, and was called to the Kirov ballet by nineteen. His talents dazzled audiences the world over and he soon felt stifled artistically.  His defection was never about politics.  “I am individualist and there it is a crime,” he was quoted as saying.

In 2017, forty-three years after that run for freedom, Mikhail Baryshnikov was invited back to his now independent birthplace and granted citizenship.

“I am no longer an outsider. I feel I belong.”

Canada Day in Quebec

Last week I shared with you our Saint Jean Baptiste or Fête Nationale in Québec and gave you a little history lesson. And how for some Anglos, this is just a day off from work and for most Francos, it holds pride on being French.

In Quebec, for many, Canada Day is just a day off. Like Victoria Day (only Quebecers celebrate Journée des Patriotes – Patriots Day) because in this province things are disinct… sorry, I digress!

Mick’s Flag

Now, I am what our Prime Minister Trudeau (father, not son) was hoping the people of his country would all be. Perfectly bilingual in both English and French. No matter what your province of birth is, you can be bilingual. However, that did not happen quite as he had hoped. About the only thing bilingual in the country is packaging. And I can go on and on about the laws and stuff but then I’ll just get myself worked up and that is not the point of this here post. What I am is, a Canadian, who happens to live in Quebec; not the other way around.  And like most Canadians, except for the staunchest Separatists, would be celebrating, if I weren’t working – coz I’m in the hospitality biz and there ain’t no holidays for that there group.

Peeps like to call it Canada’s birthday but that is over-simplifying things 😉  I found this on the internets and it perfectly sums things up:

“On July 1, 1867, the nation was officially born when the Constitution Act joined three provinces into one country: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Canada province, which then split into Ontario and Quebec. However, Canada was not completely independent of England until 1982. The holiday called Dominion Day was officially established in 1879, but it wasn’t observed by many Canadians, who considered themselves to be British citizens. Dominion Day started to catch on when the 50th anniversary of the confederation rolled around in 1917. In 1946, a bill was put forth to rename Dominion Day, but arguments in the House of Commons over what to call the holiday stalled the bill.

The 100th anniversary of the nation’s official creation in 1967 saw the growth of the spirit of Canadian patriotism, and Dominion Day celebrations really began to take off. Although quite a few Canadians already called the holiday Canada Day (Fête du Canada), the new name wasn’t formally adopted until October of 1982.”

—Source:  Mental Floss

Well how do you like them apples? I couldn’t have said it any better!

And in Quebec, July 1st is officially Moving Day… Crazy as that sounds, today will be Mover’s nightmare with trucks all over the place as people move from one apartment to another. Not a law but a tradition. Weird, but true.  How did this happen, you ask? I always thought it was because schools end their year on June 23rd, latest, so it is easier for parents to not screw up the kids’ school year. And it is for that reason but there is more.

It began as a humanitarian meaure by the Quebec government forbidding landlords from evicting their tenant farmers in the middle of winter. Sweet of them, no?  Apparently in the 18th century French law dictated that all legal documents begin on May 1 so that became the official unofficial start time for leases, going from May 1 to April 30.

In 1973, the Quebec government figured it would be even better to move this day to July 1st for the original reason I stated (to coincide with the end of the school year), plus we can still get crappy weather in the beginning of May, and, by moving it to an official holiday, people would not miss a day of work. Of course, that excludes the movers, doesn’t it?

Today’s history lesson is over 😉 I wish all of my Canadian readers a

And leave you with this little amusing and oh-so-silly video

And just so you know, I have never, EVER, used the word chesterfield for a sofa… and a few of the other expressions 😉

 

 

Fête Nationale au Québec

Today is June 24. For many, this simply is another day in the first days of official summer (northern hemisphere) month of June. In Quebec, it is something else entirely. It is supposedly celebrated by French Canadians across Canada and the few stragglers in the States as well – I have no proof of such celebrations so shall take Wikipedia’s word for it.

It is the feast day of St John the Baptist, a Jewish preacher who baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. So how the hell did he become the Patron Saint of Quebec?  And when did the patriotic and political tone for French Quebecers start? And why in the name of all that is holy did I choose to work in a place that is not only open, but is celebrating the anniversary of their opening business?

For many Quebec Anglos, it is simply a statutory holiday. I am one of the lucky ones who has both French and English, well, actually it is Scottish, blood flowing in my veins.  I don’t do that whole “barricade yourself in your house until it passes” thing. Actually, until I worked in a certain company, I had never heard of such a thing. Whatevs, I digress. I party like a Pea Soup on this day – coz I am.

So, because inquiring minds (me) want to know, I went a-digging to get the facts and figures and share with you, my readers, the whole story behind the Fête Nationale du Québec.

The Feast of Saint John the Baptist, or Midsummer, was a happening thing in the Ancien Régime (middle ages) of France. Stands to reason when the first French colonists came over to what became Acadia, they needed a reason to keep the party going. Let’s face it, life was not an easy thing over here in the wilds of Canada. Just think, the first recording of celebrations happened on the shores of Newfoundland in 1606 and then things got ever so more wild on June 23rd, 1636, on the banks of the St. Lawrence River when a bonfire was created and five cannon shots were fired.

In 1834, Ludger Duvernay, a journalist of influence for the newspaper La Minerve, and other patriotes, attended at St. Paddy’s Day parade in Montreal and said hey, if the Irish can have a day, why can’t the French Canadiens also?  And so, the charitable Association Saint-Jean Baptiste was formed and that following June 24th, there was held a grand banquet with 60 francophones and anglophones of Montreal where was sung the song Ô Canada! Mon pays, mes amours (Oh Canada, My country, my loves) – not to be confused with today’s national anthem “Oh, Canada”. The Canada in this song refers to Lower Canada, i.e. today’s southern Quebec. They repeated the celebrations in ’35, ’36 and ’37.

Of course, the English-French thing has been going on forever and a day here in Quebec and way back in those years, there was the Lower Canada Rebellion between les Patriotes québécois and the British so no celebrations happened again until 1843, when the official Saint Jean Baptiste Society, backed by the Catholic Church was formed and officially charted by 1849. Bonfires became a tradition and the first parades started happening.

Ah yes, the Patron Saint part… That happened in 1908.  This helped to re-enforce the connection between Saint Jean Baptiste Day and French-Canadian patriotism. By 1925, this day was declared a provincial holiday in Quebec and during the turbulent political 1960’s, this holiday became very political and by 1977 the holiday became known as La Fête Nationale du Québec, and was completely separated from the church.

Bonfires have been replaced by fireworks and the parades still take place (though, I for one, am not really a parade-goer so I refrain).  Last night from the windows of golf club (around 10 pm), I could see the fireworks happening. Could have been from my town of Boucherville, or the town of Ste-Julie or, nah… I don’t think we would have seen the ones from Montreal!

There were definitely fireworks happening in my home town and off a Facebook Page, I got the following beautiful shot

©Alain Lemay

Guess I’ll be participating in the celebrations vicariously through others once again this year.

Bonne Ste-Jean mes amis!

Till then, I leave you with one of my (many) favourite québécois chanteurs, one that brings me right back to my last year of high school, Paul Piché

A Moment in Time – Friday Fictioneers

Wow, haven’t written a Friday Fictioneers on a Thursday in ages. Proof positive my days have lost all sense of order. I barely know what time is what and I still can’t see a break on the horizon. ‘K. That’s the last of my whinging, I promise.  I would like to also apologise to my fellow fictioneers that I missed on the last two prompts. It’s not my style to not read each and every one of your submissions but time was not on my side! I promise to do better this week! Boxes be damned!

So, back to business. Thank you, Rochelle, for hosting this weekly party. And this week, thank you, Valerie, for this wonderful photo. I wanted to go in so many directions and well, this is what came out of all those starts and stops.

Click me! Click me!

 

A Moment in Time

The stew was simmering on the stove, needing only the occasional stir, the scents wafting throughout the kitchen. What was it about stew simmering that was so comforting?

The iron was being heated as well. Sunday’s Best must always be well pressed!

The morning chores had all been done and now it was time for a break. The puffs of steam meant tea was almost ready. Time for a good chin wag. Time to share stories or catch up on the latest gossip.

“You ready to move to the next exhibition?”

Startled out of her reverie, Julie smiled and nodded.

Korikancha – What Pegman Saw

Don’t think I’ve ever participated in a Pegman so late but there you go.  In my efforts to help this challenge stay alive, late is good, right?

Thanks to Josh and Karen for trying to keep this great challenge alive.

Today Pegman treks down to the Andes for a stroll through Cusco in central Peru. Once the capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco is now known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. Remember to breathe… the elevation is 11,000 feet.

Stroll around until you find a picture that grabs you and write 150 words. When you’re done, click on the froggy below to link your story and comment on others.

click me!

Korikancha

Pachacuti looked on from the beyond in disgust.  It is the end of us.  The great and powerful Inca are no more.  Those savage Spanish heathens – they dare call themselves conquistadors – have destroyed all that we are, that we built.  That I built.  My empire.

He watched as Atahualpa, the last Sapa Inca, was murdered despite the ransom agreed upon.  The fool!  80,000 men at his disposal and yet he was ambushed by one man, Hernando Pizzaro.

My beautiful Temple of the Sun, built with the finest ashlar masonry.  I wanted it to be more, so I had the sides plated with 700 sheets of gold for each of the gods: Inti (Sun), Killa (Moon), Chaska (Stars) and Illapa (Thunder/Lightning/Rainbow); the garden, adorned with silver and gold life-sized statues.

For what? To take all the treasures, destroy it and build an ugly church to pray to their supposed better god.

From Titan to Pillar – What Pegman Saw

Today Pegman takes a trip to Tbilisi, Georgia

This ancient cobblestoned city has a complicated history of Persian and Russian rule. Its diverse architecture encompasses Eastern Orthodox churches, ornate art nouveau buildings, and Soviet Modernist structures. Walk around and see what strikes your fancy.

The purpose of this prompt is to inspire you to write 150 words about this place. You can use the Google photo above or stroll around until you see something that strikes your fancy. When you’re done, remember to link your story to the others using the InLinkz frog below. Reading and commenting is half the fun.

So, that said, I did some searching and Googling, as this challenge is wont to make me do, and discovered that Greek Mythology has something to do with the Caucasus Mountains.  Who’d a thunk?

Click me to play!

From Titan to Pillar

“It’s bad enough you created man out of clay, Prometheus.  That much I can handle.  You were smart enough to side with us Olympians in the first Titanomachy.  Smart of you, by the way, saved you from being imprisoned in Tartarus.”

“Thanks, Zeus. I’m not stupid. I knew you were way more powerful than us.”

“Silence! You dared trick me into choosing the bones and fat of an ox and then gave the best meat to humanity?  I took away their fire, forcing them to eat their meat raw.  And what do you do?  How dare you!  You stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to them!  Do you realise how much power you have given them?”

“But—”

“But nothing!  For this you shall be taken far east and tied to the mountain in Caucasus, your liver to be pecked at and eaten daily by wild birds for eternity.”