Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Adieu 2008!

With this photo, taken from a vitrine in Regent street a few days ago, I am also telling "adieu" to the year that finishes today.

It is not "adieu" it is "au revoir".

Tomorrow the new year begins, new events will arrive. Perhaps not as much shaking up my life as this one, when I changed country, city, place to live and language I communicate, people I meet too. But for sure, surprises will come, bad some but good too.

I am looking forward it with hope and confidence.

My first six month in France were also full as was the last ones in Britain, London and UK is an exciting place to discover at any age.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Regent Street blue hour

The blue hour is when the sun is not yet all down and one can still se some of the details, even when they are not beautifully lightened like here.

Of course, on the Regent street, Saturday, I had no problem of lights on the beautiful buildings all around, all along it. Nor the vitrines.

More problem of course the people who where more suddenly in the dark, and so I took very little picture with people in it, this time.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A balerina

Not only she dances, but makes dances and takes videos of them, and what a graceful pose!

End of year, we review our last year, at least I use to do it, sometimes before the year leave me. This year it was a major jump through the Canal. Even if I have crossed through the Tunnel with the train.

Changing a few miles is not much thing, changing language is not easy and changing country either. But more then anything else it is a change of cultures.

I enjoy a lot the British Culture, very cosmopolitan as I see it so far, also there is a lot to learn yet. I love the seemingly open welcome, wherever I go, also I make a lot of missteps too, as I do not know unwritten customs. Not only each country has his, but also inside it each group.

With time, I'll find a group accepting me where I find myself well, as in France, probably they will be mostly people, who like me have come from some part. On the road, I meet lots of interesting, nice people!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Regent Street the Boxer day

It was an interesting afternoon, with lots of people around and the shops open and even lots of them with sales sign, although I did go there to experience and not to buy.

I did go finally in the new shop of National Geographic and I did finally buy a memory (more then before) for my camera: the prices, happilly for me are falling fast for all those things.

I feel that this, one of the first I took as my bus let me down in Regent street, one from 360, expresses the best what it is about, what I felt that it was. Somehow, the shoes and hands "tell all" about the elegance of the shops around there.

Some others tell the tale of bonded boulevard and small narrow old streets near it, too, I came home tired in spirit but my legs still going well: wonderful considering "me".

Great place, Regent street full of people, even if sometimes it was too much for me, but the other side then proved to be better, more easy to walk, and the side streets that beckoned me too.

It was only that old "sir" I met in a small library, living nearby, who complained "too many people". He never considered moving, just would have liked the place to be again "as I used to be" - I think, in colonial times.

Interesting experience, that encounter too. But why someone who lives in such an elegant street goes to MacDonald to drink his afternoon café?

Friday, December 26, 2008

My mother's birthday

I did give her cyclamens for her birthday, each 26 December, and even if she did pass away when I was only 26 years old, now, about 50 years later, each year I buy one thinking about her.

This one is from last year, but in my window I have this years and day by day I am happy it feels well where I placed it. As I feel well in England too.

Not only my mother birthday is on "Boxing day" but my biggest grand-son's too: he has 15 today! I wish him lots of happiness and a long, healthy life.

I also wish for myself to see him more often, but that is not what is the most important. For him to grow an independent and strong being is. To find his path and be flexible about it.

Each of us has to find, to follow its own. And when we find a wall before us and cannt jump high enough, instead of hurting our heads or soul, to be able to find another one, leading in different direction. Enjoying what we find there.

That is perhaps the most important message of my mother's short life, she did not do it, hurting her heart again and again and again. Not living and enjoying enough, what could be. Also she loved the autumn leaves and was happy with the cyclamens I bough her each birthday, also Boxing day.

I changed my path this year, mother: changed countries, cities, environment. New vistas open now before me. Event at 74 past, one can change the road we travel.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tulips in April

One can show in so many different ways the pictures we take!

I did upload only one of them (the first in this album, the 6th picture taken from the tulips we found in the middle of the roads, not far from Seine. Today I found them and uploaded all, not only the one I prefered between them, and then I went to Slide Show maker and discoverd it can make prismes from them: here they are for Christmas day, I feel they have Christmas colors.

Monday, December 22, 2008

St Pankras before Christmas

St Pankras and King Cross were both busy for the departures and arrivals, waiting and hurrying to the trains. Eating, reading, discussing, so many interesting happening!

We were about 12 photographers, portraitist for the "photojournalism assignmen: Heading home for Xmas" of the London Portrait Meetup Group, the others had very impressive huge cameras of 2 kg or more!

But even with my tiny one, I could take some not so bad pictures.

And speak with the people, what few of the others did or does.

Speaking with those I take photo of is one of the joys of my "portraitist" life. My life, in general too.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Feeling well

My mother was born, 101 years ago, on Boxing day: the 26 December. She did not live more then 53 years and died, more or less from sorrow.

Probably, she had also something else, but it is what I always felt.

When she did live still, she liked to have a flower for her birthday and asked for a Cyclamen. I continued to buy it to her even after she passed away and is with me only in spirit, in my mind and my heart.

Usually, I buy it last minute and often it does not live long time either. "My name is Kertesz, meaning Gardener in Hungarian, but I do not have a gardener's hand" used to say a bit sad seeing the flowers die, year after year.

This year I did buy one a month ago or even more, put it on the window in the kitchen where it can have lots of light and not lots of warmth, how I was told that flower likes, giving it the water it needs but not more.

What a joy to see it day by day still wonderful, still there!

The flower feels well in this apartment, in London, as I do.

I will write about it to my mother, in my diary, as I do every end of year telling her about what the year brought to me, she always wanted to know everything about me, in as much detail I could give her. I continue to tell her, mostly what good happened to me. It always does. Something.

Every year is not always as good, lots happens sometimes, but this year I dared to change country, I come to London from Paris's neighborhood, and I begin to thrive here, just like the flower.

Friday, December 19, 2008

2008 before London

Some of the pictures of my life from January to mid July and the crossing towards England, put together demonstrated me that I did a lot of things even that half of year. Looking back, before I put them together, my first half of the year was an interminable wait, but now I know I did a lot of things while waiting.

You can look it at it whole screen or faster or slower and also skip farther or just forget it: it takes some time, I put together almost 150 images here and 5 very short videos.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Saint John's lunch today

Today, with other "freedom card" holders, I went to have Christmas lunch at St. John's: a very warm welcome.

We were only around 24 around four tables in the church, and after lunch and discussions Carols were song.

I recorded one of it, in French "Silent night" what we also song in Hungarian in my youth around the tree.

It was, as you can see a wonderful sunny day and I got a nice invitation for Christmas day lunch. I think, this is a great honor and a great responsability.

Yes, I did want to experience an English Christmas, and yes, I am happy to go also, but so many memories of my childhood and that of my children are linked with it!

what a wonderful voice!

Coming towards home, I went behind the building were I live and took photos of the fir tree shining partially in the sun. How fast the sun goes down right now!

Christmas Westminster bridge

While the cars were speeding tourists from Spain, at least in this one, took photos of each other with the background of Westminster. A little later, I asked them, and he did take an image of me too with the same background. "Prego", he answered my thanks, so I knew from were thay come.

Of course, I do name "Londoners" all the people I meet in London, as I named "Parisians" everyone met in Paris, without thinking too much from were they arrived, or who they were.. I met them there, they were part of the town and its mood.

Yesterday I had the great joy to meet John, the leader of Greenwich Chapter of Independent photographers, and lots of great and very different photographers, from which many showed what they did. We discussed how to make the best books from our images, and how we obtained some others.

I am looking forward to meet them again. It was a great and useful evening: so many people to know. So many photos to admire. So much to learn from too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas along Thames

Christmas trees along my life were very important, how much joy the trees (with bonbons beside candles on them) had given me, year by year.

We had great Christmas evenings with all my cousins coming to our house to receive the gifts St Nicolas brings us, before the war, before they scattered or were killed.

In the war, I do remember very well also the time when already the Russian troupes had surrounded Budapest. We could not go out, without being shut any more. We lived already under the ground. (And for four more month). But somehow, my parents found, probably in the garden (though going out there was also perilous) some fir branches. They hang them on the lamp of the ceiling.

They found some gifts, my mother have had them for some time, because she gave me a diary. My first diary in which I begin to write the same evening, and did write for other four Christmas, until I was past fourteen. It did finish with my gifts received then and my wishes for the years to come.

Christmas was also important for my children and we did all I could to offer them one, from the time my daughter was only four month old to the time they left home. I gathered once more, later, all I could in family, but something was missing. It was the last time I had a tree in my house. The memories remain now.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Market along Thames

From the National Theatre to Westminster, there was a lot to see, to experiment, yesterday afternoon. Also I did not meet my group, anyone from the London Portrait Group I knew already, I came back with lots of images and smiles.

Some were even from London, others tourists, or vendors arrived from far away. I did come back, my soul hurt that I did not meet with my group as expected, but with lots of nice people met and impressions enriching.

Still, I do not like so much portraits taken with flash, that I took as I was asked for this assignment, I feel they come out a bit flat. I have yet to learn in what conditions they do become better.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Boxing day

I wanted to know, what is Boxing day and when it is.

How interesting!

It is the 26th of December: my mother's birthday!

And it is not about boxing as I did believe, the sport, the fight, but about giving out boxes to those who need them.

Still do not understand well why it is not before but after Christmas... I still have a lots to learn about England and UK and CO in general.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rochester Dickensian Christmas

So difficult to choose, between all my images, but this is between my favorite ones. The "doctor" as I image, as we imagine, from old times.

I did a first photo of him too near, then asked him to stop a minute to have time to go farther and take it like you see it here.

What is wonderful in a Costumed festival, that most of people are so happy that their picture in the costume is taken. They do spend a lot of time to think about, to choose, to dress, to take whatever accessory they need, so they are ready to have it immortalized - how they look in them.

At that event, in Rochester, on the Hight Street, between the rail road and the river, and around it also, under the Cathedral, all Dickensian Characters walking not only during the parade, but after and before, were ready to be photographed.

I still have lots of them to look, to study, but here there are some already on my flickr set of Rochester.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rochester Christmas

This is the 344th photo I took in Rochester, just before leaving, near the station. I found interesting the decoration at the car dealership;

There were the only thing with light, at the moment, but the sun was not yet down.

It will take long until I go one by one through the pictures I have taken, and for the moment I make a pause. During that pause, yesterday I looked and listened to the television for three hours.

Really interesting!

For the first time, in my life I had a live meeting of the Parliament in London! A packed house, too! Mostly, I was delighted to understand what they were speaking about and how they tried, without really succeeding to defend their own rights against the government. As I almost finished reading the history of England, I even understood some of historic references.

So, even if I do not understand East London language a lot, I do when the MP are speaking! In three hours it was only one, with a bit heavier accent that I had difficulty to understand, not too bad, is it?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Nostalgia Steel Band

I was interested long time in theses instruments, the Nostalgia Steel Band played them masterfully!

And a slide show of my adventure: arrival and park with Santa too.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

St Nicolas arrived on huge motos!

They were a whole band: what are they doing I asked myself before we went into the park to wait the arrival of St Nicolas?

They were the ones who brought St Nicolas to the children so they could give their letters with the wishes for Christmas.

All red, this motorist, but they were lots of them, huge and nice!
Père Noël arrive en moto-83
A steel band was playing music meanwhile.

It was cool but we had wanderful time!

Friday, December 5, 2008

99P store & St Nicolas in Lewisham

In Lewisham High Street, before the 99p store, near the bus station, St Nicolas has arrived already!

In my childhood, he arrived the six december, best said between five and six in the middle of night - of course when I was sleeping.

We put our shoes the five between the two windows (not "french windows but Hungarian double windows) and tried not to sleep, to catch him, but eventually went to sleep.

In the morning of 6 the St Nicolas (Miklos in Hungarian) he has already passed, leaving us bonbons in our shoes. And of course because no child is all good, also some golden birtch, not to hit us but just for remainder that we were not all wonderful chilren all the time.

I did expect one and the other and sometimes
99P store and St Nicolas-5
I also found colour pens or other small gifts. I always got up very early - but never catched St Nicolas! Not like now, when you see him before the 99penny store!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

In the bus station

She was waiting for the bus, in the cold winter weather. Speaking with her and the other lady, about the bus and how dangerous it is to walk at our age now, the time flow to fast.

The bus arrived.

Not before I could take a photo of her and the nice, younger black lady.

In the bus, I showed them the photos and, then she told me with a deep sigh: How wonderful it would be the world if everyone was friendlier to each other!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One step at a time

There is a long way to go, often, where we want, but if we think of one step only at a time, at a day, we can do it.

A new book to study in the new year, Walking into this world by Julia Cameron, "the green book", we'll begin the 13 weeks in January. I begun to read the first chapter, whose advice are:

Go from where you are with what you are - that is your origin, originality
Do it, one step at a time, but start now
Do nothing, relax for half an hour: one has to rest from time to time

I want to make a book where I comment on hundred most popular of my photos, it seems huge work, but one each day is manageable.

I begun already yesterday and today: in my photoblog and under the first two pictures. Yes, it is only the first version that I'll have to complete and correct. But the first two steps were made. Now, the road seems less frightening.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Morning baguettes

You do not have to go to Paris or France for that matter, to eat good baguettes any more, there are so many places one can find them in London, and, probably throughout in UK too.

I did not buy them at Jade boulangerie, when I passed there with my grand children but they did choose Eclair and Tarte au citron, and Pain au chocolat.

What I did, is taste a bit of each, tell myself it has too much sugar in it, then deligth in the rolls with seeds one can buy here from the supermarket all freshly made. I put some of them in the freezer, and as a miracle, when they come out, one by one, a few hours later I find them as fresh as they were.

Not like the baguettes which are good mostly a few hours after they come out of the oven of the boulengerie in the corner. Let's recognize, those too are not bad frozen: I did try them when I still lived in France.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

12 images of this year

Not easy to choose which one to put in a Calender, images that we would like to look at a whole month!

This is one image I did not remember, but when looking back to 1 May in Argenteuil near the Seine, somehow it represents it better then all others do.

Six before arriving in London, one on the road, and five taken here. Not as much of what I discovered but more about my new life and surroundings.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

La belle Danube bleu

Of course, the Danube was never really blue, but it is such a nice title Strauss gave to it! Danube was in Vienna and Budapest too, playing a big role in those capitals. Far from our Transylvania, we did love it from afar mostly.

My mother used to play it on piano to me and when I was child, I used to danse on it. Here is a great interpretation that i found today, a pleasure to listen and to remember old days for me in the same time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

From the other bridge

I remembered yesterday that they are two parallel foot bridges from Embarkader to Royal Festival Hall and the one looking towards Westminster gave me even better pictures then the usual one I passed until now.

Of course, after ten weeks, ten Monday nights, I also learned a bit.

All of us from the group learned something in this 11 weeks since we begun the Artist's Way meetups. It was so interesting to find out, to hear what each of us is doing, even if our search is still continuing. Next year, we'll "Walk" use Julia Cameron's other book, and broaden it up by speaking about some other books we read too.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Squirrels and models in Green Park

I imagine, hundred year ago, elegant women and men walked in the park not far from the Palace. Saturday, it was us, twenty photographers with five models, beside the other people passing by.

This tiny squirrel did also pose for me, not moving until I had the time to take at least two different shots of him.

In France, Hungary, Romania, we do not have yet squirrels in the parks, in the gardens, or just arriving perhaps. We see dogs and cats only. So they are for me still a wonder like something out from a children's book.

While we took photos, others were passing, they wondered probably what were we doing.
B. Green Park Photo Meetup-175 detail
I was far enough going away already when I took this one.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Meetup at Green Park with models

I did go anyway: used to be refused, used to insist.

But as soon as I arrived and explained, she told me "ok" so I could take photos as the others: we were 20 with 5 models.

A bit less fun then taking each other, but interesting nevertheless.

Here are some 20 of pictures, of models and photographers alike, and a squirrel, who did pose too.

Little Venice Mouvment Meetup

It was fun, but now she kicked me out from today's meeting because I did not pay in advance with Pay Pal.

She is dictatorial.

Not that I was not ready to pay, for the meetings, but I refuse to use that means and anyway I do not have an account with them any more.

So, good luck with people there, we'll go to the market near London bridge, and if Jenny does not, I can go alone too. Or go to the school fair nearby here. It will be a cold day, but if one dresses well, no problem, and it is not so cold as it was once in New York when my nose seemed to be frozen!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Passer le pont

Going through the bridge, short one, long one, going from a country to the other, going up the stairs, or down, through a long corridor, more or less illuminated, on a less known path, is never easy.

We are afraid to begin, the water is deep and dark under it. We are not sure what is the other side.

We go, we think we are there, and all is not as we see it at the beginning, either. This photo illustrated what I feel now, what I felt when I have taken it. My doubts too. My hopes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fall's end in Greenwich

It is beautiful to look around and admire the nature, even towards the end of the fall, specially in the Greenwich park, but not only, even in my street and the heath leading to the park !

For example, why some leaves have still water drops on them, even if it did not rain the morning? Why others, near them does not?

I learn a lot, looking more, looking better.

Thinking about what to do next year, and even more, why. When one has so many choice as here in London, the choosing is not easy, the decisions either. I decided to stop running from one meetup to other and reflect a bit more about my desires and needs.

But I'll keep on walking, writing in my blogs, taking pictures. Reading too, so much wisdom in some books! And of course, one can learn more at any age.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My favorite images

Surfing on flickr, I find "irresistible images" often, and put them between my "favorites" so I can come back and look at them. Here are the last ones.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The London photo & graphic Meetup group

Organized with charm and determination, by a young woman born not far from where I was, arrived in London just a year ago, the group discover, through her, less nknown and interesting parts of London, while taking pictures on varied themes.

Yesterday, even in the rain (just a bit) along the canal, from the Little Venice,we took pictures with the theme "Portraits in Movement": it was fun!

So many people arrived in London from all over the world bring it new ideas and new energy! Yesterday, I met some people from Polland, a girl from Tadjistan, and a young woman from Romania, and... so on. All were integrated and doing and living full lifes, at the same time, adapting to the "English way" rapidly.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Going closer

I am original from Transylvania, a province, once in the times even independent, between Hungary and Romania.

Left when I was 14 but somehow when I think of my origin, that is what I find as answer. I am not from "Romania", and that is not because the gypsies on the streets has given it bad names recently. I did not feel Romanian, even when I lived there, until I was 30.

I am not Hungarian, even if my mother language is and that I did not speak almost any other until I was 14, and even if my culture is Hungarian more then any else. I went to Hungary a few times, and less and less I felt "Hungarian", real one.

I am French, yes, for I have lived in France more then in any place and now, for a long time already I write in French in my diary, probably I even think in that language!

But if was Transylvania when I went back so many years after, I felt as "I am home, again".

I never lived in the country, my home was the biggest town the university town far from the mountains, we had only slight slopes. And long traditions. But even when I went with my car to tour the country side, I felt "home".

Stopped, near a small street, no asphalt in those villages! That peasant come with his old looking scythe, and I was interested in taking it. As soon as he had seen us, who I was with I do not remember, he took of his hat.

He posed, when he understood, I want him with his instrument.

Then I went closer.

I promised that I'll send him a photo, he was happy and gave me his address. But going closer, speaking to him, I observed his beautiful blue eyes, his nice friendly face too.
What beautiful eyes!
And I learned also, it is worth going closer to people, speaking with them, taking a second look.

If I ever make a book, as I intend, he will be my first example. From him started all the other images, one from farther, the second a lot closer. When I felt it is too close to give a good portrait, I went fast a bit farther and zoomed. But I still like approach, speak. About them, about me. Feel the connection.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Towards the end of the fall

There are some leaves still on the trees, even more beautiful as it approaches their last days.

I was discussing it with my daughter in law yesterday, we are nearer the nature in London as we were in Paris, and we feel the Londoners in general are too.

It is wonderful this feeling to be not only part of the world but part of the nature too!

In fact, he has a broader smileWhile I sat down yesterday, on a bench, near crossing towards the St Johnt's Presbytery park, taking pictures of the leaves felt on the studded crossing, a gentleman passed towards me, slowly, walking with two sticks.

- What are you doing? he begun to speak to me.

After we spoke a while, I dared to ask him to take a photo: he has such a beautiful smile! As soon as the camera was pointed he took a more serious expression, but his eyes continued to smile warmly.

As he went farther, I realized, there are people a lot lonelier that I around here.

My camera is one of the ways I can connect, after that we feel both better. And just a few minutes later, even my postman thanked me for having taken his picture!
Fall hunt mid november-49
I was my pleasure! I hope, he likes this.

My album of the images of end of fall, taken yesterday: if you like any of the images, you can download it, print it. Some of them, I think, are nice to look at.

Friday, November 14, 2008

60 ans!

Perceptions, are so important.

Passing near those, I have seen them continuous and not interrupted by the vertical lines. I am not so sure, what one perceives from this photo.

Happy birthday Charles!

He did not have an easy life, but did his best in every situation. I am sure he will be a great king.

Did you know, that they went to visit Sarkozi and Carla a few days ago? Two modern couples, I am sure they had lot in common, lot to speak beside of course state affairs...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A hungarian arrives in London

Is he Hungarian? From Transylvanian 'székely" small town, not so far from where my father came. He is in fact from Romania, as Transylvania is not part of that country. It begun just 90 years ago.

He went to study in Kolozsvàr (Cluj ?apoca now) were I was born, then to work to Budapest as programmer, and just a week ago, he arrived from Hungary in London.

In a week, he joined 54 Meetup groups! And come Monday to the one I go regularly, week by week. After the meeting, we chatted, I took his portrait, then went to stroll toward Trafalgar Square, still speaking, of course, in Hungarian.

He told me about the clouds that have different quality and colors, depending from where they come, as his neighbor had shown him while he lived still in his small town. He intends to go and see them on the place, from were they come, and I feel he will. He will do what is needed to fulfill his dreams, making them become reality.

Then I went to his profile and discovered that one of the groups he created, I have visited and left note about me in it, 11 month ago! Is it a coincidence, I do not think. But could be.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All kinds of beauty

I go from Charring Cross, through the Embarkader tube entrance to the foot bridge, every Monday, marveling at the floor design and the camera's deformations of it.

I try to catch people in Red.

London from the footbridge (46)dvRed scarf, red coat, red hat.

Sometimes, the red comes and goes away too fast, like a phantom only caught on the image. Even that, is fascinating.

Then, from the footbridge towards the Royal Festival Hall, I admire the lights, on the bank and in the Thames.
London from the footbridge (5)
London from the footbridge (16)
This week, I did not stop at the station and went to the Trafalgar Square, took some pictures of the illuminated National Gallery. Not so bad, but usual. It was slightly raining.

Dark and rain, brrr. Usually.
National Gallery at night (5) LondonNational Galery & reflection in puddle (3)
This time it was like a miracle!

In the puddle, before the illuminated Gallery, suddenly I have seen a new life, a whole building, columns of an other time. So difficult to show all I have suddenly seen in the puddle!

Here, some of it.
National Museum (11)
So many different kinds of beauties in the world!